Beautiful Chaos

Finding adventure in the everyday

Layla’s decision

March20

Layla made a really beautiful decision today that I want to make sure we remember as it is an important part of her story. Since I’ve been sharing my story so much lately I really understand the importance of knowing the whole thing. I’m so excited to get to share this part.

My hope and prayer for Layla (and Seeley) is that she would know God in an intimate and passionate way. And I’ve felt like for that to happen and be real and natural it had to happen on it’s own. I didn’t want to ask her to “pray the prayer” or tell her she needed to know God. I wanted her to get to choose it. I wanted her to pursue it. I wanted her to see my relationship (and Trav’s) with God and to be drawn to Him. So, in that desire and hope we’ve made little decisions to not make her read her Bible every night or have designated times we HAD to do anything God related. Just like we would never force a relationship with anyone else, we didn’t want to force it with the one who can pursue her heart and draw her to himself. And I know a lot of my aversion to those things comes from my past and my tendency to always to do “right” thing in order to earn worth, be good enough and make people love me. Control.

I know I’m delaying the story, but I want to share a few prefaces. For one, we’ve been reading these declarations every morning. There’s a really long story to lead to how we started doing that, but let’s just say I saw the merit in saying truth out loud about God every day. I started saying them and asked her if she’d like to as well. We’ve been doing it for about 2 weeks and since we started I’ve seen my mind change and can only assume the same has happened for her. A few nights ago I was taking her to bed and we were laying there and started our nightly prayer. I prayed one of my declarations saying “peace, be still” to her body and mind which are really hard for her to calm down at night. She then said, “And peace, be still to my tummy.” I didn’t want to make her feel foolish or silly or embarrassed by giggling or gushing so I kept going. In that prayer she prayed that God would heal her toe, and that he would teach her things like he teaches mama, and one other thing that I can’t remember but hopefully I can edit and add it in here later. It was such a sweet prayer that I didn’t want to end.

Okay, so that brings us to today. We were running a few errands and after the post office she didn’t buckle up and I didn’t notice until we were driving. I told her to put it on and she said no and I explained how serious it is, “If someone hits us you could get really hurt or you could die.” She said, “I don’t want to die!” and quickly put on her seat belt.

Later that afternoon she came in the kitchen and asked me how we die. I said when our heart stops beating we die. She said, “oh.” and thought for a minute. Then she said, “I mean what happens after we die?” I told her that if we know God and Jesus and follow him we get to go to heaven to be with him and his angels and all the other people who follow and love God. She immediately asked if we follow God. I told her that I do, but she gets to decide if she’d like to or not and one way we do that is to tell God that we want to follow him. She said, “God, I want to follow you.” And off she went to play some more.

My heart felt so full. It was everything I hoped it would be. She picked it. She led the conversation and it was natural. It was her and so it was personal not anything big or intense. It was able to just be part of normal life and I think that is beautiful. There are going to be so many decisions to follow God as she is able to understand more and more and her first one was simple and perfect. I feel so thankful that God is leading me and leading her. It is amazing.

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