Friday, May 31, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Imagine

It's Five Minute Friday and Lisa-Jo has another prompt! It's time to link up with writers around the world to write for five minutes on the word Imagine. Then you link up and read other wonderful writers, sprinkling encouragement along the way. Want to join us? Click on the button on the bottom right!



I scramble. Turn on my computer. See, I hear noises upstairs. Muffled voices. Dresser drawers open and shut. Padded footsteps. Toilet lids crashing. I only need five minutes. Just five. But I don’t think that’s happening.

So now I imagine life without having to rush to accomplish my “me” time writing. Where I have all the time in the world to do what I want without having to race ahead of the wave of kids about to reach my the shore of the day.

I had that for a while. Without noticing it. Somehow I was still stressed and it wasn’t nearly as fun.

I now have an excuse to imagine. Not about the “what if’s,” though those tend to creep in at times.

You have to have imagination to be a mother.

To figure out exactly what to say or sing that will get your five year old to stop crying as you try to get your family pictures done. To present vegetables on a plate that makes them look not only edible, but inviting. To tell a story that gets your kids wondering where truth and fantasy separate.

We passed my favorite park yesterday. A fowler preserve. I heard my son, “Look! It’s Fowler’s Park!”

And my daughter replied, “Yeah, that’s where Querlin lives.”

A day of hiking, of imagination nearly 2 years ago, and the kids still see the birthplace and home of a character in my mind during a “tell me a story” moment. My kids aren’t the only ones born of me- think of all the characters that would never have existed but for children.

And the Ultimate Creator, whose imagination no one can fathom, reveals another blessing hidden in the little moments of a mother’s day.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mission Fielding

We've arrived. 'Tis the season to join arms with just about every family in our small town and surrounding areas to cheer on our young ones as they compete in what some would consider America's greatest pastime. Softball. Baseball.
I still hear it from my sister, the softball star. I'd look up from my book just long enough to watch her bat, then down went the nose and I was back to the grindstone.
My son understands the temptation to self-entertain when the going gets slow in a sibling game.
But now I pay attention.That's my daughter out there. I laugh. I cheer.
Even when the slow roller inches its way across the infield and the pitcher, shortstop, and third baseman all descend upon it like owls on a mouse. They collide like the actors in those heartfelt family misfit comedies, and we laugh like they're behind a screen and can't hear us.
And after a few more of those little mishaps you begin to thank Jesus for the long ride home because otherwise you just might be tempted to turn these collisions into a drinking game.
I've been playing closer attention lately, perhaps also because I've been struggling with this whole position-playing life of ours. When do I bat? Or am I already doing that? Or am I on deck? Surely I'm deck for something really great- some really great act of faith for the furthering of God's kingdom. On deck, right? No? In the dugout? Or am I more defensive, fighting the urge to field a mission meant for someone else?
See what I mean? It gets tricky.

Last weekend, I had the most amazing opportunity that I don't take often enough. I had an afternoon to listen to missionaries to Hong Kong, and then participate in the sending of five missionaries, some to Lima and Peru.  There is no where in the world like Mission Central. No. where.
With tears for every story, I listened and wondered, "Could I do that?" "Why am I not doing that?"
"Lord, could you call my family to do that?"
Because there is something so attractive about light shining in the darkness. And you just want to grab a hint of it.
After the presentations and sending, Gary introduced me to one of his dear friends (I've never met a man with more)- I was Lauren, "the real missionary."
I smiled a blurry smile as Gary's words hit me in the way I knew he intended.
My heart had been aching for what it already had.
I watch those around me fielding missions God has meant for them, all the while forgetting that the mission I serve is still His mission. Like my daughter, I look longingly at those playing different, "important," positions and wonder why not me, ignoring that He has been training me all along for the position I am in.
We don't have to question where we play, when we know for Whom we play.
We don't have to anticipate the next great act of faith when the One in whom we place our faith makes every act great.
He is the definition of great,
We don't have to determine the magnitude of our mission, when the Mission Himself has already acted on behalf of all humankind. It is His mission, we are just witnesses to it, living in gratitude for it.
Because as much as I absolutely love being a wife and mother, daughter, sister, friend, it's not really about me anyway. It's about Him. There is peace in that. Joy, love, and hope.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day

In honor of Memorial Day, I will be saving my blog post for later this week. God bless you all as we take the time to remember the sacrifices offered by men and women so that we can have the freedom to do what we do- speak and write the Word of God boldly!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

We Are All of Us Jobs

I ran yesterday. A short run along a country road. Uphill and down. Uphill again. On the way home relentless wind against my steps at least 10 miles per hour. Had I wings there is no doubt the forces against me would have lifted me sky high.

