Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Johnny Made Me Cry

As I finished reading a book to our oldest girls out on the grass with pink blanket and white sheet spread, I became overcome with a deep appreciation and thankfulness for the moments to spend reading to them. Their ears so attentive...not missing a word. And don't dare make a noise, you little ones playing over there, we might miss something! The sun shining bright and the sky so incredibly blue. Just as we would begin to think we were too hot, a gentle breeze would blow our way and we would keep reading.

I closed the book and felt a deep need to fall on my face and thank the Lord for the gifts he has given me. The freedom that I have experienced these 34 years of my life and the lives that sacrificed for it. I also felt deep conviction of the fact that these feelings were all to new to me. At this age? Why so long? What have I missed? What have I taken for granted? Too many things.

It may seem silly that a fictional book based on a character in the colonial times just as the American Revolution was beginning would bring a woman to her knees. Something in it struck a chord. One deep within and I knew that life is hard and sad at times. Sacrifices are made for things we believe deeply in. Sacrifices of wealth, time, family, and our own lives. For things we believe in. For things that we believe will benefit future generations. It becomes more about "them" than about "us".

I think of my family. My husband and children. God has given me them for a little while. I believe in His Word. I believe He is worth fighting for. Fighting for my time to give to them. Fighting to overcome this sin nature that rises up and tries to influence them for wrong. Fighting for joy freely given, love never failing, and grace overflowing. Always fighting. I will always fight, because I am nothing without Christ and He is my only hope.

How can a children's novel bring such a burning and renewing passion for what I believe is my calling in life and a very special season of my life? I don't know, but it did. May we all become stirred to fight for our families. With our time, influence, joy, love, and grace given to them. Don't let the world snatch it away from us. You see, I agree with Ann Voskamp when she speaks of her little girl, "....she is never for me, children never for us, to please us, to fulfill us, but I am for her, to nurture and protect and serve and children are the gift and parents are the ones who give."

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of reading and little girls and almost young ladies listening and begging for more. These moments are precious and today the children have given to me without knowing it and so maybe we are giving to each other. As we do, may we give praise and thanksgiving to the One "from whom all blessings flow" and to the One who sacrificed it all that we may have life and life more abundant.


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