Christ. Children. Constructivism.

Our Christian Montessori conversation could start here. Grab a cup of coffee or chai tea and settle in for a connection about things that matter most. Here is where you will be comforted that you are not alone.

Becoming You

Her flight was due to arrive in Minneapolis at ten o’clock at night.  I was bouncing up and down on my tiptoes as I saw her round the corner the Airport Terminal #2.  My college girl was coming home for Christmas break; home for, what I was calling, 30-Days-of-Fun.  We stayed up that first night and talked into the wee-hours of the morning.  She talked, I listened.  Listened to her reflections on her first time being away from home, living in a suite with new people, struggling to find the balance of studying and playing at the beach, choosing wisely – both friends and activities. What she now believed about herself, her life, and God.
I listened to her becoming. Yes!  That’s what that was in the middle of night.  I recognized it and I pondered the things she was saying in my heart.
“Kids grow up so fast!”  It wasn’t that long ago my red-headed princess was just born at 2:34 in the morning in May, learning to walk, running about in pigtails, playing Legos with her siblings, eating dinner each night at my table, telling me about her day, dancing at Celebrate Dance studio three nights a week, attending her youth group every Wednesday, packing a lunch, washing her clothes, curling her hair by her ballet mirror, spinning a pirouette on my kitchen floor, reading her Story of the World chapter, memorizing a Bible passage for Verses For Life, going to her first school dance, being named a captain of her dance team, leading worship at her High School graduation, dancing with her sister at her senior dance recital, leaving for college – I was losing her!  My little girl was growing up and she wasn’t just mine anymore!
Remember the story about young Jesus who was 12 years old and went to visit Jerusalem for the first time for Passover? 3 days later, on the way home, Mary and Joseph realized they lost Jesus!  Pure panic.  Can you imagine in a Roman dominated culture the realization that Jesus was missing? When they found him, in the temple, with Jewish Rabbis, discussing the scriptures, they asked him a question that all parents ask – for which there is no answer “Why did you do this to us?”  Jesus looked surprised and answered, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know I need to be about my Father’s business?” (Matthew 2:41-52).
It was after sharing this story in Family Preschool a few years ago that I had my own epiphany moment that this is the essence of “becoming.”  We need to release our children into their own destiny and mission. They actually leave our home, our Nazareth places, our comfort zones, and sometimes, our time zones, to be about the Father’s business. We don’t really lose them – they are finding themselves.  Finding their own purpose on the planet. 
How does it happen?  How does a person become himself or herself?  Better yet  – become like Jesus?  It is a slow, unnoticeable growth.  Measured not by a ruler like height, but in invisible increments of character. When is a soul shaped? How can a parent be more aware of it and be more intentional? How can we really practice the idea that God gave children THRU us not TO us?  They are not ours – they are God’s.  They are sent to discover a special mission on planet earth. How can we do this with grace?  Well, we could…

Tell them about Jesus.

Tell them stories about when they were little. About when you were little. Stories are powerful and they build security in us as humans.

Take them to church. Worship with them. Leading by example is best.

Pray for them.  Pray with them. Keep praying. Never stop praying.

Ask them – “what do you need?”  Do your best to respond to their needs and meet them.

Give them freedom within boundaries.  Kids need green and red.  Avoid yellow.  The underdeveloped neurological brains need clear rules and expectations.

Affirm them. Tell them they are wonderful.  Because they are!

Be honest.  Tell them the truth about God’s world and God’s word. 

Forgive them when they make a mistake.  Forgive yourself when you make one.  Have a grace-filled home that is filled with mercy and truth.

Be a good listener.  Be a good observer.  Watch the becoming and be in awe that God is creating someone special right before your very eyes.
The next morning, after Madeline returned from college and we had our middle-of-the-night talk, a faithful song artist, who seems to sing the soundtrack of my life, sang the song “Signal” on her new CD.  It took on entirely new meaning as I realized I was looking eye to eye with my 18-year-old daughter, who was growing up.  She was discovering her own new path and her signal was getting louder. She is singing her own song.  I sang the words loudly as I cried under the power of the moment. She was leaving our Nazareth, going about her Father’s Business. Becoming.

Signal by Sara Groves

All the clichés about how fast kids grow are true
I woke up this morning eye to eye with you
The love songs and adages couldn’t explain the whole
Of all you’re becoming, body and soul

Your heart goes out I can hear your song
Your signal is getting stronger; your signal is getting strong
There’s no cliché when I hear your song
Your signal is getting stronger; your signal is getting strong

Many clichés about living this life are true
The path is worn but for us it’s new
There’s no way to know it without discovery
Marking our missteps with mercy

Your heart goes out I can hear your song
Your signal is getting stronger; your signal is getting strong
There’s no cliché when I hear your song
Your signal is getting stronger; your signal is getting strong

Yeah its all been said
But don’t be afraid
To throw back your head
And sing anyway

Your heart goes out I can hear your song
Your signal is getting stronger; your signal is getting strong
There’s no cliché when I hear your song
Your signal is getting stronger; your signal is getting strong

All the clichés about how much I love you are true
As big as the sky and up to the moon
A million a zillion, infinity plus one
P.S. We had thirty days of fun for sure, and they included more singing aloud, with harmony, to Sara Groves. Here are the things we did around the Twin Cities.  I would think a 2 year old, 12 year old or 20 year old would enjoy many of these. It is a great way to enjoy “the becoming!”
Visit Starbucks about 20 separate times, try different drinks
Attend and volunteer at Substance Christmas
Drink Bubble Tea at the Tea Garden
Make several Target runs
View the art in the new white glossy wing at the MOA
Eat Penne Pasta and Mozzarella Caprese Sandwiches
Work out, Jump Rope, Run in the snow
Put up the Christmas tree and using burlap
Shop for Christmas gifts
Attend a memorial service of a good friend
Bake kale chips
Cheer on the high school team
Enjoy favorite restaurants, last night – Punch Pizza
Create art prints together at Cookies and Canvas
Watch a favorite new/old movie – Star Wars, for example
Take a trip up north to make a snow angel
Click the selfie-photo button many times so you can remember

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