Friday, July 8, 2011

near, far and faking.

 There is something about my {almost} 5 year old that is intriguing.  Many lessons are learned as I sit back and quietly watch all that she is trying to learn and accomplish.  She is coming into herself quite beautifully but awkwardly at times.  It reminds me that we are all that way.  A beautiful, awkward mess of 'I dont knows' and 'I dont cares.'

Two nights ago as we were laying in bed ready for sleep, she asked me, "Why did they give us toenails mommy?"  I answered her with my own question, "Who is they, baby?  Who do yo mean?"
"Jesus.  Why did Jesus give us toenails?"
And I proceeded to answer her question with a witty response that I thought was suitable for 5 years old and a little mind.

It made me proud.  Deep within me I have always felt an urgency to teach these children about the things of the Lord.  And I am learning that there are moments when that is so evident and deliberate in their lives.  I see it in innocent questions from the lips of a growing babe. She is present, remembering, indulging in our God and all He is capable of...
...And then there are moments like tonight.  Rebellious, vicious moments that sting my heart so deeply that I can hardly find the words to respond to her.  And I have to.  I have to rise up, dig deep, buckle down and dive in with an intimate response to something so heartbreaking and shocking...

As we were leaving the play place tonight she was throwing a fit.  I disciplined her and told her that she needed to apologize to mommy and to Jesus for being disrespectful.  I often tell the kids that when they're ready to apologize and talk, we can.  In the midst of her {almost} 5 year old tantrum she kept refusing to say sorry to me and then Braden came crashing into the argument declaring that "You have to say sorry to Jesus, Nora!"
...and that's when it happened...
"No Bubby!!!  He's not even real!"

My heart dropped and I felt as if my whole world had just stopped.  Everything melted away that felt heavy.  Nothing compared to the pain that those words caused me. 
Piercing.  Intense.  Confusing.  Painful.

Of course I climbed in the very backseat and sat with my girl explaining to her all about how we never say such things.  It reminded me that no matter how deeply in love we are, how committed we feel...sometimes it is easy to turn our backs to the Lord and rebel, even in a thought or a secret moment.  She is no different, even at {almost} 5.  And it's terrifying.
 She is sneaking upstairs and putting my make-up on almost every day now.  I try to wear as little as possible most of the time but enjoy wearing it, for sure.  I never want her to think that the mask is what gives her beauty.  But when I look at her, I can't help but be reminded of how we fake it sometimes. 
And I'm not necessarily saying that it's always a bad thing.  Sometimes it's important to fake it til you make it.  But when it comes to loving the Lord, obeying Him, longing for Him, feeling Him, depending on Him and trusting Him--I need these kids to be real and never fake it.
Nora is reminding me every day what it means to be a genuine, unique and God-focused mother.  She is depending on my strength and teaching to guide her.  I am reminded that just because I am having my own inward spiritual thoughts and battles, outwardly the battle is still raging on for the lives of these children.  The enemy would still love nothing more than to steal their souls for eternity. 

And as long as I live and as long as I have breath I will guide these children toward Heaven.  There is such a power and a purpose in living your life for the Lord.  Others are watching; they are trusting in that which you claim to be true and good.  It is not just an act.  I am not putting on the make-up of christianity every day before I leave this house.  In fact, my whole entire goal is to leave the make-up at home and live as bare, raw and simple as possible.  When it is all stripped away, after the rebellion, learning, and faking disappears-you are left with Jesus.

A real, intimate Father who is the creator.  A lover of your soul and dedicator of lives.  He is the author and the finisher of my faith.  He is the one that I want these children to see.  To know.  To love.  If, at the end of all this, these children know the Lord, I know that my purpose has been fulfilled. 

So I am watching Nora and I am being taken back to my innocence.  I am figuring out how to navigate these waters of childhood with her and reign in her confusion or rebellion.  I want to be clear, poignant and strong in my convictions, answers and teaching. I desire to leave no room for confusion or chaos in her little mind. 

I am so proud of this little girl and so proud that Jesus calls her His own.  He has a magnificent plan in her and I love watching it unfold.  She will do wonderful things and I will do my best to guide her towards them while allowing her to feel the freedom of self and growth.  In the meantime, I am reminded that being {almost} 5 can be tricky.  It's always a balance but now life is getting bigger, grander and more alert.  Thankful for tender mercies as we tread lightly in the parenting game...

Thankful for the raw.  The real.  The ugly.  Because it can always be refined and always be made new.  Our Lord is the refiner.  The perfecter.
1 Peter 1:7...So that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."

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