Ayva, my 3-year-old, never ceases to amaze me. I have become such a better me in the few years that I’ve been blessed to have her in my life. I’m not afraid to admit that if it wasn’t for her birth, and God’s grace, I have no idea what kind of directionless life I’d be leading right now. Ayva truly is my angel. If you know God, though, you know that He likes to show out! Just blessing me with a sweet little girl who reminds me to smile and opened my heart to love wasn’t enough. Now He’s using her to teach me about Him, and to be a Christian in service and action…not just in words.
Our church here in California is so awesome, y’all. Everyone is so down to Earth and open. Service is spirit-filled, but casual, and there’s truly a sense of “come as you are”. The best part about the church is that as soon as we came in, we were embraced like family. Every Thursday, they host “Awana”, a Bible based night of fun for children. In the few weeks that she has been going, Ayva has learned to recite John 3:16*, and she is so, so, so excited about God, and church, and learning more about Jesus. She loves “reading” her Bible, and carries her “official Sparkie card”, a card that she received after successfully reciting her Bible verse, everywhere she goes. And, honey, now that she knows John 3:16, she says it ALL THE TIME! She likes to look at herself in the mirror while she’s saying it, and then she reenacts the evening that she became an official Sparkie (“Everyone, give Ayva a hand. She recited her verse. She’s an official Sparkie!”).
Lord have mercy…I can’t stop smiling just thinking about it.
I gotta say, her excitement is contagious. Knowing that she’s interested in knowing more about God makes me want to be sure I have the answers for her when she asks the questions. This morning in church, for instance, she wanted to know about the Communion Table. What was in those dishes? Why are we going to eat the crackers? Who gets to drink the juice? She is hungry for knowledge of Christ, and I want to make sure she stays filled, always.
I thank God for the challenge of modeling His way for Ayva to learn and adopt for herself. I can’t believe that He trusts me enough that He would give Ayva to me to lead to Him. It’s humbling and it’s a great reminder of the constant work that I need to do to be more like Him.
The other night, before we ate dinner, Ayva offered to say grace. I want to share her prayer with y’all. I know that sometimes we doubt the presence of God when we are going through rough times or facing challenges, but then He shows us that He is in our midst. And when a 3-year-old prays like this on her own, it’s hard to deny that.
Father God, we just love you so much.
You love me and you take care of me.
Thank you, God, for California, because it is so pretty.
Thank you for Terrence’s kitchen.
You love me, and Mommy, and Terrence, and Ms. Mary.
I’m a good girl, and you take care of me.
Thank you, God.
*John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son. That whoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have eternal life.