Thursday, May 03, 2012

The Help

It is one my most dreaded chores.  But periodically, it must be done. The washing of the car seat cover. (Thank you for that sympathetic sigh of support:) There's something about the complete disassembly that almost overwhelms my brain.

The cover had been laundered and sun-dried, but this morning it needed to be reattached to the seat shell.  I delegated the task to my 9-year-old daughter.  Not in a weaselly effort to dodge a drag ... I wanted to offer her the opportunity to learn & problem solve.  Yes, THAT was my admirable (secondary) motivation!

"Well, at least, can you HELP me?" she plead, half-way suspecting my sabotage.

I assured her, "Yes.  Bring all the straps and buckles, and the seat and the cover in here, and I'll help you."

Throughout the process, she continued to ask for help.  To each request, I responded with, "You can do this!  Be a problem solver."

I stood nearby watching her accomplish each step. But with each success, she would second guess her work, and ask for help again. I resisted the urge to sit down and do it for her.  I kept encouraging her, "Solve the problem."

At one point, a sister came through wondering what was taking so long.  Ashlin gave me total credit for the delay, "Well, I don't know what I'm doing, and Mom won't even help me at all."

When she had all the straps fed through the harness correctly, she announced, "See?  I did it wrong.  It's WAY too loose."  I wiped off the counter, and smiled down on her in silence as she investigated the strapping situation. "OH!" she gasped.  "You just have to pull THIS thing and then they get tighter ... and if you ever need them to be loosened, you just push this button."

She clicked the buckles, and triumphed, " I did it!"

Which was not a surprise to me:)

Ashlin wanted me to help her assemble the car seat.
I wanted to help her feel successful and smart.

If we had done it her way, we would have merely assembled the car seat.
By taking a little extra time, and watch care, we were able to accomplish BOTH goals.

What has God asked of you today?
What is God's desire for your growth today?

When you ask Him for help, remember, He might take the time to accomplish both! Take one step at a time.  Problem solve, and don't give up. He is right there offering truth and encouragement.  And when you lay your head down tonight, and triumph, "I did it!", He will not be surprised.