What to Tell Your Kids About Growing Up in a Crazy World

So Maggie Paulus heard how I had told our boy that his wooden spoon was perfect, and encouraged him to go carve a thousand of them. So, she grabbed her pen and did what I  was struggling to do — to not let anything keep me from “flinging out into the streets, eyes and mouth full of His wonder, to pant it in the marketplace, the back alleys, the front fields, across the crackling wires that I have seen Him.”
That’s what Maggie’s been doing — testifying to “the glory-sighting.” She opened her eyes wide to the reality of God’s Presence with us here, even in the grime. C.S. Lewis, he spoke of it too, when he wrote about finding patches of Godlight in the woods of our experience. That’s what Maggie’s Finding God at the Kitchen Sink: Search for Glory in the Everyday Grime  is all about —an invitation to hunt for His beauty and find God’s glory in an everyday humdrum life. A crazy, humbling grace to welcome Maggie Paulus to the farm’s front porch today…

 

by Maggie Paulus

Dear Children,

This momma of yours sometimes lies awake at night worrying about the world and about you and how you’ll grow up here.

There are these moments when I’ve read the latest headline on the news that I want to lock the doors and all the evil out and try my best to protect you from everything wicked and wild.

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I wish you could only know about blazing sunsets and fishing ponds and old barns down dirt roads and kitties and good people that call you friends and a society that’s safe to live in.

But things are broken here, and there’s some things I need to tell you to keep you soul-safe.

I want the light in your heart to stay on when the world around you gets dark.

There’s a God who is good, who does love you and who’s got this whole world in His hands. But there will be days when it won’t feel that way. You’ll look around and sit numb from the pointlessness of it all and grasp for answers, knowing full well sometimes there are things that happen here you will not understand.

Keep praying to the God I’ve told you about. Because when we pray, we reach out and grab hold of Someone real but who can’t be seen.

There will be aching nights when you will struggle along, feeling around in the dark, searching for some notion of grace in this fallen world.

And I want you to hear me—God is here. Right here. And when you run hard after Him, determined to find Him with a little speck of faith, He will show up. Every once in a while you’ll be able to feel Him— the warmth of His light-bearing face.

I know, my loves, you’ll have your doubts.

The voices around you and sometimes in you will try to reason God away.

Clouds of unbelief will hide from you what’s there.

Cynicism will come looking for you, to hunt you down.

You’ll have to do war, my loves. You’ll need to turn around and look at that sneering unbelief in the face and scream the truth you’ve got tucked down deep in your heart. You’ll have to kick doubt to the curb, babes, or it will cling to you.

Remember it’s sin, not God, that broke this whole place.

The ground groans. Stars catapult in revolt and trees travail like a woman in labor pain, bent over and gasping for her next breath. Creation reels for all that’s been lost and waits with this eager longing to be set free and restored to her rhythm of rest once again (Rom. 8:19–24).

You’ll wonder why you’re here.

Just keep running to your Maker and He’ll whisper it to you again, because it bears repeating. That you are light and couriers of His love, and this is how He chooses to help the world—through your actual hands.

Your very feet. He’ll shine out through your eyes and His joy will show up in your cheeks and in your smile. You, His kingdom children, will demonstrate to the world a different way.

And when you’re afraid about your life, remember God knows the number of your days (Ps. 139:16). He’s with you in every single one of them.

Don’t forget, you must never forget, there is a forever after this. One day light will split through all these cracks and God’s righteous kingdom will reign. Forever.

There will be no more sickness or dying, and all that’s sad will come to an end. You’ll hear it then—how the mountains will shout for the everlasting joy being born, the thorns in the thickets will no longer grow, and all the trees in the field will clap their hands (Isa. 55:12–13).

So long as I’ve got this breath in my lungs, I’ll remind you of these things.

And I’ll help you see that though the world is broken, still it’s good.

There’s beauty here and God-glory all around. I’ll take you by the hand and we’ll go hunting. We won’t stop looking until we find Him here. Together we’ll trace the outlines of His ways.

As long as you’re here with me, I’ll keep getting up and stumbling through the dark to check on you while you’re fast asleep.

And even when you’re grown and gone, I’ll still carry you around in my heart and chase you with my prayers.

You’ll always have your momma’s prayers, my loves.

Today, I’m praying for your peace.

 

 

 

Maggie Paulus is a God-seeker, a beauty hunter, and the author of Finding God at the Kitchen Sink: Search for Glory in the Everyday Grime .

She loves digging in the dirt, eating chocolate and playing barefoot in the yard with her bearded husband, three rambunctious kids and one cat. Maggie goes searching for God each day in His Word, in creation, in the people that He’s given her and she finds Him. In the painfulness of her past and the ordinariness of her present, she’s found that the God who calls Himself the Great I AM actually is. Right here. And though her life is mostly full of ordinary things, Maggie discovers again and again the realness of Him who has woven His narrative into her days.

Each page of full colour, vivid photographs and Maggie’s lyrical words, invite us into Finding God at the Kitchen Sink

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