Prompted and inspired by a blog post written by Elise today (I highly suggest you read her post, a beautifully captured moment), our lunch time today looked a little different than it normally does. There are times when I slow down enough to choose patience as I treasure a moment with my girls, but it doesn't happen nearly as often as I'd like. Emma, my oldest daughter, loves to help me, in any way she can. As moms, we all know that "help" can often be counter productive, and yet we know, in our heart of hearts, what a blessing it is to our children to feel that they have contributed to a task, not just mildly, but that without them, the task might not have been accomplished. So today, as I was getting the oatmeal cereal, fruit, and veggies ready for my eight month old, I made a conscious decision to slow down and let Emma help feed her sister, something she loves to do, but something I often take over for the sake of avoiding drops of pureed food all over everything. Today, I took the time to show her how to scoop a small bite out of the bowl, wipe the back of the spoon on the edge of the bowl, and then gently put the spoon in Chloe's mouth. She took in my instruction with great enthusiasm. She then proceeded to do exactly as I showed her, and to my surprise, added a spoon wipe accross Chloe's mouth to catch the left overs to top it off. (I never showed her that part of the routine, our kids watch our every move don't they!). I was so impressed and just oooed and ahhhed over her abilities, Emma was grinning from ear to ear, she wanted to "give me five"! For the rest of Chloe's meal, we took turns, first I gave her a bite, then Emma, until the meal was complete. I then let her help wipe her sister's face and hands, she did a great job! Afterwards, I thanked her for helping me feed her sister and then asked her to help me make her own lunch. Bursting with pride, she grabbed her little chair and headed straight for the stove. She helped me with every step in the preparation of her Annie's Shell's and Cheddar, not to miss a beat. Lunch time took a little longer than usual today, but it became a treasured moment of learning and serving and taking the time to invest in my daughter's spirit. Thanks for the inspiration Elise! I'm so thankful for all the women in my life, whether through blogging or my church family or my group of close friends and family, who inspire and challenge me and share their own life lessons with me. God uses you all to speak to me in different ways, so ultimately, I must thank Him. Let's never forget to slow down long enough to let those around us help us, and not just our children. In our arrogant pride, we often think that only we can do things properly, but perhaps it's not about completing life's tasks perfectly, but rather about linking elbows with each other, the weak and the strong, doing more and being more together than we ever could be alone.