Theology for the Little Ones

Having children has stretched my theology. For some reason, my girls are never satisfied with a simple fact statement about God. They want to know why and how. “Where is Heaven?”

“How big is God?”

“How big are God’s hands?”

“Does God have a body?”

“Does Jesus have a body?”

“Where was I before I was born?”
“How do you get to Heaven?”

“Will there be animals in Heaven?”
“Why did God create more boys than girls?”

Look to Him

My daughters are obsessed with drawing.  Unfortunately, they are often free-spirited in their choice of items on which to draw. Walls, pillows, and windows seem to be excellent replacements for pieces of paper.  

A few weeks ago, Hannah decided she wanted to dictate sentences to me.  I was then supposed to type these sentences and print them on a sheet of paper.  I think she was planning to color on the sheets of paper after I printed them.  I submitted to her request multiple times with a grumbling heart, and it wasn’t until I later gathered all of the papers together that I connected what she had asked me to type.  In my hands were five sheets of paper with bold, black words.

2018 Reading List

The beginning of the year is a great time to make lists.  For some reason, I hate calling them resolutions.  One of the lists that I like to think about is what to read in the upcoming year.  I made one of these list last year, and – let’s be honest – I didn’t read all the books on the list.  BUT, I’m once again making a list of the books I would like to read this year.  I have a handful of books on my list (see the picture), but I would love some suggestions, especially fiction book suggestions.

Darkness to Light

In the candlelight, her eyes sparkled.  Her baby voice sang out the words as she looked at the candle and her older sister.

“Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you.  Happy birthday dear Jesus.  Happy birthday to you.”

I looked over at her, and my heart nearly burst.  I wanted to remember the pure joy on her face and the sparkle in her eye.  If only I could get a picture of it, but a picture could never fully capture the moment. 

Nora's Reading List

As the year draws to a close, I decided it would be nice to jot down a few of the books we enjoyed reading with Nora and Hannah this year.  During the summer, I decided I was sick and tired of the books we had been reading to Nora.  It seemed like she was in that awkward stage of being too old for Little Golden Books but too young for chapter books.  Our trips to the library led us to the exact same books, and a person can read only so many Fancy Nancy books before beginning to stress about accessories.  I gathered suggestion from a writing group that I’m a part of, wrote down the authors, and headed to the library.  After some looking and pruning, these are the book series I would recommend.

Marriage Milestones

This year was a year of marriage milestones for my family.  My parents celebrated 40 years of marriage.  Moriah and Todd celebrated 10 years of marriage.  Matthew and I celebrated 10 years of marriage, and Aaron and Jessica celebrated their 5th anniversary.  To take it even further, Grammy and Poppie were married 65 years this year, and Fay and Papa would have been married 80 years this year.* 

I'm a Mommy

Bam. There it was.  I’m a mommy.  It made me pause.  How in the world did I get here?  Am I old enough or wise enough to be a mommy?  I don’t feel old enough.*  I often have to pause to think about my age if I’m ever asked.  My knee-jerk reaction is to reply that I’m 25 or something in that range.  I then recall that I’m quite a few years older than that.

A Religious Test and Opposing Beliefs

Politics are messy.  They always have been and always will be.  I’m in the process of listening to Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence by Joseph Ellis.  So far, the book only reinforces this fact.  Ideas flourish, and, I believe, the best solutions are found through a lively discourse of beliefs.  Politics are no exception.

The Mundane

It’s a natural conversation.*  You see someone you haven’t seen in a while, and the flow of questions proceeds something like this, “Hi! How are you? How are the kids? What have you been up to lately?” I say essentially the same things when exchanging pleasantries.  But, I have a confession.  I kind of despise the last question.  I typically have no idea how to respond to it in a meaningful way, so I laugh and say something like, “Oh! Just up to life. Busy, but good.”

Valentine Blunder

Why didn’t anyone tell me Nora’s valentines needed to be accompanied by a trinket or piece of candy? This is Nora’s first year in a mother’s day out program, so this is our first “official” time to hand out valentines at school.  Nora got home from school today and could hardly wait to go through her little bag of valentines from her friends.  She pulled out her white paper sack with close to 20 heart stickers littered across it and proceeded to pull out each card for us to look at.  I started noticing a theme - one had tattoos, another a pencil, a couple lollipops.  Soon I got that sinking feeling. 

Barton Springs

I despise dreary, cloudy weather.  I made this confession to a neighbor a few weeks ago, and to my amazement she said she loves cloudy days.  Well, someone needs to love them. Text me on cloudy days and tell me how good they are, I asked her.  Thankfully, she did just that on the next couple of dreary days. 

On dreary days my mind will often return to a September day in 2014.  We were visiting Mom and Dad in Fredonia, and Dad wanted me to go out and take pictures with him.

Shopping Cart Lottery

Does anyone else feel like choosing your shopping cart is like playing the lottery?  I nearly always feel that way.  I walk up to the mess of carts with one kid on my hip, my stylish diaper bag slung over my shoulder, and Nora typically loudly telling me which cart she wants.  Then the quick decision-making begins.  My ultimate goal: pick the cart with the least amount of germs.  But, of course, you can’t see germs, so this leads to a lot of guessing. 

My Election Hope

One of my dearest friends texted last night saying how frustrated she has become with all the political posts on Facebook.  I can’t say I disagree with her.  This presidential election is bizarre and, frankly, depressing.  I asked my mom a few weeks ago if she remembered a presidential election with two such awful choices.  Sometimes it’s easy for me to think that situation “x” must be the worst any generation has faced.  But, she actually answered in the negative.  It’s the worst she can remember. 

Wedding Bliss

Today Matthew and I celebrate our ninth wedding anniversary.  I’m tempted to think that’s a long time.  Then I realize nine years is such a short amount of time.  Still, at times it can be easy to forget how much I like and love this man if I don’t sit back and remember.  All the diapers, tantrums, messy floors, and stained clothes can get in the way of those mushy feelings that I used to be able to contemplate.

Our Top Ten Items

1)   The Bible – At the risk of sounding “holier than thou,” I’m going to list the Bible first.  There are times when I think we have way too many Bibles in our house.  Then I wonder if there is such a thing as too many Bibles.  My husband loves gathering books, and good Bible sales don’t escape his notice.

Dr Pepper

Have you ever had a vice that you know you should give up, but you just don’t care quite enough to give it up? For me, that vice is Dr Pepper.  I know, I know.  Sugar is killing Americans.  We get way too much of it in our diet, but I would argue that we get way too much of other things in our diet as well.

The Rambling Branch

What’s in a name?  Well, a lot.  Enough that when I was in high school, I actually wrote an entire persuasive essay arguing that God sees names as important.  (Take a look at the Bible, especially the Old Testament.  There’s a LOT encompassed in the meaning of names.)


I could feel anger boiling up inside of me again. It was that kind of anger that leads to so much frustration that you just have to cry.  I think mommies are supposed to be the strong ones, but I had had it.