The owner of these cute little toes recently turned ten.
Somehow an entire decade has passed. A decade of diapers, milestones, crayons, bandaids, tears, time outs, babydolls, zoo trips, library visits, hikes, snuggles, and discoveries.
My little girl isn't quite so little anymore. We gave her clothes for her birthday and she was thrilled. Times have changed.
As much as my mama-heart feels nostalgic and a little sad to see her stretching up tall and looking less like a child, I am thankful. She is growing in her understanding of the world. She is growing in her own abilities. She is growing in love for others. She is growing in her love for Jesus.
She is my biological child, but my greatest privilege and blessing has been mothering her spiritually. John says it well, speaking of his spiritual children - there is no greater joy.
"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." 3 John 1:4In the past week we have opened a new chapter in our spiritual journey together - helping her to learn to feed on God's Word for herself.
The women's Bible study I'm currently leading consists of your Bible, a blank journal, and a set of questions to help you dig in on your own. The "REAP" method - Read, Examine, Apply, Pray - has been around for a long time. Sometimes it's known as "SOAP" - Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer. Both have the same idea: using an inductive study method to help you dig into God's Word in your personal quiet time and challenge yourself to live out the truths you discover.
It's a method you never outgrow. And it's a method a child can use. This week, I began to teach AG to REAP.
We opened Bibles and journals together, and pen in hand, began to study the book of Matthew. She looked over my shoulder and copied me as I outlined and found repeated, key words. We shared what truths we were seeing. We pondered what those truths look like lived out.
I love being AG's mama. And I love being her teacher. A decade into the journey of parenting, I feel the press of the passing of time; with a decade behind us and less than a decade of training before us, I most of all want to be her discipler. The person who tells her, "be an imitator of me, as I am of Christ." (1 Corinthians 11:1). There is no greater legacy for our kids.
I'm thankful to live in a day when there are so many great resources available to help us teach our kids God's Word. But the greatest resource ever? Parents who are in a full sprint after Jesus and invite their kids to follow them in pursuit of the King.
A decade is behind us. Those little toes aren't so little anymore. But parenting isn't about keeping little ones little - it's about launching the next generation. I pray that her faith won't stay little. I pray that I would follow Jesus well, and that if she looks more like her mama, she'll look more like Jesus.