On our way back from Florida we lost "bear". He was Blake's lovey - and he was very, very loved. Blake got him as a gift when he was a baby - and had snuggled with him every day since. He lost him on his fifth birthday. I cried. I mean really, really cried. I felt like I wasn't just saying goodbye to bear - but to my little boy. He is big now. I mean really, really big. He is riding his bike, swimming under water and playing baseball (ok, ok Tee Ball). I begged God to help us find him, to work a miracle, I KNEW God had the power. We lost him on an airplane - he could be anywhere. But I begged and begged God to send him back. One morning, while once again begging God to help us find this precious lost bear I was totally and completely convicted. I have never once begged God so passionately, so fervently for a lost soul. I mean I shed some serious tears over this furry little creature and I can't remember shedding a single tear for a truly lost soul. I can't remember BEGGING God for someone's salvation. Actually, I do remember praying for a few specific people when I was a young child...but when those prayers weren't answered, I think I kind of gave up. We never found bear. But I am praying with all of my heart that God will fill me with deep, passionate, heart-felt, faith filled prayers for people who are lost. That they will find Him. That they will know His love. That they will come home.
I have noticed something interesting about myself when it comes to opening the doors of our home. I am the first to admit that fifteen minutes before our guests arrived the place was a mess. I was barking orders to my kids, scrubbing our toilet, stuffing things in drawers and searching for underwear (yup, probably dirty) that pop up in the most random places. I don't mind admitting that I don't have it all together, but I have a hard time letting anyone see it. I am the same way when it comes to my emotions. If I'm really struggling I tend to pull away. Just last night I found myself tempted to postpone a scheduled visit with a few close friends because I had no desire to admit to them that I felt like I was coming apart at the seams. Praise God, I dragged myself there and they gently began the process of gluing me back together by simply listening & loving me - despite me. And then there's "grace in the midst". I love passing along thoughts, ideas an