Yesterday William looked out the window and said, "Mom, why did Jesus decide to make it rain this morning?"
I cocked my head. Not only was I unsure how to answer him, I also wondered where the question came from. "Well, I guess Jesus just thought it was a good day for rain." Right. Sure. William seemed satisfied.
In another unexpected moment of spiritual "insight" this week, I received a note about Penny. Penny had gone on a playdate with her friend Anna over the weekend, and Anna's mother wrote to tell me that Penny had been afraid of a big slide and so she had decided to pray about it. I thought the mother must have misunderstood and that Penny had told her she wanted to play. But I asked Penny, "Did you and Anna's mother pray together during your playdate?"
"Oh no, Mom. I just prayed by myself." She squinted her eyes shut and clutched her hands together, in case I wasn't clear on her meaning.
"Why were you praying?"
"I was asking God to help me feel brave on the slide."
Having kids has changed my spiritual life. I often focus on what I've lost–the opportunity to pray without interruptions, the chance to read the Bible without an episode of Cat in the Hat in the background, the joy of sleeping late on a Sunday morning and showing up for the 11:00 service at church . . . And I often think I'm supposed to get back to that state of attentiveness rather than admitting that my life has changed. This season of life-with-small-children is a new one, with new limitations on my relationship with God, but also with new possibilities for growth.
So my advice to myself is to thank God for these inquisitive interrupters who ask me about Jesus and hot dogs in the same breath, who remind me how easy it is to stop and pray, who prompt me to ask questions of God, who bring me to my own knees–sometimes in desperation, sometimes in gratitude–with the privilege of raising them.