I’ve got to tell ya, I’m having more memorable conversations with my kids this year than ever before.

It all began yesterday while I was chipping a channel through the ice so a massive puddle could drain from our back yard into the alley. Glory joined me outside, just kinda fiddling with the snow and ice while I worked. When I was done, I closed the gate from the outside so we had to walk down the alley and around the block to get back home.

Glory took my hand in hers, which is about my favorite thing in the whole world. I love holding Shauna’s hand, but Glory isn’t always going to be nine and it’s not always going to feel like that, and there may come a day when she doesn’t want or need to hold my hand anymore. “Let’s go to the swings,” she said, rocking our hands back and forth.

So we raced each other to the playground a few hundred yards away. I let her win. We played on the swings for about a minute, but I got dizzy (something about the back and forth motion). And then it struck me: She looked stunning in the waning daylight, frosted with gold and the glory that is her namesake. I ran to get my camera and took a bunch of great shots while she drank in the adoration and full attention from her daddy.

Twenty minutes later, she was stomping away in defiance as Shauna tried to discipline her for something. Five minutes after that, she found me lying on my bed and spilled out her heart:

“Daddy, I don’t feel like God’s princess anymore and I don’t deserve to be in God’s family. I’ve been feeling kind of guilty for a long time now but I was afraid to tell you about it.”

Ah, golden words, thoseā€”so pure and real and ripe for a God-moment. So I invited Jesus into our time together. Glory confessed these things to Him, and I asked Jesus to lift the guilt and dirtiness from her. “How do you feel?” I asked. “Lighter and pure. Like God’s princess,” she replied. Amen!

I could have not taken her hand. I could have groaned at the thought of the swings and gone home. I could have stood there watching and not taken the pictures that made her feel special enough to come confide in me later. I could have told her I was too tired as I was lying on my bed. I could have tried to talk her out of her feelings instead of bringing her to Jesus. And I could have taken the credit for it all, but I can’t. Jesus, you ROCK!