Being a mommy is outrageous.
What could be more amazing, terrifying, or rewarding than bearing the entire life of another person in our very hearts and hands. A little “mini-me” just walking around, most of the time within inches from us, asking questions, making declarations, constantly learning new things, just taking life in -with their own perspective of course – but also (OMG) listening to our perspectives as well! It’s truly a heaven sent gift that holds within it a responsibility that nothing else in our lives can even remotely compare to.
A few months ago, I had the opportunity to visit a friend’s church. The pastor was attempting to get the Sunday morning crowd to wake up and take some assessment of our lives, come to terms with what we’re really passionate about. At some point, he asked a question that straight punched me in the stomach.
“What do your kids think you are passionate about?”
I don’t know why it startled me. I just wasn’t expecting it. I thought, ‘man, that is a great question!!’ He went on to ask, “Does your child know that you’re passionate about Christ?” Hmmm…. While I know what I hope Jacey thinks, I sat and thought about a realm of conversations I’ve shared with Jacey. We have some great ones. She’s so enlightening, full of life. I could think of chats about music, dancing, food, games, school, reading… a slew of topic I’ve enjoyed with her. As I thought more intently though, I began to recall missed opportunities… moments when God had moved, stories of His powerful work in our lives that I hadn’t shared with my daughter. I could have talked to her about how He arranged to bless us with a great vehicle and specifically the financial blessing of no payments. I could have shared with her many moments in the last year that God has comforted and shown His love for us through caring people. I didn’t even tell her about the opportunity I had to share and pray with a dear friend who was led into a new relationship with God… never even mentioned it. Ugh. Fail. I was disappointed by how many great opportunities I could think of that I could have used to develop a growing picture of God’s character in her heart and mind.
We have such great lines of communication, and yet somehow I’m leaving out critical things in our conversations… things that would begin teaching her NOW about God’s character and how He speaks and works in our lives so that she can recognize Him in her own life now and as she gets older.
I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t thinking to mention these things to Jacey. It’s not like our conversations have been God-less or avoiding spiritual things, but in so many ways they could be so much more rich. It’s like kids in the youth that share how they have best friends in church and yet they never talk about “God stuff” together. Just doesn’t come up.
So I realize I’ve got to be more intentional in this area. There is an intimate relationship with The Lover of her very soul that awaits my daughter, and I’m going to nurture it. Perhaps my mindset was subconsciously thinking she is too young to understand. But let me tell ya’ – our kids understand way more than we may realize. And this isn’t brain surgery, it’s just simply having the same conversations and doing life (the way we always do), spending true quality time together – but being more intentional to point God out in our experiences – and our chats.
One night, not long after that day in church, I got the guts up to ask Jacey the pastor’s question. If I really wanted an answer, I’d better go to the source. The ninja herself.
Explaining the word “passionate” to her I said, “Ok, I’m going to tell you some things I think you’re ‘passionate’ about, and then it will be your turn, ok?”
“Soooo, I think Jacey is passionate about …” I listed things like her DS, her animals, popcorn, making silly faces, Skittles, rollerskating, reading (which she wouldn’t have listed so I threw that one in there myself – speak life right!?), dancing, and a few other things that I know she loves. I nailed it, she was smiling big!
When her turn came… I held my breath hoping her first answer wouldn’t be something like facebook or grilled cheeses…
“I think mommy is passionate about… ME!!!”
And then she added “tickling me, kissing me, dancing with me…”
“Well YES!! You are so right! What a great job! I am very passionate about you, and all of those things… do you think I’m passionate about anything else?”
“Um… spinning around a million times on your toes, which I have tried, and smiling really big like this (*insert her interpretation), ticklebugs with me, walking your bunny fingers up my legs, snuggle buggles, and… making your hair poofy!”
“Awesome answers! Yes, you’re right again! I AM passionate about those things… although I actually try to keep my hair from being poofy, which apparently isn’t working. Do you think I’m passionate about anything else?”
In my mind I thought “Please say God, Please say God, Please say God!!” But I knew it wouldn’t be fair to ask it outright.
But then it came…
“Yes! Jesus! Annnnd… all of the people in heaven!”
Yayyyy!!! I was so relieved I could’ve danced! She knows. Thank God even with all of the chaos of life, my daughter knows I love the Lord. Of course she should, right? But more than that, I want her to know Him for herself, and that starts at home.
Nurturing Jacey’s spiritual walk is my heart’s desire this year. She is so wide open and interested in so much, questioning things, developing her opinions and perspective of life. As Jacey’s mommy, I have this amazing gift…
she listens to me.
Now, I know this won’t last forever. Someday I will have to shut up. I’ll have to let her go when I’d rather attach myself to her leg. I’ll have to sit back (gripping the chair) and standby, watching as she makes her own decisions, right or wrong. But for a little while, right now, I have the privilege of walking along side her, holding her hand, sharing in the decisions she makes. It’s beautiful. It’s humbling. It’s breathtaking to be a part of. I don’t want it to fly by, these teaching moments. I want to be purposeful during these precious years, nurturing character and disciplines in her that become a part of her very heart and her lifestyle. Wow. What a blessing it would be to NOT see her have to go through some of the battles I have… struggling with weight, with trying to have a daily quiet time… those things alone took up so much time in my life already. I’d much rather see her living a life of independence from these struggles, sharing an intimate relationship with God -free of legalism, and spend more time enjoying life, loving others, doing cool things, and becoming all that God intends for her to be!
I’ve been thinking on these things… praying… and God has been moving. 🙂
A few weeks ago our friend Joni gifted Jacey a children’s bible that she has been reading in the mornings (which also spurs her reading skills – score!!) The other day we figured out we were both reading the same story and got to compare details – it was way cool! Not too long ago we shared a candlelit Lord’s Supper together at church. We had some time to talk about it before hand and she listened intently as I explained the meaning behind each of the elements… and when the time came, it was just beautiful. Mmmmmm, I love that memory. I’ll hold it close to my heart, always always.
Jacey has many things to see and do this year. That girl is full of life.
She already has plenty of fun things in store – having her own bdaypalooza, finally seeing the ocean, and catching the needtobreathe concert w/ me, all of which she is already getting very excited for! But my greatest hope is to see her naturally as well as intentionally grow in her own relationship with her Heavenly Father. She has lots of great friends, but I know He is the very best bestie she could ever have.
And there’s one other very special thing.
Now that we’ve been getting settled in a new church home, and mom and dad are around for a little while, we hope to finally schedule her baptism when the entire family can actually be present. She will finally have the opportunity to share a visual representation of the decision she made two years ago to ask God into her little heart. Oh I cannot wait for that day – to see her take that big step of faith! Yet another precious moment to be shared, and tucked away in my heart. And hers.
I just cannot thank God enough for allowing me to share in what He’s doing in her. She is His child and I’m so blessed that He chose for her to be my child too, to share with Him in her growth and the priceless gift of bearing witness to her life, moment by precious moment. It has been amazing to see God more intentionally in her life. He has already been opening doors for Jacey and I to share sweet sweet moments and more heart to hearts. And His name keeps coming up 🙂
QUOTE FOR TODAY:
What on earth is better than being a mommy? I’m so glad God let me in on that deal.
QUESTION FOR TODAY:
What would your children say you are passionate about? If you go to the source, you could be in for some great dialogue, a good laugh, and further confirmation that your hair is poofy.
SCRIPTURE FOR TODAY:
I have no greater joy than to know that my children walk in truth
3 John 1:4
LYRICS FOR TODAY:
Your baby blues, so full of wonder
Your curly cues, your contagious smile…
And as I watch… you start to grow up
All I can do is hold you tight….