My daughter said something so profound and simple today, I had to share it with you my friends.
Since my dear sweet husband (note the sarcasm) was sick all last week and then left me with all 4 kids alone for a few days I have been pretty wiped out, short tempered, and impatient. As I was placing one of the kids favorite dinners on the table this evening, my daughter declared, “Mommy, you are the best cook ever.”
Now, we aren’t talkin about fancy fixin’s here. Dinner tonight consisted of eggs scrambled with cheese and blueberry pancakes loaded with too much butter and syrup. But the kids love breakfast for dinner and it’s easy– and ridiculously cheap so we make it quite often. It’s halfway healthy (right?). But, my reply to her was simply to acknowledge what she said, “Thanks honey, I try.”
She caught me off guard with a perplexed look on her face. She then said, “No mommy, you don’t ‘try’. You really are. Not try. You really are the best cook ever.”
Such sweet words from my girly girl. She wasn’t smiling or giggling, she was dead serious. So simple. From the innocent mouth of children sometimes come the most sincere compliments. And– well, sometimes also the most awkward embarrassing statements (but we will save that for another day.)
So, what got me thinking after they went to bed is: why do I often have such trouble taking or rather accepting a compliment? Obviously, if I know the initiator is either saying it to be nice or with a motive that makes it void and meaningless. But what about those compliments that are sincere? Those positive blessings that are spoken to you from a spouse, a child, a stranger at the grocery store, or a friend at church. Why do I fling them off with a simple acknowledgement when perhaps those words are meant to be instruments to help remove some of the offensive and hurtful words I’ve inevitably heard throughout life?
Perhaps God uses these sincere compliments from young children as “words of life” to awaken parts we have hidden or let die to fear of inadequacy or failure. I know I’m not the “best cook ever”, but rather am generally a lazy, impatient and rushed cook. I don’t meal plan. I don’t use fancy ingredients or know which aisle they are on at the grocery store. I don’t watch cooking shows or read cooking books, or even make grocery lists. Yes, this confession makes me sound like an epic kitchen fail. However, those simple little words ingested properly gave me motivation to try something new. Next time someone gives you a compliment— sit with it. Savor it. Try to believe it (even if it is exaggerated). But most importantly, let it counteract some of those negatives that churn in your inner thought life.