Soaking up Those Sponge Like Moments


We recently celebrated my youngest sons birthday.  Because he shares his birthday with our anniversary, we often celebrate his birthday over Memorial Day weekend… So, in his book he is 4 now though technically there are still a few more days till that occurs officially. 

I love this age… 3/4...  I love how his personality is developing as well as his sense of humor.  I love how his vocabulary is growing and he tries out new words, many big words and he misuses them.  I love how the other day when we were stuck in traffic on our way to the gym he begged for me to “PUH-LEEZE pull over RIGHT NOW” and when I asked why he answered, “So I can pull my underwear out of my butt.”  I love that at this age stopping the van in rush hour traffic for a wedgie seems like a perfectly normal request. 

One thing I also love about this age are those magic moments when he soaks everything up like a sponge.  You can’t plan them, if you do you will end up totally frustrated, but when you see them, if you seize them, oh the depth of information he can absorb.  I love those moments. 

About a month ago, he was writing letters on a piece of paper… he had no idea what letters they were and yet he sat at the table like the big kids writing N and C and O and all sorts of letters on his paper so he too could do school.  I stopped working with the other kids and said we needed a few minutes.  I wrote out the letters of his name and told them what it spelled and then had him copy it.  We worked together for about 10 minutes, trying it out a few times… and then he got it.   He didn’t know the names of the letters, but he knew they were his.  He was SO excited.  He couldn’t write his name enough times.  And for weeks after everywhere we went anytime he saw one of those letters from his name he would call out, “My Name!  I see my name!”  He was learning the value of the written word.  We still have much to work on, but his absolute love and enthusiasm is so precious and exciting. 

We’ve also had a few similarly unexpected and precious moments, when he was ready to hear about God.   One afternoon we were driving in the van and the song came on in which this man sings about How He Needs a Miracle… It was just kind of playing in the background as I was driving with him when he asked, “Mom, why does he need a miracle?”  How do I even explain that, I thought… but I did my best to answer in his language… “Well, because he needs Jesus.”  Why?  Well, because of sin.. Sin is when we mess up… like when you disobey your parents or are mean to your brother or sister… that is Sin… and because of sin, we need Jesus.  I told him we need Jesus because all of us sin,  and sin has consequence.  (he knows what a consequence is because every time he disobeys I tell him he has to have a consequence, be it time out, losing a privilege… I don’t call it punishment, I call it a consequence, and so he understands consequence).  I explained that Jesus never messed up, never and so he took our consequence for us.  He asked several questions and I did my best to answer them and before we knew it he was talking about Thomas the Train… because at his age, those “sponge moments”  are short… you gotta grab em when you see it because the attention span isn’t long.  I wasn’t sure how much he grasped but was grateful for the conversation.  Because I really believe when your introducing someone to Jesus, it takes more than one conversation… it takes many, many conversations, as well as living out your faith in front of them.  I was glad for that one conversation and hopeful for more. 

The next day my oldest two were having a big fight, yelling and screaming and calling names, my youngest looked at his sister and said, “You messed up.” 

Aha… he was listening yesterday…. he just recognized sin…. in the midst of correcting this sinful behavior I was able to show my youngest, that yes, we sin and we need to say we are sorry and Jesus died to forgive us for all the times we mess up….

Fast forward a few more weeks and the big kids and I started working on some Scripture memory.  We were working on Romans 5:7-8.  “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person, someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners Christ died for us.”   I must confess I had no expectation that my youngest would memorize this.  I was working on it with the older three and he was at the table with us.  That night when they were practicing it, he corrected them when they messed up.  I realized, he was paying attention.  Later that week he recited it for me.  Again we found ourselves in the car and he was saying the verse over and over and then singing it and then adding little phrases to his song about how he loved God and God loved him.  I said to him, “You know what you just did, buddy?  You worshipped.  You were worshipping God with that song, you were singing about His love and your love and you were worshipping.  You made God smile buddy.”  He was thrilled.  He kept singing more songs and asking if I thought that was making God smile.  My heart was full.  Then he said, “Momma, it’s so sad that Jesus died.  I am so sad Jesus is dead.”  I then told him, “You know what buddy, Jesus didn’t stay dead.  He came back to life.  He isn’t dead anymore because he is more powerful than even death. And you know if you tell Jesus your sorry for your sins and you ask him to be your Savior, guess what?  He lives inside of you.  He is with you wherever you go.”  He was SO EXCITED!  He exclaimed, “Oh Momma, I am going to pray right now”… and he did… driving down the highway on our way home from picking up the girls from practice, he prayed on his own out loud something to the effect of “Dear Jesus I am sorry I sin.  Please forgive me and be my Lord and live inside of me”  My heart was bursting and then he said, “Momma so Jesus is with me wherever I go?”  “So, Momma you mean I don’t have to be scared of shadows anymore at night because Jesus and God are with me?”  Yup… buddy, that’s what I mean.  You are not alone… Jesus is with you. 

When we got home he raced inside to tell Scott all about it and then he said his memory verse and told him how Jesus and God were inside him and he wasn’t scared of shadows anymore.  The next morning I called him for breakfast and he said, “Momma you gotta have a lot of food because Jesus and God are inside me and we are all hungry.”  (clearly he is still learning and applying these big spiritual truths, but he is getting it and I am so, very excited.” 

These past few months of being 3 have been truly precious.  I love watching him learn and I love his enthusiasm.  I’m excited for all the growth that will occur in this next year.  IMG_2626


  1. How precious. You write so well and capture the moments in such a way that they really, really live. Thank you for all the love that you and Scott put into your/our children/grandchildren. What a privilege and blessings to watch you both parent.

  2. I absolutely LOVE 3-4 too! So much of this reminds me of my conversations with Isaac, and I wish I would have written it all down like you. Great job seeing some great teachable moments mama!!

  3. Way to capture the right teachable moments and see the fruits of your labor as parents. Beautiful post Glad that you have some time off of school and can bless us all with your writings.

  4. Tears in my eyes right now, Crystal! So excited for this little guy and all he's learning about our awesome God. Including how hungry He gets, apparently. :)


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