Grace is a laid back, mellow kid but there are certain things she does (like any child) that absolutely drive me crazy. One of them in particular is that she stands at the bottom, or top, of the stairs and screams until we either grab her hand or carry her down. She won't walk on her own because we can go so much faster than her. She screams bloody murder until someone has pity and goes and gets her. And it drives me nuts. Why?? Because I'm human and value my sanity. It's also not a matter of not being able to walk down, but she just doesn't want to be left at the top or bottom alone. Patience may or may not be her strong suit. Just sayin'.
The other day, I had my hands full and Annalise and Grace both needed to come down the stairs. Annalise is always fine to walk down by herself UNLESS someone might grab Grace. Then she wants the same attention. Since, this wasn't a day that I could grab both of them, I sat down and thought we could all scoot down together. Annalise loved that idea and made it down in record time. Grace, not so much. She was not buying what I was trying to sell. She sat down at the top and proceeded to scream her injustices until someone got her hand or picked her up. So, I did what any good mother would do. I scooted on down and put all the stuff I was carrying up and figured by this time she would be down. No such luck. She was poised at the top and ready to battle it out. Now, in all honesty.....this could've gone 2 ways. Knowing she could see us and was safe, I may have decided to continue to work at the bottom of the stairs and wait for her to scoot on down, or I could decide to go up and help her down. This day, I was overflowing with grace, love and mercy (ha!) so I went back up to coax her down.
I sat down beside her and waited on her to realize I was back to help, and then I got her hand and talked to her the whole way down. We usually sing the ABC's coming down the stairs or count (and only in Spanish for some odd reason....Annalise started that tradition) but today I just kept saying...."almost there, one more step, you can do it..." and so forth. When we made it to the bottom, I praised her and we parted ways. Her to play, and me to cook dinner.
As I started dinner, I couldn't stop thinking about what had just happened. I have told you guys before that I am a very simple person. God uses my kids and basic life lessons to teach me All. The. Time. I started thinking on how I was encouraging Grace to take her time and focus on one step at a time and how badly I needed to listen to that message myself. I worry a lot about things that are out of my control. I still try to plan for things down the road that I really and truly have no control over. How often am I the toddler standing at the top throwing a temper tantrum because all I see is a huge obstacle in front of me? The day Grace stood up there, she missed a pretty fun scooting race between me and Annalise. Annalise whooped me and I may have even fallen a bit. We laughed and Annalise was so proud. Grace missed all of that because she was too focused on the fact that I hadn't done for her exactly like she thought I should. She was so focused on the trees that she couldn't see the forest waiting at the bottom. How many times do we miss a blessing, or get so sidetracked because all we can see are the trees? When will we learn to trust that God has so much more waiting for us on the other side.