Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Life on the High Bars by Alicia Bruxvoort

My guest today is Alicia Bruxvoort. I met Alicia online through a writers group, and she is like a kindred spirit to me. She's a fellow Christian, writer, mom, and friend who obviously loves her children. She's got far more creativity than me when it comes to activities to do with our children in order to teach them more about Jesus and life with Him. I admire her for that, among other things. I hope you enjoy her post, Life on the High Bars. You can find her blogging from The Overflow! Where Souls are Filled and Faith is Spilled.

From my spot near the baby swings I spied her legs dangling mid-air. White–knuckled Hannah was hanging high above the playground. Before I could reach my aspiring gymnast, she lost her grip on the playground's tallest monkey bar and slipped clumsily to the ground. Woodchips flew as my six–year–old fell with a SPLAT.

“Honey, are you okay?” I asked as I raced to my daughter’s side. She wiped the spikey woodchips off of her backside, wiped a few tears from her eyes, and jutted her chin in determination. Without a word, Hannah began to climb the ladder that led back to the monkey bar that she’d just failed to cross.

“Are you sure you want to try that one again?” I asked surprised. “There’s another bar over there.” I pointed to a shorter bar in hopes of enticing Hannah to safer ground. I hadn’t packed band–aids and I wasn’t in the mood for a spontaneous E.R. visit.

“Mom,” Hannah replied with a sigh of exasperation, “I don’t want to miss the chance to do something great today!”

Humbled, I wondered how many opportunities I've bypassed this week to “do something great."  As I watched my brave daughter struggle across the high bars once again, I prayed that God would infuse me with similar resilience and courage. I'm not sure why, but motherhood has muted my desire to take risks.  Perhaps I spend so much of my day trying to keep my children safe- Put on your bike helmet!  Don't hang over that ledge!  Don't swing your sister around like that- you'll pull her arms right out of their socket.  Don't jump off that ladder! Look both ways! Watch out for your little brother. Hold my hand- that I've settled for safety over greatness. Don't get me wrong. I don't want foolish progeny. No doubt, I want to raise children who wisely heed danger. But I don't want to raise children who settle for the low bars if God is beckoning them to the tallest tower on the playground.

If I don't want my children to settle for mediocrity, then why should I? By the grace of God, I want to do GREAT THINGS in the eyes of my Maker and discover, in the end, that it was well worth the risk!

Perhaps this excerpt from the personal journal of Pete Greg echoes my heart best:

It would be easy to miss my life a day at a time. It’s all become too easy, too predictable, too safe. . . But that was never what I wanted. What I wanted— what I want—is you. To know beyond a doubt that I am seizing the moment, sucking the marrow from each day, right at the center of your plan...
                                                                                                Red Moon Rising, p26

Today's Treasure
from Matthew 25: 14-30, The Message

The kingdom of Heaven is. . .  "also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left. Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master's investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master's money.

"After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: 'Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.'
"The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master's investment. His master commended him: 'Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.'
"The servant given one thousand said, 'Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.'
"The master was furious. 'That's a terrible way to live! It's criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest.
"'Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this "play-it-safe" who won't go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness.' 
Thank you for joining us today, Alicia!
 Alicia is a lover of Jesus Christ, a seeker of abundant life, and a freelance writer and speaker. She's got a handful of children, a home full of laughter and a life full of noise. She's the frequent hostess of kitchen-floor dance contests, meal time talk-a-thons and dirty diaper campaigns. She loves the sound of her children’s laughter, the feeling of her husband’s hand in hers, and the smell of fresh-brewed coffee. She makes her home in the Midwest where tulips bloom and neighbors smile. While her laundry baskets are NEVER empty, her soul sometimes is. When all is said and done, she doesn’t want her minivan to be the only thing crammed to capacity. She wants a soul that’s filled to the brim, too. She wants to live the life Jesus dreamed for her when he declared, "I have come that (you) may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10). As she does, she hopes to splatter her world with joy and leave puddles of faith in her wake.

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