I woke up this morning feeling kinda sad because my baby boy is 12-YEARS-OLD today!!! I know I should be celebratin,g but he’ll be a teenager in a year. And he was my giggly, sweet toddler just yesterday.
I decided instead of mourning my baby’s movement towards teen-age-ville, I needed to thank God for all of the things He has taught me through Andrew. And how that boy cracks my whole head up with the things he says. And then there is the joy he gives and the way he really cares about the people he meets.
I started thinking about something that happened when he was four-years-old. I had shared it in a P31 devotion last year and thought I’d post it here today in honor of Andrew.
“I can’t!” Andrew shouted as tears streamed down his cheeks and his little chubby pushed the Etch A Sketch away. Joshua was trying to teach him how to use it but Andrew gave up before he even touched the little white knobs. “I can’t” had become Andrew’s favorite phrase. “I can’ t,” he cried when I encouraged him to put his face in the water at the pool that afternoon. “I can’t,” he muttered, when I asked him to tell me the first letter in the word apple. As I watched him sit in defeat, I thought to myself, I can’t take it anymore!
Life with a child who is afraid to try new things can be very difficult. Frustration had been creeping into my heart all day because I didn’t know how to help Andrew overcome his fears. So I stopped what I was doing and asked God to show me how to help my little boy.I thought back on our week and remembered how Andrew had given up most easily when trying things his big brother could do well. I remembered an article I’d read about helping children become “can-do kids.” I felt like God reminded me of that because He specializes in helping His children become can-do kids, and that’s what He wanted me to do for mine.
I though about Gideon, a man God called a “mighty warrior” even while he was acting like a wimp. I thought about when Jesus called Peter a rock, although he acted more like shifting sand. But over time, both of these men became who God called them to be. And I knew in my heart Andrew could, too!I bent down and looked into Andrew’s tear-filled eyes and told him,
“Andrew, from this moment foward you are my ‘CAN DO KID’. There are so many things you can do. The Bible says you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.”
It was time for dinner so I told Andrew we were going to set the table together. I handed him the forks and showed him where each one went. I gave him one plate and cup at a time and watched him complete each setting. Once he finished, Andrew looked at me and proudly said, “Mommy, I can do it!”
In the days, weeks and even years that followed, he called himself the “can-do” kid.
God taught me a lesson that day. My children need me to believe in them and show it through my words and my actions. I was so grateful God gave me such a powerful lesson and promise from His Word to pass on to my child in the midst of a challenging parenting moment.
I needed it as a mom and as a child of God. It changed Andrew’s perspective and mine, too.God uses it to remind me that I am can-do kid! I can do what He’s calling me to do today, because He believes in me and He’s with me! He wants to pass that truth on through me, and use me to help my child know they’re CAN-DO kids, who can do all things through Him who gives us strength! Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
Lord, thank you for helping me see my child through Your eyes. I want to see beyond who he is to who he can become in Christ. Show me if there are areas in his life where he is comparing himself to others. Help me notice and nurture his personal strengths and remind him that he can do all things through Christ. I pray you would open the eyes of my heart to learn Your truths, and live your Truth in my everyday life and then pass them onto my children. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Happy Birthday Andrew! I love you more than words can say.