Strawberry Shortcake shortcomings: Lessons on child-like faith

What's Lauren's first thought when she wakes up? Play with me Mom!

What’s Lauren’s first thought when she wakes up? Play with me Mom!

Mommy, will you play Strawberry Shortcake with me?

I didn’t even open my eyes. As I turned over in bed, my groggy, early morning brain responded, “Not yet, sweetie.”

But Mom, I want to play with you right now!

My five-year-old daughter crawled into bed with me, knowing I wasn’t going to budge for a while. (This was the second morning she woke me up with this request.) Though she proceeded to ask me again, and again, to play with her favorite toy of the week, she let me lay there and process it was morning.

Thirty minutes later, I finally had enough gumption to sit up and stumble into the bathroom. My persistent daughter stood outside the closed door waiting for me to be ready to play dolls.

I was then escorted to the living room where we sat down and began playing with her Strawberry Shortcake posse, which she already had lined all out with their accessories.

To be honest, I still wanted to be in bed. I needed more rest! But how many times can you deny those beautiful, eager eyes?

She just wanted to be with me.

My daughter couldn’t contain her delighted smile as we tried different outfits on Strawberry Shortcake. As I watched her imagination sparkle, I realized I was in the presence of child-like faith.

  • She keeps asking until she receives what she desires.
  • She absolutely trusts that I love her and will protect and care for her.
  • She believes implicitly in what she cannot see.
  • She finds joy in the simplest circumstances.
  • She can’t help but dance when no one is watching, and when everyone is.
  • She longs to spend time with me.

This is the kind of faith that pleases God. This is the faith God wants me to have.

God desires for me to persevere in my prayers.

Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
– Matthew 7:7

God wants me to trust Him completely, to know without a doubt that He loves me and He will provide.

For I am persuaded that not even death or life,
angels or rulers,
things present or things to come, hostile powers,
height or depth, or any other created thing
will have the power to separate us
from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!
– Romans 8:38-39

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
– Philippians 4:19

God’s will is for my faith to be strong, believing in the beauty and reality of His promises.

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
– Hebrews 11:1, 6

God wants my life to be marked by joy, in every circumstance giving glory to Him.

The Lord is my strength and shield.
I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
– Psalm 28:7

In fact, God overflows my heart with His goodness and love, and gives me countless reasons to worship Him: in song, in dance, in word and in service.

Let Israel celebrate its Maker;
let the children of Zion rejoice in their King.
Let them praise His name with dancing
and make music to Him with tambourine and lyre.
– Psalm 149:2-3

Most of all, God wants me to be with Him. He came to Earth for me. He died for me. He rose from the grave so I could be with Him forever.

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
– Ephesians 1:4-8

I am God’s precious child, no matter how long I live on this earth. Instead of being the cranky adult who can barely wake up in the morning, I want to be fresh and wide-eyed in my faith, just like my baby girl. I should deeply desire to be by my Heavenly Father’s side, eagerly anticipating what we get to do together that day.

May my heart simply long to be with Jesus.

2 Weeks 2 the Cross

Our 2 Weeks 2 the Cross roadmap

Our 2 Weeks 2 the Cross road map

My family’s annual Easter experience has begun! For the next 14 days, we are focusing together on the events of Passion Week, including the cross and empty tomb.

Resurrection Sunday is truly the most important day we celebrate annually. Yet, we found ourselves for several years after our children were born not giving Easter the significance it deserves. Easter had become about a day of dressing up, attending a special service at church, hunting for Easter eggs and having a big dinner.

Just as we work to make Christmas count, my husband and I wanted to impress the incredible sacrifice of Jesus on our children’s hearts. We didn’t want Easter to be an after thought. This is now the third year we’ve taken our 2 Weeks 2 the Cross journey.

Join us as we prepare to celebrate the greatest day in history! For the next two weeks, I will post our daily 2 Weeks 2 the Cross scripture activities, and you are welcome to use these ideas with your family.

Here’s the lineup:

  • Sunday, March 22, Hosanna to the King of Kings – Mark 11:1-11
  • Monday, March 23, House of prayer, not den of thieves – Mark 11:15-19
  • Tuesday, March 24, Love God, love people – Matthew 22:34-40
  • Wednesday, March 25, Be the servant of all – John 13:1-20
  • Thursday, March 26, One of you will betray me – Mark 14:18-21
  • Friday, March 27, Do this to remember me – Matthew 26:26-30
  • Saturday, March 28 (Taking a break as I will be at a women’s conference)
  • Sunday, March 29, Not my will but yours – Matthew 26:36-46
  • Monday, March 30, I AM He – John 18:3-11
  • Tuesday, March 31, Remember the word of the Lord – Luke 22:54-62
  • Wednesday, April 1, This is Jesus, King of the Jews – Matthew 27:27-37
  • Thursday, April 2, Today you will be with me in paradise – Luke 23:39-43
  • Friday, April 3, Surely He is the Son of God – Matthew 27:45-54, 57-61
  • Saturday, April 4, For God so loved the world – John 3:16
  • Sunday, April 5, He is not here, He has risen! – Matthew 28:1-10

Click here for ideas to teach your children the meaning of Easter and spend time together as a family focusing on Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Happy Easter!