Thursday, June 04, 2009

Backseat Theology

This morning as we were on our way to the grocery store, R broke a moment of silence with this question: "Mommy, how was God here first to make everything else? Where did He come from?"

It was one of those moments in parenthood that is bittersweet--sweet because their precious hearts are considering God without my prompting, bitter because I am scrambling to answer deep questions to brains, that while bright, still have a hard time grasping anything that is not concrete and literal.

I explained that the Bible says God has always been and that the Bible also tells us "His ways are not our ways" and it is hard for us to understand Him because He is so big and mighty.

Unfazed, R said, "So, I think we should remember to ask God that question."
"And Jesus!" P piped up.
"I think God would love to answer our questions one day," I encouraged. "I think it makes Him smile to hear us talking about Him like this."
"Yeah," R said, "I like thinkin' about Him while I am down here on this Earf--and I like goin' to church to learn about God, too."

I love these precious conversations on random Thursday mornings as we drive down roads we travel countless times a day. Pardon the pun, but this is where the rubber meets the road--where conversations about God aren't limited to Sunday School classrooms and nightly devotions.

I love that my children are beginning to work out their faith in ways that they initiate. As incredibly frustrating as it can be to lay down a foundation over and over and over again, it is such a blessing to see the tiniest glimmers of fruit.

Lest I send any mixed signal that I have it together, I must share this story that also happened today.

K & R had been quarreling in the backseat for a few minutes. I had attempted to remain quiet and let them work it out, but I had finally had enough. I told R to return to K the toy that was causing all the trouble. As I was driving and unable to 'see' everything that was happening in the back, I thought R was refusing to give K her toy. She was crying. I was telling him to return the toy and he just kept saying, "But, but, but..." Exhausted with what I perceived was his taunting her and making excuses, I blew my top. My deep, ugly, frustrated Mommy voice came bursting forth and I yelled/bellowed at R, "GIVE IT TO HER NOW!"

And he humbly replied, "I already did. That is what I was trying to tell you."
It was already in her lap--and apparently had been.
She was so overwrought she didn't notice.
Neither did I.
I felt like a heel. A big, over-reactive, lacking self control, tired Mommy heel.

"I am so sorry, R. I should not have yelled. I didn't understand..."
Before I could finish, that sweet child said "It's OK, Mommy. I know. I forgive you."

I stand in awe of a Saviour that is working in these precious little hearts in spite of my imperfection.

Who knew I could learn such a touching lesson on forgiveness from my 5 year old son?


The Adairsville Triangle said...

If we could just strip away all the nonsense, too. That is what is comes down to. They have a simple without scars, walls and damage. Wouldnt it be great if us mommies could keep it that way forever? I am sure He thinks the same way about His children, too.

Kate Geisen said...

I think the glimpses of your "real life" imperfect moments make your testimony that much more powerful. I learn so much from the way that you live with such intention and live out your faith and impart it to your children. We're all struggling and I think it can be easy to try to present oneself in the best possible light when you're blogging. Thanks for being real and showing the thorns along with the roses. :)

Amy said...

Your children are growing up with a solid foundation....I hope my toddlers will be thinking about God like that as well in a few years.

Brandy Thixton said...

Thanks for being so honest here. It's encouraging to know I'm not the only mom who makes those kind of mistakes. This blog is such a blessing to read!

Love Being A Nonny said...

...........and that's what Jesus says to me: *It's right there in your lap..and I forgive you*

Jennifer said...

Nonny- I LOVE what you added. It really struck a chord in my heart. Thanks.

Sunni said...

Thank you for this post. It was beautiful!

Anonymous said...

MY 5 y.o. has been asking a lot of the same kinds of questions...what came before the world? Who is God's Mommy? Why did God make Adam first? I LOVE getting these sorts of unanswerable questions from her...nto because I think I have such terrific answers, b/c I certainly don't, but I love watching that mind stretch and move into those sorts of places. What I don't love is those sorts of moments where I completely blow it with my girlies. Every Mommy has them though...comes with the territory I guess. I like to think they wouldn't be able to learn to forgive the ones they love if I didn't give them ample opportunities!