A few years ago I worked in the toddler Sunday School class. One Sunday around Christmas time, after teaching the class, I was struck by how evident it was that these little people have parents who were very obviously taking time to invest in their children. Even at their young ages, there was fruit that could be seen. I wrote this post to encourage these parents to persevere in their callings.
Dear tired mom who barely made it to church this morning,
Today I served in the class where your toddler spends an hour and a half every Sunday morning. I love those toddlers. Toddler’s tell you everything they are thinking. Toddler’s are brutally and hilariously honest. They cry hard, laugh hard, play hard, and love with all their hearts! I learn a lot from those little people.\
Here’s what I learned today:
(I capitalize what toddler’s say because when they answer a question, they always answer very loudly with their arms flinging over their head!)
1) They are learning to pray.
Teacher: Who wants to thank God for our snack?
Toddlers: I DO! I DO!
2) They are learning to read their Bible.
Teacher: What day is almost here?
Teacher: What is Christmas about?
3 year Ember: GOD!
Teacher: Have you seen God?
4 year Caleb: YES!
Teacher: You have seen God?
4 year old Caleb: YES! IN MY BIBLE!
3 year old Ember: I HAVE A BIBLE, MY DADDY HAS A BIBLE, AND MY
MOMMY HAS A BIBLE!
3 year old Colby: I HAVE A BIBLE TOO!
3) They love their families.
Teacher:It’s time to pick up the toys. Your mommy and daddy are coming soon.
(Toddlers sing a song about cleaning up, then they race to the door, lean over the gate, and peer down the hall to get a glimpse of their family. )
2 year old Hazel: “MOMMA IS COMING! DADA IS COMING! BABY SIMEON IS COMING!
4) They are learning to say, “I’m sorry.” They are learning to forgive.
Teacher: Did you just grab that out of his hand?
4 year old boy: Yea…
Teacher: What do you say?
4 year old boy: I’m sorry. (he hands the toy back.)
The boys continue playing happily.
5) You spend time with them.
Me: I’ve missed you! I haven’t seen you in 100 years!
4 year old Caleb: WE WENT AWAY. WE WERE AT GRANDMA AND GRANDPAS!
Me: Did you get your Christmas tree yet?
4 year old Caleb: YEA! MOMMY AND DADDY TOOK US OUT TO GET ONE!
3 year old Ember: WILL YOU READ TO ME?
Me: Sure. What do you want me to read.
3 year old Ember: THE CAT IN THE HAT!
Me: Do you read that one at home?
3 year old Ember: YEP!
Precious, tired mom, you are sacrificing so much! You are sacrificing time, sleep, and even some of your own interests to invest in these children. As you serve, teach, train, and set an example for these precious little people, you are building a solid foundation for their lives. When you choose to be faithful to your calling as a wife and mom, they are learning how to choose to be faithful to their callings.
Every time you say no to social media, turn off your computer, choose to watch “The Little Mermaid” for the 800th time, take the time to read them a book, or, choose to take facebook and twitter off your iPhone, so you won’t be distracted from those real life people in front of you. Every time they see you sacrificing what you might like to do to pour out for them, you are choosing to be faithful to your calling. You are choosing them.
You are making it easier for them to see God.
Don’t think for a minute that you are wasting your time or missing out. The fruit is already there in your toddler. Yes. It’s already there. And if you persevere, the fruit will be there as they grow up. Don’t lose heart. Don’t grow weary. I promise that the time you miss on social media, facebook, Twitter, your computer, or even an interest or gifting you have…what you may miss during this short season of being a mom is nothing compared to what you may miss if you choose to push them aside for the temporary satisfaction of all those things that are clamoring for your attention.
I need to say that again:
“…what you may miss during this short season of being a mom is nothing compared to what you will miss if you choose to push them aside for the temporary satisfaction of all those things that are clamoring for your attention.