She cries in the early morning, when it is still dark and all the world is sleeping except Jack Frost who paints our windows and doors when no one is watching. I pick her up and hold her close and my heartbeat- the sound she heard for nine long months- calms her. She snuggles her head down further, trying to get her ear as close to my heart as possible, her mouth open slightly, breathing softly so quickly after sharp cries, her hands by her face. I wrap the blanket around her and hold her to my chest, her hair brushing against my nose as I kiss her face.

I think back to a study I have been working on for a few weeks, a study I have been chewing my way through and really feel transformed by. God tells us to teach our children His ways and laws and teach them to rejoice in the Lord and give thanks. I have started this with my boys, saying prayers at meals and before bed and going to church and watching the stories. But as I look down at my little girl I see that is can start right now, at this tender age of not quite a month old, that is has to start right now.

But how? How can I teach her now, when lifting her head on her own seems the hardest task in the world and the only thing that matters to her is that she is here, snuggled with me, listening to that familiar sound of my heart beat.

And yet isn’t that how we are with God? Shouldn’t the only thing that matters is how close we are to Him, if we are listening to His Words that can grow so familiar and comforting, as comforting as a mother’s heartbeat, if we were to just spend time buried down deep into the Word and listen? Wouldn’t the only thing that mattered be His teachings?

As I look down at her softly sleeping, I realize I am teaching her already. My quick attendance to her needs, reassurance in this new world she is trying to learn, is a small, dinged reflection of God’s unconditional love.  I can be that to her, a small portion of God’s love and I can begin to teach her His ways. And as I give thanks for her and her brothers and so many things, I can teach them. I can teach them gratitude and God’s love.

And it starts in these small moments, these moments of love, because God is love and I pray a prayer of thanks and ask for God to help me teach them.