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*Today’s Posting Is By Guest Blogger Dana Daniels*

I regularly see evidence that my firstborn, my baby boy is growing up.  Whether it’s noticing once-beloved toys now ignored for a bat and ball (complete with grass stains and dirty fingernails) or helping him practice multiplication and division facts in place of singing the ABCs, he is learning, growing and changing.  However, I still glimpse that baby boy of mine most every evening when bedtime arrives.  It is in this simple request, “Mom, will you please snuggle with me?”  As irresistible as this may sound, I confess that I often struggle to respond positively to his query because it requires getting up from a cozy couch where I’ve finally gotten off my feet for the day.  Sometimes my response is, “Not tonight, Alex.  I’m really tired and just got comfortable.”  Last night, though, I readily responded to his snuggle request because of wise advice I’d heard that afternoon.

Yesterday was commencement day at the seminary where I work.  In the afternoon, the commencement speaker presented a lecture for alumni who were gathered to celebrate their reunions.  She, the speaker, is currently a chaplain at a nearby Christian, liberal arts college, and shared what she’s learned about preaching from her work with college students.  As a mother, my ears paid close attention when she spoke about students who grew up in the church and were offered much opportunity to learn about Jesus and the Bible, but expressed longing to know from parents and other adults in the church WHY they believed.  Reflection on these responses has compelled her to stress the importance of bearing witness of our love for and faith in Christ, in addition to filling them with knowledge about Jesus.   I began thinking about what Jim and I do to nurture our children in the faith and developed a list rather quickly: go to church every Sunday, attend children’s worship, participate in vacation Bible School, attend summer daycamp, pray before meals and at bedtime, read Bible stories about Jesus, sing praise songs, and on and on.  But, have we ever purposely begun to share with them OUR story of OUR love for Him?  I wasn’t sure if I had.

So, when the “please will you snuggle with me” request came, this time I quickly said “yes.”  After we settled into the lower bunk and had the dog resting comfortably with us, we began our “snuggle conversation” with the usual review of events from the day.  I learned that he hit two homeruns in the backyard and argued with his sister about something very trivial (no surprise!).  He asked me about my day, and I told him how busy it was and how I missed not being home for dinner with the family.  I then said this, “Alex, have you ever wondered why I love Jesus and believe in Him?”  His response was, “Ummm, maybe?” (translation…no.)  But I continued and told him that he’s heard a lot of stories from the Bible and about Jesus, but maybe he’d like hearing why I believe.  So, I told him.  Not a long testimony, but simple sharing of how I learned about Jesus as a child and began to understand what it meant to love Him.  He listened and just smiled at me, unsure of what to say in response, so I told him that if he ever wants to talk about things involving God, I am always happy to do so.  Then I said prayers with him and left the room.   

When he was a baby, snuggle time was important to his physical needs as a new human being.  Snuggle time was when he was fed, comforted and calmed.  Last night I realized that his desire for snuggle time now provides opportunity for other nourishment as well—time for us to talk about the important things of the day, and hopefully, an ongoing conversation about the life of faith.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Dave
    May 11, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Dana – this is good stuff!

    When following Jesus, we forget too quickly the importance of the ‘experiential’ component of our Faith Walk: How are we experiencing Jesus?

    We forget too easily the connection between delighting in our own Faith Story & the telling of our Faith Story. (Some call this the dreaded ‘E’ word – evangelism. Gasp!)

    Head Knowledge? Check.

    Quiet Time? Check.

    Worship? Check.

    Lots of other things we ‘do’ to impress God? Check.

    Telling those we care about how ‘Jesus Loves Me’? Um – not so much.

    Snuggling with our Abba as he whispers, “I don’t love you because you’re the best kid in the class, or you try really hard. I love you because I love you.”?

    I’ll get back to you on that one…

    Be blessed as you snuggle with your son – and your Abba.

  2. Patty DK
    May 11, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Thanks Dana, that is what I needed tonight. Brandon played in his last concert in High School tonight. Of course I didn’t do well:'( He is all grown up and moving on soon. I pray every night that he will make the right choices and God will be a big part. As he soon walks down with his cap and gown all I can do is really give him over to God. I have raised him into the man he is. He will always be my baby and I will always be his mom but things have changed. I pray that we have been great parents and have shown him how to love the Lord.

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