Sometimes it’s so simple. A moment can make you stop, ponder, and change your perspective. I always knew it was important to slow down and enjoy the moments God gave you but it wasn’t until I was spending time with my son, I realized how special that lesson really was. Here are five of those times…
Take Time to Stop and Appreciate
It was a blustery winter morning. My son and I were getting ready to go downstairs to play. We were sitting on the bottom step of the stairs.
“Do you want to go play?”
“No,” he said he cuddled close to me, as he gazed outside.
“Okay.” I put my arms around him and followed his gaze.
The trees were conducting an overture, waving about, and the wind followed, bellowing out the musical piece. Snow was dancing in the air like on puppet strings and then drifting across the sky like a curtain. It really was something to marvel at.
After a few minutes I began getting restless. There were things we could be doing, time was wasting. I thought my son would be ready, but he still sat and gazed. I sunk into the beauty and comfort of the moment, snuggled close with my son, and appreciated the lesson he taught me of slowing down and just being.
Your Smile Can Make Someone’s Day
My son is definitely my sunshine. He lights up a room with his smiles. He’s super social: waves hi, bye, points to items he wants to share or play with, and sometimes talks to you. Strangers, friends, family: he’s social with everyone. We go to the grocery store or an appointment and people comment on how cute he is.
Once in the waiting room a woman showed him how to fish on her phone. She would show him all the catches she made. While she was fishing he would point at the phone and go ‘uhh,’ wanting to see more. It was his willingness to interact with people that opened the door for a nice conversation about kids and a fun way to pass the time in the waiting area. When he wasn’t learning to fish, he pointed to books people were reading and said book, which people thought was pretty cute.
These simple experiences remind me that you never know how a smile and being friendly can make someone’s day. Connecting with people is a simple way of opening the door to letting God work through the experience and use the friendliness in whatever way He sees is best.
Express Clearly How you Feel
Just like any toddler, my son is very clear on how he feels. When I pick him up at daycare he runs to give me a hug and wants to be held. When he does’t want to get out of the bath, he’ll become limp so it’s hard to grab him, cry, and say no. If he wants to leave he’ll say go and run to the door.
How many times have we failed to communicate clearly how we felt, made assumptions, and then felt hurt or disappointed by the results?
Just like a child, we need to clearly let people know how we feel so that people don’t have to guess. Obviously, I wouldn’t recommend temper tantrums, but you get the idea. We can thoughtfully and appropriately express our feelings to others and this can open communication, heal relationships, and help people to make decisions because all views are expressed and in the open. How can I expect change if I don’t clearly let someone know what is bothering me? Being open and honest can go a long way.
Provide your Complete Attention to Show you Care
Recently my son was playing with his blocks, stacking them up high and talking to himself. So I started making his Christmas list and looking on my phone. He saw me not paying attention and took my hand and gave me a block.
I was certainly humbled and put in my place. As he has become more adept at playing on his own, I’ve found myself sneaking in moments to do the grocery list, check an email, or research a question.
My son taught me how important it is to provide your full attention to someone when you’re with them. Doing something on my phone or some other task, is not being fully present, and thereby doing your loved one a disservice. If I am with someone I need to be fully present. I remember this reminder from years ago when in college when I was watching a tv show with friends, but the whole time I was thinking about how I should be doing work and I missed out on enjoying the show because I wasn’t fully present. My son reminding me again of this was perfect because I want to truly appreciate my time with him, and my actions were not helping me do that.
May you find contentment in your life.