The kids are getting older and I long for them to gain their own, very personal, very rich, relationship with Christ. It's a slow molding process. The two older ones will tell you all day long that they have given their hearts and their lives to Jesus. They'll tell you that He died on the cross for their sins and rose again on the third day, that we might have eternal hope.
I tear up every single time I hear them telling someone something about their Jesus, and each and every time, I whisper a most heart-felt prayer up... "Lord draw them near to you. And may they never doubt your love, despite the sometimes poor example that they might see under this roof. When I flail, help them to know you anyway."
The spunky girl... She's only three and not to long ago we were sitting in church together as a family and it was almost time to take communion. I told her that she could come with us but that she couldn't take communion because she hadn't yet given her life to Christ.
She started sobbing.
"Mama, I LOVE Jesus too. I give my life to Him. I know he died for my sins and rise again. Please Mama, I love Him."
She kept repeating through her tears, "I love Him Mama. I love Him."
And what do you say to that?
Who am I that I could really know her heart the way that He does? Who am I to tell a child who's begging me to believe that she really does love her Jesus, that she's to young to understand love?
Could it be possible that her innocence allows her to love Him far better than her Mama who's seen so much of the world that she let's doubt and Satan creep in and convince her sometimes that Love Himself is not always enough?
I'm looking at my daughter and I'm thinking at rapid speed, but I'm not saying much of anything at all.
I tear up and I hug the girl.
Because her words and His love... the Gospel... It really is that simple... To believe in Him and to Love Him.
And somehow, her three-year-old self seems to want to do both... believe and love.
So I tell her that if she really had given her whole life to Him then she is welcome to join in the joy of communion, of remembering the way that He gave up His life for us.
She wipes her tears and takes my hand and we walk to the cross together.
We never said a specific prayer. But I've been wondering... is it the prayer that brings one salvation, or is it the giving over of ones life? That daily choice to live loved? She loves Him. She LOVES Him. She's thre, but she's this incredible example to her Mama of what it's like to live in the freedom of His extravagant love. When I scoop her up in my arms and lavish loud love with tickles and affirming words, she receives it all with an unashamed joy! I LOVE THAT! :)
She loves Him with her whole heart. She tells me all the time. :)
My Spunky girl, she goes about her days as if she's known her Jesus for some time. When I talked to her this morning about her love for him, she looked at me and said, "Silly Mama, I've always loved Him." I know she hasn't yet grasped time, and always is a word that she uses lightly (she's ALWAYS hungry, she ALWAYS happy... and five minutes later... she's always sad.)
But for her Mama, the joy of it all is nearly indescribable.
And so we have three... three of the four treasures under this roof living a childlike love for their Jesus.
And so I ask Him often for tangible ways that I can help them grow up and further into Him.
Often times the opportunities come unplanned. Their childhood wonder brings questions which bring conversations, and prayer, and a deepening for all involved.
But sometimes I desire to be intentional.
So during this Month of Love, He has brought about "The Window Of Ways That He Loves."
My very kind, very pregnant friend helped me make a sign for our wall in our living room.
Bold Letters to help us remember that He is always good and we are always loved.
Then at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, we chat around the table about the ways that He's loved us through out the day. I tell them, "It can be anything that has happened today that has made your heart happy, anything that you might feel grateful for. Maybe your sister did something kind for you? Maybe the Spirit helped you to make a wise decision when you were tempted to dot he wrong thing. Maybe you're just thankful for something small?"
Then the spunky girl pipes in, "Like Lucky Charms Cereal?"
And so it begins. The treasures training their eyes to see the ways that He loves.
Siah says it all confident, "Yesterday, He helped me to obey."
I write it down on a little red heart.
Siah keeps going, "There's nothing we can ever do to make Him love us less."
I smile HUGE! Our chats, they're sinking into His little heart and at the breakfast table I catch of glimpse of the wonderful things the Lord is doing in my little boy! Gift! PURE GIFT!
The spunky girl, she starts listing "best friends," so I write them down on a red heart.
Then I tape the red hearts up on the window... a way to look through the messy days and straight into His love.
The Window Of Ways That He Loves... It's quite simplistic.
But it's drawing all of our hearts to think more upon Him and it's training our hearts towards gratitude.
My prayer is that it would help everyone under this farmhouse roof to fall deeper and deeper in Love with the One who call Himself Love. :)