As I wrapped Christmas presents I noticed one of my guys grabbing the empty wrapping paper rolls and gathering materials. Tape. Scissors. Markers. Focused on his task, little else could distract him. Taking notice of his progress I begin to see the object of his creation take form. Every now and then he would ask my opinion on something, but then ended up not needing it as little by little this precious gift, born completely from his own heart, was complete. With great excitement he called me to come see the final product and I looked from his beaming face to what he held in his hands and my heart overflowed.
“Do you think they’ll like it?” he excitedly asked. “I made it for Gigi and Papa!”
“They’ll love it,” I quickly assured him.
This son of mine is full of emotion. He feels deeply.
His face often tells his story. From elation to disappointment. Tenderness to annoyance. Patience to anger.
I’m going to be honest. I get frustrated, short-tempered, and impatient as I work through the hard emotions with him. I find myself constantly telling him that he needs to learn some self-control. I know that’s a fruit of the Spirit and I know we need to be praying about it, but it’s so easy to just throw out a quick, sharp, “You better learn some self-control!”
Over Christmas break I saw examples time and again of how this boy cares deeply, loves fully, and gives freely. Like the time he asked Andy’s parents to take him shopping so that he could use his own money to buy us presents for Christmas.
Or the time he stayed up late to create a special treat for Andy and I to enjoy in the morning.
Or the time he invited me on a date and wanted to make sure we chose an activity we both liked. The sweetest part of our bowling date was when we left the house, he was waiting at my car door to open it for me.
I need to remember this for each of my kids. Sometimes the areas that appear to be weaknesses, are also their strengths. A unique characteristic that God has blessed them with. As their mom I want to help affirm these gifts and not focus on the negative feelings that may accompany them.
On Christmas morning this guy was beaming with joy as he lovingly presented his gift to Gigi and Papa…and they loved it! A moment I hope to never forget.
Can you relate? Do you find yourself focusing on the hard, missing that which often goes hand in hand with their gifts?
Just this week I sat at the school table with this guy, working through a difficult assignment where he was getting visibly upset. I had to remind myself that he feels deeply. I am so grateful my eyes have opened to see more of this child’s true heart.
Let’s choose this day to rejoice in strengths and extend grace in weakness.
May the true hearts of those in your life be revealed to you, and may you delight in uncovering more of who they really are.