Thursday, February 23, 2012

There's Always a Parade

I was brushing Anna's hair the other morning when she started stomping her feet.  "Anna," I said, "what at earth are you doing?"

"I'm having a parade," she answered, as if it should have been obvious. 

"A parade?" I asked, confused.

"Yeah, I'm pretending there's a parade."

"Well, can you wait till I'm done with your hair?"  I asked, laughing.

She huffed a frustrated sigh and said, "Ok, but hurry up!  I have to have a parade!"

Now, upon first glance, this is just a funny, cute Anna story.  But when I told this tale to a friend of mine, she shook her head in amazement and said, "that girl really has a gift.  A gift of happiness." 

It's true.  Anna has her down moments, her disappointments and sadness like everyone else.  But she has a rare gift for seeing the beauty in everything, for seeing God at work, and for making fun and joy in seemingly mundane places.  I have to stand here so Mom can do my hair?  Well, I know how to make this more interesting, I'll have a parade! 

There's so much  I can learn from my children.  Each one of them have unique gifts to give to the world.  One of Anna's gift is a gift of joy.  She finds joy in so much of life.  It's a special download that God gave her when He created her.  She is one of the most playful, imaginative, joyful people I know, and just being around her lifts my soul.  In her I see tiny glimpses of the overwhelming joy of the Father. 

Right now, there's some stuff weighing me down.  My mom has cancer.  My kids are down with the flu.  Finances are tight.  As a family, we are on the brink of new things, but we don't know what those are yet, and the not knowing drives me CRAZY.  In the midst of all this, however, there's Anna, reminding me to:

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

New Living Translation (NLT)
 16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

(She's pretty good at praying continuously too.)

No matter what happens in this life, I have the ability - nay, the privilege - of being joyful in all my circumstances.   Life does not have to be defined by it's circumstances.  It is defined by how I respond, and I can choose to respond with the same joy that rules my daughter's life.

After all...there's always a parade.


Nancy O said...

Sara Kate - you are so wise! Blessings to you, sweet friend!

AndiH said...

It is a wonderful gift to be able to see God's creation through the eyes of a child. Not everyone can do that. Mat. 19:14 Enjoy your day.