“How can you still not spell this word? We’ve practiced every night for the last three days!” I say to my six-year-old daughter as I recall winning—or maybe losing—my elementary spelling bee. We’ve all been there. Maybe it was hitting a ball, working an equation, fitting into a dress, making a grade, getting into a college, or starting the right profession. At some point, we’ve found our hope firmly seated on a one-way train steaming ahead off the steep cliff of living vicariously through the very people who were intended to “spring off” of us. Yet we know our offspring should be motivated by our momentum, not halted by our hang-ups.
On an otherwise innocent Sunday afternoon, an otherwise innocent four-year-old boy climbed to the top of a mountain and chucked a stolen necklace as far as he could. That morning, I came across the necklace in my Sunday School class at our North Hollywood church where my dad happened to be the new pastor. I loved seashells, and the necklace had no shortage of them. When it was time to eat animal crackers and juice, I must’ve put it in my pocket. You know, so some other heathen kid who didn’t appreciate seashells wouldn’t try to play with it. Fast forward, and I’m at home later that day. I reached into my pocket and my little fingers discovered my inadvertent plunder. My post-toddler logic decided that chucking it off the hill was the best way to avoid being found out.
The “will of God,” that all-elusive mystery, is incredibly difficult to grasp. Up until 2012, I felt I had good understanding of “God’s will.” Believe in God, repent of your sins, and your life will go smoothly. But then I received some earth-shattering news: I would never have children. My flimsy faith fell apart, but thankfully, for me, it was God’s way of making our relationship real.
“What would you do if you saw a crocodile eating a kitten?” A typical topic for dinner conversation at any home, right? This was the question my 10-year-old son posed to my 8-year-old daughter last night.