Saturday, May 23, 2009

Lead Me on Level Ground

We sang a song at our ladies' retreat that included the line, "Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground." I was thinking about how we lead our children.

When I lead my two-year-old, holding him by the hand, I choose places he can go. I pick level paths, and I go slow. When I lead my four-year-old, I choose harder paths for her -- but not paths that are hard for her. I carry my children over steep places, lead them on level places, and let them run in grass. God shows no less care for His children in considering their needs, their abilities, and their joys.

Getting Home

I drove home alone today from our ladies' retreat. It was after noon, and I hadn't eaten lunch. I passed a number of appealing attractions -- antique stores, art galleries, a yarn store I like, yard sales -- and every time, the thought crossed my mind: 'I could stop for a minute.' Jeff didn't know I was on my way. He wouldn't worry if I got there later. But every time, I thought again: 'No, I want to get home. I miss my husband.' Just south of town, I passed a favorite junk shop, and the thought presented itself again. And again, I thought, 'No -- I want to see my husband.' In town, I passed McDonald's, and considered going through the drive-thru. My hunger had become pain. But again, I drove on. And then I had a lesson. My love for and longing to see my husband caused me to go on and look away from places I like to visit, to turn away from a quick fix for my hunger, and to look forward to home. When presented with temptation, my love for the God whom I serve can fill my mind so that thing looks less attractive. The hunger that I feel can be met at Home.

"It's not that I've already reached the goal or have already completed the course.
But I run to win that which Jesus Christ has already won for me.
Brothers and sisters, I can't consider myself a winner yet.
This is what I do: I don't look back, I lengthen my stride,
and I run straight toward the goal to win the prize that God's heavenly call offers in Christ Jesus. Whoever has a mature faith should think this way.
And if you think differently, God will show you how to think."
Philippians 3:12-15

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Praying for Mom

Jeff was away for a few days. The first night, Elisa prayed, "Lord, please bless Mom while she doesn't sleep with Dad, even though she likes to."
Amen.

Confrontation

Last week I took the kids to the park, where I introduced myself to several moms, and our kids took off playing together. After a little while, Isaiah walked up to one of the mothers and said, "Why does your little girl say that you said she's not allowed to go to church?"

The woman looked puzzled. "What?"

He repeated his question. (The little girl was three.) The mother told him she didn't know why the girl had said that since they did go to church.

Later, in the car, I asked Isaiah about his conversation with the little girl. He told me he had asked her if she went to church, and she had said her mom told her she couldn't. "But she was just a little girl... she didn't know what she was talking about."

He said Elisa had asked her if she believed in God, and she had said, "No."
Talia said, "Are you a good guy?"

"NO!" The little girl ran away. When she came back again, Talia repeated her question.

The little girl said, "No," again.

Confused, Talia said, "Are you a bad guy?"

"No."

"Well, what are you?" Talia asked.

"I'm a good girl!"

Then Isaiah had told her she needed to believe in Jesus if she wanted to go to heaven.

She said, "I don't want to!"

At this point in his story, I said, "Isaiah, when you are talking to people about Jesus, you need to make sure that you aren't sounding bossy."

"I didn't sound bossy, Mom. I just told her that she needs to make a choice. Because God gives everyone a choice."

It's Just a Little Dirt

Isaiah dirtied his plastic sword outside. When we walked in, I told him to leave it outside. He objected.

I insisted.

He muttered something in exasperation, which I made him repeat so I could hear it. His indignation was apparent.

"Man! Some people think dirty things are unholy!"

I assured him I wasn't mistaking dirt with unholiness.
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