21 May

Lessons in Faith from a Five Year Old

Her little hand clutched in mine we lay on her bed. The house was still and quiet. As evening set in around us, she began to pray.

{we’ll get to the prayer in a minute}

Perhaps one of the things that amazes me most about being a mother is how much God uses it to teach me. Motherhood has become my training ground for patience, kindness, truth, love, every imaginable skill (and some I never imagined I would need or learn) and faith. I come face to face with Jesus and the truths of God on a regular basis — out of the mouths and hearts of our children.

A few  months ago we became aware of Isabel’s love and passion for orphans (or as she calls them children who don’t have any parents — she does not like the term orphan. But that is conversation for another day.) In an attempt to nurture this godly spark our family set off on a new project — read Whose Child Is She? and …a Little Child Will Lead Them to learn more about what we’re doing and how.

Last week God brought a new friendship into our lives that has the potential to change the shape, if not the course, of our very lives. And while it remains to be seen how this will all play out, I can tell you that next week our new (already dear) friends will be coming to dinner — to tell us of Africa, orphans, the missionary life they are called to. And even more than that, they are coming to hear Isabel’s heart, see her passion and her dresses and help fan the godly flame growing in her wee little heart. I don’t know what God is going to use this for, but I can tell you whatever it is it is already changing us. Her. Me.

Back to her prayer. As I read Isabel James 1:27 {Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.} and talked to her about what she wants to do for the orphans I saw a different look in her eyes. One of sadness. An ache almost.

In her sadness she told me about how it makes her sad that they don’t have parents. That they are missing the love they could have like our family. And before I could say a word, she smiled and said “they need Jesus. He’s our family from God. We can help with that.” Humbled. Tears pouring down my face I sat there on her bed and nodded. What more was there to say.

“My turn to pray,” she chirped and grabbed my hand. “Dear God, thank you for my mom and dad. Thank you for our new friends that are coming to dinner next week. Thank you for helping us to do things that we don’t even know are in the Bible. Thank you for Jesus. Help us give Jesus to the orphans. Amen.”

Through tears I saw her little blonde hair fall over her tear soaked dimples. Where does that passion come from? With a deep sigh she turned her big blue eyes back to me. “I love you mommy.” “I love you too baby girl.” And there we laid hand in hand on the bed with Jesus. Trying to understand the truth of His love, of our place in this world, and the realities of children who don’t have parents. It was one of the sweetest, heaviest, holiest moments I have ever been a part of.

These moments of motherhood are humbling and amazing in one breath. God is using Isabel to teach me and remind me that He is all we need. And He is what we are to give others — in whatever form that comes…love, dresses, hugs, help, prayer, truth, light, joy, etc.

Will you join us in prayer? Pray for the children who don’t have any parents. Pray for our family as we begin this new adventurous chapter. Pray for Isabel that she will be lifted up and encouraged to follow her heart. Pray for a mama who feels terribly under qualified and in awe of the baby girl she is raising. Pray that we find ways to give Jesus to the orphans…to our neighbors…to the world.

03 Feb

…and a little child will lead them

From the moment I held my newborn babies I knew life would never be the same. In the wee hours of the mornings during feedings and fevers, in the moments of laughter and the moments of discipline I knew God was using my children to make me a better person.

I had no idea how my five-year-old would change my world view in a moment and inspire me to do more. (If you haven’t already read Whose Child Is She?, please visit that post first so you are up to speed about the amazing happenings in our household this week.)


Here’s Isabel holding one of the dresses we finished today!

In the past few days we have purchased fabric, cutout patterns and started making things that are starting to look like dresses. While I have been doing a lion’s share of the assembling it has led to sweet moments as the kids sit on my lap and help guide the fabric or the conversations we have over the whir of the sewing machine.

As we were sewing one of the sides on the dress above Isabel said, “This dress is beautiful. I hope the girl that wears it feels beautiful too.” (yes, you know me, I teared up)

As I explained to Isabel that we can do 3 or 4 dresses and a blanket to send out next week she made a funny face. “So we can do that every week, right?” she asked. “Um, baby, I’m not sure we can afford that or that we have time to keep up that much every week.” “But mom, they need more than 3 dresses and what about the boys?”

I didn’t have answer. We can’t clothe the whole world or even just the orphans of the world. But we can’t turn our backs or ignore God’s mandates that are living themselves out in this child’s heart. So what do we do?

Ask for help.

Do you knit?
Do you crochet?
Do you sew?
Can you knot those no sew blankets?
Can you buy a couple of yards of cute fabric?

Can you help Isabel bless others?
Can you help clothe an orphan?
Can you shine a little bit of Jesus into a whole lot of lives?

Do you have children? Can you get them involved in helping Isabel — sew together, pick out fabric, learn to crochet together?

In Isaiah it says, “…and a little child will lead them.

And I’m so excited to follow.

01 Feb

Whose Child is She?

“Whose child is she?”
A question jokingly asked in our house frequently. Whether it is the “concerts” with complete with microphone & guitar, a fashion show or the occasional meltdown with screaming and carrying on, I often look at my daughter and wonder. Whose child is she?

Lately I have noticed something different in the way Isabel plays and how she speaks about when she’s older (or how she says it…”old and married”). She has decided when she gets married they will adopt orphans so she can be their mom. A tender heart has emerged with a passion I am floored by.
I stood in the hallway the other day listening to Isabel “teach” the imaginary orphans at the school she runs in her bedroom. I was floored by her patience and laughter with the game. I listened as she taught them of God’s love and her love for them. I listened as she sang to them and cuddled them. (Okay, yes I do know they are invisible, but in her game, in her head, they are not).
Then last week as the kids’ quiet time was wrapping up I walked by her bedroom and saw all her play money spread all over her bed in piles. “Whatcha playing?” I asked. “Well, mom,” insert flash of a dimpled grin here, “I am selling things with my princess cash register to get money for the people who don’t have any. Then they can come to me and I’ll give them money to get what they need.”
I cried. Right there leaning on her door jam, I cried big, overwhelmed tears. Whose child is this?

When I regained my composure I hugged her and explained that I am amazed by her love for people and just in awe of the heart that God gave her.
Moved, I was today. (and apparently channeling Yoda in my writing)
I went in search of a project our family could do. Something to help Isabel take her heart and really touch people for Jesus. Something that would allow her to do something for these orphans that she loves in her heart and in her imaginary world.
Soon into my online research I found myself getting discouraged. Everything I found was about giving money. Don’t get me wrong, I am not opposed to supporting organizations but this was about more than a check. This was about making service real for Isabel, for our family.
On a whim I submitted a form asking an organization called Orphan’s Lifeline International explaining a bit about Isabel’s heart and what I was searching for. Within minutes I had an answer back that we could make blankets, hats and clothing for orphans right here in the U.S..
When I told Isabel she covered her mouth in shock and then she cried. Big, overwhelmed tears. With tears still on her cheeks she began to smile, “Okay, we’ll start with a blanket and clothes. When can we get to the store, mom?”
Whose child is she?

And if He is moving the heart of a five-year-old to provide for His children imagine what He’ll do with her life. Imagine what He could do with our family.
So this afternoon’s homeschooling is cut short. We’re off to put our shoes on and go to the store. After all, there are orphans to be clothed and blankets that need to stitched together with love. And there is a 5 year old whose view of Jesus and the world is about to get a whole lot bigger.
One last thought, as I read James 1:27 (look after orphans and widows in their distress) to Isabel over her snack today. I said, “See how your games and desires are matching up with God’s word.”

“Yep,” she said. “Cuz that’s why God made us. To love. So when are we going to the store?”

(right now, baby girl, right now)
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