Well, it's the new year and "Letters to Santa" season is over ... for eleven months., anyways Still, I have to smile at the faith of small children, studiously writing out their heart's desires to the memory of a saint who sacrificed much to supplement the needs of the poor. With requests ranging from greedy to superficial to whimsical to profound, these children trust that their wishes will be heard ... and answered.
Y'shua challenged us to approach his father like children, to lay our heart's desires before Him. He desired that we would trust Him to listen and answer. "You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him." Luke 11:11-13 (NLT)
Now I realize that this verse is about the receiving of the Holy Spirit, but I can't help but marvel at the ongoing metaphor Y'shua uses of children and parents for our relationship with Abba. I know that while I don't want to encourage greed in my children, I also delight in giving them frivolous gifts occasionally ... and I would never turn down a request for a need so long as it was within my power to provide it. In fact, I try to anticipate their needs in advance (almost to a fault).
I was thinking about this today as I was considering our most recent season of change. We are now a family of five. My husband is now a chaplain for the National Guard; and his regular job hours have been on the fritz for months with no end in sight. I am grateful for his job (both of them), but family life has been difficult. And of course, in our extensively dreary northwestern US climate, time outside is in short supply. We live indoors. With the recent addition of our youngest ... our 800 sq.ft. 2 bed/1bath (which is also our laundry) just isn't accommodating our growing family of very busy yet housebound children. I know that the stifling atmosphere has been taking a heavy toll on both our emotional and physical health lately.
Moving on a tight budget is never easy. I realized it was high time that I swallow my pride and petition our heavenly father for a home suited to accommodate our family for the next few years. So, Abba, here's my wish ...
I long for a home where my children can grow up as I did: with room for imagination, and separate spaces for play, rest, and study. I yearn for a yard where they can stretch their legs as the weather allows; and that I can make productive with the labor of my hands ... it looks something like this:
- 3 beds: one master (large enough to accommodate a nursery area), one for the kids, and a spare for guests (or where the siblings may redivide into)
- 1 bonus room: a corner for my sewing that I can gate off; and the rest a play room for the kids (separate from their bedroom, which I want to keep a place of rest)
- 2 baths (there's nothing worse than balancing stomach bugs and potty training with only one toilet available!)
- separate laundry (have you tried to keep a bathroom clean with lint dust floating everywhere?) - or laundry in an insulated attached garage
- country kitchen with lots of counter space (cooking from scratch and making your own bread, yogurt, etc. is a nightmare when counter space is in short supply)
- greatroom layout for both dining and living (fewer walls means fewer accidents), with built-in bookshelves a desired bonus
- pantry ... with a kitty door (weary of the daily task of enforcing in my children that they can't eat the cat food!)
- a fireplace or woodstove to provide heat when the power's out; or to supplement when it's exceptionally cold
- some kind of garage or shop for storage
- large yard with full sun (when it comes out) in at least half of it, where I'm allowed to establish a garden ... and hopefully a chicken coop ... and where my kids can play with improved parental visibility (i.e., a reduced likelihood of being picked off by a coyote than our current location) ... a dog run would be even better, as we're hoping to bring a therapy dog into our family.
... hopefully I'm not asking too much ... but I'm trying to think like my children. He may say "no" for reasons I cannot predict ... but that is no reason to not ask. Because He may say "yes" ... and then some.
And you? Would you approach your Heavenly Father with the hope and trust of a child?