Monday, January 26, 2009

Will take a moment and please lift a prayer for my Graycie-girl? Today is her birthday. As is the custom on birthdays, Nathan and I set the alarm a little early, so that he could sneak in and scoop up the birthday girl into our bed for the rest of her sleep time. We got up after that and I got her special request breakfast cooking. Today wasn't our usual laid-back birthday, because Graycen has school now, so we had to keep moving. She still had all the "specials" that we usually do on birthdays and she will have the rest this evening. All that to say, we were focusing on her and making sure she knew that today as her's to celebrate.

Somewhere in the middle of the early morning, she started asking me for a bookmark. I still a bunch to do on my list, so I quickly tore off a sheet of paper and handed it to her. Once we had eaten and were in the car for carpool line, I noticed that she was reading her Bible in the car and that torn piece of paper was holding her place. I asked her what she was reading and she explained that today she was going to TALK to _______ (her friend that she has been praying for). Te way she said the word TALK made me think something was up, so I asked a few more questions. Here is our conversation:

Me: What do you mean "TALK"? Don't you talk to her everyday?

Graycen: I do. Yesterday I found a story in my Bible that I want to tell her about. I keep feeling like I NEED to tell her about it.

Me: Really? Do you mind if I ask which story it is?

Graycen: Yep, it is the story of the woman who reached to touch Jesus' robe and was healed. Then Jesus told her that it was her faith that had made her healed.

Me: Oh yeah. That is a good story. Why do you think you need to tell that particular story to _______?

Graycen: I don't know. I just want to read it to her. I want to tell her that, just like this woman, if she believes in HIM and has God in her heart, HE can do ANYTHING in her life.

Me: Sob,sob,sob,sob carpool line at a halt .

I love hearing her heart overflow and I was convicted this morning of how many opportunities I miss to just tell a story of Jesus to so many people.

Before Graycen got out of the car, I explained to her how proud I was of her for thinking of this sweet girl, even on this day when we are all so focused on her. I told her that the Lord was probably overflowing with joy also and that even if she NEVER hears or sees this little girl come to know the Lord, she is making a HUGE difference in her heart.

I really feel like it is time for me to call this little girl's parents and invite them to church with us. If you think of it, or if you have a free minute, please pray for my Graycie-girl. I pray that she will speak boldly and that the Lord has softened this girl's heart for her words. I join Graycen in praying for this little girl's heart to long for Him.

While you are at it, say a prayer for me. When the Lord makes the way and send my little girl off to a far corner of the country or the world, I want to be ready. I want to willingly help her to pack and to send her in confidence that she is His and following His call. As hard as it is for me to envision her headed out on that kind of journey on this, her eighth birthday, it is becoming increasingly clear that he heart is for the lost of this world-to help them hear, see, FEEL the presence of Her Father. Although at times, the thought scares me to death, I am praying that she GROWS in that desire and that my Lord will use her in a MIGHTY way for His Kingdom and Glory!!!

Happy Birthday Graycie-girl! Daddy and I could not be prouder of you and the young lady you are becoming right before our eyes. From you, I learn courage to speak boldly about my Lord. From you, I learn consistency in lifting up the people in my life that need the love of the Father. I am blessed every day just by being YOUR Mama and I look to our days ahead with a mix of emotion--some fear, because I know that often those that make His work their life have many struggles and obstacles, but I look ahead with mostly JOY because I know that you will be a faithful servant and a diligent soldier for our Lord. I love you. I love you. I love you. Happy Birthday!!!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009


Since we put Graycen into school, I have sometimes wondered if it was the right decision. Mostly, I am sure it is. However, as a Mom who does believe in most of the benefits that come with homeschooling, I have missed that time with her. As I listened to the kids say their prayers tonight, I received some affirmation of our decision.

I have shared with you that Graycen has a particular classmate that always weighs heavy on her heart. She prays every night (I am not kidding you, EVERY night) for this sweet girl to come to know the Lord. Tonight, she started through a list that it seemed she had been holding in her mind for a few days.

Of course she prayed for the one girl, but then she prayed for another girl who "can't go to church anymore, because her parents don't go" and another boy who "doesn't have a Bible". She rattled off three or four more names and had very specific prayers she was lifting for them. Now tell me, how is a Mama supposed to listen to those prayers WITHOUT tearing up and running to pick her up and swing her around and tell her how proud her Daddy & I are of her and how proud her HEAVENLY Father is of her?!?!?! I didn't though, I let her finish. Then I cried through my turn to pray and I just openly thanked God for my ears. I did! I thanked him for the ability to hear those sweet prayers.

