when prayer changes...

Monday, June 3, 2013

it was over the noise and chaos of dinner the other night that i heard her familiar question asked around an unfamiliar table.

words were flying all over the place so i'm surprised i heard it,

but not really surprised she asked it...

if that makes sense.

our olivia?

she's bold.

her emotions, her voice, her actions, her frustrations, and even her sleep - it's all done loudly.

all of it.

i don't know how many times i have to remind her that she doesn't have to shout in my face - my ears work just fine.

or they did...

either way, if she feels strongly about something, it's done with strong emotion.

her love for Jesus?


and she has no idea how there is anyone out there beyond our four walls who doesn't love Jesus...

so she has made it her personal mission to find out just who those people are.

and why.

she could care less if it makes you uncomfortable, she wants to know the state of your heart because a heart without Jesus just doesn't make sense to an olivia that loves Him so.

so, when i heard her turn to her newest friend over hot dogs and hamburgers and ask the inevitable question, i smiled.

because when his little face beamed back at her that yes, he did know Jesus, her shoulders relaxed and her summer-bare feet kicked and she shouted right back in his face that she did too.

and her quest to know was stilled for another day,

but i was left to wonder...

i stood behind that counter on friday.

friday is ice-cream day and my hands were sticky from a melted mess and there was one guy who walked in with ear-buds blaring and cap pulled down and he leaned against the edge and wouldn't meet my eyes.

little ones i can talk to.

the older girls? there's always something to find common ground over - hair, clothes, make-up...

but a boy on the edge of being a man?

i am at a loss.

and really, i think they may be at a loss too.

i mean, i'm tony's wife and i'm a thousand years old and what do i know about what they know and so canipleasehavemyicecreamandgetthisawkwardmomentoverwithasfastaspossible?  thank you very much.

so i did what i do and made small talk about school and kept it light and laughed at my own jokes as i put that first scoop in the cone when he took out that one ear-bud and blurted out a sentence of pain.

and i set down the spoon and let the ice cream drip while it all poured out and he stood there at the end broken.

my first thought wasn't to ask him if he knew Jesus.

why did i stand there wishing that i knew how to make his pain stop when i know very well Who can bind up his brokenness?

Jesus, He is so easy to talk about with like-minded friends - with those you suspect just might know Him too. but when the faces across the counter will barely crack a smile...

i am ashamed at my lack of courage.

because why am i there if not to share the love of Jesus? why am i there if not to be His Heart to those places that are gasping for Hope?

my prayer changed this weekend.

olivia has the bold gene...

she didn't get it from me.

but the God Who can take faith, tiny and small, and move mountains with it? He can take my fear and grow deep and bold courage from it...

i just have to say yes.

and it was on a quiet weekend evening that i read these words...

scripture describes a radical, reoriented life for those who trust
Christ - one full of living for the invisible and the future. it is a life
fully surrendered to an invisible God whose agenda for my time here
is contrary to my own, a life very different from the safe, comfortable
one i was creating.

i started craving something that had never seemed acceptable to
me until that day...a reckless faith, a faith where i knew God was
real because i needed Him, a faith where i lived surrendered, obedi-
ent, a faith where i sacrificed something...comfort or safety or practicality...
something. but my heart raced faster when i thought 
of it, and something about it resonated.

stepping out wholly dependent on God to come through, step-
ping away from what is secure and comfortable exposes the holes
in our faith. and then if God comes through, it expands our faith.
something about stepping off cliffs where God leads allows God the
opportunity to move in greater ways. when we step off and He shows
up, we see Him differently than we would if we were standing safely
looking over the edge.

my prayer changed this weekend...

and all He needed was my yes to begin moving and growing a boldness and courage that would terrify me if it wasn't for the fact that i said that yes to that risk in the first place.

and the gene that makes olivia so bold in her asking? it's in His blood that was poured out for her. 

for me.

for you.

sometimes it just takes a little longer to surface in some than in others...

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation
 to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, 
“The righteous shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17, ESV)

a gift picked up, put away, put back
2187. carton of strawberries
2188. end of the day mess
2189. laundry soap for another load

3 gifts about you
2190. desire for Jesus
2191. love of baking
2192. getting to teach my little ones at home

3 gifts found in His Word
2193. He gives direction and purpose
2194. it's all full of His breath
2195. hope that changes me

a gift in a box, a bag, a book
2196. 2 pies
2197. books bundled together
2198. glimpses of grace in the gift of family come near

3 gifts unexpected
2199. a reminder for sanctuary on saturday
2200. a day turned around
2201. a kitchen done and a friend washing my floors

3 gifts from your childhood
2202. memories of puppy breath relived
2203. love of quiet sunday afternoons
2204. that chocolate chip cookie recipe

a gift sweet, sour, salty
2205. a hug from my aunt and uncle
2206. a small bowl of yogurt before bed
2207. peanut butter stuffed pretzels

3 gifts found in little people
2208. imagination
2209. arms-flung-wide hugs
2210. trust

3 gifts that made you laugh
2211. coffee with a friend
2212. tony's protective eye-wear
2213. olivia's frog dance

3 gifts found in community
2214. bob - willing to hold zeruiah
2215. gane - sittin with lyla and her schoolwork
2216. christina - the way she loves olivia

a gift in a plate, pot, package
2217. cloudy day banana bread
2218. fresh roses
2219. canadian chocolate

3 gifts hard giving thanks for
2220. little one messes - it's only for a season
2221. an unknown - He knows
2222. risk taking - isn't really a risk in His Hands

a gift worn, white, whispered
2223. mama-weariness
2224. late spring clouds
2225. lyla-secrets

3 gifts found in church
2226. children's program
2227. a re-grounding for the week
2228. receiving communion

3 gifts in today's work
2229. cleaned home
2230. completed school work
2231. midnight nursing

a gifts at 8am, 12pm, 8pm
2232. everyone fed and dressed
2233. a home ready for guests
2234. one last story before bed

3 gifts blue
2235. zeruiah's blue eyes
2236. my favorite pen found
2237. the sky at dusk

3 gifts you gave today
2238. a listening ear
2239. a hug
2240. a bedtime prayer

3 gifts orange
2242. washing lyla's giraffe shirt
2243. orange slices in my water

3 gifts funny
2244. liv boxing with jake in the church foyer
2245. tony's random songs
2246. she turned 5 months old laughing...

{the grace series will continue on wednesday...}