Prizes from Heaven


Prizes from Heaven

As I enjoy my morning in the prayer room, singing out “You’re Faithful! You’re always good... always good!” I cant help but smile at the reality of those precious words and how much this anthem resonates in my own life!

Recently, our little family traveled up to Michigan to visit family and get a fill-up on some much needed hugs & kisses from grandparents, aunts, uncles & cousins!!! After a week of beautiful communion, we were preparing the kids for our return back to Kansas City the next morning (did I mention how much of effective parenting & discipleship is “pep-talks”?!?). Suddenly, our son was overcome with deep emotion as he calmly but firmly vocalized “I. Don’t. Want. To. Go. To. Kansa-City.” His sweet little heart obviously pained at the thought of leaving all of his favorite people behind in Michigan yet again. My heart began to break as he continued to voice his determined will, “I. Don’t. Want. To. Go. To. Kansa-City. I don’t want to go to Kansa-City. I don’t want to go...” Tears welling up in his big, beautiful eyes, a pained grimace on his handsome face, his forehead furrowed, looking up into his daddy’s eyes, wondering if his heart was being heard. Michael recognized the moment was significant and took the opportunity to make sure our son knew he was loved and heard. “I don’t want to go to Kansas City either, bud. I want to stay with our family too. But Jesus asked me to go there, and Jesus gave me Momma, you and Kenley and you have to come with me.” At one point in the conversation, I overheard Michael saying, “Jesus is going to give us prizes for being obedient. He is going to give you prizes for going to Kansas City... Momma prizes, Kenley prizes and me prizes...” Kenley, taking it all in, sweetly came over to Michael, putting her hand on his knee, peering up into his face, “I’ll come wif you Daddy, I’ll go to Kansa-City. Lets GOOOOO!!!!” She declared as she scooped up her little “Skye” stuffed animal, drink cup, and proceeded to find her shoes and coat!

Michael had planned to spend our last Michigan evening with his brothers, joining them for the weekly “brother night” which he had been unable to attend ever since we had moved to Missouri. “Was there a resolution?” I asked as he slipped on his coat to leave, “No, but I heard him and he knows I understand. Kenley’s ready to come with us!” In fact, she was quite flustered when I told her we weren’t going to get our shoes on until morning! As I rejoined the kids in the living room, I could tell there was a tangible peace on my son as I kissed his cheeks and declared my love for him. We snuggled on the coach and watched an old-school VHS tape of “Winne the Pooh” - a prize from my mom when I had to get booster shots as a child!!!

The night progressed with a special visit from my brother and Aunt - both bringing treats and prize bags of goodies for the kids! Rowin savored the play-time and soon bed-time came, as it always does when you’re having fun!

Unbeknownst to me, across town, at “brother night”, Michael was up town with his brothers - aimlessly walking around Walmart... well, seemingly aimlessly! They ended up in the Nintendo aisle checking out the Nintendo Switch gaming system and latest Mario games. Before he hardly knew what was happening, Michael’s brothers had purchased him a Nintendo Switch and two Mario games as a gift for him to take back with him to Missouri!!!

If you know my husband or I, you know that we enjoy life more than most! We savor sucking the marrow out of life in the purest way possible! I know its the Lord's gift to us that we are able to enjoy things as much as we do, but it is also our worship to Him when we thoroughly enjoy and find pleasure in what the Lord has given us. And I’m talking about the purest pleasures - those that awaken you to the Love of Jesus - not deaden and dull your senses. To the world, its a sacrifice, but to the lovesick believer, it’s not even one worth mentioning in view of the incomparably precious gift of the Holy Spirit dwelling within!!! I say all this just to preface how fun and unexpected of a gift this was! We probably would have never bought it for ourselves and I was excited that Michael would be able to play Mario “virtually” with his brothers, especially his youngest brother, as he finishes up his senior year of high school. But I wasn’t even thinking about the best part of this gift...

6am rolled around quickly. Michael and I loaded the car, filled water bottles and did the final once-over at my moms house before waking up the kids. When at last we were ready to pile into the car, my mom scooped up Rowin and brought him downstairs, Rowin cuddling into her robe. After using the bathroom, he came out and with tired eyes he vocalized his intentions had not changed, “I don’t want to go to Kansa-City” he said to Michael determinedly. “Look who IS going to Kansas City with me” Michael smiled as he picked up the new Nintendo Switch and Mario game. Rowin half smiled, raising one eyebrow in disbelief, “Josh isn’t gonna like it if you take that...” Staying at Grandma’s house with Uncle Josh (and his special Nintendo Switch), Rowin had quickly become fascinated with watching Josh and Michael play the Mario games together. “Josh won't mind because this is MY new game!” Michael smiled even bigger. Rowin grinned. “I guess I’ll be playing this all alone when we get back to Kansas City if you’re staying here...” his dad teased. Needless to say, what was setting itself up to be a very sad morning filled with tears and angry resistance, was now a fun, exciting adventure again.

And though the sky was filled with tears, raining heavily down upon us, the Lord helped us dodge every single drop by gifting my son with a prize for going to Kansas City. Not to mention, Grandma overflowed my kids boats of blessing by sending us with prize bags… one for each child to open, each HOUR of our 13 hour trip!!!

Lord, Your leadership over our life is Golden! It is beautifully orchestrated and You are so kind to take care of our hearts, and our children’s hearts as we are on this journey of faith & obedience. You care about the little things. You don’t trivialize our pain. In fact, You desire us to welcome YOU into it so that You can prove Your track record of faithfulness, provision and answered prayers. Thank You for meeting us in our weak places. Thank You for helping us be parents who shepherd our children just like YOU shepherd us, Jesus. We Love You.

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