He had mentioned it to his Papa and I months ago.
I was stoked that he wanted to do such a thing, but truth be told, I think I thought he just might have forgotten about it over time. Or maybe the even more brutal truth is that I was hoping he'd forget.
He kept bringing it up all summer long. He told us his plan... told us that he would teach on Mathew chapter five... told us that he wanted to take an offering for the poor... told us that he wanted to pray for the president and our country and for us all to learn to find our kindness.
The one thing he really wanted to do this summer was have a church service for his friends out in the tree house.
And what Mama wouldn't want their kid to ask to do such a thing?
I love this boy's heart. I love the way the Lord has made him. He's put leadership in him and given him a passion for Himself.
And as his Mama I want nothing more than to foster those things in him as he grows up under this roof.
But when he asked me about doing church in the tree house, I found myself responding out of my own fears.
You see, it's hard to say yes to your son when he wants to do the very things that have always terrified you. I really don't care to try new things. I couldn't fathom speaking in front of a bunch of folks. I have this crazy need to feel overly prepared when I am indeed forced to speak in front of others, like back in speech class or something.
And I worry. I worry for my son that he might mess up, or be standing up there with nothing to say. I worry that he'll panic and break down in front of everyone... worry that he'll get wrapped up in what these folks think of his little sermon.
But fortunately for all of us, my issues are not his issues, and I'm married to a man who can speak that truth into me, who can remind me that God can break down the old, yucky qualities in a Mama, and build up something new and God-sized in her son. My fears do not have to be his fears.
So I sent out an evite and nearly everyone RSVP'd yes, and I got a pit in my stomach.
What was my boy going to say?
He's only 8. But he's brave and he's bold and yesterday when we got home from our camping trip, the Cowboy and our son sat at the farm table and talked together through the scriptures, while I baked treats and made strawberry lemonade.
I should have been one blessed Mama, but instead I was giving myself a pep talk... trying to remind myself not turn into a control freak... trying to remind myself to be stoked on what was going on in my kitchen with my husband and my son and my Jesus. He's 8. The goal wan't a perfectly polished speech on the doctrines of Christianity. The gift was a young boy being brave enough to share his glorious Jesus with his friends.
And when everyone arrived my Siah was filled with joy and courage and he got up there on that tree house and with his friend Campbell and their Papa's by his side, he told the small crowd why he had wanted to do this church service. He read Mathew five and asked questions and shared his thoughts. He lead a worship song and his friend Campbell took an offering for the poor.
They prayed over all that had been done and said, and my Siah was loud and clear and bold and brave, and I learned a great lesson in mothering last night... one that I have a feeling I'll have to learn many times over.
Jesus has got my son. He's growing him up in ways that I simply can't. He's training his heart and giving him all that he needs for life and godliness. (2 Peter 1:3)
Our heart doesn't learn through perfection. It learns through a willingness to try.
This morning my son came into the kitchen with that grin on his face that I love so very much and he told me straight up,
"Last night was AWESOME Mom! God totally made me brave and I did good."
And isn't that just what the Lord is hoping to mold into each of us??? A confidence in all that HE CAN AND WILL do in and through us, if only we're willing to try?
On this parenting journey I am definitely called to participate... but I am also blessed to know that the Lord has my children in ways beyond anything that I can even think or imagine to ask Him for. How He holds us all at the same time and pours such rich life into us, is beyond me.
But last night as I sat on the grass hill and watched my son pour his heart out simply because of his innocent, pure love for his Jesus, I cried tears of great gratitude... not only for a really cool son, but for a God who reminds this broken Mama that He holds her heart just the same, with a tender love and compassion for all that she is unable to do in her own strength. I love that. :)