The Heart of a Child

It never fails, every year at Christmastime, I am humbled by my children. I know some people get tired of hearing mothers “brag” about their kids, but there are definitely times when we are entitled to bragging rights, and I feel this is one of them.

Each year, when I request Christmas lists from my kids, I am blessed by their precious little hearts.

Here are the lists I received this year – word for word.

    Taylor’s Christmas List

0 CDs Kids Worship
1 Radio that works with CDs
2 Sneakers (hers are worn out)
3 Stroller for my baby dolls
4 To Obey

And to
be
nice, kind and most important one is number 4 to obey. Please help me with that. Love,Tay

    Ryan’s Christmas List

Lego City things
Bey Blades
Baseball Cards

    Garrett’s List

pillow
sleeping bag
blanket
alarm clock

When I received Garrett’s list, I said ” Hey bud, you have pillows, a sleeping bag and lots of blankets, why are they on your list?” His reply was “Yeah, I don’t really need anything, but an alarm clock.”

    Darren’s List

1 Capo
2 music stand
3 mp3 player ( note he didn’t ask for an iPod)
4 Hunter’s safety course with Dad

    Justin’s list

new drawstring backpack
paint ball/air soft stuff

As the kids get older, their lists tend to get more complicated and pricey. I am so proud of my two older boys. Justin and Darren are highly deprived compared to today’s “normal” middle schoolers, or so the world would say. They don’t have cell phones, iPods, laptops or any of the things most kids have today. They don’t have an xbox, a Playstation and a ds. We don’t have TV. They don’t spend hours playing video games or texting friends. Although they would like to have some of these things, they are respectful of our decisions and appreciate and understand the reasons we don’t allow them to have everything their little hearts desire.

If you read my blog “Giving and Thanksgiving”, you know that we received an unexpected check in the mail last week and are planning to give it away. With everything that was in me, I did NOT want to let go of it. When we talked to the kids about this money, I told them how difficult it was for me to accept that God wanted us to give this money away. It is a great learning moment when kids see that their parents are imperfect and they can confess their shortcomings and struggles. We asked them if they had some ideas of what we should do with the money, and they did. They came up with two ideas. One was take gifts to a nursing home, the other was a children’s hospital. We didn’t mention either of these, they came up with them on their own. What big hearts they have!! In the end, they decided that they would like to buy gifts for the kids at the hospital. I have called twice, but haven’t gotten any response. I’m hoping this will work out. I know it will bless their hearts. I’m so proud of my amazing children and their desire to help others!

We as parents are supposed to be teaching our children, but so often, I learn from them. We have set guidelines for our children and expect them to abide by them, however many times, we don’t live up to these expectations ourselves. Example: I don’t like the kids to listen to secular music. I believe it fills their heads with garbage, yet there are times when the kids aren’t around and I turn the radio to a secular station. Do I think that I am somehow above the negative influence of secular music? Of course not! Why then, do I do this? Why would I watch a movie that I don’t want my 13-year-old to watch? Do I feel I am above being influenced by secular culture? Do I put others before myself, others outside of my family?

Let’s humble ourselves before our children and before God. Mark 10:15 says “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

God, soften my heart and open eyes. I long to have a child-like faith. Thank you so much for blessing me with five wonderful children. I give them all to you. Continue to fill their hearts with a strong love and compassion for others and a desire to be kingdom builders. I know You have great things in store for them. Give me strength and wisdom as I raise them for You!! Each day is a new challenge. Give me courage to rise above the day-to-day battles and overcome the challenges you have set before me. Give me a contented heart so that I may have true joy in this life You have given me.

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