It is possible that my children may hang out around high schoolers too much. I mean, it kind of comes with the job. Teenagers are at our house all the time and we are at their events, and in their lives, too. We love it, and wouldn't change it for anything. But, occasionally, one of the kids does something that makes me shake my head and throw up an extra prayer that our life filled with teenagers doesn't make them grow up too fast.
Hope has me look over her reading journal each night after she does her homework. Last night, she gave me her journal with a wicked grin on her face. This was what she had written about "Curious George and the Dinosaur Museum."
If you don't know, "pshshsh!" is the equivalent of "duh!" in teenage language. I laughed and told her she couldn't write, "pshshsh!" on her page. She said, "Well, obviously Curious George is the main character of the book. Pshshsh!"
She was right. It was kind of a silly question for that book, but I made her change it anyway. And, I made her get rid of the "like" too...although I can't really blame that one on the teenagers. I use that word way too much.
Hope cracks me up and she is growing and changing before our very eyes. And last Sunday, after church, she told me that she needed help reading her bible so that she could have a relationship with Jesus. She told me she knew she needed one because she wasn't a good friend and she knew if she had a relationship with Jesus that he would help her. So, that night, after some good conversation she prayed and told Jesus that she needed him and wanted to follow him. And I balled my little eyes out.
Hope has always known about Jesus and always believed and Loren and I have struggled a little with how to encourage our kids to make their faith their own. My tendency was to, at the first conversation we had about following Jesus, invite her to "pray the prayer" and seal the deal. I'm not completely sure why that is what always seemed to well up in me in those moments. But, a bigger, hopefully wiser, part of me knew that my kids, each in God's timing, would have to come to this decision on their own, without my rushing it. As Loren and I have talked, we have always said that when our kids recognized their need, it would feel like they really got it, really understood.
On Sunday, Hope faced her need head on. And, I'm not gonna lie, it was hard for this momma to watch her child suffer over the understanding of her sin. But then...oh the joy of watching her giggle at the thought that Jesus has taken it away and will walk with her forever. Her pink, frilly room became the sanctuary of God as we prayed and we basked in His delight.
So, family and friends, when you think of it, pray for Hope. That she would stand firm in her faith. That her life would be guarded from the schemes of the Evil One. That she would fix her eyes on Jesus and run the race marked out for her with faithfulness. That she would be bold and be a light in this world. That she would know in her depths, the delight the Father feels for her, and live out of that place. And...and...and....you get the picture.
And Jesus, the word gratitude...for this life, this child, this redeemed heart...doesn't even come close. Praise your name!