Sunday, July 11, 2010

what raising kids is really about

My birthday was a few weeks ago.  Perhaps one of the best gifts I received that day was this post on my Facebook wall.

Happy birthday. I'm so glad you were born. Because, if you would not have been, who knows where I'd be today? I never even heard of God until I met you when I was a little girl. My life could've taken a WHOLE different path. Love you, girl!

This was written by my friend Leah.  We were neighbors when I was in 4th, 5th and 6th grade.  She was one year younger than me.  Our brothers had the same name and the four of us played together a lot.  They had two younger sisters, just like we did too.

It was probably the summer after 4th grade and a small church down the street was having a Vacation Bible School.  I don't remember why my mom sent us, or if we asked to go.  But we invited our neighbor friends.  It was safer then, and even though we had to travel about a quarter of a mile on a busy street, we walked to and from VBS each day for a week.  Maybe my mom walked with us some, maybe we were driven some, but I definitely remember the four of us walking alone also.

Leah accepted Jesus as her Savior for the first time that week.  I think we all went back to the same VBS the next summer too.  

We moved away, and then Leah moved to another state with her family.  We kept up through letters.  Her family got involved in church in her new state.  Her faith continued into college, where we could now keep in touch via our college email addresses.  Then we graduated and lost contact.  

Maybe a year ago or so she came to mind and I searched her name on Facebook, and of course I found her!   Leah is married, has three young children and is a working mom like me.  She still loves and serves Jesus.  She hasn't been back to California since moving, but I hope one day we will see each other again.

This is what it's about.  I was just a young girl, not afraid to share my Jesus.  Not afraid to invite my neighbor to VBS with me, at a random church down the street. And she came.  And her life was forever changed.  I was just a vessel.  

My question today is, am I raising my own children this way?  Am I instilling Jesus in their hearts and lives?  Is church a privilege?  One of their favorite places to be?  Or will I one day use it as a punishment?  Will I not listen to their wishes about a church and place my own in higher priority.  

One of the best gifts my parents gave me was the gift of a church.  A church that was home.  And even when their preferences changed, they recognized the value to their children.  And so we stayed.

I hope I raise my children to have a lot of Leah's in their lives.

2 comments:

  1. I have been asking myself the very same questions lately.

    Steph

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  2. That is awesome - what an amazing birthday gift!! It is amazing to me how kids can have such an impact on other kids and not even know it. I pray my kids can have that kind of impact too. It also makes me think "who am I afraid to let my kids hang out with, and how can we reach those kids even though it scares me?" Awesome testimony!

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