There goes a ball of play doh rolling through the house. You are drawn to hover over it... but you don’t want to stop it from rolling. It’s white, so soft, and so impressionable; it’s brand new. Along its journey through the house, it picks up dog hair, goldfish crumbs, and a little bit of that Carolina mud we can’t seem to keep off our floors. It rambles from room to room, bumping along. You wince and want to guard the ball as is dodges chair legs, toys, and children’s feet while they dash around the house. The play doh ball makes its way closer to the stairs... a foot away, six inches away... Just in time, you shift your weight and prayerfully send a wobbly foot out to bump it back rolling the other direction. Phew... that was close. You take a breath, thinking the danger is over. Suddenly, it begins barreling faster, picking up more and more grit, food, and speed along the way. Before you can even think about pulling it shut, there the play doh goes flying out your front door... You scan the yard, and that play doh is nowhere to be seen. All you can do now is rest in the peace that you guarded that little ball with your life, and pray that it gathered enough nutrients in your home to sustain it.
How many play doh balls do you have rolling through your house? One? Four? Maybe you’re an Aunt or a Grandfather and they only visit you a few times a week. What are your little balls of play doh picking up as they skim the floors of your home? And no, don’t worry, I am not judging you if it’s been a while since you mopped. What sounds do they hear? What conversations and tones of voices surround them?
Every child our amazing Father created is different and handcrafted to be yours. Some begin rolling quickly and pick up everything they see. Some are more bashful and need a little more guidance to make their way around. No matter how many kids you have in your home, no matter what age, no matter what shape, no matter what race, they ALL have two common needs. Love and guidance. Love is natural for most. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you care deeply for your children, and you want to do as much as possible in the small amount of time you have them under your roof. The guidance part is the challenge. These little balls of play doh are so very impressionable. They pick up everything, they roll into places they should never be, and they understand so much more than we give them credit for. How can we be sure that they pick up what they need while they are in our homes? How do we keep them safe from running into things but still let them discover life?
There is no perfect parent, no perfect home, and no perfect childhood. You are going to mess up; you are human. My heart for your family is that you will begin to see the beauty of raising a child in a different way. Step back, and see it for the amazing yet messy job it is. You don’t need to be perfect. Just present. Just there to guide them. What a privilege, what an honor, that our Lord thought YOU would be fit to guide this child. Every time I think of how God chose me to minister to your children at Covenant, I am humbled beyond words. What a heavy but incredible burden that we have to raise these impressionable and brilliant children up in the way that they should go! (Proverbs 22:6)
I am so very excited to partner with you along your journey of raising your family. I am honored that The Lord chose me to minister to your children, and I hope that you are honored to have that same role in your home! Your ministry of a mother, father, grandmother, uncle, etc is one that should not be taken lightly. There is a perfectly thought out plan that brought you into that child’s life. Mine and my husband’s heart is to be your encouragers, prayer partners, friends, and voices of reason when you think you may squish your little play doh ball... Whatever you need in this stage of raising your family, let’s do it together. Let’s stand against that unruly mud that wants to stick to them and guide them in Christ’s truth, life, and love. There is power in a partnership, especially if that partnership includes Christ. (Matthew 18:20)
Lord, give us strength and wisdom to know what our little play doh balls need. Help us to give them guidance but also give them freedom to discover you on their own. Help us to be there. Help us to be listeners, encouragers, and guides along this journey. Give us your truth to hand on to them.
In Jesus’ name we pray,