52 in 52, Week 7
I have two daughters, Anna is 11 and Claire is 9. (I have a teenage son, too, but I’ll save anecdotes about him for another blog….) They couldn’t be more different from each other, but they are both a delight to me in their own ways. Anna is more the “tom-boy”, choosing to play soccer with the boys on the playground at recess and having to wear shorts or leggings under every skirt I “force” her to wear since she spends most of her time hanging upside down on monkey bars and doing hundreds of cartwheels. Claire is the girlier one, happy to play with Barbies or American Girl dolls with her friends. And she prefers to wear pink and/or sparkly leggings under the skirts she doesn’t mind wearing as she hangs from the monkey bars and does hundreds of cartwheels. I know they love each other and will someday recall their bunkbeds and small closet fondly, but in this, their tween years, they do spend plenty of time at each other’s throats. Don’t worry, I’m ready for this drama, and I am warned on a daily basis by caring citizens that it will get even worse as they become actual teenagers. No need to tell me again. Seriously. I get it.
The one thing that both of my beautiful girls have in common is that they are in a stage of life where they want to know EVERYTHING about what’s happening to them and they want to be grown up. They have a million questions and they trust me to answer them, which is both an honor and a joy to me. They actually argue over who will get to spend more time with me each Sunday night when we have time set aside for “Girl’s Night”. Each girl gets to curl up in my bed and study a chapter in their own age-appropriate book about being a girl, ask all the questions they have gathered throughout their week, and share anything that they are worried about or are dying to know. I love that they still think that I am authority on things, and that time with each of them is precious time to me.
In the weeks that we’ve spent together, I have answered all the questions they have asked and grossed them out significantly and given them all the information they need for the time being, so we’ve moved on to my favorite topic: HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE. I am going through the book of Mark with them and teaching them how to discover who Jesus is and what it means to read the word for themselves. Age 12 is when I was handed a bible, a journal, and a pen by my own dad, when I asked him straight up, “Who is this GOD you follow, anyway?” He taught me to find out for myself. That opened my whole world up and started my walk with Christ, and now I am so excited to be watching my girls start their own journey with the right tools.
Which brings us to the verse of the week.
Anna asked me this past week if it was ok to write in her Bible. I got all excited and jumped out of bed to grab my all-time favorite Bible. It’s a Study Bible I bought in 1990, and it is falling apart from use. It’s full of scribbles and underlining and highlighting and notes from 27 years of my own study. Anna loved seeing how worn out it was, and I was eager to show her my favorite verses and how many times I had circled them over the years. As I flipped the pages, I asked Anna, not really expecting an answer, “Do you have a favorite verse or a verse for your life?”
Without hesitation, she replied with a twinkle in her eye, “Of course! Genesis 1:1! In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
I was actually kind of startled. It’s such a basic verse, one that all kids have heard in Sunday School over and over. I love it, because it is the first verse of the Bible and sets the tone for the God I serve. But it is not one that you would typically think of bringing comfort or inspiration for a lifetime. When she explained its meaning to her, it became even more special to me than it was before.
“I love this verse, mom, because it is EVERYTHING. It starts the bible, and shows us right away that we were created by a powerful God who wanted to create us. It helps me know that no matter what, God is in control.”
Out of the mouths of babes, as they say.
This verse is one that we should all have hidden in our hearts, because, yes, it’s the very first word that God gives us. And shows us that yes, He is the MOST powerful being. He is the reason we exist and nothing we can do or say or feel or imagine will ever change that truth. He chose to bring all that there is into existence, and he knows all that is happening and will happen. Not only on earth, but in HEAVEN, where he wants us to be with him forever. He created that place, too. He wants us to be there. He is GOD. My 11 year old holds on to that verse when she needs peace and I want to do the same.
I never thought, when I started “Girls Night” with my two beauties, that I would be the one that would grow and learn and be challenged, but I am so grateful for it. And I hope we can all memorize Genesis 1:1 this week and remember in these crazy times that GOD created the heavens and the earth, so He cares about us and knows what he is doing.