In my entire neighborhood alone, there are a great number of children. They are all to be treasured as human beings, to be sure. But there are two little kids who are a peculiar treasure to me, more than any of those other beautiful children could hope to be.
"I'm still putting on make up. I'm not pretty yet, Dadda."
There are moments as a father, which are weightier than others, and you have to be present enough to catch. This is one of those moments.
I realize my daughter has dug into her mother's makeup bag because it is fun to do what mom does, but her statement struck my heart in a way I would not pass over. This was an opportunity.
"You do not need makeup to be pretty, Bryleigh. You are so pretty."
That was not hard to say nor did it take but a few moments of being present enough to seize. My 2 year old playfully saying, "I'm still putting on make up. I'm not pretty yet, Dadda" was an opportunity to be a Dad before there is an emotional belief behind that statement.
I am not against my daughter putting on make up (later), but I am vehemently against my daughter ever believing she needs makeup to be pretty.
"Whoever fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge." Proverbs 14:26 My girls can know the safety and security of refuge if I fear God with my life enough to find MY confidence in God alone. My fear of God is a fountain of life for myself and my family (vs 27).
Do my children know that I fear God? Do they feel secure by my confidence in God? Can I improve my confidence in God, and thus security for my family? What is my attitude toward God TODAY?
I am also nervous about it. She is only 3 1/2 months old and nearly every single present under the tree was for her. Even though she has no idea what is even happening right now, she has been flooded with gifts she will never even know she had.
Why am I nervous?
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine was in tears as he explained the previous night's bedtime prayer with his 3-year-old daughter at which she briefly prayed to Jesus and seamlessly transitioned into a prayer to Santa. I sat and empathized with a Father whose heart broke at the reality of a daughter throwing Jesus to the wayside in prayer to Santa Claus during the time of year Jesus is to be most honored.
Each Father in the room that day fully realizes his daughter is only 3 years old, and I realize my daughter is only 3 1/2 MONTHS, but the heart does (and should) break to know you don't want that for your children.
You don't want your children to fall prey to the American Christianity, the American riches, or American materialism which prays more to Santa than our Immanuel. You don't want to raise children who are wrapped up in the same demand for everything you want.
I want my daughter to know and prioritize the celebration of a God who came near and made our soul feel its worth. I want my daughter to never be confused who to pray to. I want my daughter to see and care more for the poor, the orphaned, and the widow more than she does herself.
No, I do not want to be a Scrooge, and yes, I will melt to see my daughter soak up Christmas. Yes, my Father's heart loves to give gifts to my beloved.
I am simply nervous raising a child in riches (compared to the rest of this world, even America's poor are filthy rich) and making sure she always keeps the proper priorities.
Video of my time in Mexicali