I've recently discovered a delightful treat. Cinnamon Butter by Land O'Lake. I got a little giddy about it in the store because it happened to be a B1G1 free item when I went in for just some regular tub butter. So, it was a treat for my breakfast meals to come. This morning, I had one of those 100 calorie cinnamon raisin bagels (the really thin ones) with my cinnamon butter, jelly, and an egg for some protein. I'm one of those gals that is hungry like 10 minutes after I eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast and I knew I had a busy day of running around, so I took the extra step in making a wholesome breakfast. After breakfast, I usually empty the dishwasher and put the dirty ones in but today I decided to do that at lunch since we had some errands to be getting to. I thought I had cleaned everything off the counter but when I came back home for lunch, I noticed the lid to the cinnamon butter still up there. Hmmm... I thought. Where's the butter? I looked in the refrigerator, in my cabinet (it could happen these days!) and on the floor for the remains. I couldn't find it anywhere. Finally, I bent down under the tv stand in the sitting room and there it was - a completely empty plastic container of butter. I'm going to get that dog.
I found a verse the other day that we have all heard before. But, one sentence stuck out to me. It was Jesus saying, "I tell you the truth." Jesus had a way of telling the truth didn't he? If you look closely enough in the gospels, you will find that he begins many of his sentences with these words. It's probably because so many people back in his day doubted him and thought he was a crazy guy from Galilee. I read the other day (I think in Grace for the Good Girl) how Jesus' reputation was shot because so many people called him a liar. Instead of trying to gain friends and a reputation, he chose not to follow the crowd. He chose to speak the truth to the people who had ears to listen. One truth that he said was, "unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt 18:3, NIV)."
What does that mean exactly? My little children can be quite disobedient. They scream and yell to get what they want. They throw food on the floor and steal the bread off my sandwich when I'm not looking. Is Jesus telling me to be selfish like them?
No, I don't think that's the heart of it. Looking a little bit closer, I get a glimpse of the world from my daughter's eyes. It is a world filled with wonder and delightful things to explore. She is in awe that her dad can make a million different noises and sounds. She looks at her mom with a smile that says one day we will be friends. She laughs. Oh, such delight she has in her eyes. She shrieks with excitement and comes barreling across the hardwood floor to give her dad a hug as he comes home from work. She lays her head on her mom's chest when she doesn't feel good. Whenever she is sad or hurt, she wants to be in the arms of those who love her.
I think what Jesus was telling us was it is okay to be dependent on Him. To need Him to get through the day. My girls can climb up the stairs but they certainly need me to take them back down. We are like that too. We need guidance, love, and protection. We long to be wrapped in our Father's embrace. We try to be obedient but like little children, we are still learning how to make it through life.
As a child, we trust our parents. We see them as these superheroes that do nothing wrong. Growing older, our views can change not only of our parents but life. It gets hard and we get cynical. We live hurt lives and don't trust people because we've been burned. But, Jesus wants us to trust him. He also wants us to be who he called us to be. The word used in my Bible notes is unpretentious meaning "humble, plain, open, easy." That does remind me of my girls - they are usually pretty easy to read, not trying to be somebody they are not. I know I have struggled with my identity over the years...I think many people (especially youth-through 20's) have a hard time figuring out just who they are.
So, how do we become like little children?
The King James Version says we must convert. When I looked up the Greek word for convert it was "strepho" which means to turn, turn about.
What would the world be like if we all took a little time to twirl?
Before we leave today, I wanted to talk about an organization that does great work for children in need. It is called Compassion; I'm sure many of you have heard about it.
When Raleigh and I first got married, we began to sponsor a little girl named Muremba in Africa. I keep a picture of her on our fridge. She sends us letters from time to time and I have to be honest - I don't send as many back. I feel shame for writing that but it's true. It's not that I don't want to because I have started writing letters but then forgot to mail them or I tried to log on to my computer and do it but I forgot the password - in the end, these are all just excuses. It's something that I'd like to change. One thing that God is showing me right now is I need to be more mindful of other people; not just myself. I need to take time for others - especially a young girl across the world that is joyful when she receives a sponsor letter. I would love to visit her one day. A couple of years ago, I looked into what a trip would cost and it was simply out of our price range. I even filled out a form to be a Compassion blogger. This was back when my blog had blue polka dots and only ten people knew it existed. I read the other day that some of my favorite bloggers are going on a trip to South America. I know that their stories are going to change lives and I know God is using these women in a mighty way. But, might I selfishly say that I would love to do that? Is that awful to admit out loud? I've never been on an overseas mission trip; much less a trip where my blog was being used to glorify God's children. I don't know how I would be on a trip like that. Would I just be heartbroken or wishing for a hamburger back home? Could my eyes really see the suffering that exists? How would this change me after I was home?
Even if I never get to meet Muremba and even if I remain a horrible letter writer/sponsor, I can still pray for her. And I can pray for other people over there that I have heard of but never met - like Zoe's birth mother.
I have to change, convert, begin to turn and twirl.
Won't you join me?
Till next time, let your light shine!
Truth #1 – The Truth
Truth #2 – I hate laundry
Truth #3 – I’m bad at memorization
Truth #4 – My dogs drive me crazy
Truth #5 – I’m scared at getting in trouble
Truth #6 –I struggle with being a mom
Truth #7 – I was nervous to start N2S
Truth #8 – I like to dance
Truth #9 – I enjoy a simple life
Truth #11 -I love a clean closet
Truth #12 – I am never satisfied with me
Truth #13 – I have a short temper
Truth #14 – I love things
Truth #15 – I sew to make memories
Truth #16 – How I define success
Truth #17 – I desire to be the best that I can be
Truth #18 – I love to decorate
Truth #19 – I feel shame daily
Truth #20 – I love blogging
Truth #21 – I have control issues
Truth #22 – Nature brings forth peace
Truth #23 – I feel guilty to rest
Truth #24 – Trying not to get discouraged
Truth #25- Obedience is a Discipline
Truth #26 - Letting the Truth be true