3 Lessons From an Almost 3-year Old on Prayer

3 Lessons

There’s a toddler dashing about our house now, a skewed-hair mess of sweet and sass. So I’ve learned to do many new things.

How to distract him with something else fun, because he can’t be banging thunder on the piano while siblings are in online class? Check. How to persuade in a few more bites of eggs, because despite what he may think he can’t survive on just watermelon? Check. How to change an overly-full diaper on laughing child who refuses to stay still? Double check.

Though my parents do take care of most all of Xan’s needs, I’ve still learned many practical physical skills from this little brother of mine. But sometimes he teaches me spiritual skills as well.

Because one of the things little ones are best at is needing help. And when they need help, they come to adults for aid. Whether they’re hurt, hungry, mad, or just want that one toy down, they go straight to the only people who can answer their needs. And I think there are several thing we can learn from them about coming to God with our needs.

1: You’re Dependent

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The Picture-Wall (A Short Story)

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I knew what the prologue would be.

The notification popped up on my phone, “Appointment, 2:30.” I stared at it transfixed, my mind churning.

I knew about the chaos.

I had played how it would go all out in my head. My parents, sitting on the couch, smiling happily at me, blissfully unaware. Just living their happy, everyday lives with their nice jobs and nice neighbors and nice, straight-A daughter and —

I’d tell them.

They’d be shocked. I could see their eyes widening at the blow. My mother’s hand would come up to her mouth, shaking as she tried to comprehend it, to take it in. “Why– how–”

I knew they would be so betrayed. So disappointed.

I knew the whispers, the looks.

All my friends, family, acquaintances, would feel the same way. The groups of girls would whisper and stare at me out of the corners of their eyes. All the adults would ignore me with icy disapproval, or — so much worse — speak softly to me with deigning kindness, disgust veiled behind smiles, all the while thinking of my failure.

I knew the complete shame.

I had ruined everything. My education, my family, my future – all gone. Every one of them — dashed to pieces on the floor. Why did I let this happen?

Now nothing would ever be the same.

I knew what the prologue would be.

I sat there in my car, transfixed by that glowing bubble of text.

But

I didn’t know the rest of the story. Continue reading

When Stories Collide

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As you may know, this month is Orphan November, a time set apart to consider and support the vulnerable and fatherless. While I myself haven’t been able to do much on my blog about it this month because, well, we were busy ensuring there was one less orphan  🙂 ; my dear friend Christ in Me has a whole section of her lovely blog dedicated to orphan care. She asked me if I could share a bit of our story to finish out Orphan November, and I thought I would share with you all as well.

Stories are strange things. Because it isn’t the big, important people who are usually the main characters; it’s not the sunny, lovely days that move the story along. It’s the little people who become the heroes. It’s the disasters that cause the quest.

I don’t really know the beginning of your story. But I think it must have started like many others. With a brave little mother, a brave little father, and a brave little baby. I like to think they loved you dearly, you adorable little ball of sass and sweetness. But then disaster hit. Your head started swelling.

I don’t know if they knew what was wrong. I don’t know if they had ever heard of hydrocephalus. I don’t know if they tried to get the doctor’s help. But I think they must have fought for you. You were their beloved one, their beautiful baby and now —

Four months. That’s all they had with you. They give up their child. But they gave you a chance. A chance at help, a chance at love, a chance at life. They couldn’t help you, but they knew who could. So one night, a brave little baby was left at the gate of the best orphanage in the province.

And so ended the first chapter of this story. But that wasn’t the only family fighting for hope.

Because another story was unfolding in another little family.

Read the rest over at So I Fix My Eyes

 

You can read my thoughts before we left for China here

An Introduction

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Introductions are tricky things.

Here is a new person: wonderful, broken, and beautiful; here is a new relationship: laughter, frustration, and love; here is a new adventure: exhilarating, terrifying, and enchanting. All that potential, all that unknown, and all you have are words — four simple, small words — to unlock it.

Once upon a time.

“Hello, I am Isabelle.” Continue reading

Candles Are Lights Too

Making our mark. We all want to do it. We want to do something big, something important; to change to world, to change lives. To be a brightly burning star, dashing across the sky, spraying light and sparks in a trail of glory behind us! — that is our dream.

And as Christians we still have this desire. Maybe it doesn’t manifest itself in the same ways: wanting to be a famous singer, becoming a billionaire, running for president; but we still feel it. There is still that title of important, world-changing Christian: the pastors, the missionaries, the rebelutionaries. Sometimes, in the words of my friend, we just “want to do something crazy, like drop everything, sell it all, and go be a missionary in a foreign country!”

And Amen and Hallelujah! If that is what God is calling you to do, go! Don’t let any complacency, concerns, or cultural standards stop you. We need more radical Christians, on fire for the Lord, following His call into the ‘craziest’ of situations.

But also don’t become caught in the lie that if you aren’t out on the mission field, you aren’t faithfully following Him. Continue reading

Acorn Treasure

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Little kids are some of the silliest creatures. And sometimes also the wisest.

I’ve recently started working with some preschoolers, and for part of the day they play out on the playground. The majority of the time, they’re running shrieking from the ‘monster’, with their tousled hair and wide grin peeking over the edge of playground as they beg me to come catch them. But eventually their energy (somewhat) runs out, and I can convince them to sit down and give themselves (and I) a break. And so they sit, in the oddest-looking positions, digging and dumping mulch on their little jeans and cowboy boots. And in their rummaging, they find something.

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Loving Mondays: Sons of God

Sonship is only possible through a father. And the quality of a child’s position depends immensely on the quality of the father.

Not everyone has been blessed with a wonderful father, but I have. I adore my mom and him so much. He listens earnestly and patiently as I talk all about life to him, and then talks just as much with me, giving me wisdom and advice. Being silly together is our specialty, singing crazy ditties and dancing crazy dances. And though there are a million reasons I love our relationship, little can compare to being wrapped in a tight, warm hug, listening to his heartbeat close to my ear. He may still be human, but when I am with him I know that I am safe, that I am loved.

And because of God’s love, we have an even greater Father in Him Continue reading