I met a lady on the trip named Pam. Now Pam is unlike anyone I’ve ever met before in my life. Perhaps if you met her you might think she’s a little different. You couldn’t be more correct. She’s absolutely different. She’s absolutely amazing. She has this connection with God that I find completely incredible. She has this wisdom that blows me out of the water. She was sharing with Heather and I several things that God had laid on her heart to share with us specifically. She came with papers and scriptures and was more than equipt to evangelize to Heather and I.
One of the demons that I often fight involves my children. Trying to figure out how to balance life, work. our ministry, and a family – some days – most days – it’s just too much. I feel like my children our so neglected sometimes from Jose and I personally. We have wonderful nannies and truly it takes a village to raise them but I often feel like a failure as a mother. So many people tell me that your children have to be first – before work. But that’s just easier said than done and I often don’t know how to make them a priority with so much to do.
Pam offered me an outlet to cry and advice that seems so simple. She said that with her children she started teaching them scripture when they were 2 and 3 years old. By the time they were 5 years old they did their OWN devotions. When they would talk about wanting to do what they wanted to do – and complaining that life is not fair – she simply said that You’re right. Life isn’t Fair because if it was then Jesus, a perfect man, wouldn’t have died on the cross for our sins. Jesus who never sinned – died because of us. So let’s praise God right now that life isn’t fair. Then they would pray in thanksgiving for unfair life.
She also began to correct their behaviors by saying – Jesus wants us to be like Him. Jesus didn’t hit his brothers/sisters, Jesus always shared with the people around Him, Jesus wants us to be like him and not complain, etc. etc.
She began using the tunes of children’s songs to help memorize scripture to keep her kids interested in the word. She prayed for them constantly but she believed that scripture was the key. We asked her if she was ever afraid of pushing Jesus so much on her children that it would make them turn away from Him? She said that she always knew that if they ever really got to know who Jesus was – it would be impossible for them to turn away once they felt Him inside.
Heather and I sat in awe of this amazing woman – this Godly mother. How do we even begin? She had such wonderful insight – insight that could only come from God and I left our meeting in tears and with a new sense of hope for how to be the mother that God has always wanted me to be.
So we started with our baby steps. Simply committing 5 minutes a day with our children in devotional time. We start with 5 minutes the first week and slowly add a few more minutes each week. Trying to be overzealous and start off doing an hour right off isn’t going to work. As we give a little at a time, God will help us keep up with the balance that is laid before us on a daily basis.
So last night we did a devotional with the girls. I have to tell you that it was really cute and truly encouraging to us. I have a Picture Bible with little tabs. I let each of the girls pick a “tab” and then we read the story and the scripture that went with it. Of course the first story was Noah and the Ark. An easy story to read until Mikayla asks what happened to all the people who didn’t get on the boat. I told her they died because they didn’t have Christ in their heart. (How do you answer that question with a 5, 4, and 3 year old??)
Then Rosie picked a tab. She picked the tab where King Saul asks David to kill Jonathan. What in the world is that story doing in a children’s Bible? I thought wow – we’re just all about death tonight. Trying to teach the kids that David was a loyal friend (when they didn’t understand what loyal meant) was a little challenging.
Then Malaya picked the tab about Moses in the basket. That one at least was a little happier although she did have to put him in the basket to keep him from being killed.
So story-time was a little harder than we thought because the kids had a ton of questions! We picked the scripture Romans 6:16 – – Obey God. We said it over and over again.
We ended the night holding hands in prayer. Well Mikayla prayed first. She prayed that we would all go to heaven like Noah’s family. She prayed that we wouldn’t go to jail (not sure what that was about) and that we would be more like Jesus.
Rosie began to pray and she said – God bless Mommy, Daddy, Nana, Papaw, Mikayla, Malaya, Gigi, Gabriel, Lo Lo, Ne Ne (all our nannies and about 5 other random people). AMEN.
Malaya immediately got mad. “ROSIE – YOU FORGOT TO PRAY FOR JESUS. DADDY, ROSIE FORGOT TO PRAY FOR JESUS. TELL HER TO DO IT AGAIN.” Rosie said, “No – I’m finished”. Malaya said, “Rosie, that not nice…..you better pray for Jesus”. So Rosie prayed for Jesus!
Then it was Malaya’s turn. She prayed for everyone in the family and asked Jesus to help her be good. It was so precious.
Halfway teary-eyed, Jose and I came out of the room and was just amazed at how well our first devotional went. The kids were so excited to do it too.
This morning we woke up and Mikayla came into the room and said – Mommy – “Romans 6:16, OBEY GOD”. She was so happy that she remembered the scripture. Malaya couldn’t remember the scripture verse but she did remember OBEY GOD. Ne Ne was here for lunch and I heard Malaya and Mikayla telling Ne Ne about Romans 6:16 and they TAUGHT HER the scripture.
Are you for real? I mean is it really this easy? Is it really this rewarding for both our Father in Heaven and ourselves as parents? Surely this can’t already be fruit from last night’s devotions.
I’m almost convinced…..
Angel comes to me about 2 hours ago and said I think your talks with the girls are working. I asked what did she mean? She said that Rosie came up for supper and wanted a coke. She had already had one and tonight was the big wedding reception and many of the guests hadn’t had their first coke yet. Angel told her no and she immediately cried and went and sat at another table. Angel went over to her and explained why she couldn’t have one. She said do you think Jesus would want us to wait for everyone to have a coke? Rosie said YES. Should we try to be like Jesus? Rosie said YES. Angel said that we have to be like Jesus and Rosie agreed and stopped crying……..
Now I believe. Any of you who know Rosie – you know only God could calm down one of her fits.
Did I mention that Pam was the mother of Curt – you know the guy who now sets scripture to music? Yeah…..I’ve seen the fruits of her labor – and hopefully one day Jose and I will see the fruits of our labor……