This story began a couple of weeks ago. With the return to school and all the measurables it brings...conduct reports, homework, quizzes, dress codes, comparison...I was feeling stressed out and inadequate as a mother of five.
So much to teach to so many in so little time. I started slipping into the fleshly mode that tempts me most, "Perfector" of my children.
She needs to sit still.
He needs to make more eye contact.
He has got to learn to tuck in his shirt.
There was so much work to be done to 'fix' all of the children in my home.
Oh, how our good intentions can trip us up and lead us to lose sight of what matters most.
So, on a simple blue sticky note I wrote 5 letters and a period. I posted it on my kitchen window so I could be reminded while coming and going through my days. Yes, I am to coach on all sorts of things...but my main goal was clear:
A couple of days later I was walking with a friend when she mentioned a similar strategy. She told me she was practicing an equally simple refrain as the 'surprises' of daily life popped up. No matter what, she wanted her heart's response to be, "Thank you, Jesus."
I added those words to my sticky note.
The very next day, over breakfast, our freckle faced 8 year old foster daughter asked, "What's that blue note in the window for? Why are you thanking Jesus?" I explained that I was trying to remind myself all day long to be grateful to Him.
As we were walking out the door for school I noticed a new yellow sticky with a note written in her handwriting that said, "We love you Jesus."
Perhaps I made too much of a fuss over the sweetness of it all, because that afternoon she added another more elaborate message:
The spelling needs work, but the message almost wrecked me.
You are loved! And forever we are counting on you forever.
This is it. Just this.
The faith of a child.
It's innocence touched something in me.
One of my great fears/worries with all of my children--but especially with the foster children--is that they will count on me as their Savior instead of the Lord.
I don't know how long I will be in this little firecracker's life, but I know she CAN count on Him forever.
It is not my role to be a Perfector, but instead a Reflector...of His love, of His grace, of His plans for their lives, of His protection and care.
And, again, I must have made too much of a fuss, because I now have a tribute wall in my kitchen. (I had to move it from the window because I could no longer see out.)
Little prayers scrawled down by pudgy hands connected to a little faith-filled heart...they make me giggle in their earnestness, familiarity and tone.
"Jesus, we are caring for you always."
"We are thinking about you, Jesus."
"Jesus, we are going to have a good day."
I am not discounting the wisdom that comes from in depth study and theological debate, but this child's simple, sticky note faith blesses me down to my toes. I can't help but think she gets something many well-versed church people miss.
There is a reason Jesus told the disciples to let the children come...their stripped down authenticity and innocence has a lesson for us all.