The last few months have been a bit different in our home. After prayer and lots of consideration, we have left Bara Church. It's good. Bara is good. WE are good.
This post is about Parker. Parker's faith has leaped. AND I mean leaped! I am not sure if it really is connected to the leave, but it is worth mentioning. Stacey and I have both mentioned that his faith is so much more mature than ours was at that age. In fact, not sure when I had that kind of faith, but I WILL tell you, I was MUCH OLDER. I think I would be embarrassed if you knew the age I am thinking.
Parker has accepted Christ as his SAVIOR! The story, of course, is amazing. Parker has been asking us about baptism and and having very mature conversation with both of us for a while. Even before we left Bara. Stacey and I would discuss if he was ready. He sure is much younger than we were when we were baptized. I think we worried about it. Stacey met with a few respected men discussing it as well. Conclusion: Parker is an amazing kid, he reads his bible, he says amazing prayers, and let's study this more with him. WE will know when he is ready, he will let us know.
It was May 24th, and our calendars were packed. Things fell apart at the last minute and Parker and I were able to go to a KidSTAND Showcase in Grapevine. Jenny loved KIDSTAND! She volunteered and was the behind the scene Queen. Parker also loves KidSTAND having a crush on the main girlie Ms. Jessie. We got dressed up and headed out in the STORM! We sat behind some friends in the Opry House. Jessie talked to us about what KidSTAND is and what it does. Then, they stopped the show. A STORM WAS COMING. In fact, a tornado. We needed to leave the room and go to a safer room. This happened twice. When we were in our lock down room, the real star of the show took the stage, our sweet Malaya. Jessie got up and talked about Jenny, and then Malaya sang for us. OH HOW SHE SANG!
On the way home, when they finally released us from the room, telling us in which directions we could go safely, Parker was chatty. REALLY CHATTY. Lightning was still all around us, and a few heavy rain drops. Parker started asking me about going to heaven. About Jenny. About Uncle Gregg. I was praying for the right words to tell him. I feel God gave me those words. By the time we got home, honestly, I was exhausted. I knew we were talking deep stuff. I was trying to choose my words so carefully, and I kept asking myself WHY is Stacey not here!!!??? God had given me the right words. He asked when he would know when it is time to accept Christ. LUCKILY, we had just driven in the drive away. We gave Stacey the low down, our conversation, all of it. How beautifully Malaya sang, how we really missed Ms. Jenny, and how he would really like to meet Uncle Gregg. How he loved Jesus and wants to go to heaven and wants to be a soldier. We decided we would push the studying up a notch. Parker went to get ready for bed. He was gone for a while. He walked into the kitchen and asked us: Do you guys know where I have been? What took me so long?- Of course we didn't. His response.- I prayed Jesus into my heart. I believe HE is the son of God.
I think for us, life stood still. My sweet 7 year old had done it, all by himself. He knew.
Since then, we have continued to study and were given a great book for us to read with him and he keeps asking when we can organize his baptism.
All of that brings us to today.
First, let's go to last year. Last year we were following and praying for a boy named Skyler. His mom asked us, for HER birthday to do random acts of kindness and comment on their facebook page. I read through what some of the people were doing and it was amazing and creative what these people were doing. So, last July 4th, Stacey and I stood in the Walmart check out line, I grabbed a gift card from the aisle, the cashier scanned it, and as we were leaving our check out, we gifted that card to our cashier. She told us she couldn't accept it, it was a gift card to Chili's, but we insisted and I think we actually ran out of the store. That is what the people on Skyler's facebook page did, so we did it. We didn't tell anyone what we did. We agreed. Fast forward. This morning, the whole family walked into Wal-Mart. I grabbed Parker's hand, and we walked together into the store. I told him we were going to bless someone today. I told him what we did last year, and that we wanted to do it this year. I asked him to pray for someone, the right person for us to bless. As we held hands and walked down the main aisle, Stacey pushing the other 2 kids in the cart behind us, he says: Mom, I want to help someone riding in one of those cars. (We had just passed a woman, a bit heavy, bald- as if going through chemo, riding on one of those electric carts). My response: no babe, we are going to bless a cashier, you know the ladies who check us out every Monday, that had to work on July 4th, we are going to bless them. He told me that he had prayed about it!
WELL, we get to check out, same thing. He picked out a gift card, this time to Pizza Hut. Our cashier rang up all our groceries, and as she handed me the receipt, we handed her the GC. ONLY this time, she wasn't, and I mean WASN'T taking it. She kept telling us she COULD NOT take it. Chasing us giving us back the card. Our get away wasn't quick enough with the kids. Oops. She said it was policy. Stink. I was frustrated. Parker and Emaline kept asking who we were going to give it to now. We walked out of the store, holding our Pizza Hut gift card. WHO? As we walked a LONG way to get to our car, because we exited the wrong set of doors the farthest away from our car, I saw her. The person who was suppose to receive the card. She was in a pink shirt. She was a bit heavy. She was bald. She was driving a motorized cart. She was parked in the handicap spot and had assistance from Wal-Mart with her groceries. She was the person Parker picked out from the very beginning. I told him, there she is! I told him and Stacey to go! Go give it to her. They kind of took off quickly to give it to her. Me and the other 2 watched from a distance as Stacey and Parker blessed this woman. I heard Stacey use the words- My son wanted to give you this gift. I saw her stand in amazement. I think you could have blown her over! She just stared at him. Like I said, we watched from a few car lengths away. 4- 20 somethings walked by, they looked like young marrieds, ready to cook out for the 4th. You could tell, as they walked by me that they heard what was going on, but kept walking with their groceries. Parker, Stacey, and the lady talked some more, but I had a curious 5 year old in my cart who spoke up and said- WELL, I want to meet her! So we marched over and shook her hand. As we walked away, Stacey's words were- DIVINE APPOINTMENT! The lady told Parker that her son died when he was 18 and that what Parker did was amazing. It touched her. We told her that Jesus loved her, and walked away.
As we walked to our car, a man from the young couples was returning his cart and looked right at Parker and said: I saw what you did, and I want to shake your hand. (my heart was melting)
I am sure you see this, right? Here I was, thinking we were going to walk in, buy a GC and bless a cashier just like last year. BUT, this time, I asked my 7 year old to pray for who we were to bless. He did, he told me who to, but I DID NOT LISTEN! Our cashier even REFUSED THE GIFT! Part of God's plan, and then there she was- the person who was suppose to receive the gift all along, our lady in the pink shirt. Thank you Lord Jesus. We made her day. As we drove our car away, we passed the lady in the pink shirt. She was sitting in her car. She was sobbing. Wiping away tears. She felt Jesus' love today, through my son.
You may be thinking Parker is too young to make such an important decision, but I am sorry, HE GETS IT! I need to move my agenda out of the way, and be a better listener to God, his plan. My guy is going to move mountains.
I've thought most of the day about that young guy, the guy who shook Parker's hand. Do you think he did something awesome today for someone else? I think he did. IF HE DIDN'T, I bet he does soon. We have also discussed the lady in the pink shirt, whose hair was starting to grow back in and was sparse and spiky, we discussed who she was going to invite to go eat with her, we hope she takes someone and tells them that a little boy blessed her with the love of Jesus.
Can I get an AMEN?