Abby brings books home from school every night to read for homework. The kids take a test the next morning at school to see how much they truly comprehend from the reading. It really is a great tool to check their understanding or how they need help in comprehension as they learn to read. I know I have said a million times, but I am so happy with the elementary school in our district, and especially the teachers.
This weekend, Abby brought home a book about a little Indian girl. In this book, this girl had lost her family and many in her tribe from drought and famine. She clung to her little buck-skinned doll that her deceased parents had previously given her for comfort. In the book, the "spirits" of the Indian tribe had told them that they must sacrifice their most honored possessions in order for rain and food to once again grace the earth for their livelihood.
I watched my oldest child during this moment in the book...as she continued brokenhearted through the tough events that followed in the story. Tears filled her eyes and her voice broke as the story-tale Indian girl sacrificed her beloved doll into the fire for the "spirits". I then witnessed her smile as the book ended with a bounty of harvest, rain, and food as the "spirits" were pleased at this Indian girl's sacrifice of her beloved treasure.
It was watching my dear daughter's reaction at the end of the story that I realized the next step in my parental duty...
Walking to the girl's bookshelf, I pulled out the large blue book of Bible stories.
"Girls, that was a "fiction story", meaning it was not real. The story I am about to tell you is a TRUE story...completely real."...
I then thumbed to the story about how Abraham, under God's instruction, went to Mount Moriah in order to sacrifice his son, Isaac...and how God provided another way, a ram, in the stead of Isaac.
After reading this story and wiping the tears pouring out of my oldest daughter's eyes, I thanked God for giving me the opportunity to share his love, his will, his glory with our children. It was at this moment that I told m daughters that they were actually not our children, but the children of our Lord. That our God has lent them to us to raise in this world to love and honor him. That I loved them with every ounce in me, but God loved them more...even though we could not fully understand that concept on this earth. That is was imperative that they did everything in their life to honor and obey the God who gave us breath, no matter what trials and circumstances envelop their lives.
It was a defining moment in our little family...a night where our girls wept for the love of our Savior. A night where they understood that their sins were ultimately forgiven through the blood of Jesus. A night where they fell asleep with tears, longing to know God more.
It was an emotional and exhilarating night, and I thank God for these precious children he has lent us to raise...for every moment with them, however difficult and exhausting they may be.