I was asked last night about a conversation I had with Noah a while back. In responding to the question, I realized later that I had combined two different stories into one. I read a blog that I had written shortly after one of the conversations that came to mind last night so I decided to clarify here and detail a few more precious experiences I’ve had with Noah over the past year or so. It’s worth remembering and worth sharing.
As anyone who knows Noah can confirm, he is quite a thinker AND a talker. He has an incredible and lively imagination and one must pay careful attention when conversing with him or you might slip from a true story into a completely imaginary world without warning of the shift! It’s quite a journey, living with this little guy and being the one responsible for helping to shape and mold his delightful yet complex mind.
So…3 conversations are on my heart and mind this morning that I will briefly share…
First, Noah and I were recently visiting my sister in Atlanta. After having lunch at Mary Mac’s we went to get into the vehicle and a man approached, frightening us all with his bizarre behavior. He was loud and talking strangely and he approached quickly. We were able to get safely in and leave without confrontation, thankfully, but enough occurred to give rise to many questions from Noah.
My sister explained to Noah that the man probably wanted money and that he was likely on drugs since his behavior was so peculiar. Noah had never heard about drug abuse so that was new to him. People had approached us and asked for money before and we had given money and food so he was interested in why I didn’t give money to this man. I explained that it was because he didn’t actually ask us for money and that he seemed a little threatening by the way he behaved. Noah was quiet, no doubt pondering over all that had transpired.
So that night as we were getting ready to tuck him in, time for bedtime prayer, Noah asked if we could pray for that man. Though the man had frightened us, Noah cared for him and longed to ask God’s help and blessing on him. We prayed for him along with prayers for family and friends reminding me, through the heart of my child, that no one should be forgotten in our prayers.
The next story I will share is from the first of this school year when Noah was having difficulty being quiet and attentive. He kept getting on “red” and it was really bothering him. One night as we lay down together, he said “I just don’t know what I’m going to do!” After stating that more than once during his little monologue, pouring out all of his thoughts on the matter, he paused. Then he said, “yes, I know what I will do. I will trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not to my own understanding. In all my ways, I’ll acknowledge Him and He will make my paths straight.” That was his Bible memory verse for the week. It was as if he had been saying the words without recognizing the meaning and the power in them until that very moment. He was then able to take that truth of scripture and find the hope and promise of the help that is available in the Lord. What a miracle to witness, truth of scripture being recognized in the mind of a child.
The other story has to do with unbidden thoughts. Don’t we all have them? Poor little sensitive Noah was struggling because he said, “I have upsetting thoughts that I don’t mean to have and I don’t mean them Mama, but I can’t make them go away.” I explained to him that we all endure such thoughts from time to time but that the Lord knows what we intend to think and what we don’t. That He takes care of it all and he need not fret over unwanted thoughts. Instead, to thank the Lord for HIs loving care and for knowing the truth of our hearts, minds, and intentions. Noah was abundantly relieved and seemed to grasp the blessing of God’s understanding of the heart so that we are not held accountable for what we don’t intend.
He pondered over that for a little bit as his little chin quivered and his little eyes pooled with tears and he asked, “Mama, will we ever get to see the Lord? I want to see the Lord!” He went on to say he wanted to give something to the Lord, something the Lord could keep, just from him. (That is consistent with Noah’s nature. He loves to give gifts, and he loves to receive gifts!)
I explained to Noah that indeed we will one day see the Lord and live with Him for all eternity and that then no more unbidden thoughts will come, no more hurts or worries, only joy, peace and love. I also shared with him that the Lord owns everything, that we can really give Him nothing other than our love, our hearts. I said, “Noah, the fact that you love Him and want to give Him something, the very best that you have, that is the very thing He wants from you. By loving Him with your heart, you have given Him the only gift a person can really give to the Lord.”
Noah settled his little head onto my shoulder and fell peacefully to sleep in just moments after this beautiful exchange. I cannot begin to tell you all I’ve learned and enjoyed by being blessed to be this little guy’s mom. Every morning, he is up early eagerly greeting the day. His little face can’t keep from breaking into a grin when I tease him a little as we get ready for the day. His giggles flow freely and easily and his voice can be heard singing, humming, questioning or talking from early light until his head finally rests itself in stillness on his pillow at night.
Oh the joy and the gifts of God’s promises, of His plans, and of His good purposes for our lives! To be blessed to raise one child and think your time mothering a little life has passed only to be given a brand new baby to begin again…My heart overflows with love beyond explanation as I praise and thank God for the gifts He brings in the form of children to fill our lives with innocence, purity, and love. May we all take time to savor the moments we have with the little ones who toddle at our feet and run through our lives with jubilance and joy!