You've gotta love "Target Lady's" enthusiasm for her job. She truly enjoys checking people's stuff through the checkout line and running those credit cards through the machine. My daughter, Meghan, does a rendition of Target Lady that cracks me up.
Today's Small Thing will be my second day in a row to assign a task that doesn't involve cleaning or organizing. Ya'll are going to start wondering about me! But let me just say, in my defense, that it's only because I'm incapable of veering from one theme a day. And with today's theme being "approval," what can I say?
Many of us live our lives seeking the approval of others to validate us. If taken to an extreme, we can lose our own identity as we take on the persona of the people we want to please, or act only in ways that brings their approval. It's why teenagers succumb to peer pressure, and why we adults try to be perfect in order to subconsciously please a critical parent or spouse. What a burden.
It's not difficult to imagine that one of the best gifts we can give to our children is approval. But it's so easy to see their shortcomings when you know they could act better in church, try harder in their studies or at least clean their rooms when they are told. We are often so caught up in helping them to "grow up" that we fail to say the words that will truly help them truly blossom in life:
"I love you."
"You're a terrific kid."
"I love the way your dimples show when you smile."
"I'm proud of you."
"You bring me joy."
"I'm so glad you're mine."
"You are beautiful."
Do your children know that no matter what they do, no matter where they go and no matter how badly they mess up...that you will always love them? That you will always choose to see the best in them, hope for the best FOR them, and will always encourage them along the way? Maybe you struggle with not wanting to "send the wrong message" and condone bad behavior...but in the end, what every child wants and NEEDS is their parents' approval and unconditional love. No matter what.
Today's Small Thing is to find a way to give approval to your child. If you don't have a child handy, you may give it to a spouse or someone else who could use it. Words of affirmation go down deep into the soul and are never wasted. Pure and simple, your "stamp of approval" today will be a gift of the heart that will mean the world to someone you love.
How will you express your approval today?