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Thursday, February 03, 2011

Everyday Miracles

Listen, Israel! The LORD our God is the only true God! So love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, and strength. Memorize his laws and tell them to your children over and over again. Talk about them all the time, whether you're at home or walking along the road or going to bed at night, or getting up in the morning.
Deuteronomy 6:4-7

Does anybody else get overwhelmed at teaching your children to love God wholeheartedly? How many of you wonder if you’re doing a good job passing your faith down to your children? I struggle with wondering if I’m talking about God enough. Over and over again seems like a lot. Sometimes I get tired of hearing myself talk. Know what I mean?

I’ve gone through many seasons as a parent. When I had multiple preschoolers, it was easy for me to do a craft with them, teach them a short verse with hand motions or sing a Bible tune. Because we were always home, we had time to read through a different children’s Bible each year. My favorite is the Jesus Storybook Bible.

Last year cancer happened. I shooed my children off for awhile so I could talk heavy, hard conversations with the insurance company. I hugged my kids a little more sitting in silence with them. I prayed over them like crazy hoping my prayers would undo the damage cancer did to their fragile little hearts.

We moved. Life happened. As much as I have tried to make family dinners a priority, they mostly occur around 8:30 or 9:00 at night these days. Unfortunately there’s hasn’t been much lat e-night Bible-reading taking place. We began to breakfast together. I’ve never been a morning person so while there’s been good eating and lively chatting, there hasn’t been much Bible teaching.

Or has there?

Did you see what I wrote back there? Life happened. In the midst of life, I’ve found I can do a really good job of showing my kids how to recognize God’s movement in our lives. When cancer happened, I did a really good job of directing my kids to God. I encouraged them every day to look for God’s greater purpose. Did they know any other kids whose mom had cancer?

Last week, ironically the same day I had all my tests at the cancer hospital, my son had a project to do. He interviewed my mother-in-law and wrote out the answers to two pages worth of questions. A whole lot for a second grade boy!

Later that week, he brought home another copy of the questions. He had to re-do it with neater handwriting. He painstakingly copied it and turned it in the next day.

Monday he brought a third copy of the two-paged questions. He said the teacher lost it.

Now I’m a retired teacher. When the student says the teacher lost it, ninety-nine percent of the time, the student has it. I asked Hunter if he’d cleaned out his desk, his folder and his backpack. He swore he turned it in to the teacher.

We had a busy day. Life happened. It got late. While I tucked a frustrated him in bed, a frustrated me prayed with him that his teacher would find it.

He came home from school the next day. I was eagerly waiting for God’s miraculous answer to my prayer. (And the relief of not having to supervise the paper yet another time.)

No paper.

We decided we’d work on it together in one hour. He needed to run off some frustration outside first.

A few minutes after he left and just as I was picking up the phone to call my mother-in-law to ask her the questions again, someone knocked on our door. It was Hunter’s teacher, our neighbor.

God’s miracle came in the form of a knock on the door.

Even though life happened.

Aren't two sparrows sold for only a penny? But your Father knows when any one of them falls to the ground. Even the hairs on your head  [and all your homework papers] are counted. So don't be afraid! You are worth much more than many [pennies] sparrows.
Matthew 10:29-31 The Message


Shelly @ Life on the Wild Side said...

I think every mom of older kids struggles with the old how-do-I-teach-them-about-God question. I know I have! When the kids are little they eagerly sit at our feet listening to Bible stories, but as they grow older, that just doesn't happen as much. We could feel guilty about it, or we could just go about teaching them another way.

For us, what works best is just having really open, honest conversations around the dinner table (even if it is at 9:00 at night!). We ask questions about what happened at school, reflect on things happening in the world, all within a Biblical framework. Its in these discussions, showing our girls that Christianity is practical for their everyday lives, that the good work of discipling our kids happens.

Denise said...

Another good post.