Friday, September 19, 2014

iWill Grow Up

iPray eVotional

iPray eVotionals exhorts those who pray.  It's the glass of water held out around each month's turn for the runners who can use a quick and easy quench in order to finish strong.
iWill Grow Up
Approx. reading time: 10-12 minutes

iWant to grow up

I often pray about what I want and desire.  Most of the time when I ask God for something, I'm not aware of what first has to happen in me.  Why is it so hard to grow up and out of bad habits?  Sometimes I get resentful when God seems to be urging me to change something I really don't feel like changing while ignoring what I really want to talk about. 

Truth is what I desire requires and rewards change.  Real change!  
Emma wants to grow up

When Emma's best friend, Kaylee, had stripped her room of princess decorations and replaced them with all kinds of sick items, Kaylee's room turned into the coolest place ever!  All of their friends would meet up at Kaylee's house and chill in her room.  She had a door bell, lava lamp and even a little disco ball.  Polk-a-dots were everywhere; on her bedspread, walls, ceiling and she even had peal-n-stick spots on her window, making it the perfect "spot" to hang out.

Emma's room was babyish and had usually been a disaster.  

When Kaylee was over at Emma's house this past summer, Emma had avoided hanging out in her room, knowing how inferior it was to Kaylee's.  Emma tried her hardest to make everything outside of her room seem more interesting.  She didn't feel like doing it, but she insisted on throwing a softball around in her back yard. The last thing she had wanted was for Kaylee to walk into her room and think that she was a slob, or even worse, a baby with her My Little Pony bed covering.

Her efforts had been for nothing when a freakish summer flash flood had singled out her house and Emma's mom had insisted the girls do something Emma's room.  Emma had tried to think of other options but she couldn't change her mom's mind without looking desperate for no good reason.  With a cringe Emma had lead Kaylee into her kindergarten-style room.  A painting of Elmo over her bed had never looked more awkward in all her life.  Kaylee had jokingly said that she felt like a pony was about to eat her bottom as she sat on Emma's bed.  They had both laughed, but Emma really felt like crying.

After Kaylee had left, Emma had what her mom likes to refer to as a teen-centered emotional breakdown.  "Mom, I can't believe you made me sit in my room with Kaylee!  Why couldn't we have just played Minecraft on your computer in the kitchen?"
"Emma, you know you didn't have any computer time left," Emma's mom had patiently said while pointing to their earning chart on the refrigerator, "I'm not going to change the rules just because Kaylee is over."

"But mom! It was like showing up to school in my underwear, having to walk Kaylee into my plain, white-walled room with clothes scattered around and embarrassing pictures of my naked two-year-old body in the bathtub displayed like a..." Emma had struggle for the right word, " an award, framed and on my dresser.  I hate my room, it makes me look like a nerdy kid who can't grow up."

"Would you like to change your room?"

"YES!"  Emma's heart had filled with hope.

"Okay, if you can keep it clean for a whole month then we will give it a make over."  Her mom's words had dampened Emma's hope, how could she do that?  "As for Kaylee, she has been your friend for years and I don't think she sees you as a nerdy kid who can't grow up just because your walls are white and you have some memorabilia displayed."

Emma didn't think her mom had understood.  She hadn't asked Kaylee to come to her house for the rest of the summer.  But now she wanted to create an opportunity to casually inform Kaylee that she too had stylish ideas and that they were about to be set free.

Although Emma's room was still lacking style, it had been clean for over a month and she had been dying to redeem herself after Kaylee's last visit over the summer! Emma couldn't wait to show Kaylee her bedroom and give her the exciting news.

This morning Emma had made her bed but carefully flipped her bed covering over so that the pink cartoon pony was prancing out of sight.  She had looked around at her babyish room but this time she was not as embarrassed.  Kaylee had been bothering her about coming over, Emma thought of every excuse in the book, waiting for just the right moment where she could truly redeem herself. 

The time had arrived.  They were well into the new school year and Emma finally asked Kaylee to come over.  There they were, heading up the stairs towards Emma's room.

As Emma and Kaylee walked into her room, Emma watched Kaylee for any sort of reaction.

"Emma, your room is clean!"  Kaylee said.

"I know, I was really busy last time you were here and that is why it was so messy."  Emma knew Kaylee could see she was fibbing.

"It was summer the last time I was here," Kaylee interrupted, "you're more busy now with all the softball games you have every single weekend.  We barely found time for me to come over today because you are always at practices."

