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I complain about my children most days. They are fabulous little human beings, but there are just so many of them. I have a five-year-old, Oscar, and twin three-year-olds, Hazel and Mae. It turns out I’m not particularly well suited to parenting young children, especially several at once. Some parts of it are a deep joy, and other parts, not as much. I am in awe of preschool teachers. I am baffled by homeschoolers.

Last week I said to a friend, “Getting in the car is the worst! I hate it! My kids just don’t have the same priorities as I do.” My priorities are mostly getting to the place we need to go, not being late, and not being embarrassed by being late. Also having important things, like shoes on your feet. My children don’t really seem to care about any of that.

My friend, maybe just to make conversation, or maybe drawing from a deep well of wisdom, asked, “What are their priorities?” I thought for a second and said, “Mostly being together, being in the moment, experiencing all of life… and joy.” I think my counselor has been trying to get me to focus on these things.

My counselor and Jesus.

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

I think that might have been what he meant. And maybe they are already in the kingdom, bearing it out, witnessing to me. Maybe it’s so hard to get them to put their shoes on because they know that they are standing on holy ground.

Jen Holmes Curran

Jen Holmes Curran is a pastor at Sherman Street Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She co-pastors and co-parents with her husband Tony.

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