Lessons from my Toddler: Serving with a Servant’s Heart


Toddlers love to help and do what Mommy does, but sometimes it’s more than that. Some people are born with a heart for serving others. Even 7 or 8 months ago I started noticing it in Sylvia-Kate. (I’d open my washing machine to find it loaded and the basket beside it empty.)

Today she dumped this basket of toys in the bathtub and we left it there as I pulled her away and into the kitchen for a snack. Later, we went back in there to check the laundry, and I picked a block up out of the floor. She picked a fish up out of the tub and dropped it in the basket when I asked her to. I slipped out of the room and thought she followed. When I came back though, I realized she had lingered longer than I thought. All the toys were neatly back in the basket, and she was off somewhere playing with her brothers.

Later, as I was folding the laundry Sylvie-Kate came to see what I was doing and grabbed her sister’s socks and brothers’ underwear from my bed. I started to tell her no. I was certain she was getting ready to spread clean clothes all over the floor the way her brothers often did at her age. She protested though before I could finish my sentence, and as I followed her out of the room I realized what she was doing. She stopped and looked at a sock in her hand and asked, “Ju-ee?” I told her yes, they were Jubilee’s socks and they need to go in her drawer – and watched her head for the stairs. She came back a few minutes later and took more items to be put away around the house. Then again.

I have so much to learn from her sweet, serving nature. She doesn’t always search out my approval (or anyone else’s) for each thing she does. She likes it when we clap and say, “Good job!” but she doesn’t seem to expect it every time or come looking for it. She just likes to do things for others. She doesn’t pout or get angry when she’s done something and no one recognizes it. She doesn’t complain when she sees something that needs to be done. She does it, and joyfully. That’s how God made her. That’s how I want God to make me.

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