Waking up a Chemistry Experiment

Dear Olivia,

I marvel at God’s strategy when He made you.  As some kids grow and develop, it’s normal and natural to see one disproportionate feature they might have to “grow into”…big feet or hands, a giant head, long and lanky legs.  For you, I know it’s been tricky growing into your oversized, proverbial heart.

I know that sometimes, as a girl with a 5 year old psyche and an overdose of sensitivity and compassion, it can be like observing an unpredictable, explosive chemistry experiment .  And this is what I have come to expect most mornings.

I trudge into your bedroom, usually not surprised if you’ve turned perpendicular, upside down or are half way falling off the bed.  With as much joy and singing, I gently rock and roll you until I see your beautiful face amidst the sea of a tangled, blonde mop of hair.  Then, I brace myself.

Somedays it’s not so bad.  Somedays it’s World War 3.  Today, it turned into one of my favorite mornings ever.

I awoke you bravely, with just a mild bit of warfare.  Later, I was in my bathroom getting ready, and you came in teary-eyed and mopey.  Expecting to hear a dramatic monologue about not having anything to wear and desperately needing my help, I was surprised to hear, “Mom, I feel really bad.”

Hearing such a sincerity in your voice, I paused all my primping and asked, “What do you feel bad about?”

“I feel bad about all the people I’m mean to,” you said.

“Who have you been mean to?” I ask.


For probably the first time in your young life, I embrace this tender moment as the Holy Spirit tugs on your heart and brings you to repentance.  I stumble through trying to explain in 5 year old terms what this means.

“Jesus is leading you to be sorry, because you have some bad in your heart.  That bad is what causes you to be mean to me and others.  And you have to give that bad to Jesus, because He’s the only one that can forgive you and replace it with His goodness.”

I lead you through a momentous prayer.  As you repeat my statements, you experience by faith, the life-saving, overwhelming, amazing grace of Jesus…a moment I will hold in my heart forever.

Your God-given sensitivity sometimes causes you to react quickly and feel things deeply, which can seem like a disadvantage.  Today it was an advantage, as it lead you to recognize the bad in you, and your desperate need for the only One who can take your bad and replace it with His good.  Your simple, immediate, faith filled response is exactly what Jesus was talking about in Mark 10:14.  Lord, help me learn to always respond like this, too.

Love you, proud of you, believe in you,




4 thoughts on “Waking up a Chemistry Experiment

  1. Jen, you are an amazing mom, daughter, wife and Christian. You have a God-given talent for tenderness and putting it into words. Loved reading your
    blog this morning. Wish I could give you a big hug. love you, mom

  2. Wow, I’m blown away after reading of your love for Olivia’s heart… This was such a blessing to me. What an amazing, faithfilled, and excited mom you are to believe and watch your children the way you do! Bless you and your sweet family.

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