"Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15

Friday, February 4, 2011

Ceilings and Floors

Today was definitely even busier than usual.  I worked all day, went to the dentist, worked out, traveled to my accountant's office to pick up my 2010 tax return, returned home, ate dinner and watched "American Idol."  Whew!  I'm exhausted, but fulfilled.  I'm just winding down but I'm also pensive. Why?  All because I made that side trip to Michigan to pick up my tax return.

When most people hear the word, 'taxes,' it sends shivers up and down their spines; they practically hyperventilate as they picture an IRS auditor at the front door asking for a blank check.  As a former auditor, I totally 'get' that.  Just as having a police car driving directly behind you may solicit brake lights, even when you aren't speeding, auditors solicit fear and trepidation. As an accountant,  I know my limitations, and taxes are one of them.  In fact, I am rather fearful of them.  I've been a corporate accountant, and now I am a grants accountant, but I am definitely not a tax accountant, nor do I claim to be. So, I pay someone else to do my taxes, and believe me, it is always money well spent.

It was even more so this year. Not only did I, along with my children, all get tax refunds, but I was able to listen and glean wisdom from my accountant. Sure, she reviewed our tax returns with me, but that's not what I am referring to.  We began talking, I mean really talking.  Not just the 'how are you doing today?' kind of talking, but the real thing.  I learned that she felt that doing taxes was her professional calling, and that she and I had many things in common. Shanyn is a born again, Spirit filled believer, who believes the same way that I do--that the Holy Spirit imparts his many gifts upon us in order to encourage believers and show unbelievers. That miracles, signs and wonders are meant for today and not just for Bible times. That our children are not growing up in the same world that we grew up in. Shanyn also homeschools her children and is a Pastor's wife. OK, so I am not a Pastor's wife, but I did homeschool all of my children.  We even used the majority of the same curriculum, and most of this means that we may just be 'kindred spirits,' 'forsaking not the fellowship of the saints.'

Shanyn caught my ear when she said, "I want the ceiling of my spiritual knowledge to be the floor of my children's spiritual knowledge and wisdom."  Wow!  I felt like that was an 'aha moment' for me. I liked hearing that so much that Shanyn actually gave me a sticky note so I could write it down. I mean I want that for my children.  I want to claim that blessing right now for my children.  I, too, want the absolute best that God has ever blessed me with, the best that the Holy Spirit has ever given me, all of the wisdom I have ever been bestowed, to be just the floor of my children's spiritual depth.  I want that to be their starting place, their beginning, their floor.

I remember when I got my first big (very big) job.  I was hired as an auditor at an international computer firm, in a very tall and beautiful building in Downtown Detroit.  It was definitely the job of a lifetime.  They actually asked me what salary I wanted after they had already hired me.  When I told them what I wanted to be paid, they paid me substantially more.  When I told my parents, I learned that my then 49 year old father, who had worked at an automotive supplier for over 29 years, who had raised five children, who drove very used cars and wore second hand clothing, who worked second and third jobs to support his family, had never, ever earned that much money.  Unfortunately, my financial floor was even higher than his financial ceiling ever was.

I hope and pray that my spiritual ceiling is substantially lower than my children's spiritual floor will ever be.  I pray that my children have the patience and endurance of Noah--who built an ark when it hadn't ever rained, who persevered amidst much criticism and endured until the rains came.  I want them to have the level of obedience that Abraham displayed when he willingly was ready to sacrifice his son out of love for God. If they only had the faith of the Roman Soldier who believed in Jesus' healing power when few of his kind did.  I claim that my children have a love for the Lord like King David, who was a man after God's own heart, the wisdom of Solomon, the boldness of Daniel, the beauty of Queen Esther, the bravery of Joshua, the leadership skills of Moses, the ability to have friendships like Jonathan and David, the dedication of Ruth and Naomi, the courage of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, the strength of Samson, the wise counsel of Mordecai, the patience of Job, the tenacity of Jehu and the compassion, mercy and grace of Jesus.

I mean, who wouldn't want these things for their children?  If my children possessed even one of these character qualities and traits, they would be totally blessed.  But seriously, what good and gracious parent wouldn't want to know that their children would be blessed beyond measure because they put their trust in the Lord and valued their relationship with Jesus above anything and everything else?  I mean if my children had the ultimate in faith, love, courage, obedience, wisdom, strength, dedication, patience, tena.city, compassion, mercy and grace, I would die a blessed woman.  Not that I won't die a blessed woman as things are now, because I will.  One of my favorite verses in Scripture is 3 John 4, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the Truth."  Ah....my soul can rest well because all three of my children are 'walking in the Truth.'

Well, this prayer of blessings has been my son's prayer for years, and I think that after today, I will make it my very own, as well.  I hope that many of you will consider adding it to your prayers that you pray for your children, as no one can pray for a child like a mother or a father.  On a side note: when I was reading this blog to my 15 year old, he commented, "Don't you just love reading the Old Testament?  I mean, if people only knew just how many cool stories there are, they wouldn't want to read anything else."  Ah...from the eyes of a teenager.  Yes, I am truly blessed!

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