Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A Sticky Note Faith

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.
His temper.
Her grammar.
His impatience.
Her tattling.
His anxiety.  
Her bossiness. 
His disorganization. 
Her sloppiness. 
His perfectionism. 

 There was so much work to be done to 'fix' all of the children in my home.

One night as Ryland & I were talking about how to tackle all the 'work' that needed to be done to make respectable adults out of all these little people, the truth hit us like a ton of bricks. We can't do it all. We needed to get back to basics. Instead of perfecting these little people, our role is reflecting the only One who can.

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. 

To: Jesus
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.


Kelly Sites said...


Denise Ross said...

Wow, just beautiful. Lesson here for me too.

Kristi said...

Love this story. We don't know the many messages children hear in our daily actions until we witness these unexpected moments. You are planting seeds of faith for a lifetime in all of them.

Keri said...

So, so sweet! Thank you for a post that inspires smiles even as it shares simple wisdom.

Kelly said...

Wow. I can only imagine how that sweet, pure faith blesses Jesus' heart. If only we adults could hold on to the knowledge that it is all found in Him.