Theological Wisdom From a First-Grader

December 15, 2008 | 12 comments

A lot of bloggers seem to be featuring books these days, so here’s my humble contribution.

At Getting Down With Jesus, I present to you … (pause for dramatic effect) : “A Textbook of Christian Theology,” by Lydia and Anna Lee.

Here’s a sneak peek into the wisdom and probing questions of the Lee girls (ages 7 and 4):

Anna on God’s sleep patterns: “Does God take naps?”

Lydia on God’s omniscience: “How can God really hear all of our prayers?”

Anna on the End Times: “What happens when all the people in the world die?”

Lydia on Jesus’ Second Coming: “Well then, what is He waiting for?”

Anna on God’s gender: “Is God a boy or a girl? ‘Cause I think God is both a boy and a girl, and that means God has two heads.”

Lydia on evangelism: “When I go to college, I’m gonna walk around town telling people about Jesus, even people I don’t know. Even people with blue hair and red skin. It’s a big world.”

Reminded last week that God lives in the hearts of believers, Anna paused long enough to weigh the possible physical considerations and remarked: “Well, then, He sure must have a lot of heads.” (The whole head thing has become a theme for her.)

Well, this week, as we continue to celebrate Advent, Lydia offered another theological gem — this time on Advent. Advent, of course, is a season of expectant waiting for Christ.

But here’s the deal: the girls’ patience is wearing a bit thin.

The question — “How many more days?” — is uttered with increasing regularity. I’m now being asked to count not just days, but hours until Christmas.

As presents pile up under the tree, Lydia has officially had it. She announced over her Captain Crunch breakfast: “I don’t like to Advent.”


In Lydia’s world, Advent has become a verb — a rather troublesome, lingering verb. Enough of this “Adventing.” She was ready to start “Christmasing.”

Confession: For most of my life, I’ve had the same mindset. Enough of the appetizer; let’s move on to the Main Course.

This year is different. I’ve tried to make a conscious effort of seeing the value in the wait. Advent is two-fold. It is grounded in Jesus’ first arrival 2,000 years ago to an expectant people. It also sets our eyes on the Second Coming.

Today, icy roads kept us away from services at our little country church, a mile from our doorstep. Church was canceled. The Advent candles remained unlit. Even our girls’ evening Christmas program was called off.

So with nowhere to go, no responsibility to fulfill, no shopping list to conquer, we simply waited. A forced wait.

We Advented. And it was good.

With paint brushes, silly books and an eagerness for tomorrow — another day closer to Christmas — my girls found joy in the waiting, too.

Now it’s your turn: Help the Lee girls and their parents. Tell us, what can we do to make Advent a verb this season? What have you done this year?

Photo: My church’s advent candles, with Christmas tree in the background.

by | December 15, 2008 | 12 comments

12 Comments

  1. Jesse and Sarah

    Good question Jennifer. And that is so cute about the ‘two heads’…yet makes perfect sense to a child. I love the outlook of these girls; so pure and even in depth for their ages.

    I think for me when I put Advent into a verb it means that I take time to pray more and look for Christ in others; my friends, social bloggers, neighbors, etc. Advent from what I’ve read means ‘to take action’ so therefore I seek to try harder as a follower of Him in the day to day things I do, even if it’s as simple as motioning for the patient driver that I see in my corner eyeshot trying to slowly enter my lane,so I offer for them to cut in. During the Christmas season with the long traffic lines and tripled impatience on the road, something like being a loving driver makes that other driver so pleased and happy, which in turn pleases me. Of course, this takes practice on my behalf, which I’m willing to work on. Thank you for posing this question so that it puts me up to the challenge of being active for Him.

    Reply
  2. Billy Coffey

    Ah, waiting. Patience is a virtue that my children have yet to develop, probably because their father has yet to develop it, too.

    But we’ve found something to keep the kids interested. The Nativity scene we set up is missing the wise man. Instead of taking his place beside the baby Jesus, he magically wanders around our house looking for Christ. Sometimes he’s found on top of the television, sometimes in the kitchen, sometimes in the kids rooms. (I’ve started to run out of places to put him, so I’ve had to get creative.)

    The kids love it. Every morning when they get up, the first thing they want to do is find the wise man. Last Christmas morning, they had to make sure the wise man had finally found baby Jesus before they would open their presents.

