It’s funny how my outlook on the idea of a new year has changed since becoming a parent.- Beth Cofield- Lee-Scott Cornerstone Kids Site Director
My “resolutions” have evolved from the old stand-bys like losing weight, meeting some new milestone of success in my career, or adding some level of organization to my house.
These days I find myself challenged with the idea that I have one little person (soon to be two in 2014) that I have the primary responsibility of raising to become like Jesus. However, as I reflect on 2013 in the spiritual life of my 2-year-old daughter, Avery, I realize how beautiful it is to see the way others can impact her in ways that I cannot.
Sure, I’m her mom, and with the nature of my job, I happen to be the one who orchestrates the activities in her Pebble Path class on Sunday mornings as well, so you’d think I’d have this unique super ability to have a kid that sees Jesus better than a lot of others her age.
The truth is, though, that I’m just a mom like anybody else, one who struggles to find time to have meaningful spiritual conversations with my child in between cleaning up toys and spills, cooking dinner, telling her to get back in bed for the 8th time in one night, getting my work responsibilities done, and still making my marriage a priority. There are days when I look back and ask myself if I did anything at all to show her Jesus.
God isn’t hindered by our limitations, though, and can use a little of what I do, a little of what you do, and a little of what someone else does to reveal Himself to each child in our midst. I think I saw this the most clearly at about 5:30 a.m. one morning a few months ago. I’d been struggling to try and find personal time with God in my days, so I started setting my alarm for 5:00 am, hoping I could get up and have that time before Avery was awake. I began to get discouraged when suddenly, the very week I began, Avery started deciding that her wake up time would be around 5:30 each morning. I felt like, even despite my best efforts, this time with God was being robbed from me, and it took a dear friend to point out to me that God was the one waking her up. I began praying for Him to show me a new way to look at this time in the morning with my child interrupting my quiet time with God.
The next day, I was up reading my Bible, and sure enough, my little one walked in at about 5:30 and asked, “Mommy, what are you doing?” I told her that I was reading my Bible, to which she responded, “You got Naaman in that Bible?” (note that I had never mentioned the name Naaman to her before). I told her I did but that my Bible didn’t have pictures or anything like hers, and still she curled up next to me in my armchair and asked me to read it to her. So I searched until I found Naaman’s story and started to read it to her from the NIV text, amazed at how she understood most of the language and knew the story so well that she added in comments like, “He’s got bad boo boos,” and “He needs to go wash in the stinky river!”
I learned two important lessons from this experience:
- Being up in the morning reading my own Bible can teach Avery just as much, if not more, about what it’s like to follow Jesus than trying to come up with some preschooler-friendly devotion activity. The same goes for anything that we as parents do in our own spiritual lives. Our kids see it!
- Somebody else is making a kingdom investment in my child. I had never told her the story of Naaman, but somebody on a Sunday morning took the time to make this story real to her, and it stuck with her. Again, this was just as good, if not better than the impact I could have made myself from reading her a story in her Jesus Storybook Bible.
So here are my New Year’s Resolutions: 1) to let my daughters see what it looks like for me to follow Jesus, in serving others, spending time with the Lord, and building relationships with those close to me, and 2) choose 3-5 children that I can make a kingdom impact with this year. A few will be children of my close friends, and a few will be kids that I am able to connect with closely on Sunday mornings at Cornerstone. I’m going to write names in a place that’s visible to me every day so that they are always on my mind.
Beth Cofield- Lee-Scott Cornerstone Kids Site Director
Our Sunday Cornerstone Kids curriculum lends itself wonderfully to this kind of partnership as well. If you’re a parent, a Sunday morning volunteer with our kids, or you want to be one in the future, check out what we’re doing this month in Pebble Path and Rock City. Our focus is on Jesus’s miracles in Pebble Path and on what the Bible says about knowledge in Rock City, complete with videos and other resources that are easy to use and allow parents and leaders to be on the same team. || Find out what we are teaching this Month.||
Did you know…
In addition to the wonderful resources available on our website, we are offering a three-week parenting series, “Equip: Parents,” January 16, 23 and 30 from 6:15-7:15 pm.
Mike Darnell, Professional Counselor and Life Coach will lead, inspire and encourage us as parents to envision, plant, cultivate and enjoy spiritual fruit in the lives of our children. The sessions build on each another so you will want to attend all three. Childcare is available. Take a step to grow the faith of your family in this New Year and sign-up today!