Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Lesson from my Children...

A little over 5 years ago, Caleb and I jumped in head first to this thing called parenting. I think it is safe to say we had absolutely no idea how much that a tiny human would change our world. We were warned about the sleepless nights, change in priorities, and miracle of it all, so there was a sense of change well before we ever experienced it. However, no one ever said this child will teach you more than you could ever dream of teaching him. 

It's no secret Jesus spent much time with and used children in his teachings. I tend to believe the reason, in part, being that children have an amazing ability to use their simple innocence as a great ministry. Children don't typically have an agenda or biases. They just have simplistic innocence. They are pure, honest, and open.

Last night, I was over being Mommy for the day. It was still an hour or two before Caleb would walk in and save the day. As a result, I did what any tired, American, good mom would do, I sent them to Brady's room to watch a movie and then told them to not come out until they heard their daddy come home. Parenting at its finest. I should probably have a trophy for best mom ever. 

Imagine my distraught, when they didn't stay in his room at all, but came parading into my space.  

The two of them stood before me, each grasping a canister in their hands. A canister that they had picked up at church. These particular canisters are to collect money for a nearby orphanage. 

Brady quickly asked, "would it be okay if we emptied our piggy banks into these?" 

I nodded, a little in shock of the question being presented to me, when I so clearly was done being a good influence for the night. The two scurried off and began to line up every piggy bank in the house. Together they emptied each one into the two canisters before them. Brady gently expressed to Presley, "that isn't money, baby, the children need money. They don't have mommies or daddies."

I sat on my couch watching and praying with tear filled eyes. 

Quickly before putting everything away, Brady ran in and declared, "I found a dollar, can I put it with the money for the children that don't have mommies and daddies, too?"

They each returned their canisters to me much heavier with big grins on their faces. 

In an effort of full disclosure, about a year and half ago, Caleb and I spent some time collecting money and teaching Brady about orphans. We filled and returned a couple canisters and went on with life. 

I noticed a few weeks ago, the empty canisters had returned to the church lobby. In all honesty, I secretly hoped Brady wouldn't see them and avoided walking near them at all cost.

I want to help orphans, really, I do. But I did not want the hassle of making sure it was full and remembering to return it to the church building. 

After all, we had already filled and returned two. We sponser a child overseas monthly. We wear friends adoption fundraiser shirts proudly. We have devotionals explaining how not everyone is blessed with one or both parents. 

We are done with that service and teaching, right?

This is the amazing thing about this situation.
Caleb and I had a goal to soften our children's hearts to those who aren't blessed with parents. We were intentional and focused on this goal for a while. We eventually got to a point were we felt it was complete and we stopped teaching intentionally on this specific issue. 

But Brady hadn't stopped learning. 

He understood much more clearly than even I did. 

We are never done. Walking in the light is continuous. Forever.

Once one can is full, we move to fill the next. 

When he spotted those canisters in the lobby, he remembered their importance. He remembered the meaning. He remembered the call to action and obedience. 

He stuffed, not one, but two empty canisters into our bag, despite my attempt to return them. He wanted to share with his younger sister this need. He wanted to teach her about orphans and encourage her to act in love as well. 

So as I retired to my couch last night drained from the obligations of life, God presented me with an example of discipleship in its simplest form right in my living room. 

I have been so vividly reminded that my walk with Jesus is just beginning. It is continuous. It is important. It calls me to action and obedience. I still have so much to learn. 

Thank you Lord for my children. Thank you for their innocence. Thank you for opening my eyes and heart to see you through them. 

Then he said, "I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. 
Matthew 18:3, new living translation