Thursday, August 6, 2009

My Chips are Enough

Standing at the top of the stairs she was a sight to behold. She had dressed up, not leaving any detail (or square inch) uncovered: plastic yellow high heels; two skirts - a long hot pink one under a short frilly blue one; her sparkly princess t-shirt under a shiny pink tube top looking thing; feather boa; silver jeweled crown and pink fuzzy ski hat.

"Mom, I'm dressed as a princess. I'm going to play. Okay?" My three-year-old daughter proudly announced.

It was almost painful to tell her that we have to leave in a few minutes for my Bible study and there wasn't time to play much.

She tilted her blonde head to the side, catching her hat before it fell off. She was pondering. I knew their was a negotiation in my future. Quick to find a deal for both parties involved Isabel is my negotiator, she would try to strike a deal to get the leopard out of his spots, and I'm sure in the end he'd be happy to be plain however she worked it out.

"How long do we have?" She finally asked. "Less than 10 minutes," I replied.

"10 minutes. I can play for that long." And with that she skipped off down the hallway her curls bouncing and her little heels click-clacking all the way.

I laughed as I walked back to the kitchen. Funny how I thought ten minutes wasn't enough to get started and she'll have created and lived in a whole imaginary world in that time. I want to learn to be like that, where every breath is a blessing and every detail God plants around us is a delight be it a butterfly, Popsicle or the princess phone stuck between the couch cushions that had been given up for lost.

Lessons I learn from my three-year-old.

Yesterday there was a group of neighborhood kids eating chips on our front porch. One of the girls thought she heard the ice cream truck and became very excited. When the UPS truck appeared she was heartsick that there was no creamy treat in her near future. She whined and whined over and over again. "I want ice cream."

Isabel, mouth full of chips, mumbled, "I don't need ice cream, I have chips and that makes me happy." I was awe struck. She is thankful for what she has and that is enough for her.

Oh, how I want to practice that daily. Instead of returning home from a friend's house and wishing my carpet wasn't green (oh we're talking GREEN ya'll) or my furniture wasn't second hand. Instead of looking at the trendy outfits of the sweet women around me at She Speaks, see my clothes as good enough and focus on the real beauty of their hearts.

Sigh. Lessons from my three-year-old.

One of my favorite verses is actually right before one that we all memorize. You know "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength" or some similar wording, right? Empowering and a good mantra to chant when you are facing those last ten minutes of a workout and your legs say no.

But have you ever gone one verse before that? Do you know what it is about? Contentment. Taking your ten minutes and living them fully. Being happy with your chips, your sofa, or even your circumstance. Knowing that God is enough for every moment.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
Philippians 4:12
For today, I'll follow my three-year-old's example (at least in this, hopefully not in the hissy fits that find her face down on the kitchen floor...but I'll keep ya posted!). I'll smile at the portion God has given me and thank Him for my ugly green carpet.


Will Blackwell said...

Yep, it's green all right. Not emerald green, forest green, olive green, or even camo green. It's British Racing Green! Who on earth bought and installed a BRG carpet in a home? Not I. Nope. This came with the house. They took their ceiling fan with them, and left us a luscious green carpet. Well, at least we finally installed a ceiling fan (it was on clearance) ;)

Heather said...

I love the lessons you are learning from your three-year-old! I'm learning some valuable ones as well. What a blessing it is to be their moms! And what delight it is to be home with them to "learn" from the best. Can't wait to get your three-year-old and mine together again. I don't think they'll notice whether it's British Racing Green or Boring Brown Berber... they'll simply be thrilled to be together. ...another good lesson.