So Brandon and I are terrible at this blog thing. We got a new site, were really good at writing for a few weeks and then…. nothing.
So now I’m trying to make up for it. So I have posted something I wrote in my parents enewsletter at the church. Here goes:
This word has been on my mind and my heart a lot lately.
This past Sunday, during our Bible Story for Kids Connection, we were visited by two puppets–ravens–who told us the story of Elijah & Elisha. I wish all of you could have seen the children’s reactions throughout the story. Many of us have never seen a group so captivated.
During the second part of the story, the puppets reappeared now and then, poking their heads out with a postcard to update us on the journey of Elijah. The first time it happened, the children were startled and immediately intrigued!
Two of our youngest members in particular, a brother and sister, caught my eye. When the first raven poked its head through the puppet set, it startled all of us. The little girl became scared and buried her head in her leader’s arm. Meanwhile, her brother squealed with delight, and throughout the rest of the story he was so excited he could barely contain himself –rocking back & forth, nearly screaming with the pure anticipation.
There’s that word again: anticipation.
Watching this young boy wait and wait and wait for the next raven appearance was sweet. He captured the beauty of this word.
However, both these children exemplify what I see among our children here at Immanuel. Many of our children can hardly wait to be older, to do bigger things. Our society tends to give in to those demands, encouraging them to grow up too quickly.
However, when we immediately satisfy every demand, we miss out on the joy of anticipation. What we are trying to teach our children here at Immanuel is that this waiting period is sweet. It’s important. So much learning happens in times of anticipation.
On the other hand, there are also those children who fear the next thing. They are afraid of this important change. They don’t want to see what comes next. They just want to enjoy the comfort of what is. Society gives in to these as well, allowing them to stay where they are. Many children are not learning important lessons as they go forward and are remaining in a state of extended adolescence well into their 20s.
Interestingly enough both children need the same lesson. They both need the comfort of the Savior to calm their hearts, calm their bodies, comfort theirs fears, and prepare them for what is ahead. We as a church family can help them embrace the joy of anticipating what is to come. Sometimes we can’t even imagine waiting and other times we want nothing more than to prolong where we are. But the Savior is there to guide us in both times.
So, I ask you, How are you practicing anticipation with your children? It’s wonderful for them to be excited, but sometimes we need to keep them from rushing ahead. When they’re scared, how are we helping them move forward despite these fears?
What I love about our Savior is that he welcomes both types of children. He loves to walk with them on their spiritual journey. He is there to provide whatever help it is that they need.
So, I guess the question then becomes, How are we pointing our children toward the Savior?