A bucket of beans is all it took this morning to entertain the girls as I did some paperwork. Beans. They didn't need anything else. Yet, as they played and scattered those tiny little lumps throughout the house it was pretty hard for me to have patience. Why couldn't they play with something just a little more organized? Something not quite so messy?
I forget to rejoice in the beautiful simplicity of these early childhood years.
I want order and reliable schedules. I want a clean, quiet house in which I can think. Not a home where every second I have to take a deep breath and pray for God to help me keep my lid on.
But, this really is an amazing stage in life.
As the girls played with beans on the kitchen floor Adela pretended to make an angel in the "snow". She invited Micaela to play with her and shared the excitement of throwing those beans up in the air. Micaela gleefully practiced picking up the tiny things with her thumb and forefinger.
They were so happy. They were so happy with a bucket of beans.
I know this stage in life can be trying, but isn't that just life? There will always be things that try us and test us, but we were never told to focus on the bad things.
Last week when I held on to sanity with that last ounce of self-will, I made a horrible mistake. I kept my eyes on the test instead of on God. I dwelt on the hurt instead of the One that heals. I thought about how much I wished I could get done instead of how much my good health and situation allows me to do every single day. I thought how much more Micaela needs to learn instead of how far she has already come. (I mean, oh my goodness, she is crawling!) I thought about Adela's frustrating experimentation with breaking rules instead of the promise she has in life because we are teaching her boundaries.
This is hard, this stage in life, but it is never going to get easier until we lift our eyes and choose to see God above all that frustrates our hearts.
God saw the spilled beans, too, this morning. But I doubt he was biting his tongue, stomping his feet, and wishing to grab the broom. I bet he was down on that kitchen floor with my girls and enjoying the marvel of little hands that could love something so simple as a bucket of beans.
I'm going to get there. I'm going to get to a point in my heart's life when I don't see the mess but see the life. God's working on me. He's working.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
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"...and God was already there with me."