Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A messed up attempt at theology for toddlers-Part 1

As I was putting Layla to bed last night I confronted a beast that I knew was coming...yet I was COMPLETELY unprepared for it. I probably could have handled a dinosaur in her closet or a monster under her bed much better than I handled this...and I'm almost embarrassed to admit to it.

So our conversation after her night prayer time went like this:

Layla: When we talk to the Lord, is it God or Jesus.
Me: Well, both. It kinda just depends.
Layla: Well, who were you just talking to.
Me: Jesus.
Layla: Why?
Me: (thinking...get me out of here...I'm drowning in my own stupidity) You know, I probably should think about this a little more before I answer.
Layla: Why?
Me: Well, mommy is a little confused.
Layla: Do you just like Jesus more?
Me: No baby...I'm just...well...I don't know.

AGH! I failed her. I completely failed. A giant "F" on my biblical mommy report card.

So today at rest time...after reading her favorite Bible story about the 5 loaves and 2 fish...she asked me if God was Jesus. So I explained to her that He was...kind of like I am mommy, daddy's wife and her nana and poppy's daughter ALL at the same time. The conversation went something like this:

Layla: Well, is God a daddy then?
Me: Yep.
Layla: Who's His daddy?
Me: You mean, who's He a daddy to?
Layla: Yeah.
Me: Everybody. (hoping this blanket statement would end the conversation)
Layla: Is he my daddy?
Me: Yeah (not so much a strong yeah...because I had a feeling what was to follow).
Layla: Well, what about my daddy?
Me: WELL, God let mommy and daddy borrow you for a while...because he loves us so much and he thought you would be a very special gift for us.
Layla: Oh. Let's read another story that isn't about God, okay?
Me: (wiping the sweat from my face) Okay.

I should not have been so exhausted by that exchange and SO confused when I walked out of the room. I feel like I should have been more prepared. Like the biggest exam of my life...the biggest test to date and I was unprepared. No more. I'm studying up and more importantly...I'm committing it to prayer. I've realized that I can do nothing...that I make a mess of everything on my own..but God...He's good--He makes everything neat again. So hopefully through His guidance and His words, I can make sense out of this mess I've made for Layla. Poor thing. I bet her little head hurt too!

Someone PLEASE tell me you've goofed up in this area too..that I'm not the only mommy feeling like I need to wear a dunce hat for the remainder of the day.


Michelle said...

Well, I can't comment on the mommy part seeing as my bun's still in the oven :), but Lindsey! I think you're forgetting the most important thing, which is that she is going to come to know God through watching your overall relationship with Him, and the way your spirituality plays out in your life. Actions speak louder than words! She is young yet and you still have plenty of time to explain things. It's an evolving conversation, you don't get just one chance! Plus, she is watching your love for God and his presence in your life and I know you're not falling behind there. Actually, this is coming out kind of wrong, because I don't think your answers were deficient in any way! I think you gave very appropriate responses for a little one her age. Just my $0.02!

AnniePat said...

haha...these kids keep us on our toes. Rachel asked a few months ago, "Mommy, who made God." and when I said "no one made God," she said, "but Mommy, who MAAAAAAADE Him." OH, right...NOOOOO OOOOOOONE MAAAAAAADE HIM.

I think it's important for us to capture the mystery of God for our little ones. After all, if we can explain it all away, there's no faith. When I find myself flustered by her all-too-logical questions, I just shrug and say, "That's just something about God; I don't understand it either!" That usually satisfies her...for now!

The Beaver Bunch said...

Luke takes Elizabeth's hard questions to the men's group. Maybe you should slip some of Layla's to Neil so he can ask the "experts."

Now, when Elizabeth has a "hard question" she says,

"Dad. I got a question for you to ask the guys about."

Usually it's a toughy like, "Why did God make us if He knew we'd all sin."

Um, yeah. I just sit there and babble. I like AnniePat's comment. Not knowing all the answers leaves room for faith. That's my new answer from now on.

Natasha said...

Everyone's comments are super -very well stated and hopefully ones that I will remember one day when Luke asks me the same tough questions. Lindsey - I think your response to Layla was perfect - the fact that sweet beans knew enough about Jesus/God at such a young age to ask the questions demonstrates the most profound fact here - YOU ARE INSTILLING CHRIST INTO YOUR CHILD'S LIFE - a mommy and daddy's biggest responsibility. Thanks for sharing your heart, Lupe. :)

Kristle said...

Interestingly enough I had a conversation similar to this one and even more interesting is that for the past two months Jennings favorite bible story was the five loaves and two fish. A couple of days ago he traded it in for Queen Esther. Anyway...I'm not sure if it is the gender difference or not but Jennings seemed content that God is ok to say because he is our Lord, and that Jesus is his son who died,was buried and raised from the dead and that he left the Holy Spirit to help guide us. I'm sure after he has mulled that around in his little head for a few more days I will probably get more questions but right now I'm glad for the lull. It gives me time to seek some guidance. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one trying to find the right words and stumbling over them too!