After a crazy-busy and full year, I am down the shore with my family. My aunt and uncle are also here with their 6- month- old granddaughter. She makes me laugh. She cries when they want good things for her – for her to take her nap, eat her food, change her diaper, get the gunk out of her nose, etc. Anyone that’s been around or cared for a baby knows why all those things would be good.
Now, when I’m the little one and things don’t make sense, everything in normal life changes, friends change, jobs are hard, ministry is always in need, etc etc, and I feel tired, pressed, and refined… I can get upset like this precious little girl. But my Wise, Always-Good, Loving Father knows very well why He causes//allows these kinds of things to happen.
Another thing about this beautiful baby is that she fears the ocean until she knows she’s safe in my arms…
Jesus said “Permit not the children to come to Me.” He actually calls us to have this dependent, child-like faith in Him; to be 3 years old and jump off high things even when Daddy’s not looking because we know He will never let us fall, to never question if mama’s going to put dinner on the table because she always provides to fill our hunger, etc.
Lord, make me as a little child in the way I trust in You.
This one is a craft you can do for yourself or make it as a small gift. It was super quick and easy.
1. Get a block of wax (or another candle) and melt it in a pot on the stove. (The wax comes out of the pot when it’s still a little warm, so no need to worry about a hard clean up.)
2. Buy a cute dollar store mug and pour the hot wax into it.
3. Tape the wick to a pencil and place the pencil on top of the mug until the wick is in the center of the mug.
4. Once the candle is fully hardened again, (the middle takes a while – I left mine for a little over an hour,) take the pencil off and enjoy!
There’s a loud little girl in second grade named Grace here. She is herself and doesn’t care about what others may have to say. She’s the one who will orchestrate a game of chase against herself. She will shamelessly and fearlessly sing and shout to her God and will help with hand motions for worship.
She’s the one that taught me the other day.
When asking someone to pray for our lunch – a group of over 40 kids + leaders – she volunteered. She prayed for lunch, a fun and safe day, and then she prayed for me: that miss Ashley would have a safe trip to Philadelphia. She basically implored The Lord to bless me as I go. Her “please”s were so sincere and so weighty.
It made me weigh my own prayers. How often do others come to my mind un-prodded for prayer? How much do I beg The Lord on behalf of others, thus fulfilling the call to intercede for my brothers and sisters?
– You see, if I found the answer to be “good” when I weighed my own heart and prayer life against that of a second grader, I would not have made this post.
Joy is found in being tight with Jesus
In our last Calvary Way Kids Fun Day, Mr C. continued in sharing with the kids about the Fruit of the Spirit. He did a devotional on joy this time.
After rowdy-ing up the children by asking them what Christmas gift they got that made them so happy, he explained how the excitement of that toy isn’t the same today as it was on Christmas morning. That’s happiness.
But joy, joy is directly correlated to your relationship with Jesus. In the words of children, being “tight” with Jesus – with the visual above – will bring your joy to it’s fullest.
The children get to enjoy making a craft and decorating their bottle with a bunch of stickers (the bottles in the picture were from the older boys who “accidentally” left their bottles at the church), and they also get to practice kindness. The kindest act we can show anybody is by sharing the Gospel with them. And that’s just what they did.
I typed up a page explaining the Gospel, and the children drew a picture to accompany it.
The top tag reads “Please accept my act of kindness” and the lower one was supposed to say “A message in a bottle” or something of the sort to indicate the papers sticking out were super important.
Many of the children here in San Jose have already handed their bottles out on the streets, to their neighbors/swim instructors, or even to strangers in Walmart.
God uses willing people, no matter how small they may be.
For our Calvary Way Kids Fun Day that was based on the Fruit of the Spirit – patience, instead of a craft, we did a Treasure Hunt where the children were not allowed to proceed or read the next clue until the entire team was together (20+ kids!). The ones that couldn’t wait weren’t allowed to read the clue. They loved it and got to practice being patient with each other!
Children are also rewarded for showing (whatever the theme is) to others. This can be by Jamba Juice gift cards, a trip to pick something from “store,” or even a simple “I’m proud of you.” Children love more when you discipline and when you reward, because that is how you truly show your love for them.