Dedicated to: Natalie, Alex, Caroline, Charles, James, John, Lilly, Liam and Henry
Bucky hears first words in the morning, “I’ve got words in my head.” (That means I cannot go back to sleep, no matter how “tired” I may be until I share them!)
Preparation for life was muchly about me (yes I know muchly is not a word, I don’t care!). It meant exercising, hair cuts, showers, make up and that new outfit if I was “leading” something to give me muchly needed confidence in the “I can do all things though Him” dynamic. And that preparation worked for me, at least sometimes 😉 I knew the need for prayer as preparation and I entered it with privilege, but it was not my primary “venue.” It was a significant part of my process, but not the forefront of everything and I mean everything I did.
Preparation is so different now. It’s all about patchwork with the pieces of my life. A shower or washing my hair is an “event.” Exercise is blowing through my breathing “whistle” and walking a few steps in AFOs. Clothes? What goes on and off easily? Can I sleep in it if necessary?
Yet, I am still me and so my little family made dollar store runs for balloons, made things like easy soup, our own “cornbread” and a new decadent brownie recipe, our fav breakfast ham rolls and Kathleen pitched in by washing the green/purple grape combo. All this for a sweet family we were serving that has struggled with their new born and weight gain, just getting out of the hospital. On our way to drop it off, I find out half of them have flu and others rotavirus:(.
So off we go, yes I’m in the same clothes I’ve been in for three days. (Is this what it’s like on the “missionary field.” Is that a new Blog, growing?) So we get to this home that feels like an oasis every time I drive up. (It’s a God thing!) They’ve got nine kids, how could that possibly be an “oasis” but with Scott and Jessica, well it just is. . .Don’t ask me, Ask God!
Bucky transports things to the porch and I’m stunned by the wash of emotion that overcomes me. I’m overcome with raging jealousy. “God, that should be ME! I never took even one of those sacred steps across someone’s threshold for granted! Why have you taken it AWAY! I want to feel that cross over, God! I want to feel stepping into the warmth of where you have lead me!” (And so it went all the way home)I, I, I want, want, want, want. . .And of course I gave my husband an earful. . .”I hope you don’t take that for granted!!! Do you know what I would give to walk up those steps (tears) and place things as I felt God’s hand on mine, in “Kingdom Play? That should have been me!” (And I just thought. . .me not you. Well, I exercise some self control right?) The rest of the drive was a silent heat of tears the whole way home.
Then I get “texts” from this busy, busy, busy mommy, Jessica. . .most of it in CAPS about “AMAZING,” “GRATEFUL,” “UNIMAGINABLE,”. . .etc. You think I’m feeling small yet?. . .well my “ego” was shrinking. It took all night for God to “right me.” I woke and He said. . .”You think prep is a shower? Makeup? Fresh clothes? You used to prep with prayer and your candle in your quiet closet. . .you and “big boy” (my wheelchair) cannot fit into your prayer closet. . .so your prayer for each family member is in the middle of your busy kitchen, so you went in clothes with a little brownie batter splattered on them. . .so the three girls at home all helped instead of you doing it all (Miss Priss) yourself? And your problem is? Prayer is the preparation. Would you really have thought of praying for each child with a Scripture card and their name and reinforced the “lifted in prayer concept with balloons” before your diagnosis? It would have been about cooking it all yourself. . .and now you taught your three girls about being part of process and shared it with a Kingdomful (I like to make up my own words) of my children in that home. When are you gonna get this? You are more, not less? You do not have to step up the steps to step up into my Kingdom Play. F.YI., I was not on the front porch, I was in the van with you, but you were too angry to sense my presence.” “Oh”. . .Was all my humble self could eek out. . .in the depth of my spiritual maturity!?! From His perspective, pieces, patch work and prayer make for a great Kingdom Building Strategy!
It’s not about us is it? It’s not about our strengths or our weakness. I know all this, or do I really? It’s all so different now, yet it is the same. I’m still the same and God is still the same and there is still a playground in His Kingdom out there for you and me. (I just remembered the first time I played on a handicapped playground as a grownup with my girls and I was swinging with my arms pumping bars instead of my legs. God, your timing is always perfect.)
The picture below is of Scott and Jessica’s front porch as God left it for them to discover a little Kingdom Play. From Jessica’s texts, God made a difference, an impact beyond my foolish self, to build Kingdom Hearts in little ones. . .Henry, Liam, Lilly, John, James, Charles, Caroline, Alex, and Natalie. And it’s not just the little ones our God is after. . .it’s our “grown up hearts” that need a “little” stretching!
P.S. Am I ever gonna be comfortable with this vulnerable risk with you? Probably not! Oh and by the way. . .Are you thinking about your roots. . .Homesick for Heaven: Part II to come tomorrow, I think God, right?