I remember those first weeks of newborn fog and the overwhelming amount of care that my kids needed.  When I thought I couldn’t spend one more night getting up and down, one more day nursing and changing endless diapers, it would happen…. my baby would smile.  A small reward for the past weeks, just when I needed it most.

I’ve noticed the trend as the kids have gotten older.  As the weariness sets in and I’m tempted to think I’m just not cut out for this Motherhood, I adjust my glasses, I look up and around and I see the blessing of these years, of this work.

Easter Sunday, Kate was baptized.  She had casually mentioned it, talked to her dad and to our other Pastor and we started to get ready.  She had a slew of special people that she invited and we were all so excited to add something extra to Easter this year.

We asked Kate who she would like to help baptize her.  She was able to choose someone who has helped her in her life and has made an impact on her.  She chose her brother.

And then.

Then, she had to write her testimony.  I was going to help her because I knew it would be overwhelming for her to do at eight years old.  But then one day, she emerged from her room with a piece of paper with her sweet handwriting on it and I burst into tears.

“My name is Kate Damaska and I am 8 years old.  I was about 4 or 5 when I became a Christian. When I became a Christian I was down in the basement with my mom. I prayed with my mom and she taught me how to invite Jesus into my life.  So now I can show my kids when I am older how to invite Jesus into their lives.  Thank you to all my church leaders, teachers, and parents for teaching me the Lord’s word.  I now want to be a missionary like my mom and dad.  I want to go to Haiti with my mom and build a church that is strong enough to include everyone.”

It was like that newborn baby smile.  Just at the time I wonder if my kids are even listening, if we’re going to make it through these years of elementary/preadolescence (which is awesome, by the way, but also hard), I am reminded that there is hope.   There is blessing and there are gifts and even though Kate was the one who was baptized, I may have had the biggest smile as the tears ran down my face.