Every night we pray. Simon is starting to ask some deep questions.
Simon: I want to see Jesus. How do I see him?
Me: Well Jesus is in heaven with God. You get to see him when you die.
Simon: But I want to see Jesus alive. How can I see Jesus while he’s still alive?
Me: I don’t know. That is a good question we can ask pastor Jon.
[confers with pastor]
Me: I asked Pastor Jon your question. When Jesus was alive he could only see a few people. not all of the people. So he went to heaven so the Holy Spirit could come and live in everybody.
Simon: But I don’t want the Holy Spirit to see everybody. I only want Jesus to see me while he’s alive.
We sang a new song in church and Simon has been singing it at home.
Simon: Better is one day in your courts, Better is one day in your house. Better is one day in your courts.
Me: Do you know what that song means Simon?
Me: It means that spending one day in God’s house is better than any other day. It is the very best day.
Simon: How do I go there?
Me: Well, God’s house is in heaven.
Simon: I want to go there when I am alive with Jesus and see the dead people.
One thing I really want to do with my kids is celebrate the Advent season. Beyond just a countdown with the chocolate, because we’ve been doing that since Simon’s first Christmas at 5 months old. A friend recommended the Jesse Tree for advent. Simon is a little young, but he likes the stories and this might also work as a good transition back to bedtime stories instead of bedtime TV in January.
But this month we have been reading stories about the lineage of Christ, and Simon’s understanding is…interesting.
On creation and the fall of man:
Me: Simon, what is sin?
Simon: Sin is a spirit (I think he means Satan) that took all the apples and put everyone in time out.
On Noah (promise/rainbow) and Jacob (ladder):
Me: Simon, what is God’s promise?
Simon: When he climbed the ladder and saw God.
On Jesse and David:
Simon: And David’s daddy told him to the giant. And he took a rock and threw it like this and the giant fell down.
And every story /question session ends with: And now can I have the treat chocolate?
We are getting there.
If you are interested. this is the book we are using: The Advent Jesse Tree: Devotions for Children and Adults to Prepare for the Coming of the Christ Child at Christmas Next year I hope to make ornaments to go along with the symbols. *affiliate link.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
Caleb was baptized a few weeks ago. It was just a normal church service, nothing fancy. I wore heels. Caleb wore the same romper Simon wore. I was a little nervous about fit, since Simon was 7 weeks and Caleb 7 months. Luckily with Simon I used a romper than had been gifted and was 6 mos size and I didn’t worry that it was big. After there was Wendy’s and cake.
This morning Simon was babbling and then at the end of it said Jesus loves ME! Rob asked if Jesus loved Mama and Daddy too and he said No, Jesus loves ME! So I guess we are doing something right.
I don’t talk about faith much in this space. I’m not sure why that is – partially because it’s hard to put words to something I hold so close, but I know there are others who believe differently. But I am a Christian. I grew up in the Baptist church and was baptized at 13. Now part of the Presbyterian church, we baptized Simon at two months.
I often wonder how to start teaching Simon about Jesus. At 23 months, there isn’t a lot we can do. But I want to start teaching him now, so that it becomes a part of his fiber, and when he is older and aware, I want God to be something that has always been there. If nothing I want him to know he is loved.
There are a few things we have started to incorporate into his bedtime routine.
We don’t always read a story, but our children’s bibles are in the bedtime rotation. At first I was afraid that they were too complex, but when I really looked at them I saw that the stories are only a page, so short enough for Simon’s tiny attention span. The cover of one of them has Noah’s Ark and Simon really likes the “giraffe Jesus book.”
Stories are followed by prayers. A workshop at our church recently gave me this template for praying with young children. He doesn’t like to say “I’m sorry”…
How to Pray:
Thank you for _____
I’m sorry I _____
God bless _____
Then I sing him a song. He likes Jesus Loves Me, and there are a few others he’s starting to learn.
That’s our routine. If anyone reading has more tips on incorporating teaching God to toddlers, I’d love to hear them.
PS – We don’t listen to a ton of music, but I do play Pandora some. I searched “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” and have a good station that plays a lot of the songs I remember from Sunday School and some new ones too.