April 23, 2012

Duped For Jesus

"Mom", the eight year old said, "Can I start having my friends over on Friday nights so that we can all have a Bible study together".  Yep- she said it.  And for the first time in a long time, I patted myself on the back and said, "DUDE!  I am so winning this parenting thing! GO ME!"  She began pouring over her Bible and planning out her lessons.  She wrote an agenda.  And like any mom who is enamored with their kids and proud of their efforts, I promised her chocolate (by way of s'mores) as a special fun treat for her and her friends after their first study.

I totally took Sadie seriously.  After all, does this not look like fairly complete lesson planning for an eight year old?

I wrote the note for her friend to ride the bus home with her on Friday to her mission field and waited to see how my daughter would do.

Here is how the first "Bible Study" went down.  It's all very "if you give a mouse a cookie".

1.  The girls got off the bus and played outside.  A snake was found in the driveway and was caught and squealed over for many an hour. (until it mysteriously escaped)

2.  The second friend from a different school came over.  This made a total of five kids around.  When the weather is nice and you have enough kids to cover every base and a daddy who will be the permanent roller, naturally a kickball tournament will ensue.

3.  When a kickball tournament is going on in the backyard, the cute neighbor kids will want to come over and run around.

4.  When the neighbor kids come over (who just had a new baby sister born this week) and it's time to make dinner- you will think, "Quick!  How can we make enough food in a hurry so that we can feed the neighbors and they won't have to cook with a new baby?"

5. You light a fire in the fire pit- open up a package of hot dogs, cut up a watermelon and hope for the best. When you hope for the best, a miracle occurs and food that was intended for 7 somehow feeds 13.

6.  When you start to cook the hot dogs, the smell of the campfire ignites nostalgia (and hunger) in more of the neighbors who start to make their way across the back yard to the patio.

7.  When more neighbors come and kids are running all over the place, you think, "Praise God I got a jumbo bag of marshmallows and chocolate bars" and you start roasting some s'mores.

8.  Then you get distracted by the brand new neighbor baby and you give the rest of the jobs to the mister and you stop reminding the daughter that she is supposed to be having a Bible study so that you can sit and hold that precious bundle of baby awesomeness and just stare at her beauty.  You silently say a little prayer of gratitude that holding a baby does not make your womb hurt and you are happy that you do not have to have the "we gotta get us one of those" conversations with your husband again.

9.  You give up on ever reining in the children to get them on task.  Then, when Jesus realizes that you've give up and there, in fact, will be no Bible study and you've turned this little gathering into a neighborhood party, he will decide that it's time to make it rain.

10.  When it starts raining, the crowd will disperse and you will walk in the house carrying the remnants of the "loaves and fishes dinner that multiplied" and think to yourself about how grateful you are for relationships and opportunities for fellowship- even if there was no actual studying of the Bible.

In theory- it was all a very good idea.  Now I know that in the future, when Sadie asks to "have friends over for a Bible study" that it is code for "have my friends over to play outside and roast marshmallows".  A friend warned me that it doesn't end here.  When she's a teenager I'll probably hear, "Mom, can I borrow the car to take these clothes to the homeless shelter?" all while she takes the car and does something else completely.  After all, my "Mom, I'm going on a youth group retreat" was always code for "Mom, I'm going away for the weekend and the parent to teen ratio is totally skewed so I'll be making out with my boyfriend all weekend all in the name of Jesus."  Lord help me if that sweet, little, innocent girl turns into me when she's a teenager.  Can't she just stay 8 forever?  

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