Sure You Do!

So Chuck is out of town this week and Charis made him a package of notes and cards. His first one was a doozy. Lots of sweet words and notions, but she ended it with a great question.

Do you miss me? Sure you do!

Chuck and I laughed about her tender heart that is so willing and able to receive love. She just simply can’t fathom why someone wouldn’t enjoy her.

And after I got off the phone with Chuck, I considered that God sends us similar notes. “Jana do you miss spending time with Me? Sure you do!” And He is right. I do. Like Charis, only moreso, Jesus is so willing and able to receive love and can’t fathom why I wouldn’t want to simply enjoy His presence.

Don’t just talk about what you need or should do to strengthen your God connection. Just do it. You both will be better for it. You both will enjoy the time spent together.

Pennies from Heaven

I had this great God encounter the other day.  Charis and I were at the pool and she wanted money for the snack bar. So I handed her a handful of change and she looked at the amount mounded in her hand and declared, “This is plenty.” When I asked her to count it, she didn’t see the point because there were so many coins in her hands. “But some of those are pennies,” I said.

“It’s fine, it’s fine,” she said with a wave of her free hand. (You know your kids were raised in the South when f-i-n-e is a three syllable word. It’s beautiful to hear.)

Anyway, we separated the coins into like piles and I helped her add up the quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies. Once she heard the magic number of $1.25, which is the exact cost of a frozen Swiss Miss Chocolate Bar, she scraped all the change into her hand and was off. Contented and provided for.

Five minutes later, I am talking to Beth who is preparing to go BACK to Zimbabwe for six months this time to serve at the youth camp. We were working on her financial needs, listing out the room fee, phone, airfare, etc. Her magic amount was a bit more than $1.25.

That’s when the God encounter happened.

“Beth, think about it. When Charis came to me asking for money, she was never one time concerned about whether I had enough money. Her only concern was a yes or no answer from me. And once my answer was yes, it was on me to make it happen,” I said.

“Don’t miss this. She didn’t even care about the pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. To her, it was more about Mom’s got it taken care of. Sure for you, it’s not pennies and quarters but it’s $100s, $200s, $1000s. But to God it is the same. It’s all pocket change to Him. ”

He said yes. It’s on Him to provide the change. And that is what it is. Pocket change from our Dad. A day at the snack bar with His kids.

Ask Big.  You have a Big, Big, Dad.

Six Keys to Success

I have been watching one of my favorite people do life lately. She never ceases to amaze me with her great attitude about herself, others and God. So here are a few pearls from observing how Charis, my seven-year-old, walks it out.

“Mom, I can’t talk right now, I have Chuck Norris on the phone.”

Whhhhaaaat???  Charis has regular phone calls with Chuck Norris. They are in business together.  Somehow she has heard of of this celebrity Bad A–, (probably through big sister) but even though she wouldn’t know him if he walked in the room, it doesn’t stop her imagination or her reach.

Pearl:  Reach for people outside your scope. Don’t be limited to your little pool of life. It’s a big ocean, so learn to swim.

“Mom, I just got a text from Chuck.”  (Norris, not Daddy) 

Did I mention that this is a fake phone? I know the next generation is always quicker to catch on, but this cracked me up and challenged me. We are not a technologically savvy family, but she is observant. I think about my parents’ generation. They went from being born at home to sending emails.  What a huge gap of change.

Pearl:  Stay current with technology. Some of our greatest tools have yet to be discovered and utilized. Our children will lead the way.

“Mom, I can’t get my panties off!”

I turned around and Charis was standing by the door with her boots on, and her coat on, but her wet pants and panties were down around her ankles. When you have just come in from the snow, and your bottom is wet, you have to undress in the right order. No matter how cold you are, you have to remove the big obstacles before you can remove the little ones.

Pearl:  Respect the order of success. Boots go off first. No matter how wet or cold, you still have to do parts of life in order.

“Mom, I have just discovered a secret! An orange is orange. It’s the same word!” 

Pearl:  Be willing to marvel at the little things. Take time to look at the obvious. Just TAKE time to think.

“Mom, God was talking to me…”

Charis never questions that she hears from God, and that He listens to her. I know a lot of people might balk at the notion of a child hearing from God, but isn’t that what Jesus promised? And isn’t that what we all long for, a deeper relationship with God? Chuck and I have talked and prayed about how to shepherd her imagination with really hearing God. But here is where we landed. I would rather her practice hearing God, and go too far on occasion, than never hear God at all. How about you?

Pearl:  Believe that God is always available to you, and for you.

“Mom, it’s because I just love myself.”

I had just complimented Charis for doing a great job on something and I asked her how she felt about it. Her response stunned me. And shame on me, I started to correct her. But I heard the Spirit whisper, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”  When I asked her what she meant, she responded with a comment that made me happy, and jealous. “I just know that God loves me, so I love me too. Is that crazy?”  No, not at all.

Pearl: Confidence in God creates confidence in us.

Jesus “called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'” Matthew 18

Have a child-like faith day….It just might turn out to be your best day.