I stagger in to a disorienting blend of Our God's Alive in my earphones and Fox News on the television.

Me running head-on into wind.

Wind running head-on into people and structures and vehicles.

At the same time.

We left in the evening for my daughter's end of the year school program, The Principal and the Pea.

The grace was not lost on me...
Last night I finished the book of Job to the din of reporters and meteorologists.
Because when the world offers death tolls and figures, we need some godly poetry to remind us that God's love is a big-picture kind of art, an act of true heart.
Because when the chaos of a moment takes the life out of a person, we need some godly wisdom to clue us into a perspective that works always for good. Always for eternal and right-here-and-now good.
Because... When we want to know answers God simply wants us to know Him. -Ann Voskamp
He gave me some words hard to swallow in my first chapter of reading for the night. Chewing words and truths like gravel in my mouth. I sat long enough to grind it in, "Whether for correction or for his land or for love, he causes it to happen." Job 37:13.
He causes it to happen.
Job is so appropriate. The Word, the only Wind that can take the destruction of an EF-5 tornado and draw forth blessing.
Ever since I lost my babies I have loved Job. What before had been tedious whining I now read as legitimate offenses against a decent and godly life. Did I not make those same claims of the Lord in the face of death?
What did I do to deserve this?
Why didn't You stop it?
Where are You?
Don't you care?
In my heart I cried the words of Job,
                  Behold I go forward, but he is not there, and backward, but I do not perceive him. (23:8)
and Mary,
                  Lord, if you had been there... (John 11:32)
and I took the company of believers beyond belief.
Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”
John 11:40
The fortunes of Job were restored. The dead were raised.
I too was raised, as gradually as Job's children were born and as completely as Lazarus' heart beat.
But I'll always have that connection. I'll hear those words the Lord spoke out of the whirlwind that blow me back into my place,
Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
 God's words, the "know your role" reminder for the prideful Job. You tell him, Lord!
But more than that. Our God, who takes and brings life in a single breath, is making more than a point. He is answering Job's, my, most heartfelt questions.
Job 38-
"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding."
Where am I? I am where I have always been. I am here. I am.
"Who determined its measurements- surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"
Do I not care? I took great care in creating all my creation, and I delight in caring for it. I always have. I have never stopped caring. Never.
Line by line, chapter by chapter, poetry and wisdom weave a portrait of a God who is not summed up in a formula of our own design. We are unbelievably blessed to have a God whose ways are far beyond ours, but whose heart is known in His word, whose love is known in His Son.
Whose Spirit works within us and through us to point the "why's" of a grieving nation to the Whom of the Savior.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Song

Before you read today's Five Minute Friday, I have a request. Please take a moment to pray for a woman whose name I never caught. You will read about her here shortly, and perhaps then understand why. I may never see her again here on earth, but I so fervently would like to see her again in heaven and hear of the wonderful ways she witnessed God in her life- perhaps even in a simple hour at breakfast with a stranger half her age.

Five Minute Friday means five minutes of writing with no edits, no going back. I admit, I had a lot to say here, so limiting it to 5 minutes was a struggle. But everyone has a song, if you are willing to stop and listen. Thank you for stopping here.

Today's Five Minute Friday prompt: Song


I told my huband I had one of those If you ask it, she will speak moments.

Ask what? I searched for minutes for just the right question as I stared out the Panera Bread window at the parking lot and trees.

Isn't it so nice to see the sun shining again?

She was caught off guard, I know it.

Yes it is. Now I just hope this warm weather will move west to the UK, and then I'll be fine.

Oh? Why is that?

Because she was leaving in few short days to visit the UK, to have her birthday dinner with her historic clan chieftain in Scotland. Because this woman in her sixties (I am guessing here) was taking another photography class at a local college and was taking another trip overseas to search out beauty. To capture it. Somehow process it and convey it.

Everyone has a song if you are willing to stop and listen to it.

What would have been a brief intermission in her life became a glorious aria, the duration of which was over an hour. My invitations to continue and small interjections probably contributed about 5 minutes to the opera.

She sang of poison dart frogs and tailless scorpians.

My husband chimed in about the beauty of God's creation.

She sang of the first "color" television.

I cheeped out a ditty about how removed I already am from the highschoolers at church.

She sang of preserving historical remnants of WW2.

