Things that are seemingly insignificant have served as reminders that there is nary a trace of baby in the six year olds living in my home. They are full-fledged DS playing, play date attending, competent reading, independent thinking, compassionate, sassy, freckle bearing kids.
I was reminded of how far we have come today when all three attended separate day camps and each had different afternoon plans/play dates. For so long I worried about their independence. Would they always be seen as a group? Was I damaging them by dressing them alike? Would they struggle to find their own voices/places in the world. This morning as we were walking out the back door to church preschool camp, cheerleading camp (rock star day) and baseball camp I couldn't help but giggle. God is growing and developing them each into a masterpiece of His very own design.
I cannot put my finger on exactly when the switch was flipped, but it seems to coincide with school getting out and the celebration of the trio's 6th birthday. I think what I find most alarming is how almost-overnight they seem to have aged and matured into these little people who have deep, probing questions and thoughtful compassion.
Seemingly out of the blue last week K said, "I am glad God put us in this family."
"Me, too." I agreed.
"I mean, there are some kids who don't have Moms and Dads to take care of them," K added, hands moving theatrically as she passionately spoke, "and they don't even have houses to sleep in when it rains or food to eat when they are hungry. Can we find ALLLLL those kids and help them?"
I cannot tell you what happened in my heart as I started to see evidence of true, spontaneous compassion in her heart. (It didn't hurt that it was right up my alley of ministry. :-)
Then, yesterday, I took the children with me to the Christian book store.
"Why are we here? " P sighed in an annoyed way.
"We need to pick out some Bibles for a few of the girls at the Home," I replied, referring to some of the troubled adolescent foster and juvenile justice kids I know. "Three of the girls who don't have Bibles asked me if I could help them get one so they can learn more about God."
P's attitude changed immediately.
"They WANT to learn about God?" he chirped.
"Yes, they asked for them."
"That makes my heart so happy!" he replied, adding, "It makes me want to be loving and kind to everyone I see."
I just cannot help but gasp when those moments happen. God is living and active in their hearts and lives--separate and apart from what my husband & I try to teach or their Sunday School teachers impart. It is starting to come together for them! What an absolute miracle to behold!
We are still very much 6, with sassiness and know-it-all-ness rearing its ugly head. Sibling squabbles have ramped up with the Summer schedule. We are FAR from perfect! Yet, when I see evidence that God is forming and shaping their character--those tiny glimpses can sustain me through much more of the challenging stages.
As for the fast forward, I am thinking I need to tighten the strap on my helmet, fasten my seat belt and hold on!