I wrote this when I was 18 years old, which would have made Gracie about 4 years old at the time. Also making her the cutest ever. Also making this a #ThinkBackThursday…
Pardon my love for ellipses at the time(…)
Whatever you write on the heart of a child
No water can wash away
The sand may be shifted when billows are wild
And the efforts of time may decay
Some stories may parish, some songs may be forgotten
But this graven record—time changes it not
Whatever you write on the heart of a child
A story of gladness or care
That heaven has blessed or earth defiled
Will linger unchangeable there…
“And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.”//“Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
For anyone on the brink of being a parent, who has been a parent, or who works with kids of any age: realize the gift and responsibility that has been given to you.
G-d not only gives children for the purpose of raising but instructing and to personally keep YOURSELF in check…
One fine, freezing Monday afternoon an Ice storm hit Owasso, OK. At the time I was at church working with Kevin, Kara, Nich and Francyne (Frankie). Nich and Frankie live in Catoosa (roughly 45 minutes away from Owasso) and the roads had already gotten too slick to drive safely home for them, so they stayed at my house. The next day was filled with quality time with them and my baby sister Gracie. Gracie and I LOVE making cookies so, Frankie, Gracie and I start making our homemade chocolate chip cookies. Francyne and I both LOVE McAlisters Deli cookies because they usually (more often than not) under bake them so that the middle is still a very soft almost cookie-type cookie dough (AMAZING).
So in honor of being stuck at home and wanting that good ol’ comfort food we under bake a batch just enough to satisfy mine and Frankie’s taste. 🙂
All of the cookies are done and cooling on the table downstairs and the boys come down (what guy doesn’t come to the smell of food?) so downstairs at the table it was me, Grace, Francyne, My dad, and Nich (Vito might of been there too at this point)… I went to go for one of the under baked cookies with a lot of chocolate chips. I picked it up with both of my hands and ALL of my focus. Nich, being the loving co-worker and friend that he is decides to take my chair out from under me and I, in all faith and confidence sit down expecting the chair that I just got up from to be there. I land on my back. I was really alright with falling, no big deal… but when I looked up and realized that my cookie that I so carefully picked out was no longer in my hands I shout (in a joking voice) “I HATE you Nich!! I hate you!” I look around in a somewhat panic to find my cookie broken into two or so pieces and I pick it up, pout and make Nich eat it because it fell on the floor.
About this time while everyone is laughing at me falling, Gracie chimes in and says “Laina, you shouldn’t say you hate people…” at this point apologize and still laughing sort of brush the comment off; She continues “It hurts G-d’s feelings when you say Hate” Ouch… I slide back from the table and everyone at this point is in shock and laughter (Francyne was crying she was laughing so hard) because hearing something like that from a 4 1/2 year old isn’t exactly common. Everyone is laughing and we all semi-collect ourselves back to the table. I apologize once more and take a huge sigh and say “I’m sorry Gracie but that was really funny” and she replies “Yeah, that was really funny when Nich pulled your chair out from under you”
….Gotta love the mind track of 4 year olds.
This was possibly one of the funniest things that has ever happened to me and also one of the most spiritually convicting.
The idea of having “Child-like faith”
It’s an innocents I wish I still had.
Words such as “crap”, “dang”, “stupid”, “hate” are all words that coming out of a child’s mouth you’d cringe to hear. But why does the standard change just because you’re older and you’ve put in your time? Do you somehow earn the right at a particular age to say whatever you want? What you say around children will not be forgotten. Gracie is 4 and absorbs anything and everything she hears. I thank G-d and my parents for teaching her that life is about being polite and honest and keeping your speech at a standard that pleases G-d. To this day I watch more than ever what I say because I didn’t even think about Gracie being in the room. To tell the truth I didn’t even think about saying “hate” …no harm no foul?
However, the harm in the situation is not being sensitive to the fact that not only was I in the presence of a child, I was in the presence of G-d and HE monitors more than just my speech, He guards my heart and spirit. The Bible says the Word of G-d even separates bones and marrow. G-d gets to the nitty gritty of faith and gives a black and white of what life should be.
Why is any of this story Important?
“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” — Matthew 18.3
If you don’t become like little children, you WILL NEVER enter heaven. What better way to learn how to be a child that from a child? Next time you’re around a young person watch what you say and instead of trying to get them to learn to read or add or multiply or any of that, why don’t you just observe what exactly they have that you’ve lost.