Friday, July 15, 2011

Labors of Love: Discipling Children

By Kaelin

Teaching a Lifestyle

A little disclaimer, the title of this post would have you believe I know everything there is to know about discipling children.  Not even close!  If you talk to me on any average day you will find a very content and joyful Mama, but also a Mama with fears, questions, anxieties, and prayer requests!  Nonetheless,  as a teenager calls herself a driver--or even better, as the 8 year old Josiah found himself to be King (2 Kings 22:1)--so have I the God-given role of discipling children! Just a newbie over here.  Lord help me! 

When I was thinking about a title for this series that would make a cohesive story about my summer, I kept thinking about the term “Labor of Love”.  So, I looked it up!  Here is the first definition I found: productive work performed voluntarily without material reward or compensation.  And I thought, yep, that’s me!  Doing very, very productive work without a chance of the world rewarding me with any sort of compensation!!  Of course, it is the Lord who provides for me, so in reality I am “paid” by Him!  Still,  I do continue to do this work “voluntarily” regardless of the material sacrifices we have to make. Still, the more and more I’m finding, it’s my most favorite job I’ve ever had.

So, what in the world is “disciple-making”?!  I certainly do not know the complete answer, but one thing I do know is that a Disciple is in charge of showing the Disciple's a way of life.  And I think I can do this by showing my children who I am, and who we are as Christ followers.

So I guess that’s what I’m hoping for.  I’m hoping that, in me, my children find a life and a faith worth imitating. One thing I am privileged to have is a lot of time with them.  

Today I sat on our front porch with Luke, playing guitars made of rocks. As I looked up at the brilliant blue sky poking through our luscious tree, the most stunning thought occurred to me.  So I shared it with my son, “Luke, you know we are going to see our God face to face one day? Can you even imagine that?!” His eyes lit up and he squealed, “Yessss!” with all he could muster. I wouldn’t have missed that moment for anything in the world!  

The Joy of Childhood

I have to borrow Meg Hintz’s phrase and say that we are thoroughly enjoying the joy of childhood with our little guys... and their little friends!  These days are so precious. So, so precious!!  And fleeting, too.  A retired man who saw me with my kids at Costco told me, “these are the good ole days!” I totally agree, I think.  He was referring to the time when my kids are little.  He told me he missed his kids.  I appreciated his wisdom!  I read a quote from Dorothy Evslin the other day that got me all choked up: 

“It will be gone before you know it.  The fingerprints on the wall appear higher and higher.  
Then suddenly, they disappear.”      

I know I am not supposed to dwell on what will happen in the future, and I know there will be blessings in being a mother when my children are grown up, too, but it really makes me appreciate each day to know that they have only been entrusted to me at this age for such a short and impressionable time.                                     

Praise the Lord!  When is the last time you saw an adult this excited to lift their hands in praise?  Inspiring, huh?  Sometimes I think these guys are doing a little bit of discipling me!

Partners in Ministry

Thankfully, in all this, I have some wonderful partners in ministry!  The beautiful Mamas at Hope have really kept me sane sometimes. Their fellowship has definitely lightened my spiritual load in the task of making people from scratch!  There is lots to do with these guys.  We are rarely bored!

At the beach.

In addition to moms, I am continuously blessed by anyone at Hope who has taken the time to get into Luke’s world, who have treated him like a little person and made him feel a part of the body at Hope.  Luke LOVES going to Hope.  He looks forward to it with great gusto.  I’m so thankful that he feels he is a part of the church body, feels comfortable to raise his hands in worship, and thinks Jesus is really great.  Thank you, thank you my sweet church.

Learning how to be friends.

“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

1 comment:

  1. Kaelin, this is beautiful. You are such an inspiration! You echo my sentiments exactly - I'm blessed to share my good ole days with you! -Becca