Monday, September 21, 2009

A Daddy of Little Girls

A Daddy of little girls...

reads bedtime stories at night, even if it is the same Barbie book 7 nights straight

gets little girls ready for church so Mommy can get herself ready

and perfects his gymnastics skills.

A Daddy of little girls often has to force, I mean, encourage indoor-lovin' little girls to get outside...even if they say they don't want to, but come back talking about how great it was...

or do whatever is necessary for outdoor-lovin' little girls

A Daddy of little girls also thinks it's perfectly okay for really little girls to just strip down and swing when it's blazin' hot outside...

And he knows that little boys aren't the only ones who might find a tree stand entertaining...

even if it's only in the driveway

A Daddy of little girls gets to experience a lot of silliness...

and even more drama...

But most of all...a Daddy of little girls loves those little girls with all his heart

I know Daddies of little boys do all that stuff too, but we're not really experienced with little boys 'round here:)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

No Greater Joy

I have great news to share! Anna Clare asked Jesus into her heart last week. We are so happy and thankful that she made the most important decision of her life! She has been saying things over the past few weeks that made me think this day was coming. Steve thought it would be a good idea to let her go talk to our pastor and ask any questions that she might have. They went, and Steve said it was a great conversation. Our pastor told Steve that he felt like God was preparing her heart and to not be surprised if she came to us soon.

I am writing this next part so I will never forget how God worked in my heart that day. He convicted me 3 times that same day in 3 very distinct ways. On the morning that she was going to meet with our pastor, I was talking with a friend whom I consider to be a spiritual mentor. I told her that while I was very excited, I was a little concerned that Anna Clare might be too young to understand what it means to be a Christian, and that I just didn’t know if she was “ready.” I went on to tell her how I was 9 years old when I accepted Christ, and I remember coming home from church on a Sunday night crying because I knew right then that I wanted Jesus. Her advice to me was “Don’t try to write the script for her story.” Wow! Has anyone ever spoken a word to you that you knew you would never forget? That was exactly what I needed to hear because that is exactly what I was doing. I hung up the phone in tears and prayed that I had not been discouraging to Anna Clare in any way.

Earlier that morning, I had emailed my dad letting him know that she was going to meet with our pastor and to ask him to pray for her. When I checked my email later that day, he told me how thrilled and excited he was for her. His advice was to “never hinder the Spirit…if she is cautioned to wait until she is older, she might easily become discouraged and her boldness and convictions could be weakened. If she loses that boldness, she may never get it back.” Convicted. Again. Anna Clare is shy and a bit insecure, and the last thing she needs is to lose what little boldness she has…especially a boldness for Jesus. Again, I prayed, thanking God that I had not said anything to her that might have hindered her.

Finally, as I was reading the lesson for a mentor program/Bible Study that I am doing with some ladies in our church, this verse jumped off the page at me. Matthew 19:14. “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” DO NOT HINDER…I honestly could not believe that this verse was in this lesson on this day. I am so thankful that I serve a forgiving God who knows my heart and knows that I would never, ever intentionally hinder my child’s heart.

All of this happened on a Monday. I spent the week praying for Anna Clare and for whatever His plan (not mine) was for her. The following Sunday afternoon, she asked Jesus to come into her heart. I am so grateful that God worked in my heart prior to her decision so that when that moment came, I was able to experience pure, unbridled joy. His grace is sufficient.

I think Steve summed it up best. We try to make it complicated. We tend to think that it can’t be simple. But it is. Jesus died on a cross so that we could be set free. It is that simple for anyone who believes.

We are not sure when she will publicly profess her faith or when she will be baptized. Jesus will lead her. Right now, I am just praising Him that our daughter’s eternity is secured in Heaven, and I am soaking up all God is teaching me through the faith of a little child.