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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Example (07/25/13)

TITLE: Pressing Into Jesus
By Lori Dixon


I fondly remember how during my stay-at-home years, the girls would pull out their own mini-ironing boards and ‘iron’ with me. Beside stacks of warm, neatly folded t-shirts and their dad’s freshly pressed work uniforms they would arrange their own piles of miniature doll clothes. Kiddie cartoons would be playing in the background as we all worked diligently. It was my wonderful, albeit temporary era as a domestic diva. (Now that I work in an office full-time, my iron has not seen the light of day in over a decade; I figure the huge wrinkles in my clothes help to make the ones on my face appear smaller.)

But, back during our little house on the prairie days, impressionable eyes would study my every move . . . as I shook out a dress shirt; they would fastidiously dig in their water baby’s wardrobe and do the same. It was all serious business; it was Monday morning and this was what we did.

During their formative years we really did have a lot of structure to our days. In order to keep my sanity, I would rise before everyone and sit in the semi-dark living room with my Bible. If the girls snuck out of bed before I came to get them, they would peer around the corner, somehow thinking I could not see them. Depending on where my study was taking me, I sometimes ignored their presence but if I was being moved and wanted privacy, I would whisper, ‘I serve a jealous God,’ and they would take off down the hall back to their room.

One of our other precious rituals was our ‘Girls’ God time’. The three of us would read from a popular bible study and share. I looked so forward to hearing their take on the different topics. By the time they approached their tween years, we had worked our way through quite a few different books. One day, however, I caught them giving each other that sister look—you know, the one that silently says, ‘Are you going to tell her or am I?’

“Mom, can we both have our own devotions and journals to do our God time alone . . . like you do? It’s kind of personal.”

My heart broke—and grew—at their declaration of independence.

To have your children push away and establish their own walk of faith is wonderful—when they choose wisely—the hard part was respecting their wishes. Some would say I was wrong, that I should have forced family devotions, but I disagree. Our daily walk with the Lord should be personal, and intimate . . . if they desired time alone with Him, who was I to hoard in? After all, they chose to serve a jealous God!

As parents, along the way we have to let out the leash; letting our children make decisions according to their maturity. When they were preschoolers, I used to allow them do their own hair most days, and choose their outfits. More often than not they would combine prints with plaids, clash colours and break every fashion rule. They felt very grown up taking on this responsibility and I let them run with it . . . proud that at least their mismatched clothes were properly pressed.

Having made good choices—not counting the fashion ones—my now sixteen and twenty-year-old ironing princesses have earned fairly long ‘trust leashes’.

We are never done teaching however and God continues to give us fabulous opportunities to drill home the odd life lesson now and then. Like the other day, when I was heading out the door and they were both looking at old photos. Groaning, they asked what I was thinking, letting them dress themselves the way they did.

Pulling down on the wrinkles in my skirt, I absentminded replied as I rushed off to work, “I pray those pictures are a reminder to you both that the decisions you make will follow you. Ten years ago you chose cow print leggings with 100 Dalmatian tops; be sure that the choices you make today won’t make you cringe when you’re in your thirties.”

I guess it’s safe to say that if they choose to continue to follow my example, when they hit their forties, they will love the Lord, cherish their private time with Him . . . and be running out the door for work in matched but wrinkled outfits.

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This article has been read 442 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Ellen Carr 08/02/13
This is masterfully written and tells your home-life story so well. Bringing up children, then teenagers, then dealing with their adult years is never easy but your example to your daughters will not be forgotten I'm sure. And I agree about the clothes wrinkles - not important!
lynn gipson 08/02/13
Your love for God is so evident in this, and the way you raised your girls almost makes me envious of my own childhood. This is excellent writing, just excellent.
Vince Martella08/03/13
Thank you for this wonderfully nostalgic, intimate and touching look at the importance of living out our faith in the sight of our children. This was both touching and challenging. Well done.
Genia Gilbert08/03/13
Great entry. It is inspirational, uplifting, and very well written! Thanks for sharing it.
Linda Goergen08/04/13
A touching story and but a small peek at the power our actions have on our children. (or on anyone around us) Also, a great message of taking the opportunity to give a life lesson when we can; as in the remark you made to your daughters about the old photos. A good reminder too, for us all to appreciate the good lessons our parents passed to us. Enjoyed this thought provoking story—Great job!
Bea Edwards 08/05/13
From your clever title all the way through your gentle reminiscing, I was held captive to your story line. Great writing!
C D Swanson 08/05/13
Awww...I loved this. The ironing scene flashed before me as it touched my heart.
It brought me back to my young days, I had a little ironing board, and was so happy to be next to my mother, and wanted to iron all of my dad's handkerchiefs, and pillow cases! Awww...those were the days. Now I run from an ironing board! LOL.

But, anyhow, I digress...I loved this entire piece. It was touching, on topic and totally delightful to read.

God bless~
Mike Newman08/05/13
I loved the tenderness you created in the telling of the moment that your daughters requested to break up a daily togetherness activity that you held dear. It gave me a little ache for my little one, which is what well told stories do.

Great work.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/08/13
Congratulations for ranking 19 overall!