"Okay, the truth is I wanted to redo my room.  It was not really reflecting my stage of life or my personality.  My parents informed me that I couldn't do any major make over until I could first prove to keep my room in order.  I guess leaving a few socks on the ground turns it into a pigsty, and if I don't make my bed it's like a tornado just hit."

Finally, Emma got to say it without saying it...I'm not a slob and this room does not reflect who I am!

"I know what you mean." Kaylee responded.  

What? Kaylee could relate?  

Kaylee continued, "My mom gets on me just because I take off my socks at night while I'm sleeping but in the morning I forget they are under the covers and I just make my bed right over top of them."

Emma laughed like she understood completely but was secretly thankful Kaylee had never seen the pile of clothes that used to reside on the other side of Emma's bed.  Last time Kaylee was over she had skillfully covered the pile with her grandmother's quilt, the one made from all of Emma's old baby clothes.  Thank goodness Kaylee had never wondered what was under the quilt that rose higher than her mattress.  Emma had kept Kaylee focused on their last school yearbook, making constant comments about pictures and events.

Kaylee went on, "I kick my socks off in my sleep all week and when my mom is taking my sheets off to wash them she's like, 'Kaylee, why on earth are there a pile of dirty socks under your covers?'"

It was nice to hear that Kaylee had bad habits too.  "Socks piled under your covers, that's hilarious."  Emma said.

"Yea. I tell my mom that I'm half asleep, I don't know what I'm doing."

"Me too,"  Emma agreed, "I mean I wasn't half asleep but I tried to tell my mom my side too!  At first I was like, 'This is my room. I should be able to keep it the way I want.'  So I didn't make any effort to change my 'bad habits.'  Why would I make my bed just to show off a My Little Pony bedspread?"  

Emma lifted part of her bedspread to reveal the butt-eating pony hiding on the underside and made some eating sounds.  Emma and Kaylee burst out in laughter as Kaylee pretended to be scared of the pony.

"Seriously Emma, when I came into your room over the summer I was a little jealous that your mom didn't make you spend hours cleaning your room."

Emma felt a relief come over her, Kaylee had not judged her.  Emma continued talking as she put the pony back in it's place.  "Well, I figured that at some point my parents would see that I am a grown teen now and would have to support that.  After a few days of standing my ground I casually brought it up at dinner, I just said, 'You know, a fresh coat of paint would really clean up my room.'"

"What did they say?" Kaylee asked.

"Mom casually responded, 'Paint has nothing to do with keeping your room clean.'"

"Awe, she's good!"

"I know!" Emma agreed, "Maybe she doesn't make me clean my room but she sure does know how to guilt me about it being messy.  Summer was almost over and I just couldn't see myself cleaning up after a tornado so I said, 'Mom, can't I keep my room as tidy as my personality?  You know the personality that would rather get her homework done?'"

Kaylee laughed, "Good one," which gave Emma the green light to continue with her story.

"My mom didn't even skip a beat, she's like, 'It's time to grow up Emma.  You can't ask for teenager privileges without being willing to demonstrate the responsibilities that come with them,' and I was like, 'If making my bed every single day and keeping clothes off the ground is growing up, then I won't grow up! I'll just stay the way I am and at the same time I want a room that reflects my mature age!"

Kaylee's laughter tapered off as she thought about what Emma just said.  She just stared at Emma, confused.  "That makes no sense.  How are you going to get a new room if you don't want to grow up?"

"I know," Emma quickly said, thinking of a way to redeem herself.  "Right when it came out of my mouth I thought the same thing.  You sound like an idiot!  My dad couldn't let my lame statement just slide, 'Honey," he said, "you got it!"

Kaylee looked satisfied with Emma's answer.  Emma sat down on her bed and looked around.  "Yea, he was right. I wanted a room that reflected my maturity and in that moment I realized that I had a room that reflected my maturity."

"So what did you do?"  Kaylee asked.

"It turns out that picking up after myself and pulling my covers up every morning was not so hard."  Emma said, "In fact, I started to care about what was out of place in my room.  After my brother, Conner, borrowed my book the other day I asked him to put it back in the right place and not just throw it on my bed..and that's something my mom would say!"

"Yea it is! It's annoying but it's probably good my mom makes me clean my room."  Kaylee said, "I need to just check under my covers for socks before I make my bed in the morning.  The socks make it look like my covers are all squished down there."

Emma chuckled but continued on so she could get to what she really wanted to say.  "So last weekend my parents came to me and let me know that I had been doing a great job in keeping my room all tidy... yada yada yada... and went on about how a child talks like a child, thinks like a child and reasons like a child... blah blah blah... and that they were proud to see me maturing, and putting my childhood ways behind me, and so on..."

