Last week was one of those weeks where nothing adoption-related happened, so I should just be posting a big blank today. Instead, I'm going to tell you about my children, my most precious gifts from God.
Ayden and Elijah are in AWANA, not in our church, but at a Baptist church close to our home. Each week, I see my children grow in their knowledge and understanding of Scripture, and they so look forward to their time at AWANA, with friends, as well as strong Christian leaders. We work on sections of their books at home, memorizing Scripture, and listen to the biographies of people in the Bible. David, Elijah, Samson, Paul, Deborah (one of Ayden's favorite biographies), the list goes on.
The AWANA year is coming to an end, and last night was the last chance for Ayden to shop at the store (they earn AWANA bucks during game time, for bringing friends, for donating to the Adopt-a-Club program, etc.). Elijah missed his store time last week, because we were late getting back from Tennessee, so Ayden assured him that she'd shop for him.
Elijah has been saving for most of the year for a remote control Harley Davidson motorcycle, with a price tag of $75 AWANA bucks. Last night, he had $50 in his wallet. Ayden counted her money, and she had $35. Ayden knew how hard Elijah had worked to save up for the motorcycle, and she gave him $25 so he could buy the motorcycle, leaving her with $10.
As soon as she handed him the money, she turned around and saw a Webkinz sitting on a rack in the store. She has really been wanting a new Webkinz, so she asked Sheila, one of the AWANA leaders, how much it cost. The price was $25. Ayden so badly wanted Elijah to have the motorcycle, but so badly wanted that grey horse. She struggled over what to do, and Elijah didn't want to take the money from her, but was so excited about getting the motorcycle, and he was almost in tears. I didn't offer to "fix" it; I wanted them to have this opportunity to work through the situation. In the end, Ayden decided that Elijah should get the motorcycle.
Lonnie, Sheila's husband, typically runs the store, so Sheila went to get him to find the remote control and charger for the motorcycle and to show Elijah how it works. After getting an explanation of the controls, we were ready to leave. Lonnie turned to Ayden and asked her if she wanted a Webkinz. She shook her head and responded, "I can't." He and Sheila told her that for her kind-heartedness, they wanted her to have the Webkinz. At that point, I started tearing up. Ayden opened her wallet to give them the last $10 she had, and Lonnie refused to take it. Ayden just beamed!
When we got to the van, she said "I just feel like I'm going to cry, my heart is so full!" The rest of the evening was a little emotional for her, and we got to talk about how good it feels to make others happy, and how good it feels to have someone do something so kind for us. Most of all, she knows how proud I am of her selfless decision, regardless of whether she was rewarded in the end.
Yesterday at church, our pastor dug more into Galatians 5, discussing the fruit of the Spirit in vv. 22-25. He held up a bunch of grapes, pointing out that not every grape was fully ripe on that bunch. There were a few that were ripe, so sweet and ready to eat, there were some that were almost ripe, and there were still a few grapes that were small, hard and needed more time to grow. But the grapes were one fruit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Seeing evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in my children is so, so rewarding for me, because it means that my children are getting it. And this mommy's heart is full, too.