Thursday, June 4, 2015


In January, each person in our family picked a word for 2015.  I made a commitment to pray the word and the spirit of the word for my hubby and our children.  The more I pray for my family and explore the different roads these words have taken us, the more in awe I am of a God who desires an intimate relationship with me.  We took these words and painted a canvas for each individual word. We hung the canvases in the hallway that leads to our bedrooms.  We walk passed these words dozens of times in a day.  We are reminded of what we desired for our year.  I am reminded to pray for my family and to be specific.  There is one word that pops out among the others:  MORE.

Scott and I chose the word MORE for our Scottie.  On her canvas, the word MORE is inside a large circle.  I wanted the circle to be included to remind me of the legend of the circle maker.

The generation before Jesus' birth was in danger of being extinct because of a long drought.  Honi (the circle maker) walked into the village and drew a large circle in the dirt.  He walked into the middle and kneeled.  He cried out to God and asked for rain.  First the rain fell down as a light sprinkle.  Honi tells God that is not the rain he is praying for and then the rain turned into a downpour.  The rain fell so fast it began to flood the area.  Honi clarifies his prayer and asks God to send rain that fills cisterns and waters crops, but does not flood the land.  And God hears him and the generation is saved because of one man's courage and belief that he could ask God for the impossible.  Honi was specific.  Honi was demanding.  Honi was brave.

Oh this story resonates with my heart.  Scott and I have prayed for our Scottie.  We have.  But I had not prayed like the circle maker.  I did not draw my circle, plant myself in the middle, and lay out for God exactly what we needed.  In January 2015, we drew our circle and wrote the words MORE. 

Generally, this is what I have been praying for our Scottie:

Oh Heavenly Father
I know that you love our Scottie MORE than we could ever love her.  I know that you know our Scottie MORE than we could ever know her.  I know that you have a purpose and plan for her life that is MORE than we have ever dared to dream.  Lord only by your divine intervention and provision could our Scottie go to this school.  (Background:  We have wanted and tried to get our Scottie into a school that is incredible and therapy-heavy.  The cost is unreal.  Insurance was not helpful.)  Lord we need you to act.  We need you to provide the money.  We want MORE for Scottie. Far MORE than anything we ever thought was possible.  We believe that there is MORE potential in this child in regards to her education, her future, and her daily living.  We believe that you are a sovereign God who is all powerful and can move mountains for Scottie.  Lord we are asking that you move some mountains and give her MORE.  
It is in Jesus' Name I pray.  

While I prayed this prayer, Scott made phone calls.  He called the school and was told that we really need to get a separate insurance policy for Scottie.  A policy that would help cover the cost of the school.  We tried to figure out how we could work the monthly premium into our already tight budget.

Then one Tuesday, I was informed that my position at work was being eliminated.  The money that I made from this part time job (a job that allowed me to work from home and homeschool Scottie and Zoey) is how we pay for our daily living expenses like food, clothes, haircuts, etc.  I wish I could say that I handled this news with great faith and confidence, but I didn't.  I felt defeated and confused.  I had been praying for two months for God to do something huge and to provide a way for Scottie to go to this school.  A job loss did not seem like an answer.  The very next day, Scott calls me and says that we have until Sunday to apply for Scottie's insurance policy because the government open market deadline was quickly approaching.  What!  How can we apply for a policy that we cannot pay for?  I was ready to throw in the towel and declare that the school must not be for Scottie because we cannot afford it.  Thankfully, Scott did have faith and believed that everything would be ok.  He applied for the policy.

At the same time that Scott applied for the policy, he also applied for a grant from a local organization that helps families with autism.  Our hope was that they would help cover our yearly out of pocket cost for the school and we would only have to pay for the insurance policy.

The next week Scott comes home and tells me that he talked with this organization and the advocate was preparing the report to submit to the board.  She was asking for the out of pocket costs PLUS our monthly premium.  WHAT!  If the board approves her proposal, Scottie will be able to go to this school part time.  The therapy and one on one teaching is MORE than we could have dreamed for her.  Scottie did not receive a diagnosis of PDD-NOS (on the autism spectrum) until she was 9 years old.  She did not have early intervention or any therapy.  Everything I read about autism stresses the importance of early intervention.  (Talk about mom and dad guilt!)  A school that works neurodevelopment therapy, ABA therapy, music therapy, art therapy, and so much more into their every day teaching is AMAZING.

