The Innkeeper’s Daughter

Lillyann brought “The Innkeeper’s Daughter” to me yesterday and wanted to hear the story. She got in my lap, and Mylah quickly followed suit. The book is beautifully written by Carol Greene, so the girls did not move a muscle as little Abigail and Meangoat terrorized the neighborhood. I could tell Lillyann was anxious about the outcome when she asked if Abigail was ever going to be nice.

Abigail changes when she finds a sweet baby in her family’s stable. Knowing she is loved changes the way she behaves. The girls loved the story, and I loved sharing it with them. Jesus’s love does make a difference and saves me from my mean self! It even changed Meangoat in the story, and Lillyann was especially thankful for that:)

I love children and envy their sense wonder. As I watched the girls sleeping yesterday, I also envied their peace-filled sleep. Last night, I ended up sleeping for ten hours straight. That isn’t the norm, but I believe my exposure to wonder, love, and the sweet peace of watching them sleep must have been part of my own peace-filled sleep last night. I was shocked when I saw light coming in the window and couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the clock.

Love makes the world a different place, and that’s what “The Innkeeper’s Daughter” is all about. God’s love came down in the form of an innocent child. Children make a beautiful difference in this world when we listen and take time to hear what they have to say. When I model the girls wide-eyed wonder and join their giggles of glee when we play, joy and love come together in a way that is appropriate for this special time of year. So, take the time to wonder and giggle today. You’ll thank God for it later:)

Fountain of Youth:)

Spending the day with Lillyann and Mylah yesterday was a dip in the fountain of youth. The reason for the revival was staying in the present moment. When I’m with them, we play, eat, love, nap, play and eat some more. That may not be a catchy title for a novel, but it’s a great plan if you want to live life as a kid:) I needed the girls yesterday, and I’m thankful to be with them today and tomorrow. Sometimes, I just know I am where I am meant to be, and yesterday was a perfect example of that feeling. I love it when God does that, especially after a tough lesson.

Lillyann likes to pretend she’s a puppy, so Mylah and I got into the game and walked her, fed her, and patted her on the head. It was so funny to watch them playing. Mylah shrugs her little shoulders and just beams when she gets into the pretending and understands what’s going on. She looks so much like mama when she does that, and it blesses me to see the connection. Tyler snuck in on us as we were playing last night, and the girls just went wild. It’s nice to be somebody’s rock star:) I love watching my son play and love his girls; there is no greater joy for my heart.

I may have been dipped in the fountain of youth yesterday, but I was ready for bed by 8:30:) That may be why kids have more energy than we adults. They sleep ten to twelve hours each night! I think I’ll start following their example and see what happens. Kids stay in the present until adults start giving them reasons to dwell in the past or worry about the future. The fountain of youth is possible when I spend time in the present and stop letting tomorrow and yesterday creep in and steal my peace. Focusing upon the simple things and remembering to play and pray keeps life what God created it to be, a time to love and connect to one another. I am so very thankful to have the time and opportunity to do just that with my sweet little grand daughters. God uses them very effectively to teach beautiful lessons. Thank you God:)

Importance is Relative:)

When I read Mark 9:30-37, I think of how the disciples mirrored what the world so wants to know. How important am I? We all want an answer to that question from God, our loved ones, our employers, and our friends. The disciples argued about just that:

(The Message Eugene Peterson) Leaving there, they went through Galilee. He didn’t want anyone to know their whereabouts, for he wanted to teach his disciples. He told them, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed to some people who want nothing to do with God. They will murder him. Three days after his murder, he will rise, alive.” They didn’t know what he was talking about, but were afraid to ask him about it. They came to Capernaum. When he was safe at home, he asked them, “What were you discussing on the road? The silence was deafening—they had been arguing with one another over who among them was greatest.He sat down and summoned the Twelve. “So you want first place? Then take the last place. Be the servant of all.”He put a child in the middle of the room. Then, cradling the little one in his arms, he said, “Whoever embraces one of these children as I do embraces me, and far more than me—God who sent me.”

I love the way Jesus teaches. He first asks a question for which He has an answer. Confession is necessary to clear the heart and mind so He can begin. That’s true for the disciples and for me. I understand that deafening silence all too well; it is the beautiful open space God gives for growth. It seems like an abyss when I’m not ready to admit any wrongdoing or wrong thinking. Space is freeing, but only when truth is allowed free reign.

Jesus never answers my questions with a simple yes or no. Like the one He gives His disciples, answers are designed to make me come to knowledge. He doesn’t impart; He saves that for those who know it all and stand in judgment of others. He doesn’t work that way, and it bothers those who want easy answers and quick punishment. Christ is clear in His answer and gives food for thought, as always with Him.

Being first is still important, and it tears at the heart of God’s work. Divisions limit God and His work. Who gets to be the leader? Who will be in charge? Who will make the decisions? The answer to all those questions is obviously God, but man has the need to define and create a hierarchy when it comes to serving Him. Such a shame in that it causes His work to take a back burner to our plans. I wish the body of Christ looked more like Him, and it would be wonderful if we were more concerned with following than leading.

With the election coming near, division has reared its ugly head and is tearing our country apart. It’s hard not to get caught up in the anger this year. I’m used to the mudslinging that goes on, but this election goes well beyond the mud and is cutting right to the heart of this country. It breaks my heart, but it has taught a wonderful lesson as I’ve found myself floundering and falling right into the fray at times. I am reminded of the answer Jesus gave a group of followers falling into the same trap.  He isn’t like the world, and I need to remember that. He isn’t running for office or sanctioning either candidate. He is bidding me to be last and to embrace the little ones who have the right answers until the adults teach the wrong ones.  There’s a lot of bad teaching going on right now as those little ones mimic and mirror what they see before them. God forgive us all for that!