My little guy is growing up. And he's so very cute.
Last Sunday after church Ashton heard Aaron and I talking to each other about how good Sadie did in nursery (for the first time; third time is a charm). I guess this was news to Ashton that Sadie didn't stay with us in "big church." He got excited about Sadie going to "baby church all by herself," and volunteered, "me go to my Sunday school class all by MYself -- no Grandpa go." (Up to this point, Ashton only goes to Sunday school on days that my dad volunteers in Ashton's class.)
So today I informed Ashton that tomorrow is Sunday and that Grandpa wasn't going to be at Sunday school. Lo and behold, Ashton was still excited, yes, excited about going! He brought it up again, so it must have something to do about Sadie going to her class all by herself that makes him feel as though he can do it too. This is monumental!
This evening as we were reading books before bed, I asked Ashton if he remembered his verse from Sunday school last week. After I gave him the first word, he was able to finish. "Hear the Word of God and obey it." He takes his sweet time with the first half of the verse, obviously trying to recite the words, but when he gets to "obey it," he says it with such enthusiasm -- "ooooooooobeyit." I can just hear the teachers helping the kids memorize it! I don't know which is more cute -- the way he says the verse or the fact that my little boy is memorizing Scripture.
Finally, as he was going to the bathroom one last time before bed, I asked Ashton if they had an offering in his Sunday school class. He just looked at me and said, "ouring"? Evidently I wasn't ringing any bells. Realizing that a preschool Sunday school class obviously doesn't have an offering similar to the one I am used to, I asked, "is there somewhere where you can put money to give to Jesus"? A light bulb went off in Ashton's head as he explained to me that the way it works is you "take money out of the bowl and put it in a bag to give to Jesus." I have no idea how accurate of a description that was, or if there is more to the story, but at least I knew the answer to my question. Ashton has always been free with his money, offering to buy the candy he wants from Canyopolis, etc., so I knew he would be excited when I suggested that he could take some of his money to Sunday school with him to give to Jesus. Sure enough, he ran to his wallet to get some coins out. I was in the kitchen and he came out and said, "Jesus in the Bible? Jesus in heaven?" Obviously there was a disconnect as to how the money he was giving to Jesus was going to get to Jesus! My heart already melting, I sat down right there on the kitchen tile. "Come here, let me tell you how it works." He jumped into my lap, "okay," grinning, eager to learn as always. "Yes, Jesus is in heaven. The reason we give money to Jesus is because He has given us everything we have (toys, clothes, food, house, etc.) and it is kind of us to share something with Jesus in return -- to tell him thank you. And Jesus will take the money you give and will use it to help poor people who don't have very much." Ashton let out an "oooooooohhhh," (as he does so often these days whenever I answer his "whys...?"), kind of like a high school student finally understanding an algebraic equation after much perplexity. He then got up off of my lap and ran to his wallet saying, "me go get one more money to give to Jesus." I felt the great big smile on my face and my heart going pitter-patter, as I thought "this is what it's all about."
For now, I'll continue to pray that Ashton's request to see the empty tomb isn't a sign of future scepticism! Oh how I look forward to the day that Ashton understands his sinfulness and accepts Jesus' gift of eternal life...I pray.