“Oh, oooh! Can I finish it?” my daughter begs as she holds up a plastic jar of “trail mix”. This isn’t just some ole trail mix you’d buy from the store. This is a home-made, one-of-a kind jar filled with sweet, salty goodness made by a friend. Imagine this- teddy grahams, m&m’s, peanuts, and candy corn! Candy Corn! Sweet goodness…. Somebody STOP ME! I couldn’t stop myself from eating this all day… so I welcomed my girls finishing off the delectable jar of treats.
Candy corn has always been a favorite of mine. I haven’t had it in years- until today, but the first taste of it brought me back to childhood. Swirling leaves on fall days, wearing warm sweaters, sitting in my driveway talking about all sorts of deep things….like what we are going to dress up as for Halloween, and what our new favorite song was on the radio.
So I ask my oldest, as she steals each kernel of candy corn from the jar, how her day was. She says “Oh, Mommy! God really does hear every single prayer!” I smile inquisitively and ask her what she means by that. “Well, I prayed that there would still be one more piece of candy corn in the jar, and there wasn’t just one, there were two!”
I told her she was silly. And then I had to correct myself. If He cares for each sparrow that falls to the ground, how much more does He care for each of us? And who am I to say God doesn’t deserve praise and glory for something as small as a my daughter finding an extra piece of candy corn?!
What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31
And then, without skipping a beat, she continues to talk about her day. She says “Momma, I think Ruby is starting to like church!” And then she bowed her head, folded her hands together, and showed me how they both prayed for something today at school.
Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 18:2-4
Then it hits me- all those mornings I sit in my van at the bus stop and say prayers with my girls- maybe they really are listening! Most mornings they rush to get out of the van, and sometimes I wonder if they even hear me pray. I tell them we need to pray, and sometimes I hear them moan and groan about it. I think the real lesson is in not talking about it- but simply doing it. Our actions speak so much louder than our words. We say “Do as I say” when sometimes I need to do less talking and more “doing”.
As she smiles and shares with me the important details of her busy day, I praise Him for the simple things… for sweet memories, candy corn, and simple child-like faith.
Lord, thank You for bringing back memories of what it feels like to be a child again today! Thank you for candy corn and for sweet girls who help me eat it. Help me to pray without ceasing and to praise you for all things- big and small- because You are worthy of it all!
It happened again… I lost yet another piece of jewelry that I love- my sideways cross necklace…
I have lost many items of jewelry. Once I lost my diamond wedding rings in the grocery store just down the street- and they were found. Another time I lost a gold earring out in the lake in our neighborhood-and it was found several days later by someone who was there the day I lost it and kept looking for me!
For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Matthew 7:7-8
And I am reminded that it is good to look for things.. to seek the tangible and intangible. There was once a time when I would shy away from talking about God because I didn’t know Him… what I didn’t know or understood scared me.
As we were driving yesterday, my girls began asking me questions… “Momma, who made God?” “What does heaven look like?” And instead of shrugging my shoulders and saying I didn’t know- like I would have done years ago, I told them what I do know.
Because I have been relentlessly pursuing Him, seeking to know Him through prayer, the Word, and through worship, I am not scared of these questions. It has been through having a personal relationship with Christ that I have come to know just how awesome He is! I smile at the girls’ questions…
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
So I tell them that God has always been, and that He will forever be… and I tell them that I don’t know exactly what heaven will look like, but I can imagine it! I tell them to think of the most beautiful place they could imagine… and then imagine being with all the things that make them the happiest they have ever been… I think heaven is going to be even better than that! And we all smile together, each of us deep in thought about how marvelous Heaven will be!
And as I straighten and clean my room this morning, there I find my cross necklace- knotted up laying under a pile of clothes on my bed! I smile and thank Him for His goodness. Why do I love this sideways cross? On Good Friday, several of us from church carried a large wooden cross and walked down a busy street in town, just as Jesus and His disciples did thousands of years ago- and as I helped to carry the cross that day, I noticed that as we all held it, we carried it sideways. Our burdens are lighter when we carry them together… He died on the cross so that we may live for Him.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. Matthew 16:24-25
This sideways cross reminds me that my life is not my own, and that He is with me, helping me to carry any burden that I may have… and helping me to seek Him and find Him in all things – and my girls remind me that asking questions is a good thing!
I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. Proverbs 8:17