The gifts were piled up for my Father. Each one wrapped in a pretty package or a colorful bag. Cards coming out with words of love. From everyone except my kids. We were in a hurry and although I had meant for my kids to sit down and make cards for my Dad, we never got around to it. His party wasn’t a surprise, and I certainly knew when he was born. I had plenty of time. It just didn’t get done.
I didn’t make cards and I didn’t wrap his gifts.
In fact, I even had to wait until a few gifts were opened and reuse one of the bags!
Me: “We were going to make cards for you. We will make them and drop them off.”
My Daddy: “It’s okay, Honey, It’s the thought that counts.”
I am an adult and my parents are still telling me this lie.
In their defense, he was being quite kind. I usually do give them creative homemade gifts and cards filled with poems, but I had been busy with a new job.
Yet, the lie is still a lie. Sure, positive thoughts and good intentions are great, but it won’t get me anywhere if they are not acted upon.
My father will not be able to read how much my kids love him unless they make that card that tells him.
And if I give that expectation that the thought is as good as the action, my children will learn their actions are not as important as they really are.
I need to make sure that they (as well as myself) major on action and minor on intention.
No basketball ever made it to the hoop by thinking about it. No book ever got written by just dreaming about it. No feelings ever got shared by almost telling someone.
Since a behavior that is rewarded will often be repeated, catch your daughter doing something positive and show her how meaningful motion is instead of meditation.
A few nights ago, I was writing upstairs in my bedroom and sending things to the printer downstairs in the family room where everyone in my family was watching a movie. I had asked my son to bring me the papers when they printed out. A little later, I sent something else downstairs to be printed. He noticed, and brought me the sheets without me asking. I told him how much that meant to me. I explained how he could have just thought about bringing it up, but got distracted with the movie, but he didn’t. He brought them up. I gave him a huge hug and said what a sweet gesture that was.
The next day, I sent something else to the printer, and pretty soon I hear little footsteps coming up the stairs and my son walks into my room holding the printed sheets with the biggest smile on his face. He knew how much I would appreciate this and that I would give him heaps of praises for once again not just thinking of me, but showing me love.
Praise will increase those actions that you want repeated, not just pondered.
Each girl is made special and has unique gifts. By teaching her that it is more than just the thought that counts, she is on the way to using these gifts to show love to others and ultimately bring glory to God.
And that is the best thought of all.
And Mamas and Daughters, you have a special opportunity to not just think about spending time together learning with each other, but you can actually do it coming in April! Check out the amazing conference we have planned for you!