Over the past three days I have had the blessing of being away with two of our children. I thought I had a pretty good idea of how the three days would go. All the practical preparations were done to make sure we got to the right place at the right time with the right gear, although that didn’t always happen! However, I was completely unprepared for what God was about to show me and teach me through these two beautiful children.

Lesson 1: Be courageous

One child has overcome many challenges, and knows well that ‘things‘ happen, and we have a choice to retreat in fear or pain, or we can press on and go after the desires of our heart. As I watched her courageously press on during the first day of the swimming competition, I felt God say to me, ‘Be courageous too.’

I knew exactly what He was talking about.

I thought about all our daughter has been through, and all the choices she makes every day to keep getting up and just doing it.

And I thought about some of the songs we used for our ‘Be Brave’ concert last year for the children’s creative ministries program at church …

Courageous – by Casting Crowns …

We were made to be courageous, it starts with us tonight …… Lord make us courageous …

Lions – by Skillet

Today we live, today we breathe
Today we know that we are strong when we are weak
Today we trust, we overcome
Take every chain that kept us slaves and throw em’ off

We’re not waiting for permission
We defy our inhibition
Like our middle name is “fearless”

And I thought about Joshua 1:9 (how many times have I spoken that scripture to our children???)

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

And I thought about what God has directly spoken to me about a couple of weeks ago. I needed to be obedient to what He had said.

So I phoned my husband, explained what I was going to do, and asked him to pray for me, which he did, and he gave me some words of advice. And off I went – like my middle name was fearless, trusting that God had gone before me, with a picture in my mind of a young girl with a left leg that doesn’t work properly, wobbling on the swimming blocks, holding on so tightly so she didn’t fall in and false start, then finally dive in and swim her heart out, achieving a personal best time. All the time saying to myself, “Be courageous Wendy, believe that God wants this story told. It is His story. He wants people to hear about His faithfulness, His goodness, the victories that come in Jesus Name”

Thank you Jesus, that indeed when we are weak, You are strong. Thank you that you gave me eyes to see that truth again this week through my daughter. Thank you that you gave me the opportunity to live out of that truth this week and be courageous.

Lesson 2: People matter, love well.

Through these blog posts, or if you know me, you have probably gathered that I’m quite task focused. Give me a task and I’m all over it! Sometimes though I forget about the people and it takes a purposeful stop and a considering of where I am, who am I with and what their needs are. Along with a gentle reminder from the Holy Spirit that relationships with people are not tasks! God very clearly reminded me of that through our other precious daughter that I was away with.

This is the daughter who has from an early aged looked for opportunities to help, lovingly anticipating the needs of others in her family – Mum, Dad, Sisters, Brother. She has a heart ready to love and serve.

I had the blessing of seeing that love in action many times over these three days. But two of these times especially stood out to me – probably because they were actions of love directed towards someone outside of our family, that I, the adult should have initiated, not the 9 year old child. And why didn’t I initiate them? – because I was too busy with my tasks!

On both occasions she quietly came to me and said, “Mum, could we …..”. She had seen the need. She had come up with a solution. She had taken action to make it happen. I had been humbled by her love for others compared to my love of tasks!

Thank you Jesus for reminding me to “stop, look around, listen and love well.” Thank you for a daughter, who probably for the rest of her life, will be reminding me by example, that people matter. Thank you God that you set the example of how to love people. Please help me to follow these examples well.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 NKJV

A final prayer ….Thank you Jesus for the people that you bring into our lives, children, family, friends, pastors and preachers, and for all that we can learn from them. Please help us to always be humble and have a teachable spirit. In your Name we live and pray, AMEN.