For the second night in a row, I have been wide awake at a ridiculous hour while my child (who normally wakes me!) sleeps soundly in his bed; this morning I’ve been awake since 4am, I’ve showered, blow-dried my hair and now at 5:30am I am writing this blog post. I’m really not over-zealous for this day to start, it’s just that my heart is full and writing is my only cure.
When my child turned two last month, I thought for a moment that I might have a nervous breakdown. Not because we were entering the beloved “terrible two’s” era of his life and not even because I felt like an 18-wheeler had side-swiped me with the knowledge that my baby was no longer a baby anymore, although I see hard evidence of those truths in the recent weeks. But around his birthday, I had the most vivid realization that every moment of the day, we are teaching our son how to live, how to act, how to spend his energy and whom to serve. Don’t get me wrong, we KNEW all this before our child was ever born, but that realization was like a document of instructions being unfolded in front of my eyes, the keys points highlighted to the point they seemed to jump off the pages, grasping my complete attention, shouting “Focus on this!”
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could share about our perfect families and our perfect life and our perfect parenting skills? I wish I could write all about that this morning, but I can’t. We are just a regular family with regular struggles and a desire to raise a son who honors God with his life. So although that realization I mentioned above was great, I found myself having a little pity party thinking “Oh, I kind of wish I could start all over and do this and this and this differently…if only…”
What, you’ve had that party, too? Love that I’m not alone!
When I wrapped up that party, I started asking God to show me how to change our focus concerning our child. And he has. At our church, when children move up to the 2-year-old class, they begin memorizing Scripture. For one month they work on the same verse. This month their verse is “Pray without stopping.” (I Thessalonians 5:17) and can I just say what joy it brings to my heart to see my child running around frantically playing, throwing a toy here and there and then hear him saying “Pay wi-out stoppy! Pay wi-out stoppy!” to no one in particular?! I had planned on working with him on memorizing Scripture, but honestly I never thought about doing it this early, until he handed me his memory verse sheet when we picked him up from class that first day of his new class.
Understanding that a child who has a 2-year-old’s vocabulary can memorize the Word of God was kind of like a slap in the face in a REALLY good way! It reminded me of the power of the Word and what we speak over our family and our life. Of course I bring my concerns to God during prayer, but I’m trying to declare more Scripture over the people and situations I talk to the Lord about. Of course he agrees with me and it turns my heart towards him and his perspective instead of my own.
I hope you’re encouraged to help your children begin memorizing the Word if you haven’t already and begin declaring what God says over you, your family and your life. The thing is, it’s not for our own sake alone, it’s for the sake of all those we touch with our lives, both now and in the future. God’s Word and our words are powerful.
Who knows who these little people may become that we are raising up!
A Declaration Judah is Learning at church, based on Deuteronomy 28:1-14 (it has hand motions, but I haven’t learned all of them yet):
I am the head and not the tail.
I am above only and not beneath.
I am blessed coming in
And blessed going out
And everything I set my hands to