The other day, I was helping sweet Abbee to cross the monkey bars. Her big sister had mastered the feat with a smile of accomplishment and then Abbee wanted to go. A bit of reservation mixed with trepidation showed in her eyes. But she took a deep breath and found the courage to put her arms up and start the trek across the monkey bars. Looking down was not a good thing, and she learned to focus on the bars or my eyes. She needed that assurance that there was someone there to break the fall, if need be.
When she made it from one side to the other, there were big smiles and a feeling of accomplishment. “I DID IT!” Yes! Yahoo!! She did it. We were all proud of her. Another milestone had been reached!
As children, there are so many opportunities for that feeling of accomplishment, for there are so many new things to learn. Snapping fingers, blowing a bubble, riding a bike, learning to write your name, tie a shoe…the list is endless. The “I DID IT!”s are many. Celebrating accomplishments is hopefully a big part of one’s childhood.
So here’s the thing: I think we as adults need to celebrate our accomplishments a bit as well! It is so easy to be focused on one task after another and never allow ourselves to say, “Yae! I did it!!” We all probably accomplish so much more than we give ourselves credit for. A lawn mowed, a kitchen cleaned, encouragement given, even a blog post written-these may not be new milestones reached, but honestly, our moments matter. When they are wisely spent and we have a point of impact or accomplishment, well, let’s give ourselves a little grace and encouragement. An internal hi-five or “yes!” will only serve to encourage, and at times, we need to do just that, that’s for sure!
I can still remember touching the ceiling of the gym floor after climbing the rope to the top. Claps from my classmates were heard and I loved that feeling of pride that can still be resurrected today when I think about those moments. Crazy how those little things can be so big in a child’s eyes and the effects remain throughout adulthood! I loved to climb the monkey bars as well, and felt that sense of satisfaction as a child. And you know, it’s funny how things come around, because were I to be able to climb the rope to the top or cross the monkey bars today, I’d feel accomplished again as well considering it’s been decades since that was done! Anwyay, the feats change as the years go by, but maybe the enthusiasm should remain. Give yourself a pat on the back on a daily basis and celebrate your accomplishments. Enjoy the moments of impact. Encourage others, but don’t forget to encourage yourself. Life is too short not to!
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
I Thessalonians 5:11