This world is not my home

by Kristi Van Dyk

This summer has been an incredible journey already. We've spent most of it at our summer haven, Maranatha Bible and Missionary Conference in Norton Shores. We've also done a Science Sampler at Hope College Science Camp, "traveled" to two countries at Camp Witte Daycare, participated in Maranatha's FCA sponsored Tennis Camp, taken private tennis lessons with our friend, Andrew, gone camping for a long weekend at TriPonds Family Campground with our Compound Group, and visited the cottage for tubing and skiing lessons twice. We've completed 1/3 to 1/2 of each child's bucket list, blogged nearly every week AND finished half of their summer reading goals for the library. So, its been a busy summer. BUT nothing, really nothing, was better than tonight's conversations with my kids. 

Let me set it up. 

The kids work each week on a fresh song and bible memory verse at Maranatha. They also sing the summer theme song. So, these past 21 days have been filled with new music and new Scripture to encapsulate their new learning. 

This week the kids stayed through Thursday morning, so they missed their Friday evening Tabernacle "performance." They were a little bummed, so I downloaded one of the songs and they did a private performance for me tonight in the living room. Their concert included many weeks combined and was filled with excited motions and lots of loud sing-song shouting :). 

After their most recent song Kayleigh left me gasping for breath by articulating that she thought "Toby Mac's City on our Knees" song was important because it was a "call to action" for them. The kids could be the place where witnesses were born. They could be the "why not here" the song talked about (even adding MARANATHA after certain lyrics). She unpacked that the choices and lines the song talk about are the lines of faith. That you must believe in Jesus, confess him as your Savior and continue sharing that message wherever you go whether in church, school, China, or even at a campground. 

While I was impressed with the depth of her understanding of the song, I am a bit used to Kayleigh learning and understanding spiritual truths. She's pretty perceptive and can discern well. She often has unique applications and insights that her Dad and I never considered. But tonight, it was Benjamin's turn to give me a sucker punch. At his request, he and Kayleigh sang me a very loud and rousing rendition of Bound for Glory as recorded by the Vertical Church Band. 

I applauded and gave Ben accolades for singing so enthusiastically and with real conviction. He was not going to be put off so easily. 

B: But Mom, you didn't ask me if I understood that song. 
Mom: (thinking he really wouldn't/shouldn't as it really wasn't his song for the week, I threw him an "easy one"): It says death is not my ending, what does that mean? 
B: Mom (with great annoyance), that's too easy. If you know Jesus you go to Heaven. So death isn't your ending. 
Mom: (pause)
B: That's not what I wanted to explain. I get what the whole song means, MOM. It means that even though we live here, this is just our house. Its not our home. Because when we know Jesus, and have him as our Savior, our real HOME is heaven. This is just a house." 
Mom: (speechless).  
B: AND when it says, "Gone when Jesus calls my name, endless joy, endless praise all when Jesus calls my name." It means he's gonna say, "BENJAMIN someday and I get to be with Him and sing a lot, a lot, a lot." (grin the size of Texas because I bet he truly will sing all day, every day). 

Can't deny he's got the Spirit inside of him. 

Thank you, Lord for gripping his sweet and sensitive heart. And thank you friends at Maranatha for re-inforcing what we work on at home, school and church and for building and growing a love of Jesus each day at class. Thank you for helping both kids to articulate their faith in a way they couldn't do before - and for giving me these FANTASTIC songs to help follow up on all year long. 

I hope you know what a treasure and a gift you are to this family - and to the lives you impact each day. I hope you see the changes that we see ... if not today, or now, someday when you go home.