I absolutely LOVE that my grandbabies are always wanting to help. And as they develop their vocabulary skills, "I want to help you" most often comes out, "Ina Hope!"
I've written about this before but it just continues to fascinate me. Such a perfect mistake, don't you think? Exchanging the word help for hope.
This past Monday was family dinner night. But because Frank and I have been hosting multiple church groups/dinners at our home recently, I put out the call for someone else to host this time.
Meagan and Nathan accepted the call. So, I took the pork chops to their house and went on with my other responsibilities. (Meagan does a great marinade and Nathan has become quite the GrillSmith. Pun Totally Intended!)
When Frank and I pulled into their driveway later on Monday, we were met by two beautiful blonde haired children with huge hugs and sweet kisses. I'd brought a couple of other things and Noah immediately offered to help us carry them inside.
Madi was right on his heels with "Ina hope too, Noni!" (I want to help, too.) Even if it's carrying my purse, I try to come up with something for her to help with at times like that. Contributing builds character in children, doesn't it?
This little lady is a natural born leader. She can also be a little bossy sometimes, especially with her cousin, Zach. Her offers to help him are usually more of a statement than a request. "No No, Zachie Pookie. I hope you!"
Zach is only three weeks younger than Madi. But she gave him a pet name as soon as she could talk. It seems every southern mother gives her children pet names. And Madi's little nickname, "Zachie Pookie" stuck.
Zachariah usually has one of two responses when Madison offers to hope him. He walks away; which is NOT pleasing to the one so generously offering to help. Or he looks around briefly then gives in to exactly what Madison has directed.
I've even witnessed a couple of shoulder shugs and deep sighs of resignation. Those two are more like twins than cousins. And they are hysterical to watch!
This morning as Frank and I sat having coffee on the back porch, my heart got a little overwhelmed.
Our routine is to start each day with some quiet time. Then, we try to run through our day's schedules so we each have a general idea of where the other will be. That five minute exercise (so helpful most days) put my stomach in a knot this morning. A few tears even breeched the dam.
Tears are rare for me, especially that early in the day. So it caught Frank off guard. He pulled me close, gave my hand a kiss and said, "Let's pray."
Best Help/Hope Ever!
After we prayed, he asked what he could do to help with my to do list. He listened patiently and asked questions to clarify. We developed a better game plan. We worked to redirect my view.
His offer to help began to renew my hope that all we Must do today, Can be done.
I wish I could tell you a beautiful scripture immediately came to my mind. But today, it was the chorus of a song from my teen years instead:
"Lean on me! When you're not strong and I'll be your friend. I'll help you carry on. For it won't be long 'til I'm gonna need, somebody to lean on."
I laid my weary head over on the broad shoulder of my husband and whispered my gratitude.
We can't be the strong one every day, friends. We must all take turns offering help; which then brings hope.
Who knew Madison Riley was such a SAGE at only three years of age?!