I Started Myself!

     It seems that our 3-year-old daughter has a new fascination with swinging.  Not sure where this came from all of the sudden but it’s what gets her out of bed in the morning and convinces her to eat all the food on her plate at dinner.  The promise of swinging is too enticing.  Unfortunately it has always been a task for her that required two people.  “Mommy/Daddy, come start me” we’d hear every time she’d pull on her shoes. 

     Not any more!  As if by magic Sunday morning, thanks to the altered church schedule, she had 15 minutes to go out after breakfast and give it a go.  She never asked anyone to help her.  She must have had it in her mind that this was the day.  A few minutes later when I looked out on her after cleaning the breakfast table, she beamed “I started myself!” 
I couldn’t have been more thrilled!  Truthfully- for her she’s proud; for me- I don’t have to go out and start her anymore!  To see those little legs pump as she swings back and forth is a feast of joy for these eyes.

     There’s something about gaining that skill, isn’t there?  Getting started on your own creates an independence that you never had before.  There’s  joy in that freedom.  But before we have that skill of starting ourselves (no matter how we are feeling constrained, restricted or unable!) it’s not very nice is it?  There are times when we never think we’ll get there, or don’t believe we are able- and yet, those are precisely the times when we need to listen to the voices around us who are encouraging us…motivating us…and sharing their skills with us because they are offering us something we can never offer ourselves in that moment- the gift of themselves.  And before we know it we do learn, we are able, and we can proclaim and live that most precious phrase “I started myself!”

Whether the skills you need are for swinging, coping, riding, giving, loving or hoping there are examples all around you.  Who are the one’s you are looking to for the answers, help and hope for your life?

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