I have two little stories that brought me joy this week:
1. We are planning a camping trip—of which my son can hardly wait—and there have been a bunch of times today that he kinda got "ignored" as I was finding things and doing some packing. Tonight as I was putting him to bed, we prayed about keeping our family safe on our trip and Eli added, "And God, I sure hope you come along with us too—like so I can see you this time." How precious! We talked after about how even if we can't see God, He is still coming along with us. Eli just looked at me and said, "Mom, I know that! I just want to play with Him for real tomorrow."
2. A few days ago I was putting Ally to bed and we were doing our list of "Thank you, God, for. . ." Now you have to understand that she is just barely two, and while she prays and listens to Bible stories, she hasn't really ever repeated any of them to us. Vocalizing any of this has not yet happened. She likes to answer "Yes!" to most questions, but I have never been sure if she really knows what she is saying yes to! One of our prayer lines was "and thank you for Jesus." Suddenly her eyes lit up and pulled my face close (too close!) to hers and said "Jesus in the manger!"
Why are these two stories so precious to me? Because my kids are seeing God! They are getting it! They are learning about their Heavenly Father and their Saviour! Each story is a little encouragement to me, saying, "You're doing the right thing! You're doing the things you promised when you had your children baptised. You are doing your part as a Christian parent!" On those blah days—you know, the ones when you seem to be exercising your vocal chords more than any other muscle in your body and any noise you are making is just going in one ear and out the other. When no amount of interceding can help your kids understand the word "cooperate" or "share" or "take turns." When even one TV program doesn't stop the decibel levels of you children from exceeding the household maximum? When you wonder if any amount of discipline or the method of your discipline is even being the least bit effective? On those blah days, it's nice to be able to hold on to stories like these. It's nice to have evidence of the effort you've put into it all: reading bible stories each night, praying regularly, going to church and church programs, loving each of your children in a Christ-like manner, treating all the members of your household as God's precious treasure—all the effort you have ever put into those things (and things like it) are rewarded when a child "professes" their faith.
Proverbs 22:6 "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."
1 John 5:2 "This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out His commands."
Prayer for today:
Today I just want to thank God for giving me the gift of those stories to remind me that I am doing His will as my husband and I raise our children. I want to thank God for giving me encouragement through these stories, especially when those blah days come. And I want to thank Him for my children, who are drawing near to Him and helping me to draw near to Him at the same time!
More verse to look up: Matthew 18:2, Proverbs 20:11, Psalm 127 (esp. verse 3)