Her little heart is soft. So very, very soft. And it’s not because of me, that I know for certain. I can only surmise it has happened because God is walking next to her, whispering into her heart, and she’s choosing to listen.
Because when we listen…really listen…the voice grows louder.
Last night we were driving the few quick miles to the small mountain church where 5 of our children will be taking part in a Christmas pageant. Earlier, my husband and I had escaped with just the baby for a rare date that consisted of shopping for some simple gifts to slip under the tree. We arrived home just in time to gather the children and usher them over to practice. In a teasing mood as he so often is, my husband made mention of the presents we had spent the day purchasing when her sweet voice piped up, “You didn’t need to get us presents. We could use that money to send to people who don’t have much. There are even people who don’t have water they can use.”
We live on a modest budget and extras are typically only handed out on gift-giving occasions. I know that and I know she knows that. And yet she feels compelled to go without because she already has plenty. The reality of her plenty is speaking louder than the desire for that new dress she asked for.
And she’s listening, so she hears.
Sometimes I am so humbled by these children He’s given me to raise that I plain forget He’s using them to raise me. To show me the simplicity of simply doing the next right thing.
Because we don’t need to do great, big things. We just need to do everyday small things with a great, big God.
Small things like she did the other day when she read and re-read a Christmas card we had received. It certainly wasn’t the only one we’ve gotten and I had no clue why she was so drawn to it. Even when she shyly came to me later with a letter she had written to the sender of that card and asked if she could have a stamp to mail it, I didn’t understand. And after her little envelope had been secured with the proper postage and I saw her grab her coat and a flashlight, I still didn’t get it.
She was determined to get that letter in the mailbox, now. That very night. Not about to let her make the trip, in the dark, all the way down to the end of our driveway on her own, I joined her on the porch and she slipped her hand in mine. Happy. Because she was about His work and Mama was in on it with her.
And that’s when it hit me. She’d heard Him again. It wasn’t about the letter, or the stamp or the dark. It was about obedience. It was about changing her own little world one small action at a time. That’s what it’s always about.
That’s what it’s only about.
I’m wondering now how many times I’ve rushed my kids passed true obedience because it didn’t look the way I wanted it to. Maybe it was inconvenient or time consuming when I felt I had no time. He’s working to grow me so He can use me to grow them.
And then, sometimes He grows them in spite of me.
Because I’m not raising world changers. He is. And He does it one next right thing at a time.