Making soup in the morning to cook all day in the crockpot, my youngest son sidles up to me to cook alongside. Taking a deep breath, I remind myself that it is good for him to show enthusiasm to learn this new skill, and resign myself to the longer time it will take to complete my task.

Patiently, I teach him how to safely peel and chop the carrots, celery, and onion. Resisting the urge to take over and complete the job for him, I show him how to use the back of the knife instead of the blade to scrape the veggies off the cutting board into the pot. We take the time to smell each herb and spice before adding it, and discuss each step as we proceed. Finally, we set the lid on the pot and the lesson is complete. Glancing at the clock, I notice an hour has passed. One hour to peel and chop 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, and 1 onion…a job I would have finished in 15 minutes.

Sometimes when I have the opportunity to slow down to a snail’s pace in order to come alongside a child who is learning, I am reminded. Reminded of my own Heavenly Father’s patience as he comes alongside me as I learn. I make mistakes, and he gives me additional chances to try again, day after day. His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22).