Children

Sand Castles, Dreams and Chatter

Posted by on Jun 10, 2013 in Children, Play, Wonder | 2 comments

Sand Castles, Dreams and Chatter

Visit any playground where four year olds gather and you’ll most likely see busy little girls huddled together in the sandbox, planning their play.

 

Ninety percent of their time together will be spent discussing what they hope to do.

 

They plan where they’ll live, what they’ll wear, and who will do what. Their created world is being linked together through imagination and conversation. The chatter is persuasive and rich – the volume high as each campaigns their piece of the plan.

 

“I’m the princess, my dress is blue and I ride a white pony”, says one, while another chimes in, “But, but, but, I want the blue one, you wear the red cape – my castle has five ponies, black and white”.

 

It’s hard to know when we lose this seemingly senseless art of enjoyment building sandcastles that never become.

 

Perhaps without visible outcome it seems futile to the mature mind.

 

Is it the sense of time wasted that causes us to leave the sandbox, or the feeling of non-productivity? Where is the worth in mere conversation just for the sake of conversing, or in sharing dreams or pointless planning?

 

Could it be that God lives within such a sandbox?

 

Does He wait patiently to be central to our greatest longings or does he even seem to care about our plans? Does our communal Father walk away from his time spent with us completely satisfied? Do we walk away satisfied with listening and sharing – minus an outcome?

 

When the girls disband from their time together on the playground they rarely look back to see what was accomplished.

 

They’re not disappointed the castle was never built.

 

They never actually changed their names or clothing. Most of the time, the shovels and buckets lying beside them are unused. Often they haven’t moved from their place of planning.

 

But, they leave fulfilled.

 

After all, they spent time together. Their vocabulary is richer, their dreams crisper, their friendship anchored in shared conversation. Each one leaves with a small piece of the others mind, and if they’re lucky – a little sand in their pockets to remember the encounter.

 

 

 

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When was the last time you enjoyed God’s companionship in your sandbox?

Did you sense his enjoyment in the time spent with you? Grab a bucket, shovel and ear of a trusted friend. Hit the sandbox and share your story.

Please share, I’d love to hear about it!

“God, the one and only— I’ll wait as long as he says. Everything I hope for comes from him? He’s the solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, an impregnable castle: I’m set for life” Psalms 62:5 MSG

 

 

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Pursuing Freedom

Posted by on Apr 18, 2013 in Children, Joni and Friends | Comments Off on Pursuing Freedom

 

“Dare to love and to be a real friend. The love you give and receive is a reality that will lead you closer and closer to God as well as those whom God has given you to love” Henri Nouwen

 

 

It’s much easier for me to share about my faith than it is to share about myself. Even typing these words bring a lump to my throat. I have a feeling I’m not the only one who thinks this way.


After all, I have nothing but wonderful things to share about my faith – my God and my Savior. Just look at him! He’s the star-breathing, magnificent creator of all we see and all we can’t see. Who wouldn’t brag about him? He doesn’t just love, he is love. He’s mysterious, yet approachable. He’s perfect.

 I, on the other hand, am deeply flawed. No one knows me like I know myself – so I choose to keep certain things hidden. I don’t think it’s wrong to filter what we publically share since some information is best left unsaid and some of no interest at all. But the crippling effect of hiding and self-protecting is unhealthy and wrong. We all want people to like us but when we cower behind a false persona or hide our scars and broken places we cheat ourselves of truly living. I can attest to this.

Merging our hidden places with who he says we are creates the key to walking in freedom and open relationships. Jesus tells me I am his. Even before I knew him, he invested in me. His investment bandages my ugly wounds. He cares enough to spend time with me, wooing me out of my place of hiding. He wants me to be free.

It’s easier to come out from hiding in the moments I truly believe what he says. The lure of walking in freedom becomes stronger than the need to self protect. There’s nothing more beautiful than someone who knows they’re loved just as they are.

I have a few heroes in my life who know this kind of freedom. They’ve encouraged me to come out and play – to accept myself, to share myself. Their lives are proof the benefit of openness and honesty outweigh the perceived risk of exposure.

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Just Because

Posted by on Apr 16, 2013 in Children, God Speaks, Play, Wonder | 2 comments

“The true object of all human life is play” G. K. Chesterton
“If we maintain the open-mindedness of children, we challenge fixed ideas and established structures, including our own” Brennan Manning

 

Do you ever wonder why the Bible encourages us to be like children? What possible behaviors could Jesus be referring to when he tells us to be like them? Seriously, are we to be like immature, fully dependent, somewhat self-centered little people? Or are we to simply be children, just because?

 

Why do they jump in mud puddles? Why do they fixate on the simplest, seemingly insignificant little thing? And why do they do it right when we’re trying to teach them our big important thing? Our adult moments are usually deliberate and delegated. We hope our time is filled with pertinence and productivity. Children embrace what’s directly in front of their eyes or in their mind – right now – just because.

 

 Could we for just a moment assume our intentional, all-powerful, creative and constructive God also lives in the just because? Why did he create so many shades of blue when any one of them is jaw-dropping by itself? Why do we have more varieties of tree bark within one species than we can imagine or why did he spend so much time on the detail of desert flowers rarely seen or appreciated by human beings? Could it be – just because?
 The gulf between Almighty God and our understanding doesn’t seem quite so large when we lay aside our need to know, our assumptions, even our theologies to experience communion of delight within the wonder-filled world of just because. Why not embrace rebellious foolishness, simple pleasures, and curious exploration. Maybe it’s where we’ll find Him.

In reflection I ponder this verse and wonder how I might receive the childlikeness myself today – just because. I ponder play and hope to understand my creator more fully today.

 

“Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me” Matthew 18:3 The Message

 

 Linking with #TellHisStory

 

 

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