Thursday, September 29, 2011

On my kids and heaven and hope

It's Friday.

I have two things on my heart today. One is a conversation. The other is a book I don't yet own. They are related.

A bit of background on the conversation. Last Wednesday, I was having a rough day. It was one of those days when my heart wasn't whole. It felt broken, like the pieces were being held together by thin threads of truth. I was sad, and I was doing all I could to rise above the fray and be the most competent, joyful mother I could for my little ones.

I did a fair job of it, after spending much of the morning when they were away at school reading God's word and talking to Him. But by the evening, I was spent. My husband had a commitment that night, so I knew no reinforcement was on its way. It was all on me.

I sat at the dinner table with them in a quiet house. My brain was tired, my heart still a fragile house of cards. And this is what I do, when I am forced to blend my own personal world with that of my children: I teach them what I'm trying to remind myself. Wednesday night, I was telling myself that one day, maybe soon, Jesus will come for me. Perhaps before my body wears out on this earth, He will pick me up, wipe away every tear, and take my hand for eternity. He will make my heart whole, permanently. It's the best possible, most hope-filled thing I could think of.

And so I told them, quickly realizing I'd never told them this before. My kids have known that when you die, you will go to heaven if you've asked Jesus to be in charge of your life. But I've never explained the possibility that He could come back first, before we die. I said, "Did you know this? He is coming back for us?" They both shook their heads no.

And so we went. I explained what the Bible says, that He will meet us in the air (I Thes 4:17). That He will come on the clouds (Luke 21:27), that no one knows the day or the hour (Matt 24:36). That it will be a big, happy, wonderful surprise, because that's what Jesus likes to do. Surprise us. I told us all what a great hope we have that Jesus is coming for us. And faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen (Heb 11:1)

Of course, I didn't anticipate the mild concern and funny questions, like, "What if I'm afraid of being up high?" and things like that. I had to laugh at the perspectives of my children. They are so pure, literal, and inquisitive. But it's stirred up some great conversations about heaven, and the whole deal.

Which brings me to the book. I've heard this book is a great tool for teaching kids about heaven. And since the topic is on the table at the moment, I thought I'd pick it up.

Have you read it? I'm going to try to find it today at the bookstore. 

And wow. If you want to read an incredible post on hope, read this. Ann Voskamp's words are so powerful to me. She speaks straight to my heart. Or, I should say, the Lord does, through her insights.

So what are you up to this Friday? Any good reads lately?



  1. Wow! My husband & I love the adult version of that book. I think Scott has read it like 49 times. (well, you know what I mean) I can't wait to tell him about the kid's version. I'm so excited!! Good find, Leslie girl!

  2. i am a total Ann addict too! I am constantly saving her quotes, and grabbing her pages. loved your honest posting. thank you

  3. i love this book.
    you already know that heaven is much talked about and looked forward to hope at the reed house :)
    can't wait to see what crazy conversations this book stirs up at your house, little lady.

  4. i LOVE randys book heaven (for adults) LOVE LOVEEEEEE

  5. Pretty sure we need this book. Because Lucy needs to stop stressing out that her blanket won't go to heaven. Or will it?

  6. those kids! As you can imagine, right now Im reading Hinds Feet on High Places:) But a great book on marriage is Sacred Influence.
    BTW, hubby and I are having a date night tonight to go see Courageous.He texted me at lunch yesterday and said "we need a date!"
    Missing you...

  7. "I teach them what I'm trying to remind myself." leslie, this happens in my house every day. especially since i home school and am with my 3 24/7. all my undone is in front of them. i use to be sad by that, BUT GOD. He is teaching them grace, compassion, tenderness "training them in the way they should go" with me.

    i haven't read the book. keep us posted!

  8. wow! i love that. i don't have kids yet but i have nephews who aren't very active in church so when they come visit, i try to teach them.. its hard to teach about Jesus.. but thanks for sharing. can't wait to have kids and check out that book!

  9. loving your book and happy I found it :)

  10. 6 years ago we went through a couple of majors losses in our family, my youngest was 4 and took them all so hard. Point being I need this book. Thanks for sharing!

  11. God bless you for teaching your little kids so early the truth about our Lord.
    Kisses and God bless you.