Tag Archive | Christianity

Just These Three Things

babyChildren … there is nothing like the heart of a little person to rearrange your priorities, refine your theology and restore your hope.

“Through the praises of children and infants

 You have established a strong hold

 against Your enemies.”

Psalm 8:2 – NIV

I love to listen to children talk about God.  I love to hear their praises … to watch their heartfelt enthusiasm … and to know that they understand the love of the Father.

Children know.  They know God in a particular way that most adults do not begin to grasp.  They know that God is love and that He is powerful.

They know that God is a giant-killer … a life-giver … and a mountain-mover.

Children know.

Children are the very best prayer warriors that I know.  They pray in unabashed faith and enthusiastically expect a response from heaven!  If you have lingering doubts about life … ask a child to pray for you!  There is nothing quite like it!

“And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said,

‘Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children,

you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Whoever then humbles himself as this child,

he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 

And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me.” –

Matthew 18:3-5

 Is it because they are so fresh from heaven?  Is that why children have an insight into the heart and character of God that is sometimes missing in older, more mature and “wiser” adults?

Do babies remember what heaven smells like?  Do toddlers recall the joy around the throne of God?  Are pre-schoolers able to catch a whiff of the love of the Father while living on earth?

If nothing else, children know that God loves children.  They know.

The innocence of a child is a strong magnet to the presence of God.  Little ones are most at home in the joy of His presence.  Is it any wonder that there was a special place in the heart of Jesus for children?

One day children were brought to Jesus

 in the hope that He would lay hands on them and pray over them. 

The disciples shooed them off.

 But Jesus intervened: ‘Let the children alone,

 don’t prevent them from coming to me. 

God’s kingdom is made up of people like these.”

 – Matthew 19:13 & 14 – The Message

olivia mcleodolivia mcleod 2olivia mcleod 3olivia mcleod & marmeeOlivia is my adorable, precocious, administrative, creative and anointed little bundle of granddaughterly joy!  She was the first grandchild born into this clan and will ever hold a place of sweet delight in my Marmee’s heart.

Olivia loves to design doll clothes, write books, go to ballet lessons, take care of her little brothers and has an insatiable desire to know more about God.  Although only 5 years old, Olivia is filled with a wisdom that I long for at times!

A few weeks ago it was Kids’ Day at Faith Family Church in Victoria, TX.  All of the school age children were allowed to stay in the big service and Pastor Jim Graff had a message that he had prepared especially for them. 

These are the notes, in Olivia’s own handwriting that she wrote that day:

God is with you. 

You are special. 

You are God’s child.

Olivia got it right, didn’t she?  That is all the theology that she needs in her tender and formative years.  Maybe it is all the theology that you and I need as well.

little girl

God is with you!  What a promise!  You serve a God Who will never leave you regardless of how you act, what you’ve done or where you are going.  He is more than a social sidekick or a nagging shadow.  He is not an obnoxious tag-along or the constant reminder of yesterday’s mistakes.  God’s presence and love are inescapable companions as you travel life this side of heaven.  He has promised never to leave you or forsake you.  When everyone else has deserted you … you have a friend that is closer than a brother.  Ah-h-h-h … you are not alone!  Thanks for the sweet reminder, Olivia.

la main de la mère

You are special!  What a great memo from Olivia’s 5 year old heart!  There is no one like you … you are one of a kind.  You have a destiny that has never been shared by another human being in all of history.  God has uniquely fashioned you for such a time as this.  Comparing yourself with others is a total and complete waste of energy because there is no one like you … and there is no one like them!  So get busy being you!  Be the you that God made you to be … today!  Olivia … there will never be another Olivia Mae McLeod!  You are you … and that is enough … that is more than enough!

You are God’s child.  That’s right … you belong.  You belong to Your Dad.  You are His wanted and dearly loved child.  You are part of the greatest family ever created … the family of the most-high God!  There is never any possible reason to wonder who you are … you are God’s child!  What an honor!  When others reject you or forget you … you are God’s child!  When your family ignores you and your friends avoid you … you are God’s child!  His embrace is big enough and powerful enough to calm your fears and to lead the way. 

Olivia … I hope that you always remember these 3 important sentences.

God is with you. 

You are special. 

You are God’s child.

  I hope that when you are 12 and are struggling with self-esteem that you remember.

I hope that when you are 18 and face an unknown future that you remember.

I hope that when you are raising a little girl with blonde hair and blue eyes that you remember.

