Giant Lessons From a Little One

Last Sunday on the way home from church, Lillyann and I had the following conversation:

Me: What did you learn about today?

Lillyann: God

Me: What was the story about?

Lillyann: God

Me: Who was in the story?

Lillyann: God!

Me: What did God do in the story?

Lillyann: He picked up three rocks and killed a giant.

Me: Oh, you heard how David killed Goliath

Lillyann: No, God did it!

Lessons from little ones are the most profound, and I needed the message God delivered through little Lillyann. It’s been a week of trying to slay giants on my own, but God reminded me that He had put a very wise little minister in the path before the onslaught. If I had heeded His message on Sunday, my week would have been much easier. Instead, I decided to face fear, guilt, and jealousy on my own and found myself face down on the ground before I remembered Lillyann’s little lesson.

Lillyann knew the story of David and Goliath before Sunday, but she got the greater meaning on Sunday. I knew the greater meaning behind the story, but God reminded of it this week. I have always tried to slay giants and dragons on my own because I preferred to have God watch and then say, “Good girl!!” Lillyann and Mylah both insist on doing things on their own, and I appreciate their desire for independence. I have the same desire myself. It’s great to learn new skills and be independent, but it’s also wonderful to remember that it is God who is working through me. The greatest lesson in independence is knowing that I am totally dependent upon God. That is freeing, and that is at the heart of independence.

The nonsense in Washington and all around this country reminds me of what happens when slaying giants becomes all about getting credit and being right. The left and right have one thing in common. They are killing the country with their agendas. I’m not a red person, and I’m not a blue person. I’m a purple person living in the middle of the mess. The country is being bruised by the rocks flying from both directions, and I’m tired of the folks on both sides claiming to be heros.

David didn’t see himself as a hero. He was simply letting God work through him. That is what a true hero does, and I pray I will remember that. God will take care of the giants in my path if I will let Him do what He does best. I don’t suppose those in Washington will solve their differences until they are able to let go of the need to be right. It is the way of this world to wage war, but the collateral damage is always played out in the lives of those in the middle who are trying to live and love in an imperfect world. God becomes lost in the battle He has already won.

Agendas are like rocks, and they’re flying all around as the country tries to find its balance. I pray we’ll trust God, as did David, to slay those giants looming in the distance. Working together and remembering what is truly important are the smooth stones that will kill those giants.

You Aren’t Going to Keep That, Are You??

I never tire of watching Lillyann and Mylah interact. God showed me last night that I often share with Him the same way they share with one another. They are still learning, and so am I, the difference between giving away and lending. Mylah and I were watching “The Jungle Book” while Lillyann visited with Mere. She would hold out a little Cheerio for me and then quickly put it in her mouth if I tried to eat it. It’s a little game to her, but it’s a little game that taught an important lesson. Sometimes, if I’m quick enough, I can get that little Cheerio before she has time to snatch it back. She doesn’t like it at all when I do that and sometimes gets upset. I’m the same way with God.

When I give something to God, I find myself saying, “You aren’t going to keep that, are you?” I’m ashamed to say that I’ve let go as little Mylah and reacted with the same frustration when He does keep it. Giving things to God involves truly letting go. Mylah will offer and offer and even push a Cheerio in my mouth if I shake my head and say, “No thank you!” She wants me to want it so she can snatch it away, put it in her own mouth, and then giggle. It’s all part of her game, and I am guilty of sharing with God in the same manner.

I want to give all to God, but I don’t want Him to keep it. It’s easy to give away what I don’t want or need but harder when it’s something I want. God often gives back what I have given Him, but it is not the same. He gives my space and stuff a new dimension and does the same for me. His ways are higher than I can imagine, and I’m slowly learning to truly let go and not push my Cheerios into God’s mouth when He isn’t playing the way I want to play:)

Lillyann came home last night loaded down with goodies from her day with Mere, and she handed Mylah some things she had gotten for her. When Mylah wanted Lillyann’s precious flashlight, the atmosphere took a turn for the worse. Mere and I had to convince Lillyann that Mylah was just going to play with it for a little while. She relaxed a bit, but I could tell that she wanted to make sure she was going to get it back. Again, I saw myself in her trepidation. All worked out well when I put the little light back where it stays, and we settled in to finish the movie and “share” Cheerios:)

If God offered me the opportunity to go back to Ash Wednesday, I wouldn’t change a thing. The space and stuff I’ve given Him have made room in my heart for what He has in mind. The lessons have been hard ones, and the hurt is still healing. Learning to trust Him and walk in His kingdom in a way that glorifies Him has been, is, and will continue to be, worth the hurt that came, comes, and will always come when I share as He desires.


Child’s Play:)

Luke 17:18 and Mark 10:15 say the same thing about entering God’s kingdom.

Luke 17 Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” NASB

Those verses have taken on greater meaning for me over the past few weeks as I’ve lived with children in a most beautiful way. I love the sound of little excited voices and delight in the sounds of play whether above or beside me:) I’m surrounded by the sounds of love and laughter and love every moment.

Children live in the moment, and I love that they can be playing full steam one moment and asleep the next. I marvel at their ability to change gears and go from one activity to the next. I decided when I first moved in that my living room would be the home’s loving room and went with an invitational design. It’s not innovative, and nothing really matches, but it’s the perfect room for plopping or playing.

I have my desk for studying, a table for coffee and reading, a table for the girls, a big comfortable couch with lots of soft cushions (Lillyann’s favorite thing about the house:), a great rocker recliner that looks out at the amazing view, an old TV that’s sole purpose is to play Mere’s old Disney VHF movies, and a big clear area in the middle in which to play or exercise. I’m sure a design team from HGTV would shake their heads in dismay, but the girls light up when they come in; and that’s all the approval I need.

My bedroom is a beautiful sanctuary, but I find myself staying and praying in the loving room most of the time. I know when the pool is filled, the room will also be filled with folks coming in and going out. Like Lillyann, I can’t wait to jump in! Every sunny day, she asks if we can put water in pool. I love the sweet optimism and eager excitement of children and know God does too. I pray we will all show the same for Him.

If you aren’t experiencing God’s kingdom here on earth, take some time to play with children. Their wisdom is amazing, and their enthusiasm is contagious. God knew that I was ready for the advanced lessons in love Lillyann and Mylah could teach me, so He set up a very special graduate course for me and even put me on an amazing campus designed to help me get the full effect of those lessons. I feel like a kid every time I think of Him, and that’s a good sign I’m heading in the right direction and walking in His kingdom:)

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