Our daughter’s kids were getting new beds, because they had grown and moved into a new house…and it was time.  The oldest, 8 year old Gideon, chose a cute bed that included drawers underneath, a ladder on one end, and a pull-out desk on the other.  It was quite the project to put it together, with so many pieces – and it required lots of time and patience.

It was a long day, as the rest of us unpacked and put things away, when they family moved.  But my husband and Gideon were in his room, working steadily putting together Gideon’s bed.  We all knocked often, asking to see the process, but Gideon wanted us to wait until they were done!

Hours and hours later, Gideon smiled from ear to ear as he showed us his new bed with all the nuts and bolts in place, ready for a first night’s sleep!

Later that evening, my husband told me that Gideon told him several times throughout the day how fun it was working with his “Mister” building the bed.  And then one time he asked, “Am I going to get credit for my work?”  We supposed he didn’t want everyone commending Mister for his hard work, when Gideon actually worked a lot putting it together!  My husband experienced pure joy working with Gideon, and it seemed the feeling was mutual.

Maybe putting together a bed with a kid seems like a chore, something that causes us to sweat, and it takes up precious time out of a weekend.  Maybe it seems like just another thing to do on a checklist.  However, it’s anything but that!  The simple act of demonstrating and working alongside a child to create something they can’t make on their own is creating a lifetime set of memories, skills, and love.

Gideon learned a lot that day, how to screw things tight, measure and align, to be patient and perfect, and to follow instructions in a manual.  He also saw his grandfather work hard alongside him and give him the credit and the applause for working so hard to put together his bed.  And my husband was super tired at the end of the day, and he said it took twice as long because of instructing Gideon, but it was totally worth it.

What simple things are you doing with your kiddos or friends or family?  Maybe you’re “just” making a meal for someone, or laundering those piles of dirty clothes, or driving to get groceries.  These might look like simple mundane chores that no one cares about or notices.  But I believe every act of kindness and service that we offer to others, we offer to Him. 

Lessons are being learned, eyes are watching, people are receiving, and hearts are warming…when we do simple things like pick up a hammer and nails and start building with little hands nearby that get in the way, slow us down, and then little mouths that ask endless questions.

The greatest joy of all of our acts of kindness and service is giving the glory to the other person, to see the smile on their face, at the end of the day, without any reward for ourselves, other than the sheer pleasure of giving.

I still love this story so much, and I smile every time when I see this photo of Gideon standing beside the bed that he built.


One Little Bed
by Marcy Lytle

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