Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

The Wonder of it all

Psalms 8:1 “O Lord, Our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.”

 

How many remember the song “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”?  As a child,  Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, was one of my favorite songs. 

(originated as a poem by Jane Taylor in 1806)

At Christmas time my elementary teachers would often ask the students to draw a picture for the school wall. During the Christmas program, when our parents would visit, the drawings would be there for everyone to see. Some drew snowmen, others Christmas trees , as well as families eating around a table, or Santa Claus, among other things. I️ aways seemed to draw the manger scene of Jesus at birth with a big bright star over it. For some reason, The Star of Jesus, the star shining over the manger scene with this baby Jesus under it was captivating to me. I loved illustrating  the sky with lots of stars but one always had to shine brighter than another reflecting the star over Jesus. I️ never tired of such sketching. 

Yes, I️ like to create. Today, I am considered an artist in different forms, but as a child I️ did not view myself that way. I didn’t even know Jesus as my personal Savior until I was eleven years old. My pictures have always been simple. As a child, even more, often expressing an overflow of what was in my heart.

I was being drawn to Jesus and my illustrations reflected the childlike faith Jesus often talks about. “Come unto me as children…”  There was something magical, mystical, and wonderful about this particular picture to me. Although I didn’t quite understand what it all meant, I was fascinated by it.   

MOVING TO PRESENT

Last Thanksgiving some of my children were with me in a store. This particular place had all kinds of different wooden plaques with various sayings and pictures painted on them. We, our  daughter and her family and our son, were shopping together, hoping for some Christmas gifts to buy. I looked up on the wall and saw the song, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” imprinted on one of the show pieces. Floods of emotions welled up in me. I found myself lost in another time period because after a few minutes, as I turned to walk away, unknown to me, my son was now standing next to me. The wonder of all my childhood memories of my drawings and delight in stars came bubbling out of my mouth. 

I️ love my son. At 28, he listens well and is very thoughtful. To me I was sharing and passing on a childhood story. End of story! But to him he wanted to know more. He asked, “Mom, do you still delight in stars now?” While it was not an open questionof the  what, where, how, why, whom ,or when question. However, it was a powerful question to me because I️ know my son and his love for me. The way he asked, I knew he was entrusting his heart to me. It was a special moment. By wanting to know what my heart was saying in that moment, in connection to those memories, he was opening up his heart to understand me better. In other words, if asked as an “open” powerful question it might be asked. “Mom, what impact are those memories having on you today?”

 

The question took me off guard. It made me pause and think. All kinds of thoughts were going through my head. One, it was a great question. Two, no one ever asked me this question before. Three, I️ never thought about it. Four: How do I answer?

I️ struggled between the thoughts I️ had when I️ was a little girl. A pure innocent love of stars. The fascination of them all and how they drew me to them. They were bigger than me and pretty. The delight I had in those feelings as opposed to what I️ know today?  How should I answer him?  Should I be theologically correct? And so say, “No, I have moved beyond that to Jesus?

God says “Come unto me as little children…” I assume all my son wanted to know was yes or no and here I️ was trying to be all grown up and answer correctly. I️ had gotten so sophisticated with my thoughts, trying to answer with the perfect doctrine or truth, that the delight of that moment was lost.  

16 But Jesus called the children to him and said,“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”  Luke 18:16-17.

My son wanted to delight with me in that moment. In bringing that memory forward for him to understand and experience with me I had forgotten that childhood delight. So my answer was “No, because I️ know who it points to, Jesus.”  I gave the politically correct answer. My knowledge today wouldn’t let me enter that wonder of a child. Something seemed off in my answer. Had I lost an opportunity?

 

But as I️ thought later of his question…Why can’t I delight in the stars? Aren’t they God’s creation?  

The stars as a child pointed me to God’s Love, pointing me to the only true God. God used them, to know there was a God, who is bigger than me and loves me enough to come down to earth, die for my sins on my behalf, and be raised from the dead in three days (Resurrected) so that I could have Eternal Life. How more Majestic can you get than “Jesus”?  As I look at the stars today why can’t I still get amazed in wonder?

“O Lord, Our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.”  Psalms 8:1

Due to the understanding I was gaining, I did not want to say, “Yes, I️ delight in stars” to my son because I thought it might bring more praise to Stars than Jesus? Of course it depends on ones heart. But for me, for some reason, I️ had not given myself permission to wonder at those stars because of the comprehension I know today. I had lost the wonder of it all.  I️ had lost that delight now, keeping it only, as a safe childhood memory. My son’s question helped bring the two worlds together and delight again afresh.  “Come unto me as children…”  

Sometimes as we gain knowledge, we have the danger of losing the delight of God, Himself.  That joy and wonder God gave me as a child should still be demonstrated today in praise to who God is!