Emma trailed off and almost forgot that she was trying to impress Kaylee.  At that moment she realized a mature change had taken place.  She didn't need to act like she was just as put together as Kaylee, she really was just as put together as Kaylee and even more so maybe.  Emma realized that she didn't have socks hiding anywhere, like under the covers. She realized that didn't have a clean room because her mom made her clean it, she had a clean room because she wanted it that way.

"It felt sorta good to hear it," Emma said as if she was talking to herself more than she was to Kaylee.  "It was nice, making them proud of me like that. I guess I will grow up."

Emma looked at her bookshelf with all of her books in line.  She thought about the day her softball game was canceled and she had spent all day straightening her room.  She had found some of her favorite books hiding under her bed.  One book she had gotten at the beginning of the summer and she found it still in the bag it came in.  She had been looking forward to reading that book all summer and had forgotten where she put it.  The summer had passed and she didn't even get to open it.  Yesterday she didn't have much homework and when her mom said to go read in her room, there it was on the shelf, standing straight up in perfect view with all of her other books.  She didn't have to search for it or settle for a book she really didn't care to read.  She read for 70 minutes straight and had a hard time putting it down when Conner had peeked in and said, "Mom says dinner is ready."  How's that for a reward for having a clean room, where she can find whatever she wants in two seconds flat!

"Emma."  Kaylee's words brought Emma back to earth.

"Sorry,"  Emma remembered what it was she wanted to announce to Kaylee for almost a week, "what I'm trying to say is I'm old enough to say that I'm a teenager, and apparently I'm also mature enough for a new bedspread and a fresh coat of paint!  Yes, that's right, this weekend I only have one softball game and it's really early in the morning so we are going to give my room a real teenager make-over!"

Emma jumped off the bed and grabbed Kaylee's hands to cheer.  Kaylee did not miss a beat in the excitement of getting a bedroom make-over.  They both jumped around in circles.

"I love bedroom make-overs!"  Kaylee shouted, "What are you going to do to your walls?"

"I think I'll go black, with white stripes.  Or maybe white with black stripes. "

"What? How are those different?"  Kaylee said playfully, she caught the humor of Emma's statement and it made Emma feel great.
"Either way, I know it's going to be slick and clean!"  Emma said.

"For sure!  We should make a design, that's what I did when I came up with my room's theme."

For the rest of the afternoon Emma and Kaylee huddled around Emma's iPad looking for inspirational pictures to design her new grown-up teenager room.  Emma was super excited, she thought that maybe, just maybe, her room would end up being a hang-out "spot" as well.

iGrow Up
The process of change is the hard part, but God is so good to hold our hand every step of the way, making it completely possible.  Isn't it great that He does not give up on us?  We can look back and realize that we are not who we used to be and recognize God's whispers, saying that He is proud of us.  

Michelle Swanepoel, who faithfully sends charges out to women of the world, says it like this.     
"If you submit to God for this - God WILL change your world through YOU - you will be healed, your family will be restored, where you go - God's light will change the atmosphere - and ALL things that you desire (because God has given us dreams and desires) will be fulfilled by God alone. Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and ALL things will be passed onto you - do you understand the sequence of events that needs to take place?"  

To read two of Michelle Swanepoel's charges click below:

It is humbling when I realize that God started answering my prayers the moment I prayed them.  When He addressed my bad habits, He was answering my prayers.

God fulfills our heart's desires and makes our life-work matter!  

iPray that you will talk to God, that you will be real with Him about what you want and desire.

iPray that you won't be afraid to ask for big things to take place.

iPray that you will never mistake God's urging as ignoring.

iPray that you will grow up in your thoughts, actions and considerations.

iPray that you will not compare your room to others rooms, or consider theirs better because it looks more mature.

iPray you will instead embrace what God is asking of you in the room you live in right now.

iPray that you will be patient in the process of change, that you will be quick to grab hold of what needs to happen in you and through you.

iPray for revelation moments, where you look at a bookshelf with all the books in line and realize the transformation made was deeper and more real than you could have ever dreamed or imagined.

iPray that you will be filled with gratitude when you realize that God does answer prayers.

iPray God will fill you up beyond measure!

iPray God will fulfill your heart's desire and make your life-work matter!

In Jesus Name iPray, Amen

ALL for Him,
Michelle Fozounmayeh
In This Issue
iWant to grow up
Emma wants to grow up
iGrow Up
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Michelle Fozounmayeh

Michelle Fozounmayeh
A joy filled wife and mom that enjoys writing, praying, speaking at women events and being an Area Coordinator with the ministry Moms In Prayer International.





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