Guiding Child-Sized Dreams Into God-Sized Faith

(Unsplash/Joseph Gonzalez)

Dirt, tiny digging tools, and a magnifying glass littered the table where my fourth-grade daughter hunched over her latest project. Her focus was intense, and even calls for lunch weren't enough to pry her from the task at hand.

"Mom, I think I found something!"

Sure enough, I could see a dinosaur fossil clenched in her tweezers. I'm not sure which was more impressive—the fossil, or my daughter's jubilant smile.

Her sisters joined me in examining the find and my heart thrilled to watch the enthusiasm of my little explorer.

For several years, my middle daughter was into all things dinosaur. She lived and breathed paleontology. She exhausted available library books, begged to visit museums, and requested science kits for birthdays and Christmas.

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Around that time, our family devotion time centered on the importance of a daily walk with God and learning to listen to His leading in all decisions, especially our life's work.

This gave my young scientist great pause. As she pondered the concepts of listening to God's voice and living in obedience to Him, I could see the conflict in her eyes.

"But Mama, what if God doesn't want me to be a paleontologist?"

(Side note: Moms, don't ever wonder where your mission field might be—you are living it every day.)

My daughter and I spent the next few minutes discussing that if she surrendered her dreams to God, He would take that sweet obedience and He would fill the place in her heart—presently filled with dinosaurs—with His plans for her (science or something else).

And those plans would be bigger and more amazing than she could imagine.

What a privilege to teach our children the concepts of faith and submission! To introduce God's promises and precepts concerning how to follow Him. To encourage them to cling to Scriptures like Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope" and Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths."

Walking with Christ is about surrender and obedience. About denying self and reaching for the heart of God. Every step of faithfulness lights the way for the next step.

Are we as parents holding on to old dreams? Does God want us to release them so He can give us a broader vision? Maybe we're thinking too small.

What a joy-filled responsibility God has given parents: To walk this path of obedience so that little feet may follow.

Leigh Ann Thomas is the author of Ribbons, Lace and Moments of Grace—Inspiration for the Mother of the Bride (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas). A columnist for AlmostAnAuthor.com, she has also written for The Write Conversation, Southern Writers Suite T and Power for Living. Leigh Ann blogs at https://leighathomas.com/, where she encourages others to keep a Jesus heart in an upside-down world.

This article originally appeared at just18summers.com.

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