This photo was taken last month in a little chapel in Indian Woods. Nobody told her to sit down and pray like that, all we said to the kids is that we are going into the chapel to pray. My daughter Ginny and I were looking at a prayer register and writing our names in it when we turned around and seen Ashley sitting there just praying like that. There was another small group of people in the tiny chapel too. I don't know how long she had been sitting there like that, but I immediately grabbed my camera, and got this shot of her. The first thing that came to my mind was this scripture:
He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
First let me tell you a little bit about this particular grandchild...
Ashley was conceived at a time of great chaos and difficulty in my daughter's life. It was with mixed emotions we received the news of our daughter's pregnancy. We were more than a little fearful and wondered how in the world our daughter would be able to handle a third child at a time like that. Without getting into all the deep and personal stuff that was happening in her life, I'll just suffice to say that it did not seem like very good news at that time. But underneath all the external stuff, we knew through faith that God's timing is always perfect...well, the fullness of our understanding of this came shortly after Ashley's birth...She was such a pretty little thing, and we were really so excited to finally meet her...
But it was not long after Ashley's birth when our daughter found out that she had cervical cancer and would need to undergo a hysterectomy three months later.
The surgery was successful in removing the cancer cells, but as many people know, cervical cancer is one of those cancers that usually is not found until there are symptoms, and then it is often too late.
That is when we all realized, that little Ashley very possibly saved her Mama's life! You see, under the circumstances, our daughter would not have gotten a regular checkup unless it was for the pregnancy...and those cancer cells would have not been detected until she was symptomatic.
So, God's timing was absolutely perfect when it came to our little granddaughter's birth.
It is so hard now to even think about the time when the news of her impending birth brought such fear (worry) into our minds...I just thank The Lord that he sent such a special little girl into our lives, and I think about how her life has taught us all a valuable lesson in trusting God, and leaning not unto our own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)
Now, I love all my granddaughters, even the one's who are my 'adopted' granddaughters...But, there is a special bond between Ashley and I. When I was going through chemo and lost all my hair, Ashley wanted to shave her head! Every time she visits, she is either on my lap or holding my hand wherever we go. While the rest of the family are outside playing, she and I are in the house coloring! You see, since I got sick last year, I started to do some of the things that I enjoyed doing as a child. I described myself as 'child-like.
I even began to think about my Heavenly Father as more of a 'Daddy' to me. I often imagined myself curled up in his lap for comfort when I wasn't feeling well, and I believed...really believed that he would keep all his promises to me...to carry me, to give me more grace, to always be with me and never forsake me in my time of need, and he kept those promises! I will never forget what it was like to have a child like faith in the one whom I can call 'Abba' (Daddy)!
Looking again at that picture of a child in simple prayer, makes me wonder at how complicated my faith had gotten over the years (before the cancer diagnosis). I remember at our women's Bible study a few years ago we were trying to learn the "correct" way to pray...breaking down the scriptures regarding prayer, reading and re-reading The Lord's Prayer in an attempt to get it just right.
Some people might say that Ashley was only mimicking a prayer posture, but I think that sitting there quietly praying came naturally to her, and she got it right. She wasn't worried about the right words, or whether anyone was noticing her...She was told why we were in the chapel, and she did what her heart told her to do.
Perhaps we could learn a thing or two from that!
Today in Bible study we discussed how and when the word 'Abba' was used. It was used three times in the new testament.
Abba [N] [B] [H] [S]
This Syriac or Chaldee word is found three times in the New Testament ( Mark 14:36 ; Romans 8:15 ; Galatians 4:6 ), and in each case is followed by its Greek equivalent, which is translated "father." It is a term expressing warm affection and filial confidence. It has no perfect equivalent in our language. It has passed into European languages as an ecclesiastical term, "abbot."
"'Abba, Father,' he said, 'everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.'" (Mark 14:36)
"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father.'" (Romans 8:15)
"Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, 'Abba, Father.'" (Galatians 4:6)
Thanks for stopping by!
~Blessings & Love~
and remember, we are...