When people begin a year-long program of leadership development and growth, many things are taken into account. Location, team participants, content. The big picture of hoped-for success.
When families are part of the picture, little ones must be considered.
I love belonging to an organization that values the family and provides opportunities for husbands, wives, and singles. Everyone is valued; everyone is seen for who they are and what their needs may be.
With children being part of the equation, it’s easy to consider them as collateral damage. Get a sitter and be done with it. The focus, the resources, are spent on the adults.
What do little kids add?
Having walked this path as John and I were involved in training opportunities, our six kids were in various stages of growth.
Being watched by folks they didn’t know was rarely appreciated by them.
Kids experience transition as dramatically as adults, and when these little guys got here months ago, they’d been uprooted from the familiar and friendly. Thrown together with kids from different places and adjusting to new norms wasn’t easy. After ten months together, they’ve made friends and have developed a new norm of familiar and friendly.
The unsung heroes are the childcare workers who come in every week to watch, teach and love on these little people. They deal with sadness, discomfort, separation anxiety, and attitudes. Two of these workers are my two oldest grands; one of them is a close friend. All of them have been present with these kids, meeting needs and supervising well.
Without much appreciation from those they care for.
I can’t remember seeing a child telling a parent or caregiver, “I’m so glad you’ve cared well for me.”
The parents have been grateful. They know their children are being loved well and are safe.
What has been impressive is the kindness with which these teens have cared for these kids. Many of them have younger siblings–they know what being bothered is like. Older siblings are whined about to parents, yelled at for not including younger siblings, have demands placed on them by littles who think these older ones are at their beck and call.
It’s often how we treat God.
As Creator and Sustainer of the universe, it’s easy to whine about how He doesn’t give us this or that. Why He lets hard things happen to good people. Why He doesn’t always do what we ask.
As our good and loving Parent, He gives us free will to choose Him and His ways–and reminds us that there are consequences for our choices. He knows what we need and what it will take for us to grow into adulthood well. Sometimes that’s painful. Often we fight Him on it.
Watching these young people take care of these kids makes me realize how often I’m not grateful for all God has provided for me. For the sacrifices He’s made for me–sending His Son to die in my place so I can experience heaven with Him.
Even in small things, when was the last time I was grateful for being able to walk, see or laugh out loud? To experience the sun on my face and a cool breeze in the air?
Gratitude is a gift we give God for all He’s given us.
When was the last time you thanked Him?