My son John and his wife, Alysia, came for a week after Christmas with their four little ones, ages six and under. It was a chaotic, energetic, noisy, exhausting, and absolutely wonderful time. All was not calm, but it was bright.

I got up early with the kids so the weary parents could go back to bed. In the wee hours of the morning, we curled up by the picture window to watch the sun rise over the hill. Sometimes gray clouds sent rays of beautiful hues of pink hurrying across the horizon as if to say, It may be gray now, but in the gray there is beauty. Don’t worry, the sun will still rise. And every day it did. It just so happened that this very week, the moon was full. So each evening right before bedtime, we turned out the house lights and gathered at the picture window to gaze at a marvelous full moon reflecting an unusually bright light on the snow left over from our rare blizzard.

One morning  I read to the children from Genesis 1:16: “And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars.” We talked about how the sun always comes up. We can count on it. And we noticed how the moon is there at night to remind us that God is there, too. My granddaughter Sylvia often has trouble sleeping. She feels afraid and has scary thoughts.

I showed her Psalm 121, which I call my “watching over you” Psalm. She particularly liked verse four: “Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”

“Isn’t it amazing?” I whispered as we looked in the darkness at the moon. “God is reminding us that He is always watching over us. We can count on Him.”

Sylvia turned to me and said, “Ghee [her name for me], we could pray about that right now.” Amazed at the ease with which she came up with it, I replied, “What a great idea!” So we prayed, “Thank You, God, that we can count on You just like we can count on the sun and the moon, and thank You that You are always watching over us.”

What will I remember about this Christmas season?

A small ritual with small children focusing on a big God.

Early morning glances out the window to see
God’s powerful sun appear proclaiming His glory.
When the sun went down we watched a full moon arise
As my little grandchildren marveled at its great size.
And I, in my complex world of duty,
Was quieted by the simplicity of God’s great beauty.

Thank you, Father, for the pure, simple faith of little ones who help us see with fresh eyes how great You are.