Ashlie Miller: Eight is great
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 11, 2023
Turning 8 is a big deal in my household. We limit big birthday parties to what we consider milestone birthdays. Many may overlook turning 8 as a milestone, but there it sits – between being a little kid and a big kid. I tell my children frequently, “Eight is great!” as I reminisce my childhood stories. I have a theory that 8 is the age that all the amazing things happen in childhood. It is mostly anecdotal evidence as I survey friends and family, but it seems true.
I have one child who is enjoying being in the first quarter of 8. Already, it has been a year full of adventure:
– Mastering a back handspring and a cartwheel on the beam in her homeschool gymnastics class.
– Gathering her nerves and saving up to pay half the cost of getting her ears pierced at Fall’s Jewelers, who provided a perfect experience, by the way.
– Reading chapter books on her own and aloud to her little brother.
Did you know the number 8 is pretty special in the Bible, too? It is associated with new birth, beginnings, and resurrection. Coincidentally, both my daughter and I came to know Jesus at the age of 8. Does that newness of life have anything to do with increasing my memory of things I experienced that year? It certainly added to its richness.
My daughter has asked for months to be baptized into her faith as a sign before other Christians. Last week, on Palm Sunday, she added to her joy of being 8 by being baptized by her father, who is also her pastor. What a memory – being reborn and baptized at the age of 8!
Do not underestimate her youth and understanding of what has happened in her life. Shortly after her salvation, our congregation sang these words:
“I will never be the same again,
I can never return; I’ve closed the door.
I will walk the path, I will run the race
And I will never be the same again.”
With the widest, biggest blue eyes, she squeezed my hand and said, “Mom, that’s true!” She gets it; even though her old life was not marred in sensational sins, she knows she is not the same and has a new life in Christ!
I am so excited that she has found delight in being 8 years old — both for childhood memories and new beginnings. How about you? If I were to ask you to think back on the good, vivid memories of your childhood, how many of them happened when you were 8? Have you, too, experienced new birth in Christ, even if 8 was quite a long time ago? Share your memories of childhood with children, grandchildren, and younger relatives. And while you are at it, share your memories of new life in Christ, too!
Ashlie Miller and her husband, pastor of Grace Covenant Church in South End Charlotte, grew up in China Grove and are raising their family of five children in Concord.
 I Will Never Be The Same Again, (Maranatha! Music, 1995)