My baby was going to kindergarten. So sweet and precocious, kind and spunky. New backpack on and nervous smile flickering beneath enormous blue eyes.

Actually it was just kindergarten orientation. But she didn’t care. It counted as a first day of real school to her.

We hopped in the van and made our way to school. The teacher welcomed us with a hug and a smile. We knew her well. She had taught Abbie’s older siblings and Abbie already knew Mrs. Ireland’s favorite color and favorite animal. She had the inside track.

Abbie and I picked up our checklist and began making our way around the classroom.

Can you find your locker? Check
Find your tote tray and color the picture. Check 

Find the bathroom. Check
Did you wash your hands? Check

She proudly walked the room and made it her own. The teacher called the kids to the front and began to read them a story while the parents went to an orientation of their own. As the principal calmed the worried “first time” parents my mind wandered.

I remembered feeling so nervous two short years before watching my first baby, Stephen, get on the bus. I had been close to a panic wondering ... would he find his way? Would he make friends? Would he mind the teacher?

It was a different experience this year. I was confident. Excited for the opportunities and adventures awaiting her. I knew Abbie would be fine. She would find her way. She would make friends. She would probably mind the teacher.

That afternoon Abbie was playing in her room while I worked on a Bible study. She was carrying her favorite toy around (a small notebook with a pencil) and pretending her own version of kindergarten. She paced the room finding things and checking them off her list.

She approached me with a new sheet of paper.
Mom. I wanna do a checklist for you.
Not right now honey, I need to finish up.
Please mom. Just a few.
Ok. Just a few.

She looked down at her little pretend list and pretended to read.

Do you think God is a good guy or a bad guy?
I paused. Really? What is this about?
Good guy, I said.

She tightly gripped her pencil and drew a large backwards checkmark across the top of her list.


Does God do good things or bad things?

I now started to feel the Holy Spirit waking me up. He was whispering – what do you think, Rachel? What do you really think?

Tears were filling my eyes and I answered, Good things. 


Do you love God?



Do you love Jesus?


Do you trust the Holy Spirit? 

Thanks mom. That’s it.

Hey Abs? Can I have that paper? Sure Mom. Good job!
And she went on her way.

There’s something about a child looking you in the eye and asking you if you trust the Holy Spirit. It was one of those moments that seared into my heart. To proclaim that I love God, I love Jesus, I trust the Holy Spirit. Out loud. Face to face.

I slid the checklist in my Bible and it’s stayed there. Between Psalm 2-4, the verses I was studying.

That was Sept of 2010. I would soon find myself resting on those truths I had professed.

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