The day did not go as planned. We started out with our family in tow, preparing for an outdoor outing at the pumpkin patch. We'd anticipated this trip for weeks and had two very excited cousins ready to tackle our annual family tradition. By the time we got there it was pouring down rain. Now what?! Plan B swiftly unfolded as we attempted to salvage the day and create alternative fun.
I told Eli I was sorry the rain had changed our plans. As sincere as he could be, he responded, "It's okay, mom, the rain is good to water the grass." He was matter of fact and I was in awe of his reasoning. Had he heard Michael saying he hoped for rain to help the grass seed he'd recently planted? Either way, he wasn't deterred.
After enjoying our day despite the rain, I made a point to tell my boy that I hoped he'd had a good day even though we didn't get to go to the pumpkin patch. Without skipping a beat he let me know, "It was the funnest day ever! I got to be with my family and my cousin and I had a great day!" Again all I could do was marvel at his outlook and thank God for his sweet heart.
We'd come home to find stuffing on the floor. I couldn't find the source but I knew who was to blame. Our doodle can't handle anything with stuffing. It's instantly ripped to shreds. It wasn't until bedtime when we found the victim. A small stuffed monkey Eli earned from his school fundraiser. He was proud of that little trinket. It was something he usually kept right by his bed. Now it was missing it's eyes along with a head full of stuffing and the face was unrecognizable.
Eli was in tears. I scolded Baxter and he immediately gave the remorseful puppy dog eyes. I got the needle and thread and gave my best effort at stitching up the poor monkey. As I came back with the refurbished and slightly less happy stuffed animal, I found Baxter curled up in bed with Eli. Eli was rubbing his head as he laid propped up against his giant pillow pup. "It's okay, Baxter, I forgive you because God forgives me." I couldn't even handle the moment. I quickly embraced him and presented the stitched together monkey and told him how proud of him I was.
His positive outlook was enough to shake me out of any bad attitude I had. Not once but multiple times throughout the day, he demonstrated maturity and grace that I admit I fall short of. His example today was much greater than mine and I'm supposed to be the adult. And what culminated at the end of the day captured the essence of what I knew God was displaying to me through the heart of my seven year old.
Being a parent isn't always easy. It is primarily our job to teach our children and train them up in the way they should go, but today my son taught me. Repeatedly. Reminders of God's grace no matter what storms arise. Demonstrations of plans falling through yet our reactions being Spirit filled. Recognizing the blessings around us even when things don't go our way. The act of forgiveness in its purest form - because God forgave us. I'm marking this day down as one I hope not to forget. The day when the heart of my child helped me see more fully the loving heart of our God.