It was late and I was tired from a long day, but before going to bed I decided to straighten up a bit.

 

While putting things away in the kitchen, I noticed a pack of opened gum laying on the kitchen island and I smiled. I remembered earlier that day when my 2 year old grabbed the gum and said “Yumm… I’m hungry!” as she quickly reached for the pack of gum . I frowned at myself when I remembered telling her  “NO! Gum isn’t for eating.” as I impatiently grabbed the pack of gum.

Then my eyes spotted a half eaten lollipop sitting in the wrapper. I kept telling my daughter “No honey, we can’t have the lollipop because we haven’t eaten lunch yet.”
Then I spotted her little chair. It was placed next to the counter granting her inclusive access to the kitchen counter. I smiled and with a tear in my eye said “Thank you Lord! Thank you for this beautiful child and for teaching me the importance of love, patience and JOY!”
Earlier that day I was hurrying around the kitchen frantically trying to get dinner in the crock pot when along came my 2 year old carrying her chair. She had a beautiful smile on her face and joy in her heart as she asked in her sweet little voice “Can I help you mommy?”
I was running out of time and it was getting late so naturally I replied “Not right now honey, Mommy is trying to get dinner done.”
Without missing a beat she pulled her chair up to the counter and noticed the carrots that I was cutting. “OH I like carrots!” she said with a smile on her face. Feeling a little guilty I handed her a carrot to munch on.
I started cutting some potatoes and my daughter was grabbing them from me. Again I got a little frustrated as I told her “Mommy needs those for dinner.” My daughter looked at me with a smile and handed me a potato. When I finished cutting the potato, she handed me another one and said “Here you go.” Pride was oozing from her face. It started to make sense to me – she was trying her best to help me even when I didn’t need her help. She just wanted to be a part of my life and help in any way she could.
My heart began to melt when I realized that I was so busy being busy that I almost forgot to enjoy my work, my family and my life. I was just too focused on the task at hand and not the purpose of my task.
Then out of the blue my daughter gasped and said “OH!! We need to make cookies!!” She remembered Daddy telling her the night before that she should make cookies with Mommy.
I looked at the clock and noticed it was an hour past her nap time. My first reaction was no….. but once I looked at her smiling face I knew that sometimes there are more important things that need to be done, and right now it was COOKIES.  With a smile in my heart I asked her “What kind of cookies do you want?”
“Chocolate chip!” she said overflowing with joy as she bounced up and down clapping her hands.
I got all of the ingredients together and for the next hour we mixed, laughed, smiled, counted, sang – oh yeah and baked cookies.
It was the best time I’ve EVER had making cookies. After they were cooked I laid her down for a nap, no doubt images of chocolate chip cookies danced around her head.
When the house was quite I said a quick thank you – “Thank you Lord, thank you for all your blessings and thank you for the chocolate chip cookies.”
My heart was filled with so much love and joy for the rest of the day, all because I stopped and spent quality time with my beautiful daughter.
Sometimes we are too busy to listen to God, to spend quality time with him. We are focused on the tasks we need to do for the day instead of the tasks he has planned for us.
God wants our company, our friendship, our love. When we take the time to laugh, smile, sing and talk with God our daily tasks seem less toilsome and JOY is baked into our hearts.

What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man. (Ecclesiastes 3:9-13 ESV)