Friday, May 04, 2007


I am shy.

I admit it. Freely. It’s better to just get that out in the open, for I struggle daily to move beyond my safe place and into that arena of mild discomfort, riddled with the pitfalls of drawing a blank and saying the wrong thing.

But God must have thought I needed a giant shove nudge. He has given me two sons who redefine the boundaries of my comfort zone minute by minute; one such moment occurred during dinner while we were on vacation last fall, visiting my husband's sister.

“So, what are you two going to sing?”

The waiter leaned over the booth and ruffled Micah’s hair.

“Sing?” Kevin asked.

“Sure – they can stand up on the bar and sing a song, and we’ll give ‘em a card for free drinks-er-soda for the rest of their lives!”

Corban and Micah looked at us excitedly.

“Can we, Mama, can we, Daddy?” Corban begged. Kevin smiled at him and said, “Of course!” I caved in on myself. Are you kidding? Stand up on that bar and sing a song in front of (gasp) people? I could never. Not now. Not ever.

For the rest of the meal at O’Dougherty’s Irish Pub in downtown Spokane, Corban and Micah whispered to each other. Visions of silly nonsense songs I’ve composed being sung to the entire restaurant flitted through my mind, but I fought the urge to offer suggestions of “suitable” material, and I even refrained from asking repeatedly, “Are you sure you want to do this? There are going to be people watching you, did you know that?”

When our fish and chips, Irish stew and soda bread were finished, we gathered up the stroller, jackets, toys and sippy cups, heading to the bar by the door. There were only about six people gathered around it, all eating quietly and not really looking up. Until…

“We’ve got a treat for you today, folks! Corban and Micah are going to sing you a song!” And the waiter swung first Micah, and then Corban up onto the wooden countertop.

I frantically grabbed for our camera, my heart pounding. My hands shook as I opened the lens, avoiding looking at anyone but my boys. I prayed silently, God, please don’t let them be humiliated!

There was a pause as they conferred in a whisper, and then, the sweetest sound fell on my anxious ears.

Oh God, you are my God,
And I will ever praise You!
Oh God, you are my God,
And I will ever praise You!

I will seek you in the morning,
And I will learn to walk in Your ways,
And step by step You’ll lead me,
And I will follow you all of my days!

And I will follow You all of my days,
And I will follow You all of my days,
And step by step, You’ll lead me,
And I will follow You all of my days!

From the top of that sticky wooden bar, surrounded by half a dozen people, praise to the God of creation flowed. A declaration of two little boys’ faith, seven and four; they knew no shame. At the top of their lungs, off key, off meter, they belted out the words to their favorite worship song.

I looked at Kevin out of the corner of my eye; yes, he was crying, too. He caught my eye and laughed through his tears.

See, Beloved? They sing when you cannot. But teach them. Lead them. And they will only grow in their boldness.

I know I don’t need to stand up on a bar to proclaim my love for Jesus. I don’t even need to sing. But I do need that nudge once in awhile. I freely admit it.

Pulling my boys down from the counter afterwards, I looked in their eyes to see what was there – but instead of relief, disappointment in their performance, or even pride, I simply saw… happiness.

We left the restaurant, and Corban grabbed Kevin’s hand as they walked ahead of me, but I could still hear their words.

“Corban, I am so proud of you! You just told those people about your love for God!”

And Corban said, “Really? I was just singin’!”

Whether we're talkin’, or singin’, or even just livin’, may our love for God and His love for all of us be as evident as if we were singing it from the mountaintops. Or a countertop.

“O, Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare Your praise.” (Psalm 51:15)

33 fellow travelers shared:

EEEEMommy said...

We have so much to learn from them! Sharing our faith ought to be just as easy and just as natural! What a blessed testimony! Thanks for sharing!

henryteachers said...

That is the sweetest story ever! No wonder the scriptures tell us to be like a little child. They have such faith and are never ashamed to share their love of Christ with others.
And you shy? Really? I'm so glad you share yourself with us through your writing. i always enjoy reading your blog.

Dawn said...

What a poignant story, and what precious boys you have. This really touched my heart, perhaps because I am also shy.

We adults have so much to learn from children. Sometimes I think I learn more about God from my kids than they do from me!

Amy said...

What a sweet, sweet story!

p.s. I'm shy too:)

Amy said...

wait...did you say Spokane?!

Jen said...

what a wonderful true life story bless your boys

Me said...

Their confidence can be seen the relaxed yet sturdy pose on that bar.

It is a good Mom to bite back your own words of fear and let them have the moment...

And for that, God rewarded you.

