Jesus, I want to follow you.

Sometimes you just have to write. This is one of those times. The clock ticks to 11:33… pm. I’ve just laid Iris back down after a dream feed and taken her last feeding’s bottle downstairs. Oliver is on his blanket asleep on the couch, his new favorite place to sleep, and I should be in bed. Technically I’m in bed as I write this but I’m obviously not sleeping even though my lids are heavy and calling me to dreamland. Sometimes you just have to write, and I’m trying to listen to the sometimes. I’m trying to listen to the quieter voice, the one less heard over the noise of the electric pencil sharpeners and flying paper airplanes of the day.

As a mom, wife, homemaker, homeschooler and follower of Jesus I have so many goals for our children and our home… No matter what we do for a living, we have goals. We aim for something, even if it’s hard to see or understand. I’ve always said, I care not about the things my children accomplish, but of the nature of my children and my own heart. I strive to teach my children gratitude, kindness, gentleness, to be independent and use the mind God has gifted them with, yet not too independent lest they run ahead of God. I desire for them to be good listeners and how to properly make a bed! I want them to be compassionate, generous, seekers of justice and doers of good, even when it means doing the unpopular thing. I want them to pray first and act second. But there is one goal that trumps them all. Above all else, I want them to know Jesus with all of their heart. To know God and to believe in the Resurrection Power of Jesus. To really know him. To choose him and want to make a decision to follow him wherever he leads them. I don’t care if they make millions, or raise chicken on a farm (I think raising chickens on a farm sounds pretty cool) I just want them to do it serving the Lord.

This past month Alan and I had the greatest privilege of praying with both of our big girls to accept Jesus as their savior. Oh what sweet moments. I knew the day was coming. We were careful to never push it, wanting their faith to be their own. I desired for them to be able to one day look back and remember the day they stood up and said they believed in Jesus. For Amelia it happened during VBS week. I picked them up and in the car Amelia asked many questions I knew her tender heart was ready. She said she wanted to pray and follow Jesus with her life. So that night Alan, Amelia, myself and Stella prayed together on our living room floor for Amelia to accept Jesus.

Stella, on the other hand, would repeatedly say “not yet” when I asked her if she wanted to pray, or “maybe tomorrow.” I never pushed, never wanting to make this something she and her sister had to do together. This was no “twin” thing.  A few weeks ago we were in Colorado (her favorite place) in my grandparents garden at dusk and she was busy leaving food for the birds and bunnies. Earlier we had asked her a series of questions about who Jesus is and she said she believed in him and wanted to pray that night. So, gathered in the garden our family knelt again this time praying for Stella to receive Jesus as her Savior and to follow him for all of her days.

What sweet times and memories. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting. I used to refer to our time in the DR as “the best years.” I used to pray and sob and ask God to please not let our “best years” already be behind us. Leaving the DR was one of the most excruciating painful decisions we’ve made. Constantly looking back and nervously waiting forward. I am so grateful he has given us a year of new memories and amongst them will be the BEST memories I will forever cherish of our girls making decisions to allow his love to live in them and commit to running after Jesus with all of their hearts. These memories will forever be etched in my mind and a sweet reminder of his mercies and his “chesed” (loving kindness) on our family.

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