Sunday, August 1, 2010

Celebrating Victories

Dear Carter,

Last night was a good night. One I really really needed to have with you. It brought my heart such joy to see in you a glimpse of our Almighty God at work. Some movement, a molding of your little heart toward His ways. Toward a softness, an understanding and awareness, a wanting of Him. I wanted to record it before I forget; I wanted to record it so I can go back and remember that God is faithful to hear my prayers, my begging and pleading with Him for my children's hearts, and that even sometimes in the midst of my discouragement, He will bring about token's of victory that provide me the strength to keep marching on.

Last night threatened to be a tough one. Your Dad had already left to work on his sermon prep and you and Macy were buzzing to your toes with excitement that 'Tomorrow you'd be leaving for San Diego!'. Sleep was not going to come easy, and you had already disobeyed twice and gotten out of bed for less than necessary reasons. After receiving the standard consequences I could tell you were unaffected and had little intention of surrendering to the night, even if you were going to be punished for it. So when I heard your tip toes down the hall for the third time there was a heavy sigh lodged deep in my chest.

When you got to the couch where I was sitting and I turned to stand you saw the Character Trait book I'd been flipping through. You like this book and you like the stories we read from it at breakfast when we are consistent with our 'Trait a week' plan. You are also very very smart and you know that it is about God and that if Mommy was going to give in to anything it was going to be a request to hear stories about, as you put it, "How to make right choices." You literally said to me as I was walking you back down the hall, in the most sickeningly angelic voice, "Oh Mommy, I want you to read me those stories so I know more about how to make right choices!"

Child, you will be the end of me.

While I was in no way disillusioned to the state of your true motives; I decided to take the bait. So we climbed up on your bed and I chose the Chapter. OBEDIENCE.

See now, you're not the only clever one in the family! :)

And so we read, story by story and we talked about what obedience meant. And then we came to the story where the little boy thinks about doing something wrong but then remembers that God is always watching. You looked up at me with big serious eyes and said "Mommy, I believe that verse is true." The hint of a question in your voice betrayed your confident claim and I knew you were actually asking me if I thought it was true. I told you I believed it was true too and that I knew God was always watching and cheering for us to make good choices and obey. I told you I knew He was very close to us all the time, offering to help us obey if we wanted Him to.

You thought about this for a second and then with the sheepish sideways glance you've grown famous for you reached over to your covers and pulled them back far enough to reveal a stowaway. You had hidden your toy snake in your bed so I wouldn't see it, and in that moment I knew your little conscience had been poking and prodding that heart of yours.

"Mommy?" you asked, "Can I sleep with this tonight?"

I looked at you and though I knew my answer in an instant, I could tell you had no idea what your honesty had just afforded you.

"You know what Carter?" I started, "Because you chose to be honest instead of sneaky, because you chose to tell the truth instead of trying to hide something from Mommy, I get to say YES right now, you can keep your snake in bed with you tonight! I'm really proud of the choice you just made, doesn't it feel good?"

Oh your smile. Your dimples. The sparkle of pride in your eyes. Carter, I wish I could bottle these moments of softness in you; they turn me into a complete puddle.

"Mommy, I knew God was watching and I knew He wanted me to tell you about the snake."

And this was my favorite moment, I looked at you with excitement and told you what was clearly a hilarious picture in your head.

"You are absolutely right Carter, and you know what? He was rooting for you and saying, 'Come on Carter! You can do it!' and when you made the right choice He was so happy!! He's watching right now saying 'WAHOO!!! Carter!! Great job!' "

This tickled you so, you couldn't contain your giggles; but I could tell you were enjoying the feeling that comes with choosing honesty, choosing God's way. I pray it took root deep in your heart. I pray it wedged itself in there tight and that it will fester and grow an unquenchable thirst for righteousness in you. THAT is my prayer.

I kissed your sweet forehead then and said Goodnight one more time. We didn't even need to talk about what would have to happen if you came out of bed again, there was a sense between us at that moment, an understanding. You wanted to obey, you knew it felt good and you had no desire to test the limits. Oh for the ability to freeze time!

As I made my way to the door you laid tummy down on your bed, head on your crossed arms, cheek squished against your elbow.

"Mommy?" you whispered.

"Hmm?" I stopped and turned halfway to see your one eye poking out at me.

You lifted your head ever so slightly, "I just wanted to tell you that I love you."

Oh Carter-bot. Precious boy. I love you too. Way way more than you know.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Thanks for sharing your journey with Carter. Quick question... What is the title of the character trait book you are using with your kiddos? Thanks! Heather