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By Jeanne Rodgers

I don’t like kids and I don’t ever want to have kids!!! What use are they? They’re dirty, they make too much noise, they stink, and they don’t listen! What a waste!

This lonely, young female, angry with herself and the world, blaming most people she came in contact with for her anger was me. Although I said, “Leave me alone!” I was crying and dying inside.

This was the condition of my heart before receiving Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior May 2, 1976. Since then I met and married the love of my life, Dwight Rodgers, and have three amazing sons, Kyle, Spencer, and Adam.

Kyle married Danielle, our wonderful daughter-in-love. Their union blessed us with the most recent love of our lives, our granddaughter Savannah Brielle. She is full of life, her eyes twinkle when she laughs, and she’s just “over the top” with joy and fun. She has a lot of little tricks up her sleeve to keep us laughing.

I’ve had the privilege of spending one day a week with Savannah since she’s been a little more than two months old. (She just turned two years old on June 14.) I’m so amazed at how God uses her to speak to my heart. Savannah and I dance and sing around the house and in the car. I realized this is how God sees me – free! “He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy” (Zephaniah 3:17, NASB). He wants to have a good time with me just like I do with Savannah.

For no reason at all and many times during the day, Savannah will say to me, “Nana, are you OK?”

I’ll answer, “Yes, I am well. How are you?”

Savannah responds with “I’m good!”

I have to be honest with you; when she asks this I start looking at myself, thinking, “Why, don’t I look okay?”

Nana Sparkle-Savannah-editDo you know what I am really hearing though? I’m hearing God speak to me through Savannah, checking to see if I’m okay and reminding me that He is here with me – even on days that are wonderful. He’s reminding me that He and I can laugh and dance and talk. I can be SO confident of His never-ending care and His sweet love for me at all times. No matter what our age, God still wants to have a good time with us just like we can with children.

You don’t have to have children of your own to allow them to bring joy into your life. Sometimes in churches or other public places children get slighted. I’ve noticed that when I personally take a moment to get down on their level, they have so much good to say. All children are gifts from God. “Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift?” (Psalm 127:3, MSG). In our schools, our churches, and our homes children are God’s best gift.

As we soon start 2019, I encourage you to ask God to speak to you through children. I know at times you may get weary and children can get on your nerves, but children are treasures. We can get busy giving SO much instruction that we sometimes miss the fun and excitement they can bring to our lives.

Savannah Brielle is the most incredible treasured gift to my life and to her Papi (Dwight) as well. She looks up at me with sparkly eyes of love and says in her cute little voice, “Hi, Nana Sparkle.” She’s my greeting from heaven and from earth.

I am so sorry if you’ve lost a child or have never been able to conceive. Each of us has our own story, and God is always caring for and loving us through every pain and every victory. Would you and I plan in this upcoming year to participate more in our children’s ministries in our churches, volunteer in our schools, and involve ourselves wherever there are children? Children need us. Look not only to give but to receive as well.

Would you pray this way for the New Year? “God, please give me a love for children. I need ears to hear what you would want to speak through them to me. Amen!”

I want to thank you, Savannah Brielle, for loving me, your Nana Sparkle, and for allowing God to use you in my life, even when you didn’t know it. I love you!

About The Author

Jeanne Rodgers

Jeanne Rodgers co-pastors alongside Dwight Rodgers, who is the lead pastor at Hope Church in Largo, Florida. Jeanne is also the founder of Treasured Girls, an encouraging and uplifting weekend event for teen girls. She has been happily married to Dwight for 35 years. You may contact her at Treasuredgirl.com, Facebook: jeanrodgers5, Instagram: ladysparkle427, and Treasuredgirl427.