Thursday, July 2, 2009


Who knew that Pixar could bring me to my knees in prayer and thanksgiving, speaking a Word of reminder and purpose and encouragement to my weary heart?

We took the kids to see "Up" on Canada Day. Yes, that's right. All 7. I'm sure the folks near by wondered if they would survive the film when we walked in, or if they'd be able to hear anything over the noise of our raucous bunch. Little do they know that when you don't give your kids a whole lot of Tube Time, when you do sit them in front of something, they sit. And listen.

Except of course for the 6 year old who at one point nearly screamed "I'm scared because this is scary!" That was a bit distracting.

Regardless, despite my friend Bethany saying that she welled up with tears in "Up", I came unprepared. I, too, found myself with lump in throat within minutes of the opening scenes. And several times in the middle too.

I did mention this is by Pixar, right? Animation? Yup. Real tear-jerky. Or at least, you wouldn't expect it to be. But they told a story. A real, moral tale. Quite lovely.

Without wrecking the whole movie for those of you who have yet to see it, let me just say this: it is a movie about following dreams and pursuing adventure.

Now hear me: I am not one to say "follow your heart" or "be true to yourself" or "listen to your feelings" because I know the heart is deceitful above all else (Jer.17) and have found that to be true in many cases in my life, as I have followed after what "felt right" and been nearly irreversibly damaged by it.

Still, we all will agree that at times there burns in our soul a dream or a desire to do something of import. Something memorable. Something that will make a difference.

We know, when we are being reasonable, that we cannot all be gold medal olympians. We cannot all be Nobel Prize winning scientists. We cannot all be Billy Graham. And yet we want our lives to count for something.

Here is what I walked away with from "Up" on that note: sometimes our 'dreams' get absolutely in the way of the most important thing that we have been called to do. Our perceptions of what makes a life count are often wrapped up in all the wrong things. Things that are not of lasting worth. Things that are not truly beneficial after all.

Here is what great landscape the Lord has for me to conquer: 7 children whose hearts are malliable and still humble enough to learn from my husband and I. Will I waste this time chasing some other "big dream" or will I take this most precious, generation, world changing opportunity while it is right in front of me?

And with that comes a mountain to scale: my own selfishness as I seek my own desire and comfort above the joy of serving others by doing the menial tasks of my day. Does laundry and meal making seem like grand Kingdom work? No? Then my heart is in the wrong place and my attitude is one of despising the "least of these".

I want to carefully seek out what tasks the Lord has for me. I may never be a name that generations remember outside of my own family photo albums. I may never be someone noted in history books for making a difference. But I can, today, make a difference in the lives of 7 children and one wonderful husband, and in whatever opportunities to serve in my church and community may come up.

Lord, I pray that you would make me faithful in the little things before I expect to be used in the "great" things, knowing that the little things often are the great things in your eyes. And help me to remember that these busy years of parenting will vanish far quicker than I know, and then I will have years of "retirement" to work for You and to serve Your kingdom in ways I am unable now.

I wish I could find a video to go with this, but for now I hope these lyrics speak to you about what I am fumbling to express.

Kingdom Comes
by Sara Groves
When anger fills your heart
When in your pain and hurt
You find the strength to stop
You bless instead of curse

When doubting floods your soul
Though all things feel unjust
You open up your heart
You find a way to trust

That's a little stone that's a little mortar
That's a little seed that's a little water
In the hearts of the sons and the daughters
The kingdom's coming

When fear engulfs your mind
Says you protect your own
You still extend your hand
You open up your home

When sorrow fills your life
When in your grief and pain
You choose again to rise
You choose to bless the name

That's a little stone that's a little mortar
That's a little seed that's a little water
In the hearts of the sons and the daughters
The kingdom's coming

In the mundane tasks of living
In the pouring out and giving
In the waking up and trying
In the laying down and dying

That's a little stone that's a little mortar
That's a little seed that's a little water
In the hearts of the sons and the daughters
The kingdom's coming


partyoffivetn said...

Beautiful, beautiful post...

Onfire said...

yah ... we haven't seen it yet, but I wanted to from the first preview clip.
and, funny that, I tried to find a sara youtube video the other day but it was decidedly absent. very unfortunate.
she is still one of my favs.

Melissa said...

my dear beautiful Barbara, thank you for the beautiful, amazing heartfelt reminder of what we are called to be as mothers - thank you for following this call and being a example to me and to others. Thank you for not pursuing those others things that could have taken you away from this calling.