Sunday, November 8, 2009

There is No Small Stuff

A couple weeks ago I was waiting outside the classroom to pick up my 4 year old daughter from preschool. She comes out and runs into my arms, not unusual, but instead of excitedly telling me about her day, she buries her face in my neck and won't let go. Something is wrong.

I ask her what it is and she begins to cry as she tells me, "The pumpkin wasn't in the bag. It fell out." I immediately remember the tiny plastic pumpkin she won at my son's elementary school carnival the previous Saturday. The one she wanted to bring for show and tell that day and put in a little hot pink purse. But the purse didn't zip or snap and the tiny plastic pumpkin fell out somehow between our house and the school classroom.

At first my mind wants to tell her, "It's just a small, plastic pumpkin, no big deal, don't worry about it!"
But, thankfully before I can verbalize that to her, I put myself in my daughter's shoes.

She is standing in front of her preschool class, 14 fellow 4 year olds and 2 teachers staring at her, as she opens the hot pink purse to pull out the treasured plastic pumpkin she won at the carnival. She opens the purse, but there is no pumpkin. There is nothing.

My daughter is on the shy side and I've been impressed that she's actually been willing to present her show-and-tell nearly every day to her class. But even the most outgoing person has trouble juggling an unexpected situation in front of an audience. And my girl is only 4.

I am overwhelmed with empathy for my little girl who lost her tiny pumpkin.

So I gather her tightly in my arms and say, "Oh honey, I'm so sorry that happened! I bet it fell out in the car. We'll go look and if we find it you can bring it for show and tell tomorrow." We do find it and I help her put it in a zippered purse the next day to take to school. And the entire incident is behind us.

A small situation, as situations go.

But, I can't help thinking about it, about the huge things intertwined in that small event.

First, I am impressed that my daughter was able to hold herself together in class, only breaking down in tears once she was in my arms. I think that shows great maturity on her part. As much as I'd like to shield her from the uncomfortable situations in life, it is not realistic that I could do that forever, and better that she learn little by little how to deal with bad things that happen while she can still run to my arms for comfort and help.

Second, I am so glad I was there, standing outside the door that Monday at noon. Glad to be her soft place to fall, her comfort when things go wrong.

You know as parents we are to love our children in such a way that we lead them to Jesus. That their relationship with us as loving, caring parents will allow them to fathom God as an even more loving and perfect parent.

And this verse floats into my mind: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Ps 46:1

I am so grateful that He will be there for her when I cannot be. That He promises to be
her refuge and strength. Mine and yours, too!

**Please keep MckMama (who usually hosts Not Me! Monday) in your prayers. Her precious baby Stellan is again undergoing major heart surgery. May God lavish that family with His refuge, strength and help!***


  1. I have of experienced so many similiar stories over the years in the lives of my children, and now with my grandchildren. That little pumpkin was no LITTLE pumpkin to her and how blessed she is that she had a mama who knew that and taught her a valuable lesson. The older the children get, the bigger "their pumpkin problems" become and the harder they are for their parents to fix. Pointing the way to Jesus is the best life's lesson you could give her.

    I too am praying for Stellan. How much they have all been through. I have a feeling this is going to be a very long day for all of them.

    Blessings to you, Debbie

  2. That is one of my very favorite verses. :)

    It's wonderful that you were able to stop yourself from discounting such a little matter. I wonder how many chances we miss, in the hustle and bustle of life, to offer the kind of comort you were able to surround her with...

    Great story.

    My prayers are with Stellan's family as well.

  3. After reading about Stellan's journey recently (and tonight's AMAZING Home run post), I'm a little emotional. But I have to say, this post made me tear up too!! Your sweet little girl crying in your arms over that pumpkin makes me cry! You had a 'shining mommy moment' with that one. Thanks for sharing!!

    Now I am going to go get some chocolate, since I must be PMS! :)


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