From Good to Great

“Thank you Lord for the honor of coming before you to talk about whatever I want, whenever I want,” I prayed and my words trailed off. I sat, legs crossed, on my unmade bed with the rain drizzling outside. My own words sent me into a trance of sorts as I stared at the basket on the floor overflowing with sheets and towels.

My mind took me back to the Sunday school lesson I taught just the day before. “The difference between a good marriage and a great one is open communication,” I had told the class. “A good marriage overlooks things and keeps its mouth shut. A great one talks openly about things of the heart, even when the conversation isn’t easy.”

It didn’t occur to me then, but as I sat in the early morning hour spending some time in prayer, I realized the same is true with Christ. The more time I spend talking and creating an open channel for communication between us, the better our relationship.

God wants to talk to me as much as possible. He never tires of the things I say. He doesn’t fall asleep when I whisper to Him in bed. My Heavenly Father longs for me to address my insecurities, my fears, my dreams, my likes and dislikes. He is interested in the desires of my heart and wants to share His heart with me, as well.

I smiled at my epiphany and leaned back onto my pillows. “God, you are awesome,” I told Him. “Can I just tell you something I’m excited about? Well, ….”

This is the beginning of something beautiful.

Come near to God and he will come near to you. James 4:8 NIV

Carol

Grace


“Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 2 Samuel 7:18 NIV

One year ago today, things didn’t go as planned. I thought I would be giving birth to my third child early that morning, and I’d spend the rest of the day sitting around holding her while family and friends trickled in and out of my hospital room.

Not so.

I remember sitting in the labor room trying to catch a glimpse of my 9 ½ lb. baby just moments after her birth. But the nurses hovered over her small floppy body trying desperately to get her to cry and breathe to expel the fluid in her lungs.

She didn’t.

I think September 9, 2009 was the first time in my life I could not pray. I wanted to pray for my baby child. But all I could muster was, “Oh, God…Oh, God…” before I would shatter with tears.

Grace stayed ten days in the NICU while her lungs dried out and she learned to slow her breathing. I spent those days learning to slow mine, as well.

But today, my baby girl is 1. It is her birthday. And I can’t celebrate her birthday without thinking back to those first hard days of her life and praising God for bringing us through. When I look in those big brown eyes or kiss her baby fat cheeks, I wonder. What did I do to deserve this? Why me? Why did you choose to bless me, Lord? Of all the women you could have picked to be the mother of this precious child, You chose me. I am unworthy of such an honor.

She is an unmerited gift. Why did You pick me? She giggles and bounces on her chubby feet, holding on to my knees, smiling up at me with tiny white teeth peeking out of her gums.

And I understand.

She is Grace.


Carol

The Importance of a Water Bottle

Faith walked in the door with her arms crossed, and I knew there was a problem. “How was the second day of first grade?” I asked. “Well, we can only have our water bottles at snack time,” Faith complained…

Please join me today at 5 Minutes for Faith. Click HERE to read the rest of my devotion.

Carol