I also remember Paul Tripp, a well known author saying something like this, “We  have lost showing our teenagers the beauty and the wonder of our God, no surprise they are not sure they want our Jesus.”  They often see our Jesus as a set of do’s and don’t’s.  

Thank you Shane for taking time to ask.  Look forward to many more “Wonder”-ful  moments together.  

What are you thinking after reading my story?   

Personal Reflections: What are a few of your childhood wonders? How would you answer your child(ren) about your childhood memories? ”Take time to read, reflect and pray back in praise to God after looking at a few Bible verses on the “Wonder of God: Psalm 8, Deuteronomy 10:21;Psalm 119:129; Psalm 136:4; Psalm 139:6; Psalm 139:14; Isaiah 25:1; Isaiah 28:29.  I would love to hear your comments in the section Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”

From One Pilgrim to another together on the journey,

”Consider how you may spur one another on towards love and good deeds….. encouraging one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)

“ Intentionally journaling alongside of women in order to encourage them to see God in their story, moving them closer to Jesus, and to discover their place in God’s Kingdom”

MERRY CHRISTMAS 2017

May it be the best Christmas and Year Ever

                                       

Our Family would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas from our Home to yours!!!!

May it be the best Christmas and Year Ever

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Whatever your life’s journey or wherever you find yourself this Christmas, remember God love’s you so much He came down as a baby. Jesus, lived, grew in wisdom and stature, died for your sins, and rose from the dead, so that you might have life and life more abundant, eternal life. He was tempted in every way as you are but without sin. (Hebrew 4:15) May He encourage your heart and help you remember what’s important even when things may not be as you expected or would like. You are blessed to be a blessing. 

Our Christmas’ have changed since my husband and I’s first one together 37 years ago, but one thread has been a constant for us, to seek to emulate Christ to others around us. For example let me share three thoughts: Patience, Lowering our Expectations, and Memories with Extended Family.  A free gift at the end. (more…)

LEGACIES

In Celebration of Parents

“…things that we heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done…. so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments….” (Psalm 78: 3,4,7) 

Our second daughter (left in picture above) with  her daddy, especially, had this little game they use to play.

Shawna: “I love you daddy”.

Dad: “I love you more”.

Shawna: “l love you most “.

Dad: “I love you all the way to the moon “.

Shawna: “But daddy, I love you all the way to the moon and back”.

 

Just like I fondly remember saying with my dad when I was young but mine went something like this:

“I love you daddy.”

“I love you back!”

I would spread my arms out wide and say  “I love you thisssss much”.  A hug usually followed.  

These are the moments when thought of that make one smile with delight.     (more…)

PUSH! PUSH!

Cultural Differences (PART 2)

“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.” Psalm 127:3

Leading up to the delivery of our first child in the Philippines, where we served, our team leader and his wife, came to the house with doctor and nursing outfits on, ready to teach us the Lamaze method of child delivery. Natural childbirth classes were underway. What a great evening sitting around laughing and learning together.

The week before, the doctor and the hospital let me go into the delivery room to put up a mirror so I could see the baby delivered. That was what they were doing in the States. Why should I miss out on anything just because I decided to heed the call to go to the Philippines?  Oh, the passion of youth! The maintenance man helped me figure out where to put the mirror.  

Two weeks after the due date I woke up in the middle of the night on Oct. 11th, 1983 with contractions telling me it was time for this little one to come.  Jim and I, like little kids, giggled. The long awaited time had come. We were finally going to be parents. Will it be a girl or a boy? It was a special bonding moment between the two of us. Until my water popped. (more…)

FINDING A DOCTOR

Cultural Differences (Part 1)

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. (Romans 12:3)

You can mark it down, there will be cultural differences when moving to a new culture. But it doesn’t mean anyone’s ways are right or wrong just opposite than you are familiar with, in most cases. Learning to appreciate those variances is important but may take time. Such rich varieties of cultures is God’s idea. It expresses His creativity and allows us to convey our God-given gifts as His image-bearers. We are not to think of ourselves more highly than we should but extend grace where we can when moving to another culture.

For example, one of the first things I was always told when moving to a new place in the US, besides looking for the best school for your child (if you have kids), was to make sure you find a good doctor in the area. However, pursuing medical professionals in another culture can be most challenging. Why?

