Conversations with Kyrie about God, our priest, and Santa Claus

We were in the car yesterday, and I was talking about some sort of inanimate object (I can’t remember what) in the car last night, and Kyrie asked me where it was. This is the conversation that ensued.

Me: It died. It died and went to be with Jesus.
Kyrie: laughs Where is Jesus?
Me: Jesus is in heaven, with the Father.
Kyrie: Where is heaven?
Me: It’s all around us. It’s here, but it’s also in another dimension.
Kyrie: Does God talk to you?
Me: Well, He talks to us in His word and through His Spirit. We can talk to him when we pray.
Kyrie: We can talk to Jesus when we pray. And we can pray to the God the Father. And we can pray to Fr. Jerry.
Me: No, we can’t pray to Fr. Jerry. We can talk to Fr. Jerry at church and when we see him. We can only pray to God. Fr. Jerry is just a nice man who teaches us about Jesus.
Kyrie: When does he teach us about Jesus.
Me: When we go to church, and he talks to us. He talks about Jesus.
Kyrie: Santa Claus doesn’t talk about Jesus. He’s just a nice guy who gives us presents.

So, I’m a night owl.

Rick and I have never really gotten into the same routine when it comes to going to sleep and waking up. He wakes up much earlier than I do, and usually says goodbye to his nearly comatose wife every morning as he heads out the door to work. At night, I’ll either find something stupid to watch on TV, browse the internet, or read a book until I can’t stay awake any longer. It’s at night that my mind starts to spin with ideas and memories and thoughts and feelings. It’s apparently when Rick lets go of all of that and just falls asleep effortlessly. I type away on the computer while he snores. I’m a little jealous. I think mornings are beautiful, and I’ve never really wanted to miss out on them. And I don’t particularly enjoy staying up late, even if I do appreciate the alone time it offers me. It’s just…how I am. Not that I couldn’t probably change that with a lot of effort. But a lot of effort, is, well, hard.

So I’ve been thinking about how much I love my family. Immediate family first, extended next. Well, and my friends, whom I really consider to be part of my extended family. But I’m focusing on my immediate family here. They bring me so much joy every day. I know, I’m one of those moms that can’t shut up about how wonderful and rewarding it is to be a mom, and how adorable and beautiful and sweet and smart my children are. But, hey, it’s true. And none of it is anything I deserve. Any good traits that my children have, I certainly can’t take credit for. Their sweet spirits remind me of the love of Christ every day. And their challenging behaviour humbles me. I see my own weaknesses in them. And I realize that I’m just the same as my challenging children. I do stupid, selfish things that I should have learned from the millions of times before that they were bad decisions. I just don’t “get” why Kyrie keeps doing something after I’ve told her not to, and then I realize that God has told me not to do things that I return to doing almost daily. And then I vow I’ll never do it again. “I don’t want to be a mom who yells,” I’ll say, and then I’ll pray and ask God to help me have endless patience with my kids. And I will try. But then someone will do something like dump out nail polish or draw with a pen on the couch or give me some major attitude or hit their sibling, and then my obedience to God goes out the window as well. I’m realizing that leading by example means a lot more than being nice to your kids so they’ll be nice to others. It means showing that you can follow your authority figures, the biggest one being God. How can I expect obedience and respect from my children when I’m not obeying my Master? And if I’m supposed to follow the example that He is setting for me, I should meet disobedience with forgiveness and compassion and lots of “second chances.” That’s not to say there aren’t punishments or consequences for wrong actions, but rather to say that they’re all done in love, or ought to be.

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