Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Box

    Okay slight adoption deviation, but I couldn't resist.....
       Today we were presented with the opportunity to put together something for a little boy stuck in the hospital.  I explained to Caleb as best I could about this little boy, the same age as him, who wouldn't be able to go outside and play, or be home to play with his toys etc. for a while.  I suggested we paint some pictures and put together a box for him.  At this point he was all in.  That is until he realized we were giving his things away.  I started looking around and found some brand new coloring books and crayons and suggested we put them in the box.  He disagreed.  I opened the sticker box and asked him what he thought the little boy would like.  Apparently he knew this little boy did NOT like stickers, especially the ones we have.  Okay so it was not going well.  Actually that's an understatement.  I had to sit him down, calm him down and start again.  We talked about this little boy and I tried to help Caleb imagine that he was in the hospital.  I think he started to understand......

      In went the coloring book...the crayons....some stickers....some playdough....and then, Caleb decided he needed a horse and went off to pick out one of his own horses to give.  Small victory!  Then I added a toy I had bought just because it was a good deal, but had never needed to give as a gift.  This addition was too much and Caleb lost it again.  He just had to have it.  Had to play with it.  Had to open it.  I know he's only three, but my heart was breaking for the state of his heart....that these things meant so much and that I haven't really given him any opportunities to learn what it means to give, to sacrifice, to have compassion and really do unto others (his favorite song mind you!).  After that final tantrum, he was fully on board.  Suddenly everything was going into the box....even...yes...his dinosaurs!!  I was shocked.  And now I was a little hesitant.  Umm, really? Are you surreee?? You love your dinosaurs and play with them all the time.  You'll never see them again....do you really understand?  I took them out and put them on the couch (yes, really....ugh).  He protested.....they were for the little boy!  Back into the box they went.

        I sealed the box and off it went this afternoon.  Seriously how many times have we been given this opportunity and just wrote it off.  But what a blessing it became in the lesson that was learned....and the heart that was beginning to change.  Priceless.  I also realized how easy it was for me to ask him to give away his things.....but what about me?  And why did I start to hesitate when he wanted to give away his most treasured toys?  His isn't the only heart that needs changing.....

       We prayed for this little boy and then the boys went down for their naps.  When Caleb woke up he instantly declared he wanted his surprise.  And did I have a dinosaur for him?  Um what?!  I was a little disappointed thinking he wanted his toys back.....but he just had this strange idea that I had some sort of surprise for him.  Nope, just mommy here!  He was persistent but eventually let it go.....we played Boggle Jr. instead (Thank you Morzella's!!).  We were still playing together when my neighbor came to the back door.  She had a bag.  She asked if Caleb had been a good big brother and I thought of today.  Levi loves to do what his big brother is doing.  Loves to play what he's playing, copy what he's doing, and definitely learns so much from him.  Soon he will be able to understand what it means to give, to sacrifice, to love others.....and Caleb will be a good teacher.  She gave Caleb the bag and inside were five....dinosaurs!!  Seriously?!  Just because...just because she saw them and thought of Caleb.  Wow Caleb!  You gave away one of your dinosaurs today and now Miss Karen just brought you FIVE new dinosaurs!  How about that : )  Of course I don't want him to think that every time he does something nice, he'll get something in return.  But really, what a sweet blessing.  And then I remember, for the thousandth time, all of the times that God has blessed us so abundantly just for being a teeny tiny bit obedient.  When He doesn't have to....when He could require us to just be obedient because we're His children and we belong to Him.  But no.....he constantly blesses us, offers us grace, goodness...mercy.

      And I feel a little anxious already when I think of what He may be asking of us next.  But why?  How many times does He have to show me his heart before I fully trust, fully surrender.  I wish I could just learn something once and get it!  Today I was thinking how grateful I was for this opportunity to teach my boys (and for the things I've been reading and learning lately that have brought me to a place where I am seeing it this way!), but at the same time thinking how it's hard work!  I can just see the look on God's face as I say that.....really?  Yikes! It is such a different perspective when I put myself in the position of the child with God as my father.  I whine about having to say the same thing over and over to toddlers....and yet I'm having to hear the same thing over and over....and over.....and over....and I'm an adult!

      So while I'm being so honest, I'll admit that I've started to get a bit comfortable.  This two toddlers business is exhausting, sure, but life has settled into a routine and we're all enjoying life together....maybe a little too comfortably?  Really, already?  I feel like Caleb protesting...wanting to hold on to what I have now, the way things are now.  And yet I know know know that when I do what God is asking life is so much more full......so we're listening.....we're praying.....and at the end of the day we are really excited for whatever comes next!  What a day!


  1. I love this! What a great analogy. It takes a great deal for me to put my treasures in the box, and yeah, I totally try to grab them back out too...wish it would be easier to just put it in the box and leave it there!!! ;)

  2. Me too! So many lessons to learn! : )