Dear Lady & Stink,
This morning I reminded you that your brother’s birthday is tomorrow and asked you guys to make him cards. Before long, I heard change shaking from piggy banks and soon you brought 15TL (about $8) to me and excitedly asked when we could go to the mall today and get Doodlebug the Lego set he wanted last time we were browsing in the bookstore.
My first instinct was to tell you to put your money back in your piggy banks– we don’t have the van at home today, so we would have to taxi to the mall (which is loads of fun with three wiggly kids!), I already bought Doodlebug a birthday present and he doesn’t need more Legos, and that’s YOUR money so you should save it for what you want (’cause goodness knows I’m
NOT gonna shell out for every toy you ask me for!) I’m thankful that I stopped myself before I could tell you any of this crap, and I could instead praise your generous hearts and make plans to get us to the mall.
I don’t want you guys to grow up to be people who don’t want to expend time and energy and money on others. The world has enough self-obsessed people and they are pretty hard to be around. I want you to find pleasure in spending on others– not just yourselves. It’s so anti-cultural, and even my knee-jerk reaction to your request this morning shows me how much I let the sins of selfishness and entitlement affect my heart.
As much as you argue and fight and bug each other, I’m so thankful for the love you showed this morning when you guys pooled your money and wanted to bless your brother. Moments like that help me keep the right perspective– you ARE hearing me when I lecture you on kindness, God IS working inside your little hearts to help you see others instead of just your needs/feelings/wants. You inspire me to confront my own selfish tendencies and ask for God’s help to make me more others-focused. You reminded me that we are all works in progress. We all have a long way to go.
I’m so grateful for what you guys teach your ol’ mom. I love you.