My 2 year old was snuggled up to me in our white wicker rocking chair. Head on my chest, hugging her tiny brown bear, her hair still smelled like honey from a bath. I really enjoy putting my children to sleep and try to savor those sweet moments. It’s a time of quiet where I can enjoy them as simply as possible, where I can pray over them, and process with God this whole parenting journey. This night, a new question jumped out of the darkness and sat heavily in front of my eyes.
“Am I teaching her enough about Jesus?”
I had no idea how to answer myself, and so I thought surely I wasn’t. We didn’t pray together or read bibles stories before bed every night. She does have 2 Veggie Tales movies, but I avoid them because (cringing here) they can drive me a little nuts. Maybe I need to go buy some kids books about the bible? What about those sunday school felt boards or puppets? Should I be setting aside daily time for this?
I hate it when I feel like I’m failing in an area (I like winning, I like succeeding). And that night I hated the feeling that I couldn’t shake the question and still with all my processing had no answer and no plan of how to change it. So I finally put my precious girl in her bed and went about my night as usual, because maybe I’d get some clarity in the morning.
After nursing my youngest twice in the night, an early start to the day, breakfast, changing diapers, etc. I had honestly forgotten completely about what worried me so much the night before. I was playing with the girls on a big quilt in the living room and Kai gets up and lays her hands on her sister’s shoulders. She starts babbling away and looks from Sage to me to the ceiling, and while I had not a clue what she was saying, I knew exactly what she was doing.
My toddler was laying hands on and praying over her baby sister.
I was glued to her, listening intently, and started tearing up, making sure I was quiet so as not to interrupt this moment. I wanted to see what she would do. She eventually took her hands off her sister and then came and put her hands on my shoulders.
My toddler was laying hands on and praying over me.
When she finished, I thanked her and told her how sweet she was and we went straight back to playing, as if this was the most normal occurring thing in the world – because it should be.
In that moment, God clearly and gently spoke to me that I was doing more than “enough”. I was showing her who Jesus was and that is worth more than a million teachings. The Thursday before this, we had hosted a leadership meeting for our church. The purpose of our meetings is to minister to and encourage each other. We always end up laying hands on someone and pray over them. Our leaders’ children are not only allowed at these meetings, they are welcomed and enjoyed. And my toddler watching us do this, taking it in, and then doing it herself – it’s what is amazing about the children being there. It’s what is amazing about being an example.
So while I fully intend to continue telling and teaching my girls about Jesus, I’ll leave the bulk of the learning to showing them who He is and what He does.