I composed a melody of a Jewish Christian forgiving the Nazis because forgiveness is "what we do."

She sang of poverty.

I belted the truth that poverty has more to do with your spirit than your pocketbook.

And she glossed our one-liners over with a confused smile as she continued her song.

But I knew she was listening. Because she knew I was listening. Really listening. To her.

And somehow I get a glimpse of Jesus hearing a blind beggar man call his name, "Son of David, have mercy on me," and I know that at that moment, in the din of a bagel joint, Jesus was listening.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

F Words We All Can Appreciate

Turn Off the TV Week is kicking my behind. Not at all because I want to watch TV, but because there is some stable comfort in knowing that for a half hour each morning I will have some time to collect thoughts and perhaps blog. We miss you, Daniel Tiger... This is the kind of post I write when you are gone for three days...

Our educationally neglected third child and I have begun alphabet work. I say educationally neglected because for the first 2-3 years of the older two children's lives I was the picture of spiritual education. The third kid, she'll pick it up along the way. God help the fourth.

I admit there are a couple teaching points that make me tee-hee like a grade-schooler. The first- getting to the "it" endings in a rhyming lesson. The second one I hadn't thought too much about until today.

The letter F.

Now the girl is 3, and a bit precocious, so we play this school stuff loosely. A brown cinderblock wall makes a fabulous chalkboard, so we get to work making our "F Word" Wall. F words all over the place. You can laugh if you want. It's ok. I said F words a lot today, and the child in me giggles as I type that.

The F says ffff. We repeat. We draw, color, laugh. I search for just the right F word. Family, Frown, Fun, Flowers, Feet, Farm, Four, Five... She hears the clues and guesses the F word and laughs again.
Good times- when F words are safe.

I can't avoid the F word forever, I know. She'll hear it, learn it, possibly say it. She'll learn F words that will cause more pain than profanity.

Like failure.

And fear.

The mother in me wants to protect her from those words. Whisk her away like a sleeping beauty, so she'll never feel the prick of words that kill spirits. Failure. Fear.

I can't do it, though. For a flower to bloom, must it not cease to be just a seed? Must it not break open? And this little princess, she has been born not of perishable seed, but imperishable.

There's an F word for you.



Found. Forever found.

I'm not called to remove God's precious child from a world of hurt, but to prepare and equip her for the victory that is hers in Jesus Christ. I am called to gift her with words, and The Word, like battle armor. In fact, Ephesians 6 gives a few F words I can appreciate...

Finally- Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.

Flesh- For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Firm-Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

Fastened- Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

Feet- ...and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.

Faith- In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one

17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

Then one day, my dear ones will be able to confess with King David that there is an F word they can't help but proclaim...
I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.
Psalm 40:10

Friday, May 10, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Comfort

Five Minute Friday and Lisa-Jo Baker has this new prompt for us to write on. No editing. No going back. Just five minutes and we'll see what comes out:



Comfort is not neutral. It's hot or cold. Either a mother's lap to crawl into. Or an earthly trap to be avoided lest it distract us from our true home.

Christians, don't get comfortable. Anything but that.

But then I think of my discomfort. Not the little drownings of an Old Adam, but those things that linger. That overwhelm. Like, that Tylenol canNOT kick in fast enough, and in between throbs I hear cries, and pleading, and demands, and I am overwhelmed by discomfort.

There is that kind of discomfort.

Then there is the other kind- the kind that makes you question. The kind that makes you feel like maybe you don't really belong here at all. That maybe God's plan isn't what you had in mind. That maybe there is something else, and you will have to trust Him to get you there.

That is the discomfort that leads to true Comfort.

And when you journey through with thankful heart, and trusting feet, then you aren't perhaps comfortable, but more like comfort-able.

2 Corinthians gives a promise to believers. God is a Comforter.  He is comfort-able, and comfort-willing, and when He has completed His work of comfort in us for this season, we too will be comfort-able and comfort-willing to help those around us, because we will get it.

As we have shared in Christ's sufferings, we will also share in His comfort.

And who couldn't use a bit of that news?


If you'd like to join the writers at Five Minute Friday, just click here or at the button on the bottom right.

If you are finding yourself overwhelmed by life right now and would like to take a moment and be overwhelmed by the Lord, Overwhelmed by Big Daddy Weave can help;)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Destiny and Motherhood: Why I Choose to Keep a Messy House

Sometimes I really relate to the donkey the disciples fetched for the Lord Jesus.

