Interesting insight into my 5-year-old Maggie's mind today in the car: "Mom, I used to think there were a lot of hospital beds in heaven. You know, because people's bodies are broken here, then they die, then they go to heaven." Great reminder for her and for myself about the hope of heaven and the truth that there are no broken bodies in heaven! I think she is still processing all she saw and heard when my mom died. Love these sweet moments with my Maggie Mae.
This fall we started a nightly family reading time of longer chapter books for the first time. It's been priceless. Our first selection: Charlotte's Web. Max and Maggie have been totally engrossed, and tonight when we were reading the end of the book when Charlotte dies all alone, I was tearing up as I read to them. Amazing how a good writer can even make you care about one kind and selfless little spider.
Millie (3) and I just walked out our front door and stopped to look at the sunset.
Me: Look at that. It's so beautiful. Why do you think God gave us sunsets and sunrises?
Millie: Because it's pink.
Me: Yes, but why? What was the reason? Why do you think God decided to do that?
Millie: Ummm... Because of Adam and Eve. They had to take care of all the animals. And they had no parents. And they needed them. And Adam and Eve were never kids. They growed down into kids. But that's a dipperent story.
Childrens' minds are so fascinating to me. Sometimes I wonder if I really listened to all the words she's jabbering through, I would find they unlock the key to the universe. Or that they are complete nonsense. One or the other. But it sure is precious.
Later, after I had tucked Millie into bed for the night, I had to pop back in there to put some clothes and shoes away. She was jabbering away and pauses when I came in. "I just talkin' to God, Mom. I just praisin' Him."
No wonder Jesus said "Let the little ones come to me, and do not hinder them. "
Today while I was loading the dishwasher, Maggie Mae (8) came into the kitchen and asked, "Can God make choices?"
We talked it out for a few minutes, and I eventually decided that the angle she was exploring had to do with whether a Being outside of time could make choices and/or decisions, concepts we understand within time. I thought it was a great question. Definitely got me thinking and trying to think through scriptures that would help answer her question.
I thought of Ephesians 1:4 "“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight," and Maggie's question really caused be to think about it in a whole new way. Maybe God did ALL His choosing/deciding before time began? Love it when my kids challenge me to think about something in a new or different way.
Xander (5): I think in heaven, there will be video games. They will be even better than video games here. And the characters you can choose will all be bible story characters. Mom, do you think everyone is a baby in heaven? So everyone is a baby when they first get there?
It's here, it's here! After nearly three years of waiting and begging, Maggie will be turning six next week,and she is starting ballet today. Three hours until class starts and she's already been dressed and completely ready to go for an hour. Oh, and she's also had a constant dialogue going all day: "How many minutes until it's time for ballet? I've been imagining and imagining walking up to JBU carrying this bag with my ballet shoes. I think ballet is going to be one of my very special talents. Can a person ever get too old to do ballet, or can they just keep doing it until they're dead? How many minutes now until it's time for ballet?"
You are five years old today. I've been feeling nostalgic all day, remembering the day you came into this world and into our lives five years ago. The months leading up to your birth were a somewhat tumultuous time for our family; we had to say goodbye to my mom, your grandmama Vicki, when she died of cancer about four months before you were born. I was so sad. But then you were suddenly here, and the sadness was swallowed up in love. Your precious newborn life opened my heart to love and laugh and find joy in ways that I didn't expect. You were God's very present help to me in time of trouble, Alexander James. I will always thank God for you, my precious son. Of all four kids in this family, you were the very best baby. You brought us more joy that first year of your life than we could have imagined.
And now in a blink, you are five years old. For about the last year, your Dad and I have been working hard to understand what makes you tick, what motivates you, what you love,what you dislike and why. You are beautifully complex, like a 10,000 piece puzzle where all the pieces are frustratingly similar but only fit together one certain way. God knows the incredible picture that will someday come into view when all these pieces are put together in just the way He has planned. At 5 years old, we are just beginning to get glimpses of the amazing person God has created you to be. Maybe we're just now seeing a 100-piece section of one corner of the 10,000-piece picture. But Alexander, I sure love what I'm seeing in that corner.
I see a boy with a beautiful soul where God is already at work. Last night as I was tucking you into bed, you told me that you do believe in God. You wanted to make sure I knew. I know you do, Alexander. I see God at work in your heart and I see the seeds of faith that He is already planting. I can hardly wait to see how those seeds grow as you become a man who follows God with your whole heart.
I see a boy with a deep curiosity and an expansive intellect. You taught yourself to read before you turned four years old. You absorb information at an incredible rate- your Dad and I are often surprised by things you have heard and processed and understand; you connect dots that we would not expect you to be able to connect.
I see a boy who sometimes struggles hard against life. It makes me sad to see your frustration when things don't line up just the way you think they should. I sometimes hate it that the things that don't bother other people bother you deeply and make life harder for you. It's difficult to watch you struggle with smaller life skills that seem to come easier to other children. But I try to remember that as you struggle between your idea of what life should be like and what it actually is, that the struggle is making you stronger, and that someday you will find your stride in this world. You will find your way. I will be there cheering you on when you do!
I see a boy with an incredibly bright future stretching out in front of him. You told me yesterday that when you grow up, you want to be a "geography doctor." You explained that profession as someone who fixes peoples bodies and body systems and who spends the rest of his time looking at maps. Your description made me grin from ear to ear. You managed to create a perfect profession to meld together your two current obsessions: geography and the human body.
But most of all, when I look at you, Alexander, I see my son. The one I will love forever, no matter what. I'm so very thankful that God chose me to be your mom. He has great things in store for you, and I'm waiting in great anticipation as piece after piece of that beautifully complex puzzle snaps into place to reveal the big picture that is the life God has created for you. The sky's the limit, Space Commander. I can hardly wait to see your story unfold.
I just walked into the living room and saw Maggie leaned over Amelia's swing talking very quietly and seriously to her baby sister. I caught the end of their conversation: ".... It's pretty confusing, but God and Jesus are sort of the same person, and the Holy Spirit is sort of the same person, too. They are all God. You just have to remember, Jesus loves you. If you believe in Him, you will go to heaven with him someday. That's all you really have to remember."