Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Cup of Cocoa With Caiden

Have you ever noticed how after knowing a person for a while, you sometimes stop trying to get to know them?  That happens to me sometimes, especially with my family.  I've known my kids since birth and I see them every day so sometimes I simply assume I know everything I need to know.  But really, they have new thoughts and feelings every moment about which I will have no idea unless I ask.  Thank God for prayer, because without it, how would I ever make it as a parent?!  I think I would shrivel up with anxiety and stress.  There is so much I can miss out on and fail in.  But because of the promises in God's word I can rest.  Promises about how if I lack wisdom, I can ask God for it and He will liberally give me wisdom and not reproach me for asking.  Consequently, I am always asking Him for wisdom for how to steward over my kids and how to love them well; how to know them and understand their needs; how to use my time wisely and how to invest in them.  I don't always succeed, but there is grace for that as well and I know that God will complete the work He has started in my kids, regardless of my own shortcomings as a parent.

Today I realized that Caiden and I had an hour to ourselves while Elliott had basketball practice after school.  I considered all the things I could get done and all the errands I could run in that time, dragging Caiden along with me since she doesn't mind those sorts of things.  But I really felt prompted to lay aside my tasks and devote one small hour to some down time with just my little daughter and me.

So Caiden and I had an impromptu date at a little cafe near school.  We each got a hot chocolate (Caiden was delighted to discover the term "hot cocoa" today.  She's a language nerd.) and Caiden picked out a giant ginger cookie for us to split.  I really had to insist on the splitting part.  Caiden and I had a whole discussion on the way over to the cafe about what kind of treat we would get.  I suggested splitting a cookie and Caiden countered that suggestion with the idea of us each getting our own in case we couldn't agree on a flavor.  I told her that it is kind of nice to share something together, so she suggested we each get our own cookie and then split both cookies in half and share them.  In the end we got just one cookie and the flavor was fine for both of us. Mom 1, Caiden 0.

After we ordered, I let Caiden pick a spot to sit and she chose a table for 4 and I guiltily agreed since she's so cute and the shop didn't look too busy.  As soon as we sat down, the cafe filled up right along with my guilty conscience, but Caiden didn't notice and I didn't tell her that we were hogging up more room than we needed.  I noticed they had sugar cubes there, so I got one for her to try, remembering when my dad had let me try one once as a little girl when we had brought them as a snack to our horses.  Sadly, Caiden was not a fan of the sugar cube.  She also didn't like the homemade whipped cream in her cocoa so I scooped it out with a spoon and put it on the cookie plate.  After she had painstakingly drunk every last drop of hot chocolate by slurping it off of her spoon (this took roughly 35 minutes), she proceeded to eat the whipped cream by taking little swipes of it off the plate with her finger and licking it.  Meanwhile, I just let her talk.  

"We had science today.  I didn't tell you about that, but we have science sometimes."  

There were a few things that came up in conversation that she "hadn't told me about" before.  I gather, from these little comments, that Caiden really likes me to know what's happening in her life.  Sometimes at home she will be sitting on the toilet, or on her way to the toilet, and just randomly tell me some little tidbit of information that is completely pulled out of the sky, but is also some important detail she suddenly remembered to tell me.

As I sat in the coffee shop with my little six year old--who was a little unkempt, a little bit jumbled, and slightly ornery--I just kept praying that God would take this small hour and this little investment of my time (that yielded no immediate earth-shattering results) and multiply its yield.  In general, as a mom, I am just trusting Him to take my labor and cause there to be fruit.  Because labor as I might, I can never make anything actually grow--only God can make things grow.  So, I'll invest my time, I'll give up a little hour here, a few moments there, a listening ear, a focused gaze, I'll try to stop what I'm doing and turn my ear to my little ones when they seek my attention and then I'll trust God to make all of those little moments pay off.  And as I go, I pray, pray, pray for wisdom!

"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him." --James 1:5

"So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth." --I Corinthians 3:7

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