Saturday, March 22, 2008

What does your badge say?

My youngest has become quite the social butterly lately. Yesterday, for example, while in line at Target, he looked up and asked our cashier what her name was. She replied and asked his and he answered, "I'm "J", nice to meet you Kristy", and proceeded to give her five.

While at dinner at CiCi's, his desire to meet and greet took over again. As we stood in line waiting to get some brownies, he tapped the leg of the man in front of us and it went something like this, "What's your name?". "My name is Tony." "What's your name?" "My name is "J" , the five year old boy!" I add the exclamation because at this point he was hopping with excitement as he got to pronounce, "the five year old boy!"

My husband commented to me earlier this week that he's been wearing his new age like a badge of honor. And, he has. Many things are now linked to the fact that he is five and he is tinkled pink by this.

Likewise, my middle son recently had a birthday and turned 7. Now he doesn't go around proclaiming his age for everyone but his "badge" has become that he got a Nintendo DS (from his uncle) and some Heeleys skate shoes. He is now "M" the DS-playing-skate-shoe-wearing boy.

And, of course, not to be outdone, my oldest also has his badge. He loves vehicles. Specifically cars (Nissan Altima, Nissan 350z) but closely followed by trucks (Dodge Ram, Semis). While he doesn't go around announcing that he is "N" the car loving boy.... Oh, wait. He does! He tells anyone who will listen what he loves and thereby shares that which he so closely identifies with. His badge, if you will.

As I lay in bed this morning (it's now 5am) and couldn't get back to sleep, it struck me that my children are illustrating perfectly the need for identification. We all have this intense need to identify with someone or something. This revelation, though not completely new, certainly illuminates the intense need to help and guide my children on their path.

Though their "badges" right now are harmless enough, not too far down the road, they could become much less so. How much more crucial is it that I share the love of Christ so that they can have/make the choice of their badge reading "follower of Christ".

I recently read someone's opinion that we shouldn't share our faith with our children. Rather, we should allow them to come to their own decisions and not "influence" them. Besides being unscriptural, my children are perfect examples of why this is not valid. We all have this inherent need and can only make an informed decision of what badge to wear if we are exposed. While I cannot control whether my children choose to be followers of Christ, I can control whether or not they hear the message and recognize the opportunity that has been laid out before them.

Blessings to you as we celebrate the resurrection of our Risen Lord. May it be a time of celebration, confirmation and adoration. And as you go about it all; what does your badge say?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Happy Birthday....

To my youngest. His birthday culminated with a tiny gathering at the local pizza/game place with immediate family and Grandma and Grandpa. He loved every minute of it. He is now a big 5 year old and very proud of it.

Something I started in the past few years has been to include my boys in the preparations for their celebrations. For my youngest that meant dictating the type of cake he wished for, getting a birthday list for gift ideas, deciding on the pizza place, going to the party store to gather decorations and "goodies" for his guests (brothers) and ended with great celebration as he helped make his cake and got to lick the beaters. Every inch of his body was taken over by excitement as he prepared and anticipated his birthday. It was glorious to watch and I'm so glad that the Lord has blessed me with this particular joy.

And so, after the pizza and cake were eaten, the presents opened and the general merriment was coming down from it's intense climax, I reflected on the joyful experience. It occurred to me that the preparation for the party, the total involvement of my youngest in it all contributed a great deal to his excitement and enjoyment. Isn't that a picture of the great love the Father has for us? We could simply exist here on this planet waiting expectantly for His return and eternity, but God, in His intense love for us, has allowed us to be a part of the preparation. How glorious!