The Wonder of New

This summer, our family of five embarked on a great adventure! I like to call it “camping without the tent.” It was Will’s idea to take us to the Marriott in Muscle Shoals, and we were thrilled for the kids to experience their first night in a hotel.

As we packed, I said to them, “Now, this is something very special, so I want you guys to be nice to each other and do what mommy and daddy say, okay?!”

They nodded with wide eyes.

John kept asking if they had an indoor pool in the car. We told him we would see. As our minivan pulled around the circle at the grand entrance to the Marriott, John said, “Ohhhh noooooo, mommy.”

“What baby?” I asked.

“There’s other kids here!”

When I described the hotel and showed him pictures online, he thought we’d be the only people in the whole place. Bless him!

His sadness melted away when we walked into the lobby. One look at the grand fountain in the entryway and he was squealing.

“They do have an indoor pool, mommy! They do! Put my bathing suit on!”

I had to pull his little arms out of the fountain and steer him to the elevator. He and Mary were completely enthralled with the elevator and gold luggage rack and bellman. When we opened the door to our room, Will and I were a bit surprised. We had gotten the last room in the place which, it turns out, had just one queen bed. We remarked about this to each other and Mary, who had never heard beds described in sizes, picked up on one word; “queen”.

“We get to sleep in a queen’s bed! John, we get to sleep in a queen’s bed with mommy and daddy!”

Poor baby Anna was irate not to be included in the queen’s bed. We woke up to her greeting us from her adjoining pack n play letting us know she wanted in. It was 6am. Will called down to the desk to ask what time the pool opened and the woman told us 7. Lucky for us! The pool actually opened at 8 and we were thrilled and shocked to be the only ones there. It is a huge pool with no entry, a real waterslide, bridges and fountains. We had the entire thing to ourselves, much to the surprise of everyone who got the memo it opened at 8. This was totally in line with John’s grand vision!

And then we discovered the hot tub. Mary and John had never seen one and thought it was amazing. When asked what her favorite part of the trip was, Mary said “the hot pool.”

The kids had never seen a breakfast buffet either and could not believe all of the options under those golden covers. They piled a massive amount of sugary cereals, pancakes and syrup onto their plates, and tried a few new foods too. It was like a royal feast for those of us who slept in the queen’s bed.

We have been blessed to travel to some neat places this summer, but Mary and John agreed going to the Marriott was their favorite thing. Will and I cherish the memory and hold it dear. There is nothing more precious than seeing a familiar experience made new through the eyes of child!

Lord, open our eyes to see the wonders of your world every day. Awaken us to see the blessings You give us with child-like appreciation. Captivate us with how You transform the ordinary into brand new. May we learn from our children to appreciate this amazing life, and appreciate You, our Amazing Daddy. Thanks for making us royal. Amen.

“For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭18:2-5‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Faith Like A Child

He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3 NIV)

I spend my days with my three children who are all under five. While I teach them about life, it is amazing and humbling how much they actually teach me. The world says they are growing up to become like my husband and me, but Jesus says that we need to change and become like them. So, what does that look like?

One of the definitions of change is to “turn back again.” Here are a few of my favorite observations of my kids, and each is an area I could use some change in. I thought I’d share in hopes that we can all “turn back again” and become more like them.


Live only in the present.

Understand heaven and cheer when people go.

Rush to help people in need.

Ask God for big things.

Rest everyday.

Sing and dance freely.

Engage everyone in their path.

Receive gifts with joy, no matter what they can offer in return.

Play. A lot.

Are unashamedly needy.

Have tender hearts.

Are quick to cry.

Are taken with the wonder of creation.

Are always learning.

Build relationships in person.

Don’t hide their feelings.

Never sugar coat the truth, but always tell it sweetly.

Don’t mind getting dirty.

Create and build things with their own hands.

Are quick to say I’m sorry.

Are quick to forgive. And forget.

Use their imaginations.

Dream really big.

Say those dreams out loud.

Hug often.

Need to be held. 

Know they are royalty.

Wear tiaras.

Fight bad guys with swords.

Speak up when things aren’t right.

Want to change the world.

Hate being in the dark alone.

Seek justice.

Love to talk about their boo boos and scars.

Have a better day when they obey.

Can be in real danger when they don’t.

Are captivated by Bible stories.

Believe in miracles.

See their Daddy as their main source of protection.

Miss their Daddy if they don’t see him for a day.

Believe everything their Daddy says.

Will tell you what makes them special.

Laugh. Even when it’s inappropriate.

See each day as a great adventure.

Are blind to status.

See through to the heart.

Talk about their fears.

Try new things.

Don’t take themselves too seriously.

Are entertained on a dime.

Find their identity in their family

Love till it hurts.

Know Jesus as their friend.

The world often overlooks them, but they are the ones Jesus stopped for. If he came to this town, he would seek them out. If he came to my home, he would let them crawl on his lap. They are his special friends. They recognize him and are not afraid to drop everything and run to him exactly as they are!

Father, thank you for the gift of children. Open our eyes to see the ones around us like You do and love them well. Help us learn from them and become more like them. Thank you for adopting us as Your children through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus, who laid down his life for us. Thank You that no matter how old we are, we will always be children to You, and You will always be our Perfect Daddy. Thanks for making us new every morning. Give us child-like faith to receive the Kingdom of heaven today.