Start The Disciplines Early

So, as you may have noticed, the staff of Conversations Journal isn’t perfect. Well, maybe Gary and Joannah are, but I’m certainly not. And during editing season, I’m particularly distractible, apt to forget to return emails or show up to appointments. Which is all preamble to my sincere apology to blogger Valerie Hess for failing to publish her wonderful blog on how children have made an impact on her walk with God during the month of February—despite the fact that she got it to me on time. So, instead of depriving you, our readership, of this excellent piece, I’m sneaking it in now. Enjoy!

Tara Owens, Senior Editor

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The Father’s Control

Children represent many things: unquestioning love, childlike faith, unpretentious humility. But there is another aspect of children we don’t often think about – their position of submission to authority. When it comes to authority, children are at the bottom of the heap. They are always being told what to do, and they have no choice but to do it, however begrudgingly.

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Him Wants Me

Sitting before me appears to be an innocent picture of a young boy, neatly dressed, standing next to his dad. Yet to me, it’s the most revealing picture that I’ve ever seen. It has become a window into my soul enabling me to see into my life as a child and understand how at an early age my soul was formed.

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Blessing Children

I’m a father to three sons who are now all teenagers. I’m continually amazed at each one’s uniqueness. They are a great blessing to me. When all three of them were young children, I took some training in spiritual direction at the Pecos Benedictine Abbey in New Mexico.

One of the gifts of that experience was witnessing rhythms and patterns of spoken blessing. When I returned home from four weeks of living this rhythm of life, community and ministry, I had a deep desire to express this rhythm of blessing with my sons.

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Today, He Is Your Teacher

My oldest Godson, Jackson was about 18 months old when he and his sister, Tamara, were sleeping over while their parents coped with a cancer diagnosis. I dropped Tamara off at school, and Jackson and I headed to one of my favorite hang out spaces—the outdoor labyrinth of a nearby church. I entered the area with my usual sense on sacred “awe.” Jackson entered the space with wide-eyed wonder. I always paused at the entrance of the labyrinth in reverence for the Holy that I encountered there and, quite frankly, to settle myself from the rush of carpooling, breakfast preparation, children gathering and the like. I took in a deep breath and before I could exhale I heard the Spirit say, “Today, he is your teacher.”

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