But Daniel Can’t See it That Way Yet.

Focus on the big picture.

Oh, Daniel, you ARE Buzz Lightyear.

Today the boys and I had to walk all the way to the mini-mart, which is all of 1/2 a mile.

I put JD in the double jogger, that way I could put the milk I needed in the empty seat. How did we let ourselves run completely out of milk? Families of six cannot do such a thing!

I didn’t let anyone ride bikes, so Caleb ran most of it. One of Daniel’s biggest wishes is to beat Caleb in a race. Sometimes we try to rig races for him, by giving him a drastic head start, but it’s tough.

Daniel is a slightly short, far wiser than his years, four-year-old. This boy is an athletic, determined, do-it-myself, brownie cooking, tricycle-riding, Bible verse quoting, mouthy little POWERHOUSE. He is the mitochondria of California. I do not exaggerate.

(Excuse the science joke. It was cell week.)

But Daniel doesn’t see himself that way. He has no idea.

As he runs down that side-walk, boldly telling himself that he WILL catch up with Caleb, only to be passed by Joshua from way far behind, he just crumbles.

He whines. He cries, “Mom! He passed me.”

The pure competitiveness and ambition of it all! How I adore him, and no matter how many times (per day) that this scene must repeat itself, he tries again.

We can see the very circumstances that frustrate him gradually molding him into this strong, determined, and resilient person.

But Daniel didn’t see it that way.

He just wanted to WIN. He just wanted to SHOW ‘EM!

I just smiled, and I reassured him that he is extremely fast, ever so much faster than a normal four-year-old. And it’s not that he’s little. It’s just that he’s YOUNG, and one day he WILL beat them sometimes.

Daniel smiled, “Really?” Off he went like a rocket, only to crumble a few minutes later because “Caleb took a short-cut, and now I’ll never catch up.”

Then his shoe fell off–one house down from finally arriving safely back to our driveway. Sigh.

Life is exciting but hard.

I convinced him to climb into the double stroller because we were so close to home. The seat was still empty because the mini-mart, much to my dismay, was completely out of every single kind of milk.

I don’t know how to fully express to Daniel how incredible he is, and yet he will always measure himself against his older brothers, a ludicrous measurement, considering the current difference in their ages. That difference won’t count for much at all in fifteen years, so hang in there, Daniel!

But Daniel Doesn't see it that way

Another great athletic achievement for Daniel. He started at the top of the slide-less slide and walked his way down ever so carefully.

This made me think of God and people. We look all around. We strive and we fret and we whine just like Daniel. We want to know why we can’t be as fast as this guy or as successful as this other lady, but God doesn’t see it that way. We get discouraged because we can’t do things as well as we’d like to do, but God doesn’t see it that way.

He sees the big picture, just as I can see more of Daniel’s big picture than Daniel can.

Having these big brothers to compete with is TRULY making Daniel greater. He pushes himself harder than he would otherwise. He sticks up for himself fiercely. He overcomes short-comings QUICKLY so that he can keep up with those boys.

Daniel is becoming a driven, confident, self-assured man. It doesn’t matter if he never catches up with his brothers in stature. He is building an incredible character, and I get to watch it happen.

It happens to us, too. We just have to take our eyes off what we can’t do, and fix our eyes on God. With God, we can do ANYTHING. We will grow not in size (hopefully), but in character, just like Daniel. We can hone the talents that God has put in each of us into something beautiful. We can over come our short-comings to produce a more fruitful life, a life that benefits more than just ourselves.

For just a moment today, I gloried in the thought of focusing on the BIG picture, not just the trees in front of me.

We need to look at ourselves the way that we look at our children.

Still growing! We might even grow the most from the very circumstances that make us cry!

the big picture

Me, at the “Ninja Warrior Playground”

For example, I have no idea how to delegate, and there are only 24 hours in each day, so I can’t have a blog that makes money anymore……

No, let’s replace that idea with this one:

This year I’ve decided to spend more time on teaching, learning to be a better teacher, healing my back, and getting out, both with and without my boys. So now is not the time to do sponsored posts or make any money at all. But I am well provided for, so that’s okay. I will work back to that another day, just not today.


“You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never foget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)



–Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss


Can you do monkey bars with one broken wrist, like Joshua? Go, Joshua, go!


I hope you all have a great weekend. I hope one day you and Daniel both get to win. We all just need to endure the training first.




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