Hello, Mini-Women! Have I mentioned lately how proud I am of you? Your comments about jealousy -- not only admitting that you do get jealous sometimes but finding ways to do something good when jealousy hits you (or wraps itself around your neck!) That takes a lot of hard work, and I think you deserve some fun. So let's pray.
"Wait," you say. "Are you SERIOUS, Nancy Rue? You don't pray for fun. You pray for -- well, it's just not supposed to be fun."
Okay, let's think about why we DO pray. Sometimes it's because we need help (Please God, help me to remember all the stuff I studied last night because I don't want to fail this test). Or because somebody else needs help (Please, God, don't let my BFF get in trouble again -- she's already been grounded four times this month) Or because we appreciate that God already helped (Thank you, God, for my dad, who never grounds me) Or because we want God to forgive us for what we did do or didn't do or thought about doing (Please, God, have mercy on me; I can't seem to help screaming at my little brother, who I can't even believe you created -- and please forgive me for thinking that, too)
If that's why we pray -- and we definitely should pray for those reasons -- then, yeah, we're talking about some serious stuff. Not to mention that God deserves our reverence. This is an awesome God we're talking about, a God who makes ALL the difference.
But the other reason for praying is one we forget -- or maybe we never discovered it in the first place. That's the praying where we just tell God how amazing God is -- not because of the good stuff in our lives and everybody else's, but just because, well, God is God. And it's not only praise -- which is of course super-important. It's the hanging-out-with-God, just because that's where we want to be. And hanging out, is, as I see it, fun.
When you were a little kid (and hopefully even now) did you play with your father? Did he swing you around? Throw up you up in the air? Tickle you until you couldn't breathe? Do you and your mom ever giggle together? Have special times when you eat popcorn and paint each other's toenails? Do you have a fave uncle who you love to have come and visit because he always wrestles with you kids or takes you for ice cream? Think about your very favorite adults. Aren't they people who still like to have fun with you?
So doesn't it make sense that "playing" should be a part of your prayer times with God, who loves you even more than your parents? In fact, have you ever noticed that the words "pray" and "play" are a whole lot alike?
Uh-huh -- and how are you supposed to "play" with God? He doesn't exactly show up with a video game or a soccer ball. But he does show up with delight in you. There are things about you, the playful, giggly, imaginative, twinkly-eyed girl that absolutely make God grin because, uh, God MADE you that way. So let's start there:
(1) On a big ol' sheet of paper, write in colored markers or pens or crayons all the things about you that you think probably delight God. (this isn't being conceited -- this is giving God credit for the good thing -- YOU! -- that God has created) Some examples might be the fact that you smile at everybody you see, and the laugh that seems to make everybody else laugh with you, and the urge you have to skip every now and then -- just skip down the sidewalk for no apparent reason.
(2) Collect them ALL over several days -- keep coming back to it until you've thought of absolutely everything. THEN post them all at once, in one comment.
(3) Everyone who posts at least 20 things in their ONE post will get to choose one of the following for me to send them:
* a book of mine you haven't read (if I have one in my basement!)
* a map of Lucy's town
* enough FaithGirlz bracelets for you and your friends
I can't wait to read your lists, because God isn't the only one who is delighted with you! Just remember to post your list all at once, because keeping track of a bunch of separate comments from each of you would NOT delight me!
I'm going to be gone until Monday. I'm off to do a FaithGirlz event in Sioux Falls, South Dakota! Just a reminder to post only about the topic (or about the one I'm about to mention) because every comment you make ends up in my in-box, and that's a LOT of emails to sort through when I get back. Oh, and PLEASE remember not to tell where you live beyond what continent (like Australia) or country (like England) or portion of the U.S. (like the South). That's for your protection.
Okay so -- your can post your list of God's delights in you, and in between, since that will take you a few days to compile, you can post suggestions for our next topic. What's really on your mind? What's bothering you these days? What's hard to handle? What do you need help with? That's what I'm talking about. Post as many suggestions as you want. Again, I'm proud of you, my mini-women.
"He brought me out into a broad place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me." Psalm 18:19)