Christmas Time

Friday, November 18, 2011

boldness in the form of a 9 year old...

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
2 timothy 1:7

monday evening while ross was at bsf i was getting the kids ready for bed. as i was putting the littles down henry asked if daphne could please join him for a "prayer meeting". how can you say "no" to that?

after i had tucked in the babies i could hear henry and daphne talking so i went in to redirect them toward getting their "have to-s" done so they could get to bed at a decent time. when i walked into his room there they were. side by side on his bed with Bibles open taking turns reading. it was one of those mental snapshot moments. once they finished we all prayed together and i took daph off to tuck her in.

when i came back to tuck henry in he told me he wanted to start a Bible study at school during recess. he wanted to invite his friends and enemies to study the Bible, answer questions and then play games.

me of little faith went straight to "what if he gets rejected"? this being my thought i wanted to talk through what his ready response would be if in fact one of his "friends or enemies" said no way to this idea. he just said, "i'll tell them- maybe next time." he had the whole thing planned already. he was going to make invitations, study colossians and write out questions to ask the group. "if anyone gets the answer wrong then i will just show them where the right answer is in the Bible." we prayed for God to use him and to bring all the ones who He wanted there.

tuesday morning he passed out 28 invitations. each 4th grader and the 2 teachers received one inviting them to join him on wednesday. tuesday night he went through the whole thing with us. a welcome, prayer, reading scripture, questions and a game.

wednesday afternoon his teacher called me and said that 22 kiddos showed up at the Bible study, pencils in hand and engaged. 22 nine and ten year olds gave up their recess to read the Bible together! afterward he told his teacher that he wasn't planning on being a preacher when he grows up to which she replied, "whatever God calls you to will be just what you will do."

"Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."

Lord, You are so faithful even when i am faithless. thank you for loving my boy even more than i can imagine. would you continue to use him and the gifts You have blessed him with for Your glory? thank You for giving him a boldness and reminding him that he has nothing to fear. You are so good.

my thankful list thus far...

Today I am giving thanks for this moment as Amos Lee is playing and my Daphne is asking me about the invention and usage of the Neti Pot- yes simultaneously these two things are occurring.
Day 2: I am thankful for parking lots, a window full of friends and advice on cleaning pee smelling grout.
There are brief snippets of time when I think to myself, "if I had this quiet moment more often I would love to paint a picture of all the sweet people and moments that make up my cornucopia of joy." Then I realize that without the chaos of my life I wouldn't have such a bountiful harvest in my heart. Day 3: I am thankful for all the noise and chaos of my days and the little quiet reminders of the joy that comes with it all.
words. they can be a salve to a wound. they can be an encouragement to the downtrodden. words can bring laughter. words can challenge and sharpen. words can be life giving. words can restore. Day 4: today i give thanks words.
Time. All too often wasted on things that will not last but today it is being spent with my 5 most favorite people in the entire world. Day 5: I am thankful for time spent together with my family.

the sound of the palm trees blowing in the cool breeze. the football game played out in another room. the tick of the clock. the little voices calling my name. Day 6: Today i give thanks for my sense of hearing.
A warm bed, rain falling, cold weather, snow on the mountains, hot coffee, a morning at home. Day 7: I am thankful for this day.
For yesterday Day 8: Hard work shows itself. Do not merely listen to the word an so deceive yourselves. Do what it says!
Day 9: I'm thankful for books. I dream of one day sitting on the porch of a beach house in Maine wrapped in a cozy blanket with a hot cup of tea reading a fabulous book.
Day 10: I am thankful for a voice to speak truth.
Day 11: i am thankful for the men and women who put themselves in harm's way, leave their families and comforts so that i can enjoy freedom.
Day 12: I am thankful for 34 years of life- adventures and trials.
Day 13: It can calm me. It can encourage me. It can push me to work harder. It can paint a picture in my mind. Today I give thanks for music. From listening to Toto and Todd Rundgren with my dad or Windham Hill and Julio Iglesias with my mom, masterfully created mix tapes by Melissa Riley, and now the DJ skills of Henry & my husband Ross Newman my taste in music is varied but not a day goes by without a song in my mind.
Day 14:i am thankful for packages of thank you cards in the dollar bin. there is just something special about sending a handwritten note to thank someone for their kindnesses. i love to receive them but truly enjoy sending them.
Day 15: i am thankful for the boldness of my son. he proves to me over and over that we do not have a spirit of fear but of but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.(2 Timothy 1:7) He decided Monday night to boldly invite his friends and enemies at school to join him for a Bible study. i am humbled at the young man God is growing him into.
Day 16: i am thankful for the many pictures that i have whether in a box in the closet, a handcrafted scrapbook, on my computer or on my phone. i wish i were some fantastic photographer that could make every picture i have look like we were always bathed and happy but in reality most pictures in my possession show our reality. pb&j faces, laughter, tangled hair and lots and lots of love. i think that might be better.
Day 17: i am thankful for this exact place in life. i have thought at times "what if i had..." and all of what i can fill in the blank with falls flat and lifeless to what i have and what i have lived. life has not been easy or like that perfect picture i would like to capture but life thus far has been full. some things i would love to not have experienced but not at the risk of the changes in me that have occurred in the process.
Day 18: i am thankful for vacuum cleaners. i like a freshly vacuumed rug or carpet. (no one said the whole list of thanksgivings had to be full of deep meaningful things- i really am thankful for vacuums.)