Tuesday, April 7, 2009

God, Jesus and Bicycles

Today was a sweet day to be a mommy. I don't know what is going on in my little man's head, but something surely is. He has been asking me such great questions lately. Tonight for example, Matt was giving Beatrix a bottle and so I had the honor of reading a story and saying goodnight to Micah. We were lying in his bed having just finished his book about whales and dolphins when he said, "Mommy, God created everything didn't he? He made the stars, the moon, the water, the doors, the walls, the computer, the fan, the... (i could tell he was looking around his room as the list got longer and longer. i just waited patiently for him to come to the end of his list.)" I said, "Yep, Micah and do you know what else God made? He made (and i pointed at him)" "Yes, Mommy God made me and you and Daddy and Beatrix and all my friends." pause pause pause...thinking thinking thinking. "How do I get to God mommy?" *whew the wind just got knocked out of me...how do I answer this one and not make it all about dying...* "Well, buddy God lives in a place called Heaven and that is where we will see him one day when hopefully you are old and after you have had a family yourself, you will die." scared look-- "I don't want to die mommy!" me- "I know buddy, but everyone has to some day. The good news is that God had a son named Jesus who comes to stay with us in our hearts. So we can be close to God without dying." (how do i get out of this, i am thinking to myself. then he saved me.) "Mommy, what color is God?" I told him that God is like light in that he is beautiful and bright. "Mommy God isn't a boy?" No he isn't a boy. "God isn't a girl either, is he mommy? " no micah, God isn't really a boy and he isn't really a girl, he is something special, different. He did have a son named Jesus though. "What color was Jesus, mommy?" *could these questions get anymore complicated?* "He looked alot like us buddy, just darker." thinking, he's thinking again... "Mommy, Jesus rode a donkey not a bicycle." Me laughing... "yes honey, Jesus rode in to town on a donkey not a bicycle. "

I find myself wanting to talk to Micah about these things, but it ususally leads me to questions inside of myself. How do I answer his questions when sometimes I don't know how to really answer mine? And I am starting to think that there really aren't good answers for alot of these questions. At least ones that I have discovered. I don't want Micah coming to God and asking Jesus into his heart just so that he will go to heaven someday out of fear. I don't really believe that is the only reason to believe in God. I want Micah to know that to his mommy and daddy believing that Jesus died for my sins is so liberating because I don't have to live with the shame of sin any longer. I am forgiven. I was able to broach this subject with him later that night. A half hour after I had put Micah to bed he yelled for me that he needed to go potty again. I said he could get up and then I met him in the bathroom. With his underware and jammies somewhere in the vacinity of his knees he looked at me and said nervously, "Mommy?" "Yes Micah", I sighed a very deep sigh. "You know the bowl of pretzels you gave me for snack?" (this was hours ago, like 11 am) hmmm. "Well, I need to brush my teeth again." *he shows me his teeth* "What do you mean Micah?" I asked. "It was by my treasure chest and I need to brush my teeth again." me now, "Micah do you mean that you ate some pretzels just now?" He nods his head all the while pretending he has to go potty still. "Micah does that mean you got out of your bed after Mommy put you to bed?" he nods his head again and says a small yes. "Micah, is that why you told mommy you needed to go potty cause you wanted to tell me that you got pretzels?" "yes mommy." I sat there on his little step stool thinking about what to say next. "What normally would happen if you got out of your bed after I have put you to bed?" "A spanking" he says quietly. I sigh again slowly, "Micah, I am going to forgive you. Do you know why?" he shakes his head. "I am going to forgive you cause you were honest with me and you told me what you had done. I really appreciate that. It was a good decision, a good choice. What do you say to me when you have done something you aren't supposed to do?" "I'm sorry mommy." I pull up his pants and give him a hug and tell him to get into bed with an I love you.

There are so many opputunities like this to "teach" our children things. The problem for me is they come so often when I am tired and not ready. I feel like I have to be "on" 24/7 with this little man. He is so smart and he gets it. I know he does. He really gets it. I hope I can get it too. I don't want to miss these teachable moments. They are huge! The oppurtunity to show him why he needs to be forgiven, even for something simple like sneaking pretzels after he has been put to bed. Wow, I am tired. It was a good day to be a mommy though.


Andrea said...

They are certainly at the age for questions, aren't they? Noah has been obsessed with reading one of his children's Bibles lately. He makes comments all the time later about things he learns in the stories, like one day when I heard him talking to himself and he was saying "Mommy and Daddy obey God and I have to obey Mommy and Daddy and God and you have to obey me." I asked him who he was talking to and he said "Spiderman." Right, glad that Spiderman knows the ranking then.

Deidra said...

Hey lady, I can seriously relate to these precious and nerve-wracking moments. We've had plenty of them around here...especially lately as you know.

What I am finding so beautiful about parenting is that our children are vessels of refinement. If you've ever wanted to really know, understand and grow in your relationship with God...just have a kid! Then, they will ask you 3 million questions that you will be forced to answer....(oddly enough, the color question has some up in our home too- so funny!).

I'd like to share with you some resources that we have found to be immensely helpful in this process. This isn't a "how to" list or anything, just things that we have personally grown from, and hopefully, that are helping us guide our kids:

~Shepherding a Child's Heart (Tedd Tripp)

~Don't Make Me Count to Three (Ginger Plowman)

~The Jesus Story Book Bible (Sally Llyod Jones) You and the kids will LOVE this...each stories ends looking forward to Christ. Wyndham is always like, "MOMMY. WHY are you crying AGAIN?".

~The Prince's Poison Cup (RC Sproul) A great children's allegorical book about a Price who drank a cup of poison to save the "city of man".

You can google these to take a look, or look on Amazon for good book/shipping prices if you're interested.

There's something so beautiful about having and working with children. I've found that in my life as a parent and teacher, there is something about being able to express truths in simplistic terms. Because in short- the christian life is a paradox- a vast ocean of complexity that's really as simple as---Jesus Christ.

Hope you're able to get a hold of some good resources. I love hearing and sharing kid stories, so keep them comin!

Love you guys,