The last few months of our life have been very chaotic. With my husband’s attention divided between his full-time job and renovating our rental property, I have spent the vast majority of days alone on the front line parenting our children. I am a stay-at-home mom so this has meant long days with no breaks. I have been frazzled, some days wondering why I ever thought children were a good idea. Then something happens like this and I am brought to my knees with tears in my eyes, so incredibly grateful to have the privilege of raising these children.
We spent last week at Northwestern Ohio Christian Youth Camp, my favorite place on Earth. It is a week secluded from everyday life spent singing, praying, and playing. I can drop my somewhat guarded nature and just be a Christian without worrying what someone might think.
The last two years we have packed up Turkey-Man and Little-Flower and brought them along. This has meant mostly parenting at camp without being able to fully participate. At four and two they still require a lot of management.
I have watched Turkey-Man fall in love with it. He has talked about camp since leaving last summer. His love for it has made sense to me since he is such an extrovert. There are constantly people around to play and talk with. I never realized he was paying attention to everything else that was happening around him.
Friday, it was our table’s turn to do lunch dishes. We needed someone to go and lead the prayer. Turkey-Man took on the responsibility. His little four year old body stood at the microphone in front of 120 people and said this prayer:
Dear Father in Heaven,
Thank-you for this day. Thank-you for all of our friends and our family. Thank-you for the kids getting baptized. And, I like you, God.
In Jesus Name,
Tears filled my eyes. The first two sentences are pretty standard in his prayers. The second two left me speechless. We have talked some about baptism, but at age four it is not something we discuss a lot. Somewhere throughout the week watching the seven of the nine baptisms that took place led him to understand how thankful we are when someone chooses to give their life to Christ. I do not know if he heard others praying or picked up on the atmosphere around the pool while we watched them take place. Whatever it was, it made an impact.
When we say prayers with the kids, we tend to let them ramble and just have a conversation with God. Occasionally, we will remind them to thank him for the food before a meal, but otherwise we leave it up what they want to talk to God about. The last sentence of his prayer was said so simply and innocently. His understanding of God and relationship with Him is so pure and untainted by the world. The joy in hearing his child-like faith is indescribable.
The camp erupted in cheers for him when he finished. Just the act of him willing to pray publicly in front of so many is amazing. For those of us who are closest to him, we were left stunned to see what an impact God is already having on his life. Many times I question myself, unsure if I am making decisions in the best interest of my children. This prayer gave me a glimpse that we are at least doing some of this parenting thing right.
I know I am truly blessed to have God choose me to be the mother to these children. My job as a mother is to teach them, but I am not sure if they will ever understand how much they have taught me. They are so pure and innocent, with unquestioning, untainted faith. They have not yet learned political correctness so they are able to freely communicate whatever is on their mind. It is beautiful to watch and I am so humbly grateful to get to experience it.