Our 7 year old Alivia E'Lise is something else.
She has always had this passion for prayer and for Jesus.
What she understands of Him she loves and adores. The cool part is that to a point she imitates her Dad and I. I've always loved it when during church I've noticed if our hands our in the air, then her small hands raise in praise. She used to just do what we did, but it's becoming more her.
She has always had a boldness about her that I envy and desire. At times I've felt such an awe of how God could touch someone so small and it's so genuine.
She's come home from school and said, "Mom, I taught so and so my favorite song "No Weapon" today during recess. The picture of elementary kids singing in unison that "no weapon formed against them can prosper" I bet just did Satan in. Instead of calling each other names and hurting each other's feelings they were being taught worship songs.
She'd come home and inform me of which teachers and classmates of hers believed in Jesus and go to church. She'd be talking about something that happened in her day and she'd add, "Oh and Mom, they're a Christian." When I asked her how she knew all of this her answer was simple, "Because I asked them". If they said"no" they didn't go to church and didn't know who Jesus is then you know by the time that bell rang at the end of the day that they went home with an introduction to their Creator and a verbal invitation to attend church with her.
A few years ago when she was just 5 my Mom and I took all the kids up to Omaha to watch my oldest daughter's high school boys basketball team play in Districts for State. Our close family friends, the Harris' son Preston played for them and during the game he began to experience some health issues.
The ambulance was called and took him to the hospital. When they left we left too. So there we sat in the waiting room of the hospital's ER room. There was about 20 of us that filled almost every chair available.
When they took Preston back to do some x-rays, Alivia noticed this little boy who looked very sick resting on his Daddy's lap. Instant compassion filled my girls heart and she came up to me and said she wanted to pray. Okay I said, let's pray for him. No she said.
She didn't want to just pray with me. That wasn't good enough for her. She insisted that everyone join together in a circle, hold hands and lift this child up to the Jesus that she undeniably believed could do the healing this little guy needed. I didn't want to cause a scene, so I told her that was sweet, but let's just pray together or with Grandma. She would not listen. With tears in her dark brown eyes she said, "Mom we need to pray for this little boy".
She approached Preston's Dad, John and asked him to gather everyone together because she wanted us to pray. He just looked at my Mom and smiled "she is something else". He then called all 20+ of us together and told them what this 5 year old child wanted us to do.
She was too shy to pray so she asked Mr. Harris if he would do it. It was awesome! Tears were in all the adults eyes as we stood holding hands with Preston's friends praying over him and the little boy.
Another time at a summer basketball game of Alyssa's, one of her teammates hurt her ankle. Alivia began tapping me on my arm, "Momma, let's go pray for her". Getting frustrated with her plea to go pray, I finally hushed her urgent request. I mean, c'mon, the gym was crowded and we would have had to walk in front of many people. There wasn't any room to do it. I told her to just go ahead and pray for the girl.
I have to wonder how close my child has paid attention to me.
Have I taught her that being bold for Christ is embarrassing?
People might look.
People might talk.
I know my girl has been taught something I never intended on teaching her from a conversation we had last week.
She said something about what her and her friend were talking about on the playground. Surprised that there was no mention of sharing Jesus with her friend,I asked her if she still taught her friends songs about Jesus. The look she gave me made my heart just drop. "No Mom. I don't do that anymore."
The playground used to be Alivia's missions field for teaching, preaching and sharing her first Love.
"Why not Liv?"
"Because, it's embarrassing talking about Jesus and I don't want my friends to think I'm weird".
I told her how sad that must make Jesus' heart, but I didn't get on her too much about it. How could I? I had taught her this. Me. Her own Mother had taught her that we don't pray over someone in public who is crying out in pain because it would inconvenience us and might make people feel uncomfortable. We don't make a spectacle in a hospital waiting room and stand in a circle and bow our heads. Instead, we silently pray for those hurting to save ourselves any embarrassment. She took what she saw in me and adapted it into her own world and now we don't talk or sing about Jesus on the playground. Instead, we run, laugh, slide and sometimes fight, but leave Jesus at home. Just like Satan likes it.
OH Lord. I'm so sorry. What a pathetic example I've been. I have taught her how to keep Jesus quiet.
What a wake up call I didn't see coming.
Asking Jesus into your life makes you instantly different.
He's hard to keep contained if you are seeking Him with your everything. He's not One you want to keep to yourself when you are loving Him with all your mind, soul, body and spirit.
He's One you share about in the privacy of your own home and in public places.
He's One that when you see someone hurting you offer them prayer.
Right there on the spot. Out loud.
He's One to never be ashamed about.
He's One worth being bold about.
I want my daughter to be bold but if she doesn't see it in me what hope does she have? Who is encouraging her when she sees that I'd rather sit on the sideline watching Alyssa's team mate cry over her ankle rather than show her I care and that Jesus cares.
That same young girl just found out she is pregnant.
Would a prayer on a sideline have made an impact and made a difference in her life so much that her choices would have been for Him?
I'll never know.
Now please don't tell me I'm being too hard on myself. I have to be right now. I mean, I say on this blog that I want to live my life for Jesus. I say that to my kids when I'm at home, but then I go out in the world and I want to keep Him as my secret pal.
If what I say is true and I want my hearts' desires to be played out then I can't continue on the way I have been. I'm not talking about carrying my Bible around screaming at people that if they don't have Jesus they're going to burn forever. I'm talking rising up to meet Jesus when He puts it on a child's heart to go and pray. Saying YES to GOD everyday.
Having a heart for Jesus that beats the same at home and in public.
That's what I'm talking about.
I want to be like my 7 year old was last year when I grow up. I have to be. She needs to see a change in her Mom. A change that will show her how her Mom's talk matches the DNA of her walk. It's easy to be fired up about living for Jesus at the comfort of my computer, the tough part is living for Him outside of the walls of my home.
Then don't keep Him to yourself. You never know where He's needed.
Don't keep quiet about the best thing that has ever happened in your life.
Don't know Him?
Click on the READY button on my sidebar and learn more about Him or
e-mail me if you want to.
He's waiting for you.
Let's be bold.
Let's live out loud for the One who loves us like no other can.
Have a great weekend...you know I love ya!