Thursday, January 31, 2013

Did Someone Make Coffee?

I made a statement in our Sunday School class last week that I was the best and worst Christian during the years when my kids were little. I actually stole that from a missionary friend, Robin Tinley, who also said that after you give birth to your third child, no one will ever invite you over with your kids again! Brutal truth was a quality of hers!

The reason I was the worst Christian then was because I never had time to read my Bible with any truly deep study. I never had time to go into my prayer closet for intense intercession. Good grief, it wasn't even safe at my house to close my eyes when I prayed! And if I ever made it to church on time, it was only because I had decided we would forgo: a) breakfast, b) shoes, or c) both!

I was my closest to The Lord because I was desperate for His constant companionship! I read my Verse of the Day Calendar at least 10 times a day, just to keep my mind above the fray. I prayed sentence prayers constantly, all day long, all night long, without ceasing. "Lord, don't let Sam step on a spider. You know how he has a reaction, but we live by an open field." "Father, Zack has another ear infection. Give him comfort from the pain." "Jesus, my Hayley girl is 3 going on 30. Please give me wisdom."

I was so tempted to "hang out" somewhere when I was late again to SS. But I knew I needed the fellowship and nourishment from the Scripture. So I suffered the jokes and gentle ribbing of the preacher's wife being late again, knowing my husband had been at the church since 6:30am preparing for a long day, and I got my family ready, in the car, and into the nursery/classroom by myself.

But, as I look back on it, I see a very strange miracle was taking place: my Verse of the Day, my sentence prayers, and my distracted worship were my 5 loaves and 2 fish. God took my "whatever I time I have" and blessed it and broke it and multiplied it. He met my needs, answered my prayers, gave me hope, and implanted wisdom. He wasn't mad at me; He was proud of me.

Friday, January 11, 2013

I'll take mine black, no fussy stuff

I happen to possess one of the most fascinating things on the planet...a set of stairs! When we first moved to Frisco, our home had TWO sets of stairs. That excitement (and waste of space) was just too much to handles! But five years ago, we moved into a house with a single set of wide, sturdy stairs, with a wooden handrail attached to wrought-iron spindles. I had no idea what a treacherous temptation it would provide. I viewed it only as a utilitarian means to an go from floor A to floor B.

How very limited was my viewpoint! The span between floor A and floor B holds a world of possibilities and dangers for kids of all ages! Older folks see only their escalating chances for broken hips, legs, and dignity. Is the second story actually worth that risk? Usually not. Nothing up there could possibly be worth months to years of hobbling and tortuous pain, much less untold agony. (My homeowners' does not cover untold agony.)

But for those under the age of 5, such an expanse produces a magnetic attraction similar to the pull of gravity in our earth's atmosphere! Very little can turn back that magnetism, short of removal from the possibility. Their eyes want to look away, but can't somehow. They try to distract themselves, but to no avail. There they are, the stairs, the lure to be taller, be bigger, know new and unusual things that require the risk of the climb. What could be up the top of the stairs? Who could be lurking...around the corner from the top of the stairs? What waits to be discovered.....waits in equal be discovered?

And what can the stairs themselves become? Playground? Table? Slinky roadway? The "getting there" will be as big an adventure as the view from the top. Crawling on hands and feet seems the safest way to get there. Adults, however, never crawl up. They have the ability to ascend, but don't seem to care that much to go, especially if their hands are full. Their abilities are wasted on them! So sad, they take for granted their easy chance at joy!

A petite blonde girl sits in the world's safest car, in the world's most sought-after car safety seat, securely fastened and being driven under the speed limit. She sits content for the remaining miles. But behind her eyes, one can see a twinkle. Upon closer examination, it appears to be resolve. The "risk" is waiting, and she intends to take it. The gauntlet beckons, and she will run it. She will not crawl. Although not yet 3, she will not crawl. She will play nearby, as though she could not possibly care less; but, she
will take her shot. Be assured. Be vigilant. But don't be fooled.

The kid has spunk!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

First cup of the New Year

I woke up on the first day of 2013 in a rustic motel in Crestline, California. Crestline is a sweet, little berg nestled into a section of the San Bernardino Mountainside. It had snowed the day before: a wet snow that insisted on turning from liquid to solid when the evening set in.

Just up the road from Crestline is the Thousand Pines Retreat Center. Waiting for us there, 270 students/young adults from all over the US and Canada depended on us to be Papa and Mama during this spiritual pilgrimage, preparing them before pushing them out of their nests in these treetops. They sing praise with abandon. They cry out loud before The Lord when they pray in honest repentance. Their need of us makes me want to be my best before God. They make me want to be a better person.

Their questions are raw, their eyes probing. They want the Truth, then they can accept or reject that Truth. It is an incredible responsibility. It can even be overwhelming. I want so much for them. I want them to have trust, to have joy, to have peace. I want them to believe me when I say, "Don't settle in anything you do....don't settle in your relationships, in your goals, or in your pursuit of God."

I want them to believe me when I tell them to take responsibility for their decisions and to plan for their futures. I want them to see their value in the world and in the Kingdom. I want them to believe that they can overcome the past, keeping its lessons and discarding its baggage! I want them to realize their potentials, while appreciating the sacrifices made to get to the present. I want them to see that God truly does have a wonderful plan for their lives, and He will be faithful to see it completed in them.

Actually, what I want for them is what I want for myself this new year...I intend to follow my own advice, for once!

Happy New Year!