“Ah wan ge ma mpackpack on, daddy” (Translation: “I want to get my backpack”), my 2 year old Jolena states resolutely. Meanwhile, she hadn’t brought her backpack, but was simply trying to be like her sister – but oooohhh what a cutie! I just wanted to find her a mpackpack from somewhere to reward that little baby for just being my cute little baby – haha. The reward for me, was being there for that moment with her – I felt my happy meter rising (endorphins or dopamine or something science-y), I felt heart enlarge, and for a moment my burdens feel lighter.

Scientists who study motivation tell you to have constant little immediate rewards for yourself for doing the right thing (ie. 3 mins of break for 20 mins of focused work, a steak dinner for a week straight of working out, a smoothie for making the choice to get up at your first alarm, etc.). What if your rewards were even better than those things? What if you counted as reward spending focused time with your family, or getting some moments alone with God? I’m learning that being all there for moments like the one above with my kids DOES in fact satisfy my reward center; and you know what else does – a few minutes striving free minutes in the presence of God! Striving free – no agenda, no to-do list, no mantras to quote – JUST BE with God. I know that can be your reward too.

So reward yourself right now, take a short time (don’t tip the scale to painful) – JUST BE with God – picture Him as best you can maybe, or just relax knowing that He’s there. You’re closer to breakthrough than you could ever imagine because God is with you and He is your reward!

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