Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Behold Your Little Ones

I don't want to forget this age and how cute she is when she cuddles with her blanket and me, and sucks her thumb.

Learning from the Little Ones

Today Maurie was wearing a purple dress with pretty flowers on the front. At first I was a little annoyed that she wanted to wear it for the second day in a row, and then I stopped and admired how easy it is for children to decided what they like, and without any shame, wear repeatedly what they love with joy. Maurie is not thinking about whether or not anyone is going to like what she wears; she simply wears it because she likes it.

Brooklyn has a sense of adventure right now that helps me to see the world differently. She is about 14 months old and has been walking since she was 9 months, so she is very able to explore now. A few days ago she was playing in the dirt in our garden. She squeezed the mud in her hands, threw it, put it in her mouth and immersed herself in the experience of dirt. Occasionally she would walk to a new area, but she was completely content. She is so present when she does anything and it is the first time nearly every time she experiences something lately. I want to wake up ready to be present more often. I want to squeeze, taste and immerse myself in the daily events of my life so that I can really enjoy it. Brooklyn is so uninterested in TV, phones and computers. She likes to mess with them just to get a response from us, but she is unscathed by the screens that seem to consume our attention far too often.

What the Scriptures Teach Us about Children

I learn something from my children everyday and I am determined to pay attention and not miss the lessons they can teach.

In Matthew 18, verses 1-6 we learn a lot about what God thinks about little children.

At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
So, I read this and it is confirmed again that children can teach us so much. I have a special duty to care for and "receive" the children God has sent to me. God knows the trust, the love, the forgiveness, the humility, the strength and the obedience that children naturally demonstrate and if I will open my eyes and "behold" my kids, I will become a little more like God each day.

There is a part in the Book of Mormon when Jesus Christ comes to visit the people living on the American continent, after his resurrection. He has been spending a lot of time teaching, healing and blessing the people there. At one point, he asks for all the children to come to him and he blesses them one by one. After he is done, he weeps and speaks to all there, "Behold your little ones." What they saw afterwards is the heavens open and angels surrounding them, encircled with fire and the angels ministered to the children.

This is a powerful image. This event convinces me that God's love for little children is without comparison, and that we should literally and figuratively behold our little ones. I am taking this to heart and starting to record what I learn from my little ones weekly.

A Challenge/Invitation

I started recording months ago in my personal hand-written journal, but I challenge you to join me in my quest to learn from the children in our lives and share our lessons with each other. It inspires me to hear how children are teaching as much or more than we are teaching them. What have you learned from children this week? This invitation is for anyone that associates or cares for children, not just parents. Please comment below!



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