Because I become completely untied, and it is not until I ask why that I hear their response: Because the Lord has need of it. (Luke 19:31)

I just absolutely love my coffee mornings. A few friends come over and we drink our beverages and chat about what's happening in our lives and town and world. We solve some problems. Sometimes.

Just yesterday I led those dear friends around the parsonage that may or may not be getting a facelift. I explained the vision, salting my speech with excitement over what could be.

And peppering it with apologies. Not one room of my house is clean. Not one. Passable maybe, but not clean.

Did my friends demand excuses and apologies? Absolutely not. Did they offer judgment and condemnation for the clutter? No way. If they had, would it have depleted the worth of my personal stock? Nope.

But the apologizing- it just gets exhausting. My mind and heart and soul are squished into a sorry little box as if that is all there is by which to measure my worth, and I become enslaved.

Enslaved to a house. I piece of real estate.

I become a victim.

Yesterday I changed that. You know what, I'm not a victim. And for any mothers or fathers out there who are enslaved to the image of being "put together," neither are you.

As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God! Psalm 40:17

The Lord of the universe thinks and takes action to benefit us poor, needy souls. We are victors!
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor 15:57
You know what else? This unshowered, sweatpant wearing, tired mom has a destiny. Really- even me. And if I have a destiny, you can bet every single person out there has one too.
No doubt the cleanliness of my house may play a role in the fulfillment of God's destiny for me, but as a means- not an end. I will choose to see it that way. I will look to the end goal.
So if you happen to stumble into my house mind your step, and know that instead of devoting my blood, sweat and tears to wiping up every muddy shoeprint, fishing out every bobby pin from the carpet, and putting every doll in its age appropriate bin (assuming I could find said bin), I have chosen instead to tend to the following responsibilities:
* Kissing scraped knees
* Making waffles
* Sorting clothes along with the kids
* Reading
* Running in the sunshine
* Playing soccer with the kids
* Going to the park
* Thawing meat for supper
* Changing diapers
* Tying shoes
* Brushing hair
* Wiping tears
* Brushing teeth
* Coloring
* Wrestling on the floor
* Dating my husband
* Dating my children
* Doing puzzles
* Writing
* Teaching
* Visiting
* Volunteering
* Praying, praying, praying
* Encouraging
* Loving
* Laughing
* Spending time, not wasting it.
* Various and Sundry other tasks that demand an inordinate amount of time and energy, and are supremely more important.
Because, as a good friend assured me: One day the kids will be gone, the house will be clean and quiet, and you'll miss the mess.
Happy Early Mother's Day.
Luke 10: 38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Monday, May 6, 2013

Messy Monday: A Rescue in the Meantime

To just sit and wait. It seems... wrong.
Especially when you have a carload of kids and you feel like you are "on the clock" in a way.
So, the other day I made the most of our time. Scotty had a shut-in woman to visit in a town 30 miles away, but hey, that town had several stores we don't have so most of the family tagged along. As Scott administered pastoral care I focused more on the temporal care- like dog food and produce.
After completing the bulk of my errands, the kiddos and I headed back to the assisted living home to wait for Daddy to come out.
In the meantime I had to find something to do. Right? I mean, I couldn't just sit there. But what to do?
I looked down and had my answer...
How my purse got so full of junk, I'll never know- especially since I never use two bags two days in a row. No idea why. I just have a bunch of bags, and I change them like clothes- making organization and finding that tube of lipstick for church a bit difficult.
So I sat and I rifled through the outdated and obsolete, and just plain odd. I cleared it out. Most of it. And how many times did I just ask, Why?
Why do I hold on to this stuff?
Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me. ~Psalm 69:1-2
If I dove into my conscience, my soul, like this overstuffed purse, when would I reach the bottom?
My purse was created to hold necessities- not junk.
Same with my heart.
So, what is necessary?
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42
 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
Luke 24:25-27
And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women.
Acts 17:2-4
 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,  so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:3-7
The Lord sits with me in the quiet meantimes, and together we rifle through the recesses and pockets of my heart.
And He is merciful and gracious as He reveals those things I keep that are not necessary.
A wrong word from my mouth spoken to a friend.
And vice versa.
Those hurts and aches that I keep a receipt of, and why? To remember?
To have proof?
To log in my spiritual register? A debt I owe. A debt I've paid.
...and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.
~Matthew 18:27
To hold or be held?
To be captive or set free from the muck and mire to which we cling?
To sink or swim?
Praise be to the Lord alone, who sits beside us and removes what should not remain, time and time again, so that in the end all that remains is Himself - a wallet full of grace and forgiveness, and a means to call on Him any time day or night- with minutes unlimited.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Brave

It's time for another Five Minute Friday! Lisa-Jo Baker and the gang are spending 5 minutes writing bravely. No editing or going back- nothing like that. You link up, read other wonderful writers, encourage and be encouraged. It's great fun actually. Join us!
Today's Prompt: Brave


That’s a word for the greats.