I hope that when another little girl … at another moment in history … calls you “Marmee” … that you remember …

God is with you.

You are special.

You are God’s child.

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The Scrapbook of My Heart

time shadowTime … where does it go?

The most valuable commodity that we have been given as human beings is the gift of time: … of minutes … of hours … of days.

It seems like only yesterday I was looking forward to my senior year of high school and now I am a grandmother.  When did that happen?!

When did I graduate from playing with Barbie dolls and practicing piano to being a wife … and then a mother … and now a grandmother?  When did that happen?!

When did my raucous, noisy, messy nest get so empty?  When did that happen … tell me when.

It happened in a thousand yesterdays that are filled with the memories of cherished friendships … bittersweet good-byes … the echoes of laughter … and the daily reminders of what is truly important in life.

The scrapbook of my heart is filled with a collage of moments too precious to verbalize and too valuable to calculate by earthly economic currency.

As I flip through the intangible pages of the days that have been given to me, I realize that some days were wasted with impatience and disappointment.  When the endowment of an ordinary day is shadowed by human frustration or disillusionment it becomes refuse and leaves a putrid odor rather than a glorious fragrance.

I have wasted time being angry at a person made in the image of God. I have thrown away days being depressed due to situations and events over which I had absolutely no control.  Who do I think I am?!

I have frittered away days spent in the worry of an unpredictable tragedy that never  actually happened and in the fear of the shadow ghosts of weakness.  What a colossal waste!

I have misused the treasure of an extraordinary day by spewing the venom of my heart on the lives of people whom I love dearly.  I am ashamed.

The untold wealth in this cherished peek into the past thankfully also holds the abundance of all that has been meaningful in my life.

I am amazed that I was given the delight of raising 5 little lives for the Kingdom of God!  After so many years of barrenness and infertility … of standing in faith and begging God for more … He opened the windows of heaven and blew joy in my direction.

I loved every minute of peanut butter and jelly kisses … of paper dolls and birthday cakes … of choo-choo trains and baseball games.  Those were the best days … the days that mattered eternally … the pieces of gold in my life.

little heart

Is there a gift this side of heaven so priceless as the moment when two little arms are wrapped around your neck … or your legs … or your heart?!  Career promotions, enormous retirement accounts and academic pedigree become tawdry and bargain basement exchanges for the heavenly inheritance of the living human beings given to our parental charge.

carol and mom
Carol Engagement pic

I have loved being best friends with my mom. How I wish that you could know her!  A woman of excellence and humor!  A woman who prays and believes and prays some more.  A woman who celebrates life with gusto and grace!

I loved falling in love with Craig and realizing that he was “the one”.  I’ll never forget our first kiss that came with a marriage proposal.  He has always been a man of honor … a man whom I could trust … and a man after God’s own heart.  What have I ever done to deserve this man whose heart is pure gold?

And then … the gift of girlfriends.  Truly a fortune so rare and precious that it could fill the vaults of banks too numerous to count!

Time … where does it go?  Oh!  How I want to live well the rest of the days that have been given to me by the calendar of heaven’s bounty.

There are days in the photo album of my mind and heart that are as yet blank … unfilled.  They are waiting for memories … for moments … for people … and for blessings.

It is up to me how I fill these quickly turning pages of life.  It is up to me whether the photos are taken in the brilliance of a technicolor and vibrant existence … or from the only gray and black perspective of blame, discontent and frustration.

I determine to spend my days encouraging people and writing thank you notes.

I determine to invest the rest of my days believing for the best and not giving in to disillusionment or despair.  A very wise man once told me, “It’s more fun to believe!”

I determine to lavish in the laughter of children, to wade in the gift of extraordinary friends and to drown in the beauty of creation.

I determine to be kind to cantankerous and fractious people.  When I have been loving and generous in the face of personal cruelty and gossip, I have created a day that God Himself would applaud!

Life is too dear and much too fleeting to waste the glory of one ordinary day. I will not waste this life.  Not one day.  Not one hour.  Not one minute.

I will pray for miracles and I will also look for the opportunity to be someone else’s miracle.

Scrapbook of my heart blog pic 1

I now understand that tomorrow’s memories are being created today.  The choices and memories that I craft today will fill the pages of the scrapbook of my life in all the tomorrows yet to come.

And so, I resolve, this day, to splash extravagantly in the joy of His presence.  I resolve, this day, to be heaven’s gift to the world in which I have been placed for only a moment.Scrapbook of my heart blog pic 2Scrapbook of my heart blog pic 3