On Sunday, several families in our home school group got together to celebrate our wee ones' graduation from kindergarten. My friend Paige put together an amazing ceremony and party, and it was a wonderful, heart-warming time. (Though Xoë was doing a combination of 1st and 2nd grade material this year, so we had rarely thought of her being technically in kindergarten, LOL.)
When we arrived, Paige asked if I'd like to say anything during the ceremony about the school year--I hadn't considered this so kinda shrugged. Giving a speech wasn't really on my "Yes, I must do this!" list. ;-) But when it came that time of the ceremony and all the other moms started saying a little something, when I saw the bashful grins on the cute little faces in the front of the room, I knew that wasn't going to fly. I knew if I kept quiet, in my comfort zone, then Xoë would be upset. She would wonder why her mommy hadn't said anything about how great she was. She would feel...less.
Obviously, Mama couldn't have that. ;-) But it was an interesting realization, and one that reminded me again of why so often God uses the analogy of parenthood to help us understand Him and faith. It's the kind of selfless love, the kind of just-for-you thinking that the Lord demonstrates so perfectly and that we can only occasionally live up to. The kind of love that makes one do what one wouldn't necessarily want to do, if it were a matter of wanting.
But it isn't, is it? With love, it's something way bigger than mere wants. It's when ultimate will for the good of the one you love takes precedent over smaller desires. That's the kind of love that led God to grant prayer after prayer for mercy when justice demanded action. The kind of love that makes Him remember His promises even when man doesn't. And ultimately, it's the kind of love that resulted in Him sending Jesus to Earth for us, isn't it?
As I sat there and watched my precious little girl enjoy this milestone with her friends, when I saw her beautiful smile as I told everyone about the things I so appreciate about being her teacher--hearing the insightful questions she asks, the beautiful stories and pictures she comes up with, and the incredible honor of being the one who gets to talk to about all these things with her--I had to thank the Lord for the amazing gift of family, of kids. And of His love, that teaches us how to appreciate them.