(This is a picture our friend Bryan took after Mary Aplin’s baby dedication. http://www.abryanphoto.com/)
Last Thursday, Pace was still hanging on to the remnants of a fever, and she couldn’t go to Mother’s Morning Out. It was hard on me. I wait feverishly for each one that rolls around, planning my week around really getting things done during that time. This particular Thursday, I had around 400 wedding invitations that had to be stuffed, sealed, stamped and put in the mail before 5:00. So, I lay Mary Aplin down for her nap and joined Pace at the breakfast table for a quick bite and a devotion. This used to be our normal ritual, but since Mary Aplin has started eating breakfast too, I am normally feeding her (instead of myself) while Pace eats. I clarify this because, while saying goodbye to my breakfast, I have also said goodbye to a lot of my devotions. At least, they are much more sporadic.
I feel Pace watching me while I read John. Suddenly she says, through a big bite of cheese omelet, “Mommy, will you read that to me?”
“Pace, there are no pictures in this book. Why don’t I read to you from your Bible later.” In my mind I’m thinking, “Come on, I just wanted a quiet devotion this one morning.”
“Please Mommy. Please will you read it to me for just a second?” Ok, I cannot sit here and refuse to read to my child from the Bible. I acquiesce. I start reading somewhere halfway through chapter 1 of John. I read a bit and then try to explain in more simple terms what I am saying…The child is enthralled. “More Mommy. Will you keep reading?” This went on through Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine at the wedding. Nicodemus coming to Jesus in the middle of the night, and then Praise Jesus!, I sat there in the morning light and tried my humble best to explain John 3:16 to my 3 year old. It was such a gift…
Now, I will tell you that I had to fight Satan, who kept drawing my eyes over to the wedding invitations scattered all over my dining room table. Beckoning me to stop reading and come be productive. Thank goodness the Holy Spirit spoke more loudly than the devil that particular morning. Assuring me that if God laid out the opportunity before me to share Him, with my own child for goodness sake, He would also provide the time for those stupid invitations. And you know, He did. They were all sealed up and in the mail by 2:30 that afternoon.
After we read from my Bible, Pace ran to get her Bible so that she could see the pictures of what we’d been talking about. I will tell you that there was a line about Jesus being raised up like Moses’ staff–which turned into a snake, and this was by far more intriguing to her than water into wine or salvation. However, I trusted that a seed had been planted in her heart and we’ve spent most of the past week reading about Moses, the burning bush, and that snake/staff incident. So this morning, a week later, I was amazed to see just how well she had been listening.
Jeremiah got a break from work and called to see if we wanted to meet him at a coffee shop for breakfast before I took Pace to MMO. Since you all know how much I love to go out for breakfast :), I threw the girls’ clothes on and we were out the door. After we’d finished eating, I pointed out to Jeremiah that I felt bad because (while we’d been sipping away on coffee) the girls had not had anything to drink. He went up to the counter, and the girl who worked there put some water in a coffee cup, lid and all, and handed it down to Pace. As Pace walked back to the table with her cup, she handled it very carefully, expecting that it held hot coffee. She lifted it gingerly to her lips and you could see the shock register as she discovered she was drinking cold water instead of hot coffee. She looked at me and said, “Did Jesus turn my coffee into water?!”
Y’all, Jeremiah and I both started laughing so hard, I almost spewed my coffee. In her mind, Jesus was in the business of miraculously changing beverages. If water into wine, why not coffee into water? And just as we’d read together a week before, about Jesus explaining to Nicodemus that he would need faith like a child in order to be saved, we saw that childlike faith in action. She never questioned if the miracle was real or not. In fact, she believed so completely that she expected Jesus to be doing the same type of thing in her own sweet little life. I am utterly convicted about doing my devotions more regularly/in front of/with my children. Just as she watches me drinking out of a coffee cup and wants desperately to do the same; I know that watching my hunger for the Word will spur her own hunger. Thank you Lord for the lesson, I pray you’ll help me be consistent, but real, before my little minds.