Setting Up and Stepping Back

What happens when we set up a moment and step back and watch…

We took the girls on a walk around Notre Dame last Friday night. It was not a game weekend, so it was eerily quiet on campus, the moon was shining, the breeze was cool and everything just seemed right in the air.

I don’t think any of the girls have ever been in the Sacred Heart Basilica before. The doors were open, so we walked in. A bride and groom were just gathering in the back for a wedding rehearsal; the wedding coordinator gave us a stern look over her glasses, but no one stopped us so we went in and grabbed a pew.

As parents, we have learned that we can’t always control what our kids retain when we try to teach them, but we have also learned that part of our responsibility as parents is setting up moments as best we can in order to help our kids receive a “moment.” After the “set up” we know our job is also to “step back” and watch as they learn something on their own.

We hope and pray that our girls will get a glimpse of holiness, of Jesus, of their Heavenly Father…and sometimes everything just snaps into place and there He is in all his glory, revealing himself to our children in a way only He could.

Friday night was one of those nights. Our girls were enraptured by the sense of wonder and holiness that comes by standing in front of a place like the Grotto at Notre Dame, seeing all those candles lit, representing prayers lifted to Heaven.

Isabelle is just eight years old, but she had a very special moment with Jesus I thought I’d share with you.

At her school, one of the rewards for especially good behavior is a purple “Live Strong” bracelet.  She was able to get two of these in the first few weeks of school, which is a pretty big deal when you’re in second grade.  She was devastated when she lost one on Thursday. She came home crying and crying, so very sad that it was gone.  She is a very tender hearted kid, and it’s hard to console her when something is just “gone” and can’t be replaced.

On Friday when we walked past the “Touchdown Jesus” muriel on the Notre Dame campus, Belle said that she “felt God move around in her heart in a special way”. Then, when we walked in the Sacred Heart Basicilla, she wanted to go over by herself on a pew to pray. She came back over to us with teary eyes, just pouring her heart out to Jesus, in awe of the beauty of that place.

When we walked over to the Grotto, she said that she wanted  a few minutes to pray. She knelt down, closed her eyes, and when she opened her eyes,  A PURPLE BRACELET WAS ON THE FENCE POST RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER!  She could not believe it. The bracelet was almost identical to the one she had lost. She wasn’t ecstatic or anything, just happy. “Look at what God gave to me”, she said with such simple child-like faith.

There was no doubt in her mind God put that bracelet there, just for her.

Moms and Dads can set up moments to teach their kids about the holiness of God, but when we step back, we stand amazed at what God does to teach our children about Himself.

I am in awe. And more in love with my Heavenly Father than ever.

3 thoughts on “Setting Up and Stepping Back

  • October 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm
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    I absolutely LOVE this story. Thanks for sharing. Sometimes I wonder what would happen if we just stepped back out of God’s way more often. I am guilty of being in the way more than I like to admit.

    Reply
    • October 4, 2012 at 12:18 pm
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      Thank you Sara! God is good despite our own inconsistencies. I’m always amazed.

      Reply
  • October 5, 2012 at 12:36 am
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    Love this story Michelle….thanks fo sharing it.
    Humbled and grateful for the kindness and tender love of our Abba.

    Reply

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