A child’s gift of rocks
A child’s gift is always precious but sometimes busy moms fail to see the gift for just what it is.
Several years back, I wrote an article on an old blog which I called Rocks in my windowsill. It was a simple post about the ebb and flow of a mother’s life, a tiny post in the midst of longer, more complex ones that dealt with more theological issues women faced. I liked to write simple articles like this, articles about family life. Articles about my beautiful family. Here it is:
My kitchen window sill is full of rocks. Brown ones, black ones, white ones, there is even a slightly pink one! Rocks spread from one end to another.
I have a little boy who loves to bring me rocks. Where others may see just a rock, he sees beauty in the ordinary. This same little boy also brings me bird feathers and leaves. He loves leaves. He is fascinated by the varying shades of green that our Lord put into them. He loves to feel them, smell them, hold them up to the light and study them. He rejoices in the ordinariness of God’s precious gifts. He sees gifts everywhere.
This little boy is eight years old. I pray that when he is eighty, he will still see Gods precious gifts everywhere and share them with others.
So may I, oh Lord, so may I, also!
Until next time~~go get a rock or a leaf and really, really look at them: they are beautiful!
Soli Deo gloria!
A child’s gift of love
That same little boy is 14 years old now. He’s quirky, funny, hates handwriting, is good at math, has a pretty good depth of theological understanding, struggles just a bit with a touch of laziness and wanting to oversleep, but he’s a planner. He’s got a plan for his life laid out end-to-end. And just in case that doesn’t work, he’s got a second plan, a backup plan, and even a third plan, already in place. Just in case. The touch of laziness will, as days ebb and flow, burn off leaving a passionate doer in its place.
This boy is a blessing to me, as are all of my children. He’s not the first to bring me rocks, in fact–as my last child–he was one in a long line. I, before them, brought my mother rocks. She, like I, kept them. Me in my windowsill, she in a box. We both valued the little gifts our children brought us.
Not all mamas do.
A child’s gift
I remember one such mother who couldn’t see a child’s gift for the beautiful thing it was.
For whatever reason, this mother and I were together at a park with some other ladies one day. It must have been a church mama and child day in the park type of thing. Usually, when I took my children to the park, which was often, it was just me and them or us and my husband. I preferred it that way. Those were the days before we had so many years of no vehicle, no way to go anywhere including the park. But I digress…
A child’s gift devalued
Several of the ladies wanted to sit around and talk and let their children play alone or in groups. I preferred to get out there and play with my children. They kept wanting to talk. They had one child, maybe two. I had a whole group to play with and take care of. Much, much easier and far more fun to just go with them. Whether I was pushing them on the swings or just enjoying their antics, out there with my children was where the fun was.
This sweet little boy came running up to his Mama with a huge smile on his face. “I found you a rock, Mama!” He held out a pudgy hand and bestowed his gift to her. She smiled tightly, thanked him and told him to go play. Then, turning to me she asked “Why does he think I want a rock?”
“It’s the only thing he has to give you,” I answered. “He found it and thinks it’s pretty so he wants you to have it.” The answer seemed simple to me. She replied, “Well, I wish he wouldn’t. I don’t want it.”
A child’s gift rejected
That broke my heart. This poor little child’s gift…rejected by his Mama. Oh, she didn’t say so. He probably never even knew it. But I did. I still can’t understand.
Why wouldn’t you want whatever gift your little one can give you? A child’s gift is a part of himself. He has no money but he loves his mama and wants to give her a gift so he gives what he values. He gives what he has. We’re made to be gift-givers. God Himself grants gifts to His children. This rock is something he found that he values but instead of keeping it for himself he brings it to his mama. If we devalue our child’s gift, we won’t likely be getting any others.
A child’s gift gone
There are no longer rocks in my windowsill. I miss those days. I miss my rocks, the brown, the black, the white, and the pink ones. But just because those days are gone, doesn’t mean there aren’t gifts from this boy. His gifts aren’t financial. He still has no money of his own. His gifts are in the form of talks. Gifts of time. Sometimes he seeks me out, just to chat. He’ll come into my bedroom after I’ve gone to bed to discuss theology or chat about his day. There are still hugs and kisses. Times of sitting together, trying to best each other in Battleship. Those rocks, lovingly given, lovingly received, helped to build this relationship.
Mamas and sons, mamas and daughters, we are going to have our ups and our downs. There will be days of frustration, times of irritation over some little–or big–thing. But let there be a foundation of giving and of love. Let us enjoy our tiny little guy as we wash dirty faces and hands. Let us relish the times of running play and tired naps. Let us receive with joy each twig, feather, rock, or leaf lovingly given.
And, as our children grow, and grow they will far faster than we could have once imagined, let us study God’s Word with them, demonstrate our love for them in word and deed. Let us show them what a blessing they are to us. And, when they are older, let us sit and talk, listen, give and receive, and grow together.
A child’s gift goes ever onward
Ladies, we’re not raising children; we are raising men and women. Future godly men and women. Future husbands and fathers, wives and mothers. Our investment in that starts before they are born and lasts until our last breath. Let’s strive to not waste a single moment. But when we do, let’s repent and ask forgiveness. Let’s receive repentance and forgive. And let us strive to never forget the glory and the joy of the little things, the little gifts in life. A child’s gift, such as brown and white, black and pink, lovely rugged unique rocks–lovingly given, ought to be lovingly received, nestled in our windowsill and forever in our hearts.
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Just look at the top of the page, there’s a “Leave a Comment” button. Press it down and start talking!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Photo by Jessica Rockowitz on Unsplash