Friday, October 17, 2008

Keeping Jesus Quiet

Our family friend John Harris is right.
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.

Love Jesus?
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 know I love ya!

~Many Blessings~


Runner Mom said...

Girl, this was awsome! "And a little child will lead them!" I praise Him for your daughter and for all of those babies out there who don't mind living out loud for our God! She is watching you and Gene for you are her teachers. She has learned valuable lessons from you! Your talk does match the DNA of her walk--I LOVED that! She got it from you, darling girl! We all have our moments of hesitation, but if we keep our focus on Him, we'll be able to share just as Alyssa did and will continue to!

Love you!

Laurie Ann said...

Loved this post! Let's be as bold as she was and will be again!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

I'm not going to say you are being too hard on yourself because I am SO, SO guilty of this too and I need this truth for my heart and change in my voice, walk.

Why is it so hard to do what Alivia wanted to do so much last year? I think you will find in your many comments to come that we ALL struggle with this. We don't want to make others least that is one of my primary "excuses". I mean will it make another person uncomfortable to say "can I pray for your ankle". Will they think I'm some weird holy roller and feel I think too high of my religious self? Excuses, yes, they all are and we all have them. We love to share our love of Jesus with fellow believers. I think we immediately offer prayer for those on blogs, in church, at work that we know to be believers. But to offer it to an an unbeliever, the one who needs it most. Naah...that's too much.

I hope the Lord NEVER lets me forget this post of yours. I pray He will remind me of it often and in those moments I want to stay comfortable and quiet. May He bring this to mind and push me off my tooshie.

And my I just add, that when I began to read this post I thought for sure I knew how my comment would go and it would be like this:
"Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! You are making me fall even more in love with that precious girl of yours...(you know what I mean...I'm not one of those weird cyber space freaks...I just love that girl of yours!!)"

Because I respect you, I won't flatter you with don't be hard on yourself. But rather, I will say I commend you for seeing how your actions affect your Alivia and wanting to make sure you correct that. There are so many parents that continue to take the easy way out. You have a very deep and sincere love and devotion for your children (and grandgirl).

I have only one complaint...why the doggins can't you move up north? Then, I can be blessed by seeing and hearing these stories for myself instead of reading about your wonderful family.

I just realized my oldest neice is the same age as Alvia. We can share stories about how they change and that "preciousness" changes. oh no, please no, don't take that precious childhood kissing and boobs.
Love ya,

Paula said...

Hi lovely lady, it's very difficult to not be hard on yourself when you see your actions rubbing off on your children. I have lived through this the last week or so, with Jasmine turning around and growling at me in the way I growl at her. So yes, I really, REALLY dislike myself for it and it's taken all week to forgive myself fot it. So, my mission now is to NOT be the mum I don't like, and be the one I do. Just as children learn from us through our example, the same goes for us through them. This is our lesson for the week. Let's roll with it and do God justice. :-)

Love ya, P :-) xo

LynnSC said...

Hi Lelia,
This was quite a post. I too wonder how many life lessons my children learn from what I do instead of what I say. Very convicting...

Thanks so much for this post. I really needed to hear it. Maybe didn't wanted to hear it... but needed it.

Thanks so much for being real,

Jill said...

Not a lot of time to comment, but Lelia I loved your words probably because at times they have been mine. I agree let's walk this road together and walk the walk as we talk the talk or blog the talk. I appreciate the fact that you are being hard on yourself, that's not always a good thing, but at times God can use it. Just last week our Sunday school class was on repentence - how at times we're too quick to confess and go just never really turning from our sin and letting ourselves off the hook. That is not what we need and really it's not what God wants. Thanks for sharing I can relate, but like you I'm ready to change.
Blessings, Jill

Julie said...

I can't think of how often He uses my children to speak to me. I am so thankful that His grace covers everything, even my mistakes...

I see His grace covering you...


AnooCre8ion said...

This is a very real post. one that causes me to look at my talk and and my actions.

Thank you for being so honest.


Leebird said...

I doubt there are many moms out there that don't feel regret over their children learning wrong thoughts or actions from us. My momma heart hurts along with yours.

