Monday, April 30, 2012


Father and Son on their way to Mexico

Over the weekend, the driver in front of me kicked up a stone and cracked my windshield.  This is the third incident mucking up my new van in less than a year. I was instantly reminded how accidents even happen at home, while doing the mundane.
How many of us cling to our families and material things as though it will keep them safe from harm?
When our 12-year-old son left for the Dominican Republic on a mission trip a few summers ago, the popular response from my friends was, “Aren’t you scared?” The truth is I am more afraid of clinging to my kids and my fears so tightly, that I thwart the Lord from doing a mighty work in their lives. In spite of my Mama-fears, I must hold my loved ones loosely.
Friday morning I waved goodbye again to the same son (now 16 years old) and his dad as they left for a Spring Missions trip to Mexico.
This morning I said goodbye to my 13-year-old baby.  He is serving the local Salvation Army, homeless, and planting trees at schools downtown with his Junior High youth group.

Sweet Baby Dane goes off to serve

I was hoping to go with him, at least drive a van load of kids back and forth. But through a series of events, I lent my van to a driver I don’t know, to be filled with hyper junior high kids. The thought of a hole punched in the seat or a shovel scraping the ceiling has crossed my mind.  But, I must also hold my van loosely.
Stones will hit the window while I drive it around the corner, rust will destroy it, and thieves may break in and steal it. Scripture reminds me, “Where my treasure is, there will my heart be also.”  So, I handed over my keys as an act of worship.
I am left feeling a little lost this morning.  A.J. and I are home alone for the week. It’s a funky feeling when most of your family is gone and you are left tooling around on your own. Normally I would welcome the time to myself, but I am feeling as though a large piece of my heart is gone.
Honestly though, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Opportunities abound for our kids to grow deeper in their walk with the Lord while serving the world.
So here are the strange prayers from a Mama learning to hold her loved ones loosely:
I pray they get dirty for God! I hope their fingernails get dirty from playing with children and planting trees.
I pray their bodies get smelly from living away from the conveniences of home but being filled up from serving the Lord.
I pray their hearts are broken as they encounter people who have so little. And their hearts stretched as they experience the joy of sharing the Good News and treating others as better than themselves.
I pray they build lasting friendships working side by side with like-minded kids. While they share in the work and the worship, I pray they would come back to their schools and sports teams and shine brighter together!
I pray they will feel uncomfortable or afraid, and step out of their comfort zone, take a step of faith, and watch God show up in personal and mighty ways!
When they feel tired and sore and lay in their sleeping bags feeling homesick, I am grateful they can’t text me. I pray they would lean upon God as their comfort and  provider.
This mom is holding her loved ones loosely today, trusting if I cling to my life I will lose it, but if I lose my life for Christ’s sake and the Gospel, I will save it (Mark 8:35).
I couldn’t have it any other way.


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