First I would like to say that I don't know why certain words in this post are linked...I did not do that, and I do not like it that advertisments can be linked to my blog without my permission! I will most certainly find out why this is happening.
I did not win the Extreme Makeover Holiday Giveaway 2008, I was not even a finalist. Apparently, there are people who need plastic surgery far worse than I...hard for me to imagine.
Summer is with her Papaw and Nanny (my dad and step-mom) until tomorrow night. Sad, my little helper is gone. I suppose that I will have to do everything myself...never mind, I'll just wait until she gets back. I miss her when she's gone, tho I know she enjoys the break from us. She is the big sister and carries a lot of responsibilities around the house. I am very thankful for her and realize how very blessed I am to have her as my daughter...however, I realize it even more when she is gone.
JD is also gone until tomorrow. He is staying with his Mimi (my mommy), and this very instant he is probably at Steak and Shake in Lexington drinking a large strawberry milkshake. I asked if he could stick some in his pocket and bring a taste home to me, but he didn't think that was a good idea. I miss him too! He likes to cuddle at night before bedtime. When he says our "memorized night-time prayer" he asks God to watch over every person...and I do mean EVERY PERSON...that he knows. And JD knows a lot of people! His bedtime routine has gotten increasing lengthy! Lately, however, he has been saying a non-memorized prayer.
It is bitter-sweet when children start to pray from their hearts. Bitter because it is a closing of a chapter in their childhood. That sweet little prayer, "Now I lay me down to sleep...", the one that I worked so hard to teach them so that they could feel empowered to talk to God on their own...that prayer just doesn't cut it anymore. They have their own words and thoughts and feelings and concerns that they need to talk to God about. But, I do LOVE to hear my children pray their own prayers and I am privileged and humbled that I am still allowed to sit in and listen to them talk to God. I know someday they will need to speak to him alone without their mommy around to listen.
As I said it is bitter-sweet...but mostly sweet! I love to hear my children praying for things that are on their minds, "Dear God, thank you that we got to go outside today for recess...my knee is really hurting, could you make it better...I can't find my transformer, will you help me to remember where I left it...please make my brother's ear feel better..."
Precious... and I know that God listens intensely to their every word, and has a true concern for their needs and wants. He answers prayers and meets needs for things that I cannot do. I cannot control if the weather is good enough for them to go outside for recess, but God can. I cannot make the growing panes in Summer's knees subside, but God can. I can search and search for the transformer and never find it, and then suddenly it appears out of nowhere, that is God answering JD's prayer!
Last night after our dinner prayer, Colton shouted out "AMEN!" That was another precious moment! He has learned by watching Summer and JD that he is suppose to fold his hands and close his eyes during a prayer, but it was a real treat to hear him say amen. When I say his prayer for him at bedtime he, too, knows that he is suppose to mention the names of everyone he knows. I'll say, "and God bless..." and he says, "Daddy, Buddy, Josh, Papaw, Shelby (that's our dog), Sissy, Bubby, Pooh (that's Sidney), Mimi, Dede, Toni..." He circulates through certain names several times and funny how it is usually the people who need a little extra prayer!
Sooooo... some final news, since it is official and I have permission to say it out loud. My baby sister, Toni, will be going to Louisiana for 1 year, probably in May (maybe sooner), to do mission work and help people rebuild their homes and lives. Her main job will be to show the love of Christ to lost people and to connect them to a local church where they can learn, worship, and serve. I am sad and happy all at the same time. I am sad for selfish reasons...I will miss her terribly! But I am happy because I know that she has a very clear calling on her life and she is a faithful servant of God. Toni has a child-like faith and I am in awe of her...
If you would like to read her testimony, I will post it on my blog tomorrow, after I get her permission.