We gathered as a family for 11 conversations. There were countless distractions. An antsy five-year old present for each one. A few nights where we played catch up. And little messes to stop and clean. But we did it. And I’m thankful.
As we talked about what it means for Jesus to be born into us, right now, in all our current realities, we spoke confessions of jealousy. Of stubborn pride. Of the desire for human compliment over godly affirmation. We invited God to enter relationships and insecurities and abilities. We wondered together about what God wants to give us right now. And we offered surrender to what we could give him.
These weren’t always smooth conversations. There were dull moments and slow revelations. Lots of clarifying and coaxing. But it happened: all five of my children listened and struggled to understand how the birth of God into this world, into their life, affects them in real ways. They heard their parents reveal and confess, pray and wonder. They witnessed Rogers’s wise testimonies. Surely these are the moments they will remember. The ones where we were talking – really talking. About things that matter.
Then on Christmas Eve we gathered with my family. 11 children and 11 adults. We planned for a talent show after dinner. There was singing, dancing, gymnastics and reciting. And when my children watched their grandfather perform magic tricks, and when they gazed at their great grandmother telling a simple story, I thought: Surely these are the moments they will remember. The ones where we’re all together. Laughing. Sharing. Celebrating. Interested in them.
And then today, the snow all covering the ground. Christmas still lingering. The activity slow, but sweet. Friends came to savor the day with us. To romp in the snow, to slide down the hill. With hot cocoa ready to serve, I peeked out the window at the scene of children all covered and surrounded by white. Surely these are the moments they will remember. The ones when mom said yes to spontaneous fun. The ones where friends make normal seem special.
Not every special moment takes effort. Some happen unexpected. Many emerge from the normal everyday happenings. But sometimes our waiting, our celebration and our normal day needs something intentional. Small efforts that lead to fruitful responses. Moments that gather people together. Shared memories that later unite our reflections.
Surely these moments, all covered in our love and God’s grace, is what make our children want what is good. Because our efforts show that we care. That they are valuable. That they are wanted. That they are interesting. That they are worth it.
I want to give my children moments they’ll love. Moments that shape who they are. Moments they’ll remember. And in our living of the good ones and bad ones, may each moment in our story be lived for God’s glory.
* Inspired by a thought my sister whispered into my ear