Sunday, August 20, 2006

Flying, Swimming , Reasoning.

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.


Brenda said...

Heather, I am going to be praying for Eli and this decision he is wanting to make to be closer with our Father. It is so hard as parents for us to not determine when WE think they are ready. I too have been struggling as Ian wants to be baptized as well. I love his heart and want this for him, but I also want to make sure he is totally ready first. So then I think..."Was I totally ready?" Am I totally ready now and always doing the right thing? No.
I asked Ian those same questions you asked Eli. Do we as moms have to be satisfied with the answer....or does God have to be satisfied with the answer. I think now....Ian thinks it is MY decision when he gets baptized and that is not what I want. I asked "What happens if you sin after you are baptized" and he eagerly answered " pray and beg for God to forgive you...and he is the god of grace." Okay....I think I should have been happy with that.
I know we want them to be ready on our watch and God entrusted us to raise them and assist them in making the right decisions and choices in life, but I keep telling myself that at some point, I have to let go on this and let God take control.
I will pray for Eli and his decision and desire to get closer to God. I love that for him! He is so smart and so bright and he has the best parents to help him in making this decision. God has given your family beautiful hearts and love for Him and it is beautiful to witness what a great job you and your family does for the Kingdom! Love you!

Danna said...

I've been debating if/what to comment here. Since I am not a parent, I don't know for sure what I would do in this situation. I have had several friends who have dealt with this very issue though. I think it's especially hard as we've experienced several in the last couple of weeks decide to be baptized again. OK, I'm stalling. :o) First of all, I think what you are doing is just right. Talking to him about it, asking why, etc. If he keeps on and insists he is ready, isn't he, for him? I don't know if I am making sense. I mean, what if you discourage him and then later he doesn't think it's important anymore? I don't know!!! What I DO know is this: you and Jason are amazing parents! I have meant to tell you this for MONTHS, but we were really impressed with you taking your kids around to the different stations way back when the youth group did that interactive Sunday night deal. What impressed us was not only that you included them, but how you explained every single thing to them. So good!!!

I do have to make one comment to Brenda. It's so different when you are talking about a 6-7 year old and a 10-11 year old; but there was one comment in your comment that I can't stop thinking about. "What happens if you sin after you are baptized?" His answer was right on! We ALL sin after we are baptized!!!! That baptism washes it ALL away, not just what you did BEFORE you were baptized, but everything you will do AFTER you are baptized! PRAISE GOD!!

I hope some of this made sense. :o)

Love you!

Dad said...

I am going thru this with Charles right now. It is getting close but I still think it is to early for him to fully understand what is going on. It is a hard balance, to keep the desire there but also to make sure He is really ready. Also I have one comment. Sometimes I think you think too hard about things. You have always done this but sometimes we have to say time out and leave it to God. Let Him take charge and roll with what He deals you. Life will be much easier and your Faith will strengthend as you see Him work his wonders in your life.
I love you and am very proud of you and Jason.

Shane Coffman said...

I'm with Danna - since I'm not a parent (of a human, at least), I'll not offer advice. I'll simply pray.

I think that's worth more, anyway.

It sure seems like kids grow up a lot faster these days, though.

John said...

Geez, this whole parenting thing seems harder and harder every time I hear stories like this. Advice from me, like Shane, would be unexperianced. So I'll pray. Thanks for this, though. It was good. I've got a new blog up if you have time to read it. Good night.