I have to admit, I love the fact that I have spent the past three years dodging flying toys, empty baby bottles, and the occasional body part whizzing centimeters from my head. After growing up in a houseful of girls, I learned with the birth of my first son John, that testosterone is an animal in and of itself.
Those tiny legs are power packed, especially when they miss the mark and nail me on the side of the head. After shaking off the dizziness, I regroup and help point John's five little piggies in the right direction - and away from my second ball of energy, Ethan. After all, isn't that what moms do best?
In between the bouts of energetic Olympics and Sesame Street, I try to get a bit of Jesus in there. Like many moms and dads, my husband and I have a deep desire to see our two boys grow up shining with the light of our Lord. It says in Deuteronomy 11:18-19, "Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."
What does that mean? Does sending him to Sunday school to learn from the teacher count? Sure, but that's not enough. How about teaching him to say the blessing at every meal? Okay, that counts for something. But we must get the message from our lips to their hearts.
Like his mom, he has an insatiable love for chocolate. You can't blame the kid. He knows it's junk food. He calls it junk food, and he knows too much is a no-no.
One afternoon he asked his grandmother, Nana, for some of his leftover Easter bunny. Against her grandma-will, she said, "No, you're Mommy doesn't want you to eat any more today."
He then held out his hand and added, "Here, hold Jesus. He doesn't need to be in the kitchen." Moseying into the other room, John grabbed the Easter bunny and reveled in the decadent, "Mommy said no" dessert. He licked the last drop of melted chocolate off his hands (all under the interested and watchful eye of Nana) and headed back to the living room.
"Okay," the little sinner said, "I'll take Jesus back now," and he stretched out his palm and waited for the deposit from Nana.
It reminded me that Jesus wants to be there every moment. He's desperate for our relationships. Jesus is watching long past the blessing, and after Sunday school lets out for the week. He's even there when we are doing something we know is wrong.
We must share with our children that Jesus is there when we dip into the forbidden leftover Easter candy, and during the times of obedience. Even at the age of three, children need to have His words on their minds and in their hearts. It's our duty as parents to show them how to grow into a loving relationship with the One that made them. His greatest desire is to be with us at all times.
When the events of that day were relayed back to me I giggled. But I also realized that a three-year-old taught me a valuable lesson. Christ is to be the center of our lives. We can't push Him aside when His truths are inconvenient.
As the toys continue to whip past my head at a record speed, I pray that I will be able to keep Christ's words on the tablet of my children's heart.