Yesterday Blake and I went with his brother Wade and sister-in-law Tiffany to the inaugural UTSA football game. It was fun! We tail-gated and sat on the front row at the game on the 40 yard line. There was 56,000 people and all the fans were loud, the band played and the cheerleaders ra-ra'd! But, in order to have all that fun we had to leave Anna behind. We normally leave her with my parents and if they aren't available then she gets to spend some time with Blake's parents. Well, both of the grandparents were out of town for the holiday weekend so we got a baby-sitter. I'm going to call her Fran. Fran is great. Anna loves her because she knows her. Fran was one of her first teachers at day care. She's loving, sweet with the kiddos and I had no worries leaving Anna with Fran.
We got back about an hour earlier than expected but I had written her a check for the full time we had said we'd be gone. When I handed Fran the check she said, "After being with Anna today and seeing where you come from and into your family's life (she watched Anna at my parent's house because our A/C got replaced yesterday) and being a fellow preacher's daughter I want to bless you and only take half of this. I can see your family has blessed many people and I want to do that for you." WOW! I was literally brought to tears.
How often are we witnessing not only to non-believers but to other believers? Those that we know already believe it's easy to over-look them sometimes. I mean, they already believe in Jesus and what good things he's about. We have mission trips and clothing drives and on and on and on to reach those who don't believe in Jesus. That's great! That is what He called us to do. But, by her blessing me, another believer, it opened my eyes and reminded me how we need to lift each other up everyday. Bless each other and encourage one another every single day. Something as simple as that made a huge impact on me and the rest of the evening I just felt so undeserving of that. I know that was not her intention and I wasn't having a pity party. I just know what things I need to work on and how I've strayed away from time to time and I'm not the best example and it brought me back.
In Revelation 2:4 in the letter written to the church of Ephesus He says, "But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first." (ESV) After going through Beth Moore's study on Revelation and referencing various other versus I have come to know that the verse hits home with me. My first love; when I first believed and trusted Jesus as my Lord and savior. I was on fire and excited and ready to share with every single person what God has done in my life. You long to learn more about Jesus and everything is new and fresh. However, it's easy to let this fire burn out. Every day routines and all of life's events can all take over and make it harder to stay on track. I think this is a bit normal. People are human and God never said it would be easy. Jeremiah 2:2 says, "I remember your devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed med in the wilderness in a land not sown." Your relationship with Christ is like that of any other relationship with your spouse, your family, your friends, everyone. You have to spend time with one another to get to know each other more. You have to sacrifice doing some things in life so you can spend time with those you love and chose to have a relationship with. The blessing I received from Fran was a great one. It wasn't at all about saving money for a baby-sitter. It was about being encouraged by another believer. Something that provided a great example for me to bless others all around me.