Thursday, April 11, 2019

One Fork at a Time

I stand there, bare feet touching the hardwood floor, exhausted from the day, yet finding my patience as he reaches in again and again. His fingers, still slightly sticky from the cookie he polished off at dinner, grasp the handles, one fork at a time, slowly handing me the clean dishes. I thank him each and every time, praising his hard work. His longing to be involved makes my heart melt. He looks from me to the silverware basket and back, a gleam in his blue eyes at the joy he feels from helping me accomplish this mindless task. To him, it's not a chore, it's a delight, and it's something he gets to be a part of with his mama.

There are moments of frustration for us both: the top rack, littered with Shakespeare's plastic cups and now clean ice cream bowls, is two inches too high for him to reach in and help unload. He's ready to shut the door long before we're done unloading, or when I still need to fill it up with a new round of dirty dishes covered in spaghetti sauce and leftover olive oil. To be honest, it would be way easier for me to just do it myself. There are less "two year old" battles to potentially fight, and I would undoubtedly be much more time efficient. Our sectional couch is calling my name and I'm worn and tired. But I see him learning, and growing, and reveling in the way I am including him. And that makes it more than worth my time, much more than any "relaxing" option may be, no matter how tempting This is Us and a mug of hot tea sounds.

 So I linger, and I'm patient, and I let him tell me about the bowl that holds his "goldfishies". I let him point out his bright blue cup, or work hard to get his tiny fork unjammed from the corner where it's caught. After some struggle, I help him break it lose, and thank him as he drops it from his palm into mine. I answer his sweet "What's that?" question about sixteen times, using the opportunity to strengthen his vocab and work on sentence structure, as only an English teacher can. And I marvel at the ways he's learning and at the way my heart could burst with pride and joy and overwhelming love for his sweet 28 pound self in this exact moment.

Sometimes I think this is the way that the Lord sees us, his children. How what we have to contribute is not necessary in order for him to accomplish his plans. How we are quite honestly probably a hindrance more than a help to him most of the time. And yet, He still includes us. He lets us a be a part, lets us have a role in the broad plans He has, in the beautiful story that He is writing and weaving together. A loving father, much bigger and greater and more patient than my selfish and broken "earthly mama self", a father who is not surprised by our frustrations along the way, our temper tantrum moments, or our inability to express our emotions at times.

And yet, he keeps showing up, opening the door, letting us a be a part of his tasks at hand. We are not the reason He accomplishes his works, it's quite the opposite: He accomplishes them in spite of us. And yet, I am so grateful that he lovingly takes the approach he does. It is such a gift to be a tiny part of his big, master plan. I am thankful for a loving, patient father who lets me get my hands in on things that point toward his glory: one grubby little hand, one tiny fork at a time.



  1. I love doing chores with my kiddos. Even if it takes more time, the bonding is worth it.

  2. I love this so much. I've got a 14 month old who is ready to help and be in everything, and sometimes it makes everything take three times as long but I'm glad I can do it with her. I'm glad she wants to help. And I love thinking about this in regard to our relationship with God. I love that!

  3. Wow, I was so moved by this post! At the end, I just let out a big ol' AMEN - our Heavenly Father is SO GOOD! It's so true, it's just amazing what he is still able to accomplish in spite of us most likely being a hindrance - and yet he is so loving he still lets us be a part of his work! <3

  4. This is such a sweet post! Enjoy moments like this with your sweet boy. They grow up way too fast!

  5. What a precious moment you just shared with us. And a moment where you chose to be teachable (while also teaching), and patient. It's so beautiful to see how you connected this time with your son to the way the Lord views us. I love every bit of this!


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