Monday, February 9, 2009

The Most

Having a parent that travels a good bit can be disheartening for a kid, but, as some of you may know from first hand experience, it can also have its perks. For instance, when my dad went to the Southern Baptist convention in Texas when I was 8, I ended up getting my ears pierced 5 years earlier than my sister because I was so "distraught" over his leaving(insert evil, manipulative laugh here....sorry Shay.) Though no where near as fantastic as my earring victory, yet still excitedly received, "surprises" from parental travel are one of those things kids just love, and I suppose, to some degree, help them get through that time of physical separation. As a parent myself, I now realize what a true delight it is to choose and give these prizes to my little ones.

While Jarrett and I were recently at a Youth Minister's conference, I called on a lunch break to check on the kids and also to get a hint of what type of prize they might would like. I happened to call as my mom was getting the kids out of school early, so they were in the school office going through dismissal procedures. My oldest, Alex(now 10!), was handed the phone first and I asked him if he would like for me to bring him a surprise. The reply was of course, yes, but, realizing that he was in the office with others' ears available to hear, he was aloof and rather unengaged in the rest of the conversation. I asked him what specifically he would like, such as a stuffed animal? a football? He responded only with a "Yes, yes, uh-huh, ok" and a few unspoken "whatever, Mama" 's. Needless to say, he was none too slow in handing the phone off to Jonathan.
After our hellos, I asked Jonathan the same question, "Do you want Mama to bring you a surprise?" His response was a genuine gasp and ,"Really? Yes!" I proceeded to ask him what exactly did he think he might want, but only got, "Ummmm..." after asking several times. I probed a final time for an answer waiting anxiously to hear in the noisy mall standing near Chic-Fil-A, cell phone to one ear, with the other ear plugged, "Jonathan, what do you think you might like for Mama to bring you?"

"Well", he stretched out, "You, the most."

My heart flipped, danced and jumped in my throat all at once as I stuttered through welling tears to make sure I had heard correctly, "Wha-what did you say buddy?"
"You, the most, Mama." he replied.

I am crying even now as I write this, yes because of the precious gift of a "Mama Moment" that Jonathan gave me, but more than that, because I caught a glimpse into my Father's heart.
The Holy Spirit whispered instantly into my spirit that day and said, "That's it. THAT is what I want to hear my children say more than anything else: I want You the MOST, Daddy. I love to give you gifts, pour out my blessings- I made you to want those things, I am the Creator of desire. So go ahead and have hopes and dreams and wants...but just want ME the MOST."

A statement by a 7 year old little boy had not only taken me to my knees as a Mama, but also to my knees as a child of God.

I realize that there is so much more to the Giver than any gift, any provision I could ever want from Him. So I just want to live my life wanting Him first, wanting Him most- no matter who is listening, no matter who is watching- I am going to tell Him as loud as I can with my voice, with my life, as many times as He wants to hear it, "Daddy, I want YOU the MOST!"

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And this is what we are!"
1 John 3:1

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