As parents, we often live to watch our children shine, to see our kids “do their thing” and have “their moment.” I got to do that this past weekend while watching five-year-old Abby and seven-year-old Lydia play basketball. Watching five-year-olds play basketball is more like watching a litter of lab puppies play with a chew toy than it is watching a real basketball game.
Maybe that is why every spectator was a little awed when Abby just decided she knew how to play basketball this past Saturday. She started taking the ball down the court on almost every possession.
I don’t know what got into her, but it was awesome. We all cheered as Abby made her first ever basket, and if I am honest, I would say I am grinning ear to ear even as I type this.
It was Abby’s “moment to shine”, and my heart swelled with great joy.
Next up was Lydia’s seven-year old team on which she is the only girl. Lydia is a ‘Williams,’ so of course she is a scrappy player, but up until this past weekend she hadn’t quite gained the confidence to really mix it up with the boys.
Then it happened: a loose ball was headed to our sideline and a boy from the opposing team snagged it. It was not his lucky day.
Lydia got a look in her eye that I have seen many times before when one of her sisters has something she wants: a brush, a book, a toy. This time it was a basketball.
Before that poor boy knew it, the strong tentacles of Lydia had the ball and she was ripping it out of his hands. There was no foul, just scrappy play and a great steal. The head coach cheered her on, and the sidelines clapped loudly. I saw her confidence rise.
Lydia had her “moment to shine”, and my heart swelled with great joy.
This time Lydia’s grabbing was a “moment to shine” but that is not always the case. Lydia has always been one who needs to touch, grab, pinch, and pull everything in sight.
I have felt helplessly frustrated at times because Lydia won’t keep her hands to herself. I have often wondered what to do.
That is when Ephesians 2:10 surfaced in my heart.
“For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
God has incredibly good things planned for Lydia, and though I don’t know what she is going to do someday, I do know she is God’s masterpiece.
I know she has many “moments to shine” in her future. Maybe she will be a veterinarian, or a teacher (which she currently aspires to be) or a massage therapist, or a basketball coach.
Whatever she does, I know she has been made to grab, pull, pinch, and use her hands. She and I even talked and laughed about it tonight.
Every kid has those frustrating behaviors we wish we could change, but what if we looked at those behaviors in a different light?
What if we accepted that the most frustrating behaviors of our children will actually become their “moments to shine?”
What if in the middle of our anger we took a deep breath and whispered, “You are God’s masterpiece?”
What if as parents this is also our “moment to shine?” Did you hear that? I think I just heard God’s heart swell with great joy.
1-If you have children, take time to think about each of your kids. What is a repeated pattern of behavior that seems to constantly frustrate you? Can you see the good in it? Can you see it transformed into a “moment to shine.”
2-Stop what you are doing, look your loved ones in the eyes and tell them they are God’s masterpiece. Tell your best friend, your spouse, your mom, your dad, your kids. You just might hear God’s heart swell with great joy when you do.