Today we had an issue with a water bottle.
We left all of our family's water bottles down in St. Louis a couple weeks ago. The one water bottle left in the house is my son's Noah. It's his special water bottle from his T-ball team.
Today we were planning on being out all morning and I grabbed the one water bottle and filled it planning and anticipating that we all would be able to share.
We are big on sharing in this house. Sharing with each other and sharing with others. We try to limit our belongings for this reason and truth be told, all three kids sleep in the same room. They are used to sharing.
I have recognized the need for the kids to have their own special things. So each child has a box where they can keep their own personal special things. These things do not need to be shared. It is a child's seceret treasure box. I support that.
Well, today, Caleb grabbed the water bottle, the only one to be seen, and not being stored in the special box so it was fair game.
You know the saying "heaven on earth". This was the complete opposite. I didn't realize one could get so upset about sharing his water bottle. Honestly, I was just really disappointed in my kid for not having a heart to see the needs of others. I can own that I have extremely high expectations for my five year old. I'm working on it. But in the same breath, we need to learn from the beginning about seeing the needs of others, especially those we live with and see everyday. Ironically, the needs of the people we live often times become invisible.
So we had a couple chats about the water bottle during the day. Then tonight during prayer time, I asked Noah if he had anything to confess to God. He said he had a good day, and he couldn't think of anything.
I brought up the water bottle. (I'm totally that mom that can't let issues dropped until I know my point has been received.) He looked at me with sad eyes, and said, "But mom, its my special water bottle. Its mine and I should be in charge of my things. I make the rules for my stuff."
I stood there. I get his point, I really do. But the idea of STUFF is something I really wrestle with.
We all get really attached to stuff. It becomes apart of us and then we don't know how to live without it. We become obsessive about it and all of a sudden it becomes about the stuff. How do we get more? How do I keep you from touching my stuff and breaking it? How do I protect it? And so and so forth.
Somewhere the words came out of me, and God must have put them there, because I didn't think them before I said them. I replied to my son, "Noah, God gives us stuff to bless others. There is no other reason to have things. The water bottle is yours, but the water in the bottle can bless others. You sharing can bless others. You loving, blesses others."
God uses our stuff to bless others. To give away. To invite over and share a meal on your table with your dishes. To use your pool. Loaning out tools to help those in need. Giving up your bed for a night so that someone else might sleep there. our stuff can bless others, if we have a heart and a mind for it. We have to change the way we see our stuff. It is all tools to further the kingdom of God.
Pretty sure we will fight over the water bottle again tomorrow. But I can guarantee that God spoke truth into my heart today regarding our things. That in turn will hopefully change the way I speak to my kids about their stuff. Instead of demanding my kid shares, I can gently remind him why God has given us stuff.
To build a heart for God, we must speak truth into our little ones daily, but be open to change our own ways so that they have an example to live by.