Graycen's prayers reminded me of how perfect God's plan is for her, even though I have NO IDEA what it holds. The reality is that she may indeed, one day, pick up some misinformation that I would rather her not have known. She will probably be influenced, at some point, by someone I would rather her NOT have even KNOWN. Those facts are very, very true. As much as they scare me, I take GREAT COMFORT in knowing that they may very well be what HE has planned for her. How can I argue with that? He is showing me that He has also put her in a position to plead on he behalf of these other little souls. He saved her own little life a few years ago and He has put her in this class for a reason.

I still hold hope that homeschooling may one day be our reality again, but for now (and until something changes) I am resting in the comfort of knowing that He is watching out for her and listening faithfully to her prayers. I have full confidence that she, in her own little way, is making big waves in the hearts of some of those kids in her class. For now, she is most perfect placed in His will. Even though it isn't what I ever envisioned for her, I am sure it was exactly what He envisioned for her. That is PEACE THAT PASSES UNDERSTANDING in a Mama's heart! As hard as it is to do at times, seeing Him at work in her heart, makes it just a little bit easier for me to step out of the way for a moment, so that HIS glory can shine through her.
**On a side note: We shared the news of Erin's pregnancy with the kids this weekend via a scavenger hunt. They were THRILLED and tonight I listened to 3 of MY babies pray for that little one being knitted together. Again, How is a Mama supposed to get through that with dry eyes?!?!?!?!?!?!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

How many kids do YOU see?!?!?!

Seriously... there on the sidebar...there are FIVE children there, correct?

So WHY do I keep treating them like they are one big child, going through the same phase of life?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!? UGH! This has become a frustrating point for me and yet I STILL find myself doing it almost daily. Annagail is just about the only one who gets treated as she should for her age. Everyone gets either too much expectation or too little. Really, if it is frustrating me, imagine how much it is frustrating them!

It is so sad to me when someone treats the kids like one big mass of child, instead of loving them individually for their own specific character and talents. So, I prayed that the Lord would help me find a way to show these people how NOT to do that. Instead, or maybe just first, the Lord is showing me how often I do it myself.

I need to recognize, all the time, that my Graycen is a big girl. She is mature for her age ANYWAY, so when I bridle her unnecessarily I am stifling her bright and quickly growing spirit. When I look to Ella to do things or accomplish something that I would never have asked of a solo child at that age, I need to remember that, at four yrs old, she is still a little girl that needs her Mommy a good bit.

Ohhhhhhhh, how I wish this parenting gig was easier. Really. Is this not the hardest job in the WORLD?!?!?! Just when I think I am getting past diapers and the sleepless nights, in stomps this stage, when they are all in SUCH different stages of childhood and have a wide variety of needs/developments.

The GREAT news is that this is being brought to my attention almost every time I do it now. It is almost like a voice says, "Is that a true expectation you should have of ______?". THAT tells me that the Lord is listening to me and is answering my prayer. How can I teach anyone to treat my children individually while I am still treating them as one? It is a comfort to know that, even though I being shown my sin in this, it is the Lord who is showing me. With a coach like that, how can I complain? As hard as it is, it WILL make me a better parent.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


I have been thinking, as has the WORLD these days, about resolutions. Every year, I feel the pressure to "renew" at the start of the new year. I usually come up with my own little, mostly private, list of things I "need to work on". This year, I am having a hard time with that. OH, I have LOTS that could be worked on, believe me. It isn't for lack of material. I think it is just that my desire now has changed. My perspective has been altered somehow. I read so many blogs where people are trying to change. I have even used my own space here as a sounding board for all those things/characteristics that I don't like in myself. Yet, as I thought about the goals I could set for myself this year, I kept getting a pit in my stomach. The more I thought about what I needed to change, the more I realized how self-centered I was being. Even in my desire to be more righteous, I am taking my eyes off of the Lord and giving myself power WELL out of my own control.

I want to be empty. That is what I want for this year. I want, each day, to empty myself and to be filled with that of God. I want to decrease much this year, so the HE can increase IN me and through me. Isn't this the only goal any of us, who claim the cross, should strive for each day-each year?

I have been reading 2 Corinthians 5 and I am going to memorize it over the next few weeks/months. I love where it talks about knowing that if we are at home in the body, we are away from he Lord. I want to be away from the body and at home with my Lord--to please him. (2 Cor 5:6-9) I just want to be focused each day on Christ. If THAT can be my daily focus, to be His vessel, then righteousness, peace, self-control will FLOOD over me, because they come from Him alone; not by my works and not by my power, but from Christ alone.

This new year promises so many GREAT events in my life. From Nathan's graduation from college to the birth of an already much-loved, much-prayed for child (to my sister-from-another-Mother),we have a LOT of joy to look forward to this year. OH! Those two days alone are two days that will be among the top 10 moments in my life! I am eager to see God at work in my life this year. I am eager to feel His presence, as I did this past year. I am looking forward to thinking less of myself and looking more to the one who has already made me a new creation by His blood.
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might
become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)