Thanks to all of you who commented last week. Every single comment blessed Jason and I so much. We are rich because of your friendship. :-)
I flew to Nashville this week for my grandmother's 80th birthday. Julia flew with me. She was eagerly anticipating the takeoff, and after an extra long taxi down one of the runways, she looked at me and said with disgust "We're going to drive there?!?"
The weekend was fun. It always takes a while for that side of my family to warm up to each other. I'm usually not there long enough for that to happen. But I prayed that God would speed the normal dynamics up for His purposes and He answered that prayer amazingly. Too often I forget to pray for such things. A friend recently told me that she prays for God to give her extra hours in the day. I've done that recently - and His faithfulness amazes me.:-)
Eli told me today that he wanted to be baptized. I've known it was coming. He is so intelligent... so logical, and so sensitive. He's questioned everything about it - the reason, the logistics, and "What happens when you go under the water?"
It's funny when a physical mind tries to dissect the spiritual realm.
I asked him why he wanted to do it. He replied "Because I believe in Jesus and I want to know God better."
It's a hard place to be as a parent. It's the thing I desire most for him in life - to give himself fully to Christ,and to embrace Christ as his Lord, his Master, his Rescuer. But to celebrate this decision in the lives of others, and yet walk patiently through Eli's desire to experience it, knowing it is so much more than he even has the capacity to grasp right now is hard to do.
I've been trying to put into words all day how to affirm his heart towards God, and yet help him delay his decision until it can truly reflect a desire to lay down his own life and embrace Christ's. Yet I don't want him to feel rejected by God or by us as we pursue that patiently. And I'm not the most sensitive communicator. So your prayers are cherished.
This morning, I told him I loved him, I was proud of him, and that we could study it some more. He didn't bring it up again, for now.
Last week at a swim party, Eli didn't pass a test to swim to the deep end of the pool. The lifeguard said he could retest, but I knew he wasn't ready. Yet he was determined. I told him to practice, and he did diligently. After about 30 minutes, he called to me to get the lifeguard's attention so he could retest. I told him to wait, and practice a few more times. He resisted, and motioned for me to get her. After 2 or 3 more exchanges, he finally bypassed me and flagged down the lifeguard himself. She generously passed him and kept a close eye on him.
I love that spirit of determination in him. I pray it will help him refuse to take no for an answer when the time is right and he really knows what it means to own this decision.
Thanks for your prayers over him.