Toddlers Want To Know About Spiritual Formation, Too

Today was my first day teaching a class. Except I’m not really teaching: I’m “facilitating” which is just a way of saying I’m too scared to teach and too lazy to do all the work myself, so class, help me out here! And it’s not a class: it’s a course offered at Women’s Bible Fellowship at Newberg Friends. But it is my first time doing whatever I was doing. And I survived. I asked a friend why I was doing this when I’ve never done anything like this before, and it makes my stomach all knotty and my shoulders hunchy and my face scrunchy. I already knew the answer: “Because I’m crazy. I almost forgot. Crazy people tend to do forget things, you know.”

One of my friends is getting her masters in Theology. Her classmate is a mom of two or three boys on top of being a wife and a church leader and all sorts of other roles. Someone asked her how in the world she could get a masters while having two small kids. Her reply: “How could I *not*?’ I think that’s how it is with me: parenting is challenging; to maintain healthy levels of sanity, I need to balance the mama duties with other interests, such as exploring spiritual formation. I know: some folks do something like take up knitting. Which is a lot more low-key and less stressful (although I’ve seen some stressed out Type A knitters, and let me tell you, knitting needles can fly FAR across the room). But for me, I’ve got this bug to keep exploring spirituality and culture and God’s amazing, relentless pursuing of us simply to be in and bring others into an intimate relationship with God.

So I’m facilitating this course. A lovely group of women have agreed to journey together: sharing experiences, bearing with this newbie speaker. I felt like things went . . . well. I spoke too much, of course. I babbled. I wasn’t clear – I was clearly nervous, but not necessarily verbally clear. But we shared why God is great in our lives. And we prayed prayers of thanksgiving and adoration to God. And that was *good*.

I also got a workout. Apparently adult women are not the only folks interested in spiritual formation. Because we had guests. Underaged guests. One of which happened to bear the same last name as me. And the same big blue eyes. And then same tendency towards temper tantrums and sugar sensitivities. A few minutes into my talk, I heard my son who was “safely” stowed away in the nursery down the hall. I figured he was just being loud. But it sounded so clear. . . I asked folks to center down, spend some quiet time with God, and I’d close us in prayer. And that’s when we were graced with the presence of two guests: my son, and my friend’s son. I always knew if they hung out together, we’d be in trouble. My son, leading the way, was followed by my friend’s son, and they were both giggling – they knew they had busted out. And no nursery worker was coming after them. In my intro talk, I mentioned that my son was a little on the active side. After he broke out of the nursery THREE TIMES, I think the women believe me. Two of the times, the nursery workers had no clue, and I had to deposit the Little Man back in his prison. The third time, a nursery worker came after him after a while, except then Judah broke out in a run – boy howdy, he can move. Man, camp counselors are gonna have fun with this one.

So either my son really wants to learn about spiritual formation, or he really wants to be a grace grower for the nursery workers in the area of patience, vigilence, and preparedness. Either way, it’s gonna be a fun journey for all of us at Women’s Bible Fellowship. Pray for all of us – those in courses and those on border patrol.

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