Think five kids from 18 mo. to 8 years old. Place yourself mentally on their canvas—where the spills of life have yet to taint the surface and instead the brushstrokes of God’s glory bring consistent color and pattern to their worldly perspective.
While you imagine the vivid hues and vast swirls of wonder, let me share what these five particular kids—my four nephews and niece—shared with me recently. I was babysitting them for my brother and sis-in-law, and incorporated what has come to be known as “Aunt Shelby Camp” into the week.
The theme for camp was “Indescribable”, and each day we discussed various categories for finding God’s indescribable wonder all around us, along with practicing gratitude. The following is a list of questions and answers from the babes:
1. What are some indescribable things in nature?
sunsets, trees, animal life, birds hatching, stars
2. What are some indescribable sounds?
leaves blowing, waterfall, piano, horn, singing
3. What are some indescribable smells?
cake, blackberry cobbler, celery, roses, pumpkin pie, soup
4. What is something you are grateful for even if it’s hard?
8 yr. old – sitting in a car seat for a long time, but knowing it’s safe
6 yr. old – having to unload the dishwasher, but knowing it helps mom
4 yr. old – doing chores, but knowing it’s good to help
5. Things about your Mom and Dad you are grateful for?
Mommy’s hugs, loving us, spending time with us, doing our chores for us
Although these lists are short, the content speaks volumes. Kids are easily stirred by the little stuff and consistently moved by the grandeur of God’s glory. Life has yet to dull their senses.
But what about embracing our sensory perceptions as busy moms? Do we press pause long enough to ponder the indescribable, or do we overlook the joy of short-lived aromas, the blissfulness of momentary tastes, the wonder of passing sounds, the abundance of all things blessing?
God projects His indescribable majesty for both adults and kids alike on a consistent 24/7 schedule. Even in our sleep we experience the magnificence of taste, smell, touch, sight, hearing in an altered state of consciousness. Meaning, we can’t miss the wonder all around us unless we choose to.
Littles aren’t wired to make such a choice. Life has yet to overpaint their canvas. Open space still exists for amazement.
Their young age means they are closer to God than we are three, four, five, or more decades into this gig. But we can find our way back to what matters most by using the gift of our senses to observe the world around us.
Kids do this well. We can learn from them.
“But ask the animals what they think—let them teach you;
let the birds tell you what’s going on.
Put your ear to the earth—learn the basics.
Listen—the fish in the ocean will tell you their stories.
Isn’t it clear that they all know and agree
that God is sovereign, that he holds all things in his hand—
Every living soul, yes,
every breathing creature?
Isn’t this all just common sense,
as common as the sense of taste?
Do you think the elderly have a corner on wisdom,
that you have to grow old before you understand life?” Job 12:7-12 (MSG)
Let’s seek out the indescribable one smell, taste, sight, sound, touch at a time, crazy Mommas!