Let the little Children….

eli smilingYes it is true…I have been known to ask my kids to stop laughing and “do what they are supposed to do” which usually means be serious and get something, like brush their teeth, done. This last week it was heightened because Greg was gone and I find putting four kids to bed to be one of the most taxing processes ever. Yes even harder than law school. In fact it takes all 3 years of my legal training to try to negotiate my kids into their pajamas and bed. Because for some reason right around bed time they all start getting along fabulously, laughing, playing, dancing, singing and having a grand old-time. The problem is at that same moment in time I usually want to collapse on the couch with a bowl of ice cream and watch something on the TV.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the fact that Jesus says that we need to become like kids to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matt 18:3. My kids spend a lot of time laughing, dancing, singing and playing. Sure they fight and fight and fight again but it is amazing how much they laugh and how really little I do in comparison. And I’m not sure why. Am I too tired to laugh? Too busy? Too focused on the next thing I need to get done? Laughing is so present tense—in order to laugh at the joke, at the funny dance, at the silly noise I have to be photofocused on the present. And really truth be told I spend a lot of time thinking of what needs to happen next…

People have done research on how many times a day kids laugh compared to adults—300 times compared to maybe 10? That is a HUGE difference. Scientists have also done research on the medical qualities of laughter. We have a friend who recently was at the Mayo Clinic and was told by one of the doctors there that laughter is a good healing method. I know in the healing rooms at Bethel Church they use laughter to heal people—and as they laugh with and over people, people experience healing.  And yet I will actually tell my kids to stop laughing and focus on what they are supposed to get done. I need them to produce not fool around. Why? Why do I need them to be serious? Why do I spend so much time trying to get them to be more like me as opposed to me becoming more like them?

I recently had another birthday and as I prayed about this next year, a little tradition I have, I think God told me to laugh more, sing more and dance more…essentially to be lisam dancingke my kids. So this year…when I am 36 I am asking God to instill in me childlike qualities and to remind me that sometimes bedtime can wait and dancing is really the only necessary response. Because my kids get it. They understand how to be kids. And Jesus tells us to be more like them.  So while I get to train and equip them how to function in our world, and about who they are and who God is, they get to train and equip me on how to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. And right now that looks like laughing, dancing and singing…

24. April 2013 by Ali Millikan
Categories: Parenting, Thoughts on Life | 5 comments

Comments (5)

  1. Amen, Ali. Such profound & life-giving wisdom!

  2. I’m right there with you, Alison! And I only have 3…
    Thanks for your honesty and desire to be changed.

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