Thursday, April 22, 2010

Praying with a child

Over the past year or so, we've had a lot of family needs that have really helped us put prayer and faith into action... and all in front of Caleb.  Some of the prayers are answered within days.  Some of the prayers are repeated for months and months before we see His answer.  Some of the prayers we are still waiting to see His answer.  All this to say that Caleb is consistently hearing us pray for the same people/situations, day after day, month after month.  At times he hears a name and tells us to pray for them right then.  He has stopped playing, and asked me to "pray mommy!"  and then holds his hands together in prayer, waiting for me to start.  Even in the midst of our nightly prayers, if he thinks I'm forgetting something or someone, he will repeat the suggestion over and over until I speak it out loud in prayer.  He's quite persistent. 

But he's learning to pray.

He's also learning God hears us when we pray AND God answers us when we pray.  We often remind him of the times God has answered our prayers in the affirmative and brought healing.  He knows that we prayed for Daddy's foot to be healed for months and now Daddy's foot has "no booboos"!  He knows that we prayed for Mawmaw's back and tummy to get better and that now she doesn't "huwt" (aka hurt).  We prayed for God to heal Caleb's liver and now it's perfectly normal!  Maybe TMI, but when constipated, we pray for God to help him "go potty" and then are sure to remind him how God answered that prayer too.  We repeat these praises with Caleb again and again. 

He's learning.  And honestly, in emphasizing these things over and over with Caleb, I'm being reminded that God really does answer our prayers.  All the time.  Every time. 

He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.                                                               Psalm 91:15

How often do we pray something... and then a week or a month later forget that prayer and don't even pay attention when He answers?  We may think "That's great! He got a job!" but we forget that it was on our prayer list a month ago (or in my case even a week ago).  We don't stop to recognize that God did in fact answer our prayer.  Ok, maybe I'm the only one. But it's certainly true for me.  If I don't even realize that He answered the prayer, I'm certainly not thanking Him for answering. 

But teaching Caleb is reminding me what a privilege it is to be a child of God, to have a God that listens to us when we pray, and to thank Him for answering.

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him                                                             1 John 5:14-15

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I need to figure out a better system. I am actually journaling a lot more than it seems. I have at least 20 posts started but not ready to officially post (the number could be closer to 40, I just don't want to count them all!)  I just can't seem to get them right.  if this were a regular journal, I would write them the way they initially come out and move on.  Something about pushing that "publish post" button makes me want to review and review until I'm confident I said what I wanted to say.

I am so glad when I finish one.  I love that I can look back through my old lessons/prayers as a reminder (or to act as a progress report).

Maybe the unfinished posts means I haven't learned all I need to learn in those particular areas... or at least enough to write about them.  Surely I'll get them eventually! 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Family That Gives a Treasured Gift

I have been overwhelmed this past year with how blessed we are with such an amazing family.  How rare is it to be able to say that about BOTH sides of your family... and on into extended family!?!  It is a treasure for me.  Since having Caleb, that treasure is even more special.  This is a gift for Caleb that I could have never given myself.  It is straight from God and His potter's hands.  It is a gift that parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins give without even realizing it.... simply because they determined to trust and let Him mold them. 

They speak testimonies of faith before they even open their mouths.  They live it first.  Caleb can see their faith, not just hear about it.  He will learn from that.  What a great lesson to be taught from his Uncle Perry, his Lola, his ... oh, I could name everyone!  He has a family that stands firm on the Word, that believes It with all their beings.... teaching Caleb all the while that It is a strong foundation on which to stand!

They live out giving without recognition or credit.... just because there was a need and they could help.   They live out honoring others even when the "others" aren't very deserving at times.  They live out strength amidst one sorrow after another.  They live and breathe prayer.  They are joyful even when busy, tired, or during not-so-joyful situations.  They walk in wisdom, even when wisdom requires uncomfortable actions or difficult obedience.  They know where their gifts and blessings come from, do not take them for granted, and use them to bless others.  They know the Word and use it.  It doesn't just sit on their coffee tables or become stale in their minds.  They rejoice in other's happiness or accomplishments as if it were their own.  All in all, they live God's love in the way it should be lived, without judgement, without condition, but as one who once was lost but now is found.  They were "first loved" so they could love. 

There is not a perfect one in the bunch.  They have not made their way themselves.  They have fallen.  They have needed help.  They have needed hard lessons, kicks in the rear, and welcome arms to return to.  They have turned left when they should've turned right and ended up stuck in the mud at times. 

All this Caleb will see too.  But he won't just see them stuck.  He'll see them pulled up and cleaned off.  He'll see them continuing their walk with God.  He'll see the molding continue.  That is a beautiful lesson. 

I had a similar family growing up.. grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins... all teaching me how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ (Eph 3:18).  They spoke the words from their mouths, yes.  But they did even better than that.  They lived it.  And I learned beautiful lessons.  His love is not a truth I doubted.  It just wasn't deniable because I saw with my own eyes the Truth through my family.  I was given a most treasured gift.  I know what a difference it makes in my life.  And now Caleb gets to grow up receiving the same gift.  Just as it made a difference with me, it will make a difference with him. 

How do you thank someone for giving this gift? 

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.                  John 13:34-35