Friday, November 30, 2007

Targeted Confidence

Six years ago I was on the phone talking with my dear friend Sheryl as she was multi-tasking. While chatting & doing the dishes, she was also looking out the window keeping an eye on her 3 year old son John playing in their backyard. Suddenly he came into the house & it was clear he was on a mission as he began looking for something. She asked him what he was looking for & with a matter of fact tone of voice answered her with one word, "screwdriver". Minutes later, mission accomplished, he headed back outside with his dad's screwdriver in his hand.

While laughing, Sheryl described to me her toddler's level of confidence. John had come into their house with so much confidence & walked out with even more because he felt fully equipped to solve his problem. Her son is almost 9 years now & this story often comes to my mind. This week I began to ask God what He was trying to teach me through this story. The other night He laid it out clearly on my heart.

At 3 years old when it came to fixing something, John didn't know much, but I love seeing what he did know. At some point John had seen his dad, Melvin, use a screwdriver on something.
I'm sure Melvin didn't explain to his knee-high helper the difference between the tips of the screwdrivers. But at some point Melvin's shadow had seen his daddy use a screwdriver.

The day John came into the house looking for his dad's tool, all of his confidence was not in himself, but was in his father. He knew if he could just imitate Melvin his problem would be solved. Through this story, God showed me that it is a necessity to place our confidence in our Father.

Last year, along with some women in my church I read the book, "The Confident Woman" by Joyce Meyer which in it says, " When we have confidence in God, we can reach truly amazing heights; without confidence in Him, even simple accomplishments are beyond our grasp."

I can't recall if John solved his problem or not with his dad's tool, but I do know that 6 years later I have been reminded of WHO I need to place my confidence in and thankfully, it's not me, but instead it's my Heavenly Father.

My friends' little guy watched his father & then believed that because of the confidence he placed in his daddy, he too had the strength to fix what was broken.

Philippians 4:13
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

~Many Blessings~

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

More than just a name...

Awhile ago, I received a forwarded e-mail about responses a group of professionals received from kids (ages 4-8) when asked the question "What is love?” One response really stuck with me from 4 year old Billy. His answer was "When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth."

That really made me think about how I say Jesus' name. Does my Heavenly Father know that I'm not going to use His name in vain, but instead say it with much reverence? Do I say it different since I invited Him into my life or is it just another word? Since I'm aware of what He's done for me on the cross, do I say His name with any gratitude? Can anyone tell that I love Jesus by how I speak His name? When my voice falls upon His ears as I call on His name, what does He hear?
I say His name a lot. When I feel fear creeping into my thoughts in the middle of the night it's His name I call upon. When I feel like I'm failing as a wife & mom it's His name that I cry out to for guidance. Before my eyes open in the morning it's His name that I whisper into my pillow. When I feel overwhelmed by His sacrifice it's His name that I thankfully worship. When I mess up it's His name that say when I ask for forgiveness. It's more than just a name to me.
The name Jesus is the name of my Hero and I want my Savior to know that His name is safe in my mouth.

"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth."
~Billy, age 4~

1 Thessalonians 1:12b
If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you…

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Trust in the Lord...

For the last few weeks our 1st grader, Alivia, has had a very loose tooth. My husband's philosophy is to let it fall out on its own and mine is to yank it out at the first wiggle. As I pressured Alivia daily about letting me help her pull it out, she politely informed me that she doesn't pull her teeth until they are "extremely wiggly".

Obviously being more experienced in this area compared to a 6 year old that has only lost 2 bottom teeth, I politely informed her that the tooth was ready since she could move it around with her tongue. I was on call 24/7 just hoping she'd change her mind, but her answer remained "not yet".

Then one day, she said she was ready to have it pulled, BUT not by me or her. Only by her former kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Johnson. See, according to Alivia, Mrs. Johnson is the "best tooth puller in the world". I let her make the call & we went right over there. Mrs. Johnson was thrilled she had called & got right down to business. After a quick wiggle assessment, Mrs. J. took a napkin & within seconds Alivia had her long awaited top row gap in her mouth.

I loved the trust she had in her teacher. Last year as a student of Mrs. Johnson's, Alivia witnessed many friends arrive at 9am with a wiggly tooth & leave at 3:30pm knowing the tooth fairy would be leaving coins under their pillow in a few hours. While she left with all teeth intact , she watched classmate after classmate carry their loose tooth home in a plastic treasure chest box.

What she saw was trust. She saw her friends trust Mrs. Johnson. She had never seen me pull a tooth so I had no credibility, but she had seen enough classmates bravely stand open mouthed in front of Mrs. J. to earn her the title of the "world's best tooth puller". This woman not only taught them how to read & write the word tooth, but she could pull one too.

I can't help but think when I have a problem arise in my life how I handle it. Do I immediately try to fix it on my own--eat apples, tie a string around it & yank or do I go to the World's Best Tooth Puller with my problem & trust Him enough to handle it? Do those around me see me go right to Jesus with everything in my life simply because I trust Him?

I know there's many times I try to fix things on my own. It's a daily struggle to surrender any control I think I might have to God, but when I do He seems to pull my tooth out & make room for the next one. Like Alivia did with her tooth, I sometimes tend to wait until my problem becomes "extremely wiggly" before I go to Him. When I feel that first wiggle, encounter that 1st sign of a problem, I need to just run to Him. I need to trust in Him because of what I've seen Him do in others lives. I need to trust Him with all of my junk because of what I've read about Him in the Bible. I need to trust more.

Thank You Lord for taking a wiggly tooth to show me how I need to increase the trust I have in You.

Luke 18:27
Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Many Blessings,