First, there may not be wi-fi or google to search out quality doctors. 

Second, if one’s teammates haven’t paved the way, then strangers from your host culture may be called upon for advice. 

What questions do I ask? Who do I ask? I know so few people here. How would they know my values as to what I like in a doctor?  

Third, what if they don’t speak English? Talk about being vulnerable and feeling insecure!

By the time Jim and I arrived in the Philippines we had been married for a year and a half. We were ready to start a family. In hindsight, since we had the choice, we should have pursued language study before we even considered children. (Take note new field workers!!) But, six months after arriving in the Philippines, I found myself pregnant.  (more…)

TEACHABLE MOMENTS

God's Love and Discipling of Others (Especially our Children) Starts with Us


My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:20-23

As I was reading a blog by Keith Webb on “How Vulnerability Makes you a Stronger Leader” I read two insights on leadership and vulnerability: 

“When we honestly acknowledge our faults and weaknesses we unlock leader development dynamics that strengthen not only you but the people around you.”

“Being vulnerable really comes down to humbly acknowledging weakness, asking for help and empowering others to use their strength” (keithwebb.com)

MOTHER, THE CEO

What stands out in your mind’s eye as you read these quotes above? As mothers we have the opportunity to grow in skills of leadership development too. Yes, leadership development. We are leading, as well as modeling what leadership looks like to our children. Scary thought.

So what leadership dynamics are you learning along the way?  

As parents we don’t always have the answers yet we make our kids often feel we do. What happens when they are grown and don’t always have the answers? What are we modeling for them?  

It is in those “Teachable Moments” where we find some of our greatest growth and most significant impact.  Below is a simple story (not always this clear) where the principles of leadership are displayed and can be applied in most any situation as we work with people.

When our daughter was 13, now 33, she decided she wanted to cut her hair. I was out for the evening so the next morning when I went to wake her up for school I noticed her hair.  The whole front of her hair had been chopped off.  “Kelli what did you do?”  I could have used a little bit of humor at that moment. (more…)

DOES LIVING OUT THE GOSPEL BRING TENSION?

2 things I practiced in Crossing Cultures

Mark 4:26-28a:  “He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—…(NIV)   

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As a disciple of Jesus I am His witness, a mission worker, a church planter, a mother of four, a wife and later a grandmother. I have had to learn to live out the Gospel in all these areas which often causes tension. I also have had to learn to live in another culture all at the same time.

How about you? Do you experience tension living out the Gospel in the many roles God has assigned you?    

While still in college, Jim and I married when I was 21. As we were raising support to serve overseas, one of our co-workers asked me:

“What do you have to offer the Filipino’s: what skills or talents do you have, Sterling?  What are your passions?”

“UHHHHH, I like people, I love Jesus, I can teach them to type?”  (At that time there weren’t laptops). “I have a minor in Secretarial! So I know how to type,” I responded sheepishly.

“Can you sing or play the piano?” he asked.“Uhhh!  No!”  I said. This really bothered me. Just what could I offer the Filipino people?

Before I married Jim, I thought I couldn’t be a good pastor’s wife because I couldn’t sing or play the piano.

In response, God gave me I Thessalonians 5:24, “Faithful is he that calls you, that will also do it.” I then dedicated my life to serving God full-time, and was later called to missions.  

After arriving in the Philippines, we asked ourselves: “How do we penetrate the soil in order to share the seeds of Christ, the Gospel, and have it bear fruit?” In the meantime, I found out I was pregnant with our first child, thus adding “mother” to the list of what I was called to be..

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MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!

WELCOME TO MY BLOG

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Merry Christmas from my home to yours.  My blog is coming soon.  The launch date for my first blog is January 4th, 2016.  I am so excited!  Many have been working and praying for this.  I plan to have one post put out about every two weeks.

I’m looking forward to getting to know you and for you to get to know me. May we grow and learn together.  Please take time to go into the “Who am I” and “About the Blog” pages and I look forward to seeing you on January 4th.

May God give you a wonderful joyous time with family and friends over the holidays.  We are having 2 of our children and one of our sons-in-law join us for a few days.  We love being with family, putting up all the Christmas decorations, and having people over to our home celebrating our Christmas season with as many friends as possible.  We like going to church on Christmas Eve and driving around looking at all the lights.  It’s a great time to remember the reason for the season.  Merry Christmas!

Personal Reflections:  Please share one of your favorite Christmas traditions you enjoy celebrating with your family or one you plan to do this Christmas.  I would love to rejoice with you during this Christmas season.

From one pilgrim to another together on the journey,

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