I look at my three boys and I can see my issues with food all over them. They are all overweight, and my youngest son has started eating just to pass the time...and he has started sneaking into my room to weigh himself practically everyday...I don't want him to become obese, but even more, I don't want him to be obsessed with h is weight, losing weight, etc. My mom passed it on to me and I have passed it on to my kids. Breaks my heart.

Carol said...

Oh Lelia, I've so been there. It's a humbling experience when God teaches us lessons through our children. It hurts our hearts as mom's and as His children.

I've seen my exact body language and angry tone or attitued exude from my girl. I've seen her critique the way she looks because she's been watching me.

But as my faith grows I've seen hers grow too. It's true we must be what we want our kids to be. Thank you for the challenge and the reminder that if we don't speak bodly for Jesus, then how will our children.

Love ya,

Naomi said...

I see me in my 7 year old son alot, emulating my tones, my actions, my attitudes, and I'm often saddened. Instead of disciplining him, I discipline myself!! Then I have a 'follow-up' with him!!!

We live in a very limiting type of society, with a certain way to behave, certain things we must do or say, certain things we must have, if we want to get by without any flack... t'is all very sad as it chips away at our JOY... This post is like a flashing beacon to all of us. Let's not stifle our own joy, or the joy of others - we serve a God deserving of our every ounce of passion that we have for Him, that's not just surface stuff, but deep-down-in-your-bones stuff.

Love your work!!! Hugs to you... Naomi

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

What an awesome lesson here and it has so convicted my heart. How awful for us to be implying to our children to keep silent about Jesus. You know I am not condmening you friend. I am just as quilty but never thought about it in this way. Wow. I am convicted.

In His Graces~Pamela

Amy L Brooke said...

Alivia is definitely in tune with her Maker. Praise God that she listened and made all the grown up listen as well.

She sounds so precious!

Josie said...

Ouch! I know I am the same way but oh the excuses we make. With me it is going out of my comfort zone. Thank you for this post. I pray that I can learn to grow from it and I pray that your daughter will keep her love for Jesus strong and give us more encouragement. Please let her know how much she has encouraged many of us out here.
Your sister in Christ,

HisPrincess said...

Keep reminding me Lelia. Please just keep reminding me...

Clay Feet said...

I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3 NIV)

I feel great risk in being the only male among all of these women commentators. It is really very intimidating to me personally. But I have to say that I had a very hard time reading the first part of this post to my wife. I was crying my way through it I was so deeply moved by this little girl's spirit. Then when you dropped the other shoe I felt so convicted that I nearly wanted to crawl under the chair. It exposes my own fears of what people think about me so clearly that I cannot avoid it.
I so wish to be free of my many inhibitions and act like this little child. That is exactly what Jesus says we have to do. But these inhibitions are like slave-drivers that keep us in terrible bondage to fear. I want liberty and freedom that I envy so much in little children that I see. That is my prayer.

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

I'm back. I had to read this again. I think this has been your most convicting post for me yet. It has become my prayer to show my children how not to be silent for Jesus. Thank you lelia. What a powerful message here.

In His Graces`Pamela

Sharon said...

What a great post, And yes they do learn everything from us, we are the example.
Have a terrific week

Laura said...

We are told to go to Him like a little child. why does that part of us have to grow up? Our Pastor talked about how knowing Jesus changes us. He said we cannot help but to be changed if we know HIm. Then He asked us to consider how we were changed. That was a toughie. Letting the world see how knowing Him makes me different takes deliberate living and courage. I want to be like your little one was last year when I grow up too!!
Read ya tomorrow for Lisa's study!!

Yolanda said...


You and YOU alone are our very reason for existence. May each one of us, not hunker down or back off, but instead be bright shining LIGHTS. Telling, showing, and simply LIVING for You. Thank You Abba. Amen.


Kimberly said...

Oh, how your comment made me smile tonight. :)
And what a fantastic post! I admit I have been one to quiet my oldest. He has had to convict me as well about being willing to live out loud for Him, not worrying about what anyone else thinks. I need to fan the flame for Him in my children, not quench it.

Praise God His mercies are new every morning!
Blessings, sweet friend! You have a BEAUTIFUL heart for Jesus!

Love you,