I find myself daydreaming about tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow. I can feel the weight lift as I imagine a day without dirty diapers to change. My oldest was born in 2006.
Y’all, nine ruthless years of wiping little booties on the ground. My hands are crippled.
And the legos piercing the soles of my feet. Have you stepped on one of those lately? The pain. Nothing compares. Can they just play with stuffed animals? Or bouncy balls?
I’m straight up exhausted from bedtime battles with toddlers. It’s like every night all of my kids forget that they actually have to go to sleep. Amnesia for real. And the dishes and the paper piles and the cooking and laundry. It’s all enough to break this mama.
So it seems appropriate (read: comfortable) that advice givers encourage us to “wait until your kids are older” to do this type of ministry. I hear them telling me to take time for myown kids because they’re only little for a short time.
Is the American Dream stealing the dreams of Jesus from our grips?
I think about the personalities that are developing in front of me and life journeys of my little people. I pray they will be lovers of the Truth and fight madly for the Kingdom. I am thankful that in spite of my yelling and nagging and failures that the Lord can still raise them up to know and love and serve him.
If you want your kids to live like they love the Lord when they are grown, you have to submerse them in his work now.
Kids are leaving the church by the thousands as they become adults. That freaks me out. I want my kids to BE the church. I want their hearts to break for the broken. I want their dreams to be big and risky and life giving to a world that is desperate for Jesus but just doesn’t know it yet.
People often ask how my kids cope with the constant change and chaos of our life. I’ll be honest, we have tears. My kids regress with the loss of a baby. They have problems sleeping, they get sad, and they wonder who’s coming next. But it’s their normal. They don’t know a different life. They only know how to grasp for peace when its rocky. They know how to let God’s Word give them life and comfort. They know how to pray over a baby and his mama. They want lives to be healed and relationships whole because they’ve seen the heartache of the abused and abandoned firsthand.
And they’re little. But the beauty of children is they can get the Gospel. They can see it without the blur of baggage that comes with age. And that is why waiting until your kids grow up to do what God has called you to do now is killing the church. Your diluted faith is distorting the image of their Creator.
When your kids grow up, they’ll be grown. And grown means independent. It means making their own decisions about what to do with their lives. And we can raise them to run hard after Jesus. Or we can push them in the pursuit of a nice car and a good man and an solid education and a pretty house with lots of space for all their stuff.
They get it now. Your audience is captive and eager to learn (even when they are whining and screaming and rolling their eyes). They are taking things literally. Their little concrete, yet abstract minds get things like when God said love the orphan, they just hold a baby. When he said look after the widow, they rake her yard or bake her cookies. Where he said go, they walk.
It’s not too late, mama. They’re still little.
And if they’re not, I bet they’re still watching. Actually, I know they are…because I am.
Kristy and Zach are biological parents to 4 beautiful kiddos under the age of 9. They have called 12 other babies their own since starting their journey as a foster family in the summer of 2012. They say yes to the hard and crazy as they follow Jesus on this journey of surrender and obedience. Kristy loves coffee, good conversation, comfy clothes and Anne of Green Gables. She is assertive and loves change as she learns to thrive in the chaos. Follow Kristy on her personal blog – This Hard Calling.