We took Braylon to “Elevate” with us

Tonight we went to an Elevate service at Horizon – the kind with no sermon and more prayer and worship with testimony time. Instead of being with a bunch of little kids, we gave Braylon the choice to come into service with us and I’m so glad we did.  He hesitantly agreed, and got to be a part of breaking up into small groups for prayer, he got to listen to people share in a microphone how God is working in their lives (including me), and at one point everyone split up and gathered around different posters that were on stands around the sanctuary – each one a different pillar of influence of our society (ie: education, government, family, media, art and entertainment, business, etc.).  At first, Bray walked over to “Education” with me but when I opened my eyes, Ricky was standing there, pointing out how Bray had already moved on to two other pillars to pray about them without us.  I saw him at the arts and entertainment poster. Throughout the service, he was reaching for had holding both Ricky’s and my hands, most the time interlocking fingers with ours.

After one of the songs that declared “God, have your way in my life” and listed a dozen different names of His during the bridge, Bray whispered in my ear, “I like this song”. I said, “me too”. And he continued, “it even made me cry a little bit”. “That’s ok. That just shows that your spirit inside of you is responding in an emotional way to how God’s spirit is speaking truth to you in that song.” He just nodded.

After I shared with everyone there how God seemed to have allowed me to lose a friendship this year (Sara), only to gain another a few months later (Vanessa from Las Vegas), and how he is showing me there are seasons and reasons for things happening and how to always try and go into an encounter with someone like it could be a divine appointment, I sat back down next to Braylon. I must have looked sad, because he kept looking at my face trying to get a read. Finally, he asked, “are you ok, mom?”  I answered with a shrug and tears in my eyes as I was focusing on the lost friendship part of my sharing time. She is moving to Virginia, I told him. And we have still not spoken. He knew a little of how I felt. He had a friend not return his texts for weeks. About ten seconds went by and he asked me shyly, “Do you want me to pray for you?” I looked at him and said “sure”. So he grabbed my hand again and said a genuine, kind, heart-felt prayer asking God to make her just call or text me and to give me strength. He told God, “I know that sometimes things happen in our lives that are just tough to go through but we can, with you.”

I quickly followed up his prayer with one of my own, thanking God for Braylon and his sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. And his thoughtfulness to pray for me.

It was a precious evening.

I love our church. I love my boy. And I also love that his daddy takes us to church, engages with God and people there, and shows Braylon all kinds of aspects of being a godly man. How blessed are we!?!


How to Open an Applesauce Jar

While attempting to open an applesauce container:

Bray: Can you open this?

Me after several attempts: Nope. We need a man.

Bray: I’m part-man…lemme try.

(6 minutes later…)

Bray: Listen… (as we hear the jar sucking in air)

…I think I did it.

Me: Ok, now try opening it one more time.

Bray as he he take the cap off & raises a fist to heaven:

“YES! I’m FULL man.”

That’s the Way to Think

When Bray was in 3rd grade at Boones Ferry Primary, Mrs. Parent & I had a talk about how we can come together to help him remember all his homework, as school lets out each day. I thought we crossed that creek, but here we are again in 4th grade & Mrs. Banet & I are saying the same things. We’re trying to come up with strategies to not just remind him when needed, but to help him think of ways he can remind himself…or simply put, remember what he needs to remember. This week we were particularly challenged, as something was forgotten 3 out of 4 days. But as Angel & I picked him up from school in our Mercury Villager, I went down the list (this time, before leaving the parking lot. Do I get a mini York Peppermint Paddy for that?). Each item was replied to with a proud & verbal “Check!” I said, “OK then. Are you sure you have EVERYTHING? You didn’t even leave your reading log?”

Then as we drove home between the tall colorful trees that line Wilsonville Rd, Braylon said back to me, “That was the OLD me.”

I smiled and high-fived him for that one. And I said THAT’s the way to think. Picture how you want to change – what you want to be & decide that the old habits are not YOU, anymore. Speak out loud what you want to become. Even if you’re a 4th grader who wants to be more responsible. Visualize it. Speak it. And don’t be afraid to ask others to help you reach it. Grown-ups, parents… it’s true for really anyone. You’ll probably surprise yourself and everyone around you with how close you come to that goal.

A Braysay about…Beauty and the Laugh

Tonight as Ricky & I laid beside Braylon just before he went to sleep, I asked him to name one thing that he liked about Dad’s personality that I don’t necessarily have, and something about mine that dad doesn’t have. About his dad, he said, ” his laugh. Mom, you don’t really laugh like him, and not as much.”

When it came to my turn, after much deliberation (which was borderline-upsetting! ) he actually thought of something: “I like the way you look at things. Like…how you see them. You say stuff like, “Wow, look at this beautiful bridge over this lovely river!” to which I replied, “oh! like beauty in nature? Yeah, dad doesn’t really talk about beauty a whole lot” & Braylon replied,

“well… he does when it’s about you.”

The Boring Way

Braylon loves to add excitement in stories whenever he can. Sometimes that means a little … well, exaggeration.

As we watched the movie, Radio today, Angel told us she wanted to go to church a few times.

As the credits rolled, she said it again & Braylon said,

We KNOW! You said it like 3,000 times already!

I replied to him, “…or 3”

He retorted with a smirk, “Well, yeah, if you want to say it the boring way!