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December 17, 2013

On Being Intentional

December 17, 2013

When I was pregnant with our first daughter seven years ago, someone told me that parenting is one of life’s greatest adventures, filled with moments that are the highest of highs, and others that are the lowest of lows. As the last seven years have played out, and we’ve added another daughter to the mix, this statement rings true again and again. There are days where my heart is just overflowing with joy as I listen to the sounds of my girls’ giggles, watch them explore their little worlds with excitement and curiosity, and soak up their hugs and cuddles. And then there are days where I’ve reached a level of exhaustion that I didn’t know was possible, giggles are replaced with whining, and my big win for the day was getting to go to the bathroom without my one-year-old in tow. (Can I get an Amen?!?)

I do count it a true blessing and privilege to be a mom, and I love watching our girls grow into little people. Parenting is a major responsibility, and I pray daily that I would be intentional in modeling more positive qualities and habits to my girls than negative ones. Each day brings teachable moments and life lessons, and you hope that some nugget – however small – of the wisdom, morals and values you’ve attempted to share with them sticks with them as they go out into the world.

Her smile is contagious joy!

One of my favorite parenting memories I’ve had to date stands out from the past year. My husband and I were at our first parent-teacher conference of the school year. Zoe is in 1st grade, and has really enjoyed school. Her teacher was reviewing her test scores with us, showing us where she’s at with her reading, math, etc. Thankfully, she’s doing really well, but it was what her teacher shared next that made me most proud of her.

We asked how Zoe was doing socially, if she’s making friends, listening well, etc. Her teacher shared that Zoe had been very helpful to another little girl that sits at her table that has been struggling with school and has a hard time staying organized. Zoe had taken it upon herself to help this little girl clean out her desk at the end of each day, and get it organized for the next school day. Her teacher said Zoe was very encouraging to this little girl, praising her for working hard and getting things done. She said this little girl looked up to Zoe very much, and that she’s doing better in school because of Zoe’s encouragement and help.

WOW! Hearing this story brought tears to my eyes. No test score could ever compare to my daughter showing kindness and compassion to one of her classmates. While we always encourage Zoe to work hard and do her best at school, what we talk about more than anything is how important it is to be kind and be a helper. I loved learning about this particular example of how she’s making a difference in her own 7-year-old way.

For so many reasons Zoe is an incredible kid, and in no way do I take any credit for that. My prayer is that she would always feel loved and encouraged, and that that would give her the confidence to go out into the world and use her strengths and talents to make this world a better place. Zoe daily inspires me to live life to the fullest and with purpose. So, taking a cue from Zoe, I’m challenged to think about what I can be intentional about in the coming year. Just think what kind of year 2014 could be if we all set out to encourage others, lend a hand and show compassion!

This post is part of Think Kit by SmallBox
Today’s prompt: Share a moment that stands out. Is it moving, awkward, infuriating, or ecstatic?

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