We soon discovered that the approval from the board would take some time.  The school agreed to let Scottie come a few hours a week believing that the money would be worked out in due time.  Scottie was excited, nervous, thrilled, hesitant, but above all else she felt loved.  Today Scott received the phone call that we have been waiting for... our grant has been approved.  Scottie's monthly insurance premium and the yearly deductible would be covered.  Scottie started summer school today.  She will go full time this summer.  (We decided that the more therapy and structure the least for the time being.)  Honestly, I am a little sad and will miss my sweet buddy.  I have enjoyed homeschooling Scottie and watching her grow and blossom.  Mostly. I am in awe of our God who has worked out every detail in such a way that man could not have planned or dreamed. 

We drew our circle.  We prayed for MORE.  We asked God to do MORE.  We believed that there was MORE for her life.  Oh how I cannot wait to see what God will do IN and THROUGH Scottie's life.  I feel honored to have a front row seat for Scottie's journey.

God has deepened my belief and faith because He answered our prayers.  All glory and honor and praise for this answered prayer will be directed to our God who gives MORE to those who dare to ask.  I want to be a godly woman who draws her circle, kneels before her God, and dares to ask for the impossible.  I want to be a child of God who believes with childlike faith that her God can move mountains.  I want to be a follower of God who trusts that God has a plan..a plan to prosper...a plan that is far MORE than anything I could imagine or dream.  Becoming this person, starts with me.  I choose to pray BIG and pray for MORE.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Teach Me to Love

Teach me to love

I just reread Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis.  One of the reasons her story inspires me is the way she loves those around her.  She describes various encounters with men, women and children in Uganda.  Their physical needs needed to be, water, shelter, medical care and education.  Through meeting these physical needs, she was able to demonstrate love to them.  She sees the village she serves through the eyes of our Creator.  She sees beyond their poverty, illness, and brokenness and sees beautiful children of God.

Teach me to love like this

Frantically, I flipped through the Bible searching for examples of how Jesus loved those he encountered.   I wanted to understand what it means to love the way Jesus loved.  As I sit here, the only words I hear in my heart and mind are found in John chapter 3.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him."  (verses 16-17)

Christ's love is sacrificial.  He died so that we might live.  He loves us SO much that he offered to bear our sins upon the cross.  He CHOSE us before we chose him.  He did not love us because we had something to offer him, but simply because he deemed us worthy.

Teach me to love unconditionally.
Teach me to love sacrificially.
Teach me to love selflessly.
Teach me to love others regardless of who they are and without judgment.

Often, I love others when it is convenient or beneficial for me.  What would happen if I loved others without the desire of recognition or self serving benefits?  What would happen if I placed God's will above my own desires or plans?  What am I willing to sacrifice in order to love like Christ?  Am I willing to step outside of my very comfortable box?

Prior to his crucifixion, Christ spent some time praying to his Father.

"Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me.  Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done."  Luke 22:42    

Jesus never stopped praying for God's will to be done above all else.  God's will for Jesus' life was for him to be the ultimate sacrifice.  Jesus put aside his own desire or fear for the will of God to take place.  Jesus never stopped focusing on his Father.  Because Christ's focus was on his Father and his will, he was able to love us so completely and fully.

When my focus shifts away from Jesus, my worldly desires run rampant and I lose my footing on the beautiful path God has laid before me.  Oh how I pray that my fear, anxiety, and dreams do not pull my focus from my Jesus.  I believe that placing Jesus in the center of my everything is the only way I will be able to love like Jesus.

Teach me to love
Teach me to love my husband
Teach me to love my children
Teach me to love my family
Teach me to love my friends and neighbors
Teach me to love my church
Teach me to love my community
Teach me to love my world

Teach me to love like Jesus