    Reply
  3. Lori

    Waiting…never my strong suit, but one I have to play so often. Thanks for the reminder to slow down and wait with both grace and patience.

    Reply
  4. patty

    After my miscarriage, I remember one of the pastor’s messages during advent struck me and God brings it back to mind often: the truth that there is no hope without waiting. Simple enough fact. But the depth of the idea takes me to my knees every time. So waiting is hard, but without it, where would the hope be?

    Reply
  5. Darlene

    First of all, GORGEOUS post!

    How we Advent:
    We tuck baby Jesus, from our nativity set, in a drawer hidden from our kids. He arrives on Christmas morning, and they love looking to see if he is “there yet” each day.
    I still have yet to do this, but I have been meaning to every year. I want to do my own advent wreath in the center of our table.
    The classic Advent calendar, and counting down the days ‘until baby Jesus is born’ (not really ‘until Christmas’)

    Reply
  6. Chris Godfredsen

    Our Kindergartner, Alex, came home from school a while back with a red and green construction-paper chain. The chain is how young Alex is Adventing this year – each day he removes a “link” from the chain, realizing that we are then one more day to the celebration of Jesus’ birth.

    It is always a joy to hear what those little dolls of yours are going to come up – and fun for me to be able to share this today, as well.

    Patience is such a struggle, but I pray you are blessed in your Adventing!

    Reply
  7. Chris Godfredsen

    Our Kindergartner, Alex, came home from school a while back with a red and green construction-paper chain. The chain is how young Alex is Adventing this year – each day he removes a “link” from the chain, realizing that we are then one more day to the celebration of Jesus’ birth.

    It is always a joy to hear what those little dolls of yours are going to come up – and fun for me to be able to share this today, as well.

    Patience is such a struggle, but I pray you are blessed in your Adventing!

    Reply
  8. Carey

    Ok, “Well, then, what’s He waiting for?” is my absolute favorite!! Girl, I can totally relate. =)

    As to your question, it’s one I should be thinking more about. Uncounciously…I haven’t been stressing nearly as much this Advent. Which has been a wonderful God-thing. Also trying to spend more of that non-stressing time with my kiddos.

    Reply
  9. Yvonne

    Adventing…learned a new verb!

    Here’s a few creative ways to advent:

    ~ make homemade cards for a neighbor and carol them when you deliver it

    ~ put on a play or puppet show of the nativity story

    ~ cut tiny pictures from magazines or cards or wrapping paper to glue on each day until Christmas Day

    ~ make wrapping paper by painting designs on plain paper

    ~ record them singing their favorite songs for a gift for a grandparent

    ~ bake and decorate some cookies together, hang them on the tree perhaps

    I hope these ideas help spark some of your own. Thanks for commenting on my blog.

    Reply
  10. Jennifer Dukes Lee

    Thank you all for your great suggestions. I have specifically implemented the hiding of the baby Jesus (thanks, Darlene), and the Detective-ish Wise Man has gone missing, as he’s searching for Jesus (thanks, Billy).

    Sarah and Carey, I think you’re right. It’s often the “simple” things that matter the most: prayer, looking for Christ, having our words and actions match, spending quality time with the kids.

    Lori — You and me both, sister.

    Patty, I love this. “… there is no hope without waiting.”

    Chris, Now that you mention the chain, I recall doing that as a child.

    Yvonne, What a great list. Thanks for dropping by and joining the discussion.

    Have a blessed season, one and all.

    Reply
  11. Pam at beyondjustmom

    What wonderful quotes! This season, I’ve been “adventing” by trying to enjoy the daily moments, rather than living for the one and only big day. This actually means I’m doing less advent “stuff”, but enjoying the time more. I keep telling myself advent is a process, not a product. Hopefully we’ll all feel more relaxed when the big day comes around.

    Reply
  12. superstar70

    Always , Always Always love to read your blog especially when you write such inspiring words out of the 2 most beautiful little angels God put on this earth…KUDO'S Lydia for what you are going to do when you go to college…i wish i could have even 1% of the incredible gift you have…and Anna…God does take naps…and sometimes he takes them with you & cradles you as you sleep much like your precious momma does 🙂
    I love you all so much for giving me never-ending hope & possibility…keep doin' whatch your doin' for without you, i would be lost…ADVENT: The coming or arrival, especially of something extremely important…i did have to google it but it sums it up for me! 🙂 But to me, HE is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!!!
    Hugs!
    Tracy

    Reply

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