For the Sabina Wurmbrands who, because of their Jewish Christian allegiance to the One True God, harbored and nutured the very Nazis that killed their own family members.

To forgive is brave.

To obey God is the ultimate act of bravery.

To obey, when the cards are stacked against you- that is brave. I still muddle around in my head- surely Christ was brave. Surely, when every sign pointed to defeat, He obeyed.

"[The Enemy] wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles.... Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys."
~ The Screwtape Letters

To walk. Day in and out. Are you not brave?

When you approach the budding toddler to remove the pen from her hand as she waddles across the room, knowing full well the fit to be thrown.

Is that not brave?

When you grab the brush, and the young one sees you coming and high-tails it to the corner of the room, crying before a bristles even touches her. And you know this is going to be one tangle-fest, but you brush anyway.

Is that not brave?

When you wake in the night to comfort a child whose room is littered with toys like landmines for your feet.

Is that not brave?

Motherhood, parenthood. That is a brave endeavor when accomplished and grown into maturity through the working of God’s purposes in your life.

And each act of bravery grows obedience. And each act of obedience grows bravery. Until our lives are one glorious cycle of brave obedience day after day. In the little things and big.

Because bravery is the root and fruit of an obedient life planted in God’s purpose.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Dear Daughter

Giggles erupted from the back seat of the truck, sending laughter spewing into the air and floating down all over me.

Three absolutely adorable boys chatted behind me as we made our way to the last soccer game of the season, and I smiled. Only one of the boys was my son, the other two being brothers and Grady's teammates. The picture of polite Iowa boys, and just as cute as the dickens.

I can't help it, I'm a mom. Their family has three boys and one girl. We have three girls and one boy. And those boys are all around our girls' ages. I know it's silly, but moms match their kids up with other kids- especially cute, sweet ones. I mentally figured out how that would look in my head.

My mind took me to a comfortable place only to be stirred by one thought, "Pray for their spouses." You've heard those amazing prayer stories- someone was in trouble and exactly at that moment another person was moved to pray for them, and everything turned out fine. Not sure that was what this was, but right then and there I prayed for my future sons.

Those prayers came more quickly than any prayer I had for my son's future wife. Not because he is still my boy, I don't think. Maybe because I know just how important and difficult it is to find a godly man, so there is an urgency in that prayer.

But tonight I sat and pondered the woman my son will marry. What she looks like now- if she is even here yet. Her family, her childhood, her adolescence. If you've never spent the time really thinking and praying about the future relationships of your children (note: I did not say "worrying"), it is a worthwhile endeavor. So, here is my prayer for you, Future Daughter-in-law, future friends of my kids that I will no doubt play "mom" to, and you little girls under my roof.

Dear Daughter,

May I first say you are beautiful. Seriously. Stunning and gorgeous and so incredibly valuable. I pray you know that. You are amazing.

Young woman whom my son will choose, I pray for you so hard. I want to pray for your family, your upbringing, your time with the Lord, your health- but I've learned enough from this world that what really matters is your heart. So that is what captivates me in prayer- the condition of your heart. All the heartbreak the world would give you only tills the heart in which the seed of faith is planted. And so I pray that your heart is ready and fertile, and that your faith is growing up into maturity. Not so that you can be ready in my eyes to marry my son. But because I love you.

I pray for your spirit.  But the fruit of the Spirit is
love- that you would know it truly as the Lord lavishes, & accept it fully when my boy offers it,
 joy- that you would know what it is to be thankful and so find joy in every circumstance,
 peace- that you would know where to turn when trials abound and so find peace in God alone,
patience- that you would develop humor to be patient with people like me, who love imperfectly,
kindness- that you would witness the kindness of Christ in those around you,
goodness- that you would possess the courage to live out the goodness found only in God,
faithfulness- that you would know God's faithfulness and display it in your life no matter what, 
gentleness- that you would know the Christ-like love that forgives and opens hearts to healing,
self-control- that you would wait on the Lord;
against such things there is no law. (Gal. 5:22-23)

I pray for you, Daughter, whether we have met or not because, Sweet Child, you belong to the Lord. And believe me, He loves you so very much.