Andrea said...

I love this.
Especially your line:
"They sing when you cannot."
Isn't that the truth?

Beka said...

That was the SWEETEST story-- actually brought tears to my eyes! How precious. They both looked so... happy and sincere in the picture!

ps. I'm quite shy too :-)

Tracy said...

And now there are tears in my eyes! What a wonderful testimony for all who listened that day. Not only because of the words of the song, but because of their contagious joy!

Beverly said...

I have a big smile on my face, Elise. What a wonderful testimony to godly training in the home. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ ..." We have so much to learn from Corban and Micah. They were so unassuming, so real in their praise of God. This is a wonderful story.

Sorry to go on and on, but I used to teach preschool. Some of the songs that came out of my little charges mouths grieved and shocked me. They knew how to sing adult things, things they didn't understand. They knew how to dance to those things in adult ways.

What a blessing for me to read this ... and an encouragement to me to train up (selena) in the way (she) should go, and when (she)is old (she ) will not depart from it.

I think this is the longest comment I have written in some time. Sorry!!

Randi said...

Oh my gosh, I love this post, Elise. So very sweet!

Munchkin Land said...

I love that song! I'm just now discovering how much God is going to use my children to teach me some important lessons. I can't wait! This was a precious, precious story!

Sarah said...

Okay, I've gotten "the lump" after reading many of your posts, but this one brought tears that fogged my reading! I am proud of your boys right along with you! Do you believe in arranged marriages? Hee, hee!

Stacy said...

Oh my goodness! ~Tears, here~

I LOVED this post! And we really need to talk about setting up one of your boys with my daughter. I am SO serious.


Julie said...

What a wonderful post... I so enjoy your writing! I, too, am shy and definitely could relate to your point of view! Your boys sound amazing!

Anonymous said...

I love this story even more each time I hear it! As you know I can relate to the shyness factor...maybe I just need a couple boys. ha. Don't worry, that won't happen for quite a while. I'll just learn from Corban and Micah for now. And by the way, every time I hear the song "Step by Step" I think of them. And I can't help but smile when I do.
love you!
Kake (:

QueenHeroical said...

Praise God and Amen!


Kendra said...

Gosh - I wasn't even there and I cried. What dear young men you are raising. Way to go Momma!

rcsnickers said...

Tears in my eyes! That is beautiful! Strong boys, testimony and a praise song in an unlikely place! Awesome!

All to the glory to God!


bluemountainmama said...

gosh....that brought tears to my eyes, elise. what a great story. and i loved seeing the picture of your sons in action.

ins't amazing how our kids help us with that comfort zone thing? sir laughsalot has just walked right up to people in our local coffeeshop and started telling them all about jesus. he thinks nothing of it- it's something he likes telling people about. :)

Cindi said...

You are one good Mom!

The Preacher's Wife said...

I absolutely have the biggest case of the warm fuzzies I've had in a while...That was proud you must be of those boys!!

I'm afraid mine would have sung Grandma got run over by a Reindeer.


Anonymous said...

I love the boldness of those little boys, even though they don't realize how bold they are. What a blessing to have a childlike faith, which we need to recapture.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and the one about Miss Pauline that you linked to. I can relate to some of what you shared. :0)

Maxine said...

Ohh, What a neat story! See how important that training day by day is? Praise the Lord that these precious things are being instilled in your children by their mommy and daddy! Who knows how it will be used of God?

Sarah said...

TAG, you're it! Meme time.

Grafted Branch said...

I loved this story! Out of the mouths of babes...for I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ...

If you had been in my living room as I read this one, you would have heard a little gasp as I came to the lyrics they chose to sing. God bless you!

(Thanks also for the heads up about my comments -- I haven't found yours, but I did find a dozen others that I hadn't seen!)

Denise said...

Just beautiful - What a precious moment. Thank you for sharing it Elise.

Theresa ♥ said...

What a beautiful witness and testimony to the power, love, mercy and grace of God as we parent the next generation of firebrands for the Lord.

deb said...

What a precious pair of boys you have, Elise. A wonderful story.

I'm just able to catch up on all your posts since I've been away. Thank you for the prayers offered up for me. The Lord sure answered because I could feel His strength during this difficult time. Thank you.

Christine said...

Now those are boys after my own heart! Singers in the making!


Katherine@Raising Five said...

What a great story! Made me cry, too! Love the picture!

Rachel said...

What a beautiful post! Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day and leaving a comment. I love finding new blogs to read, and yours is definitely one that I'll be reading regularly. You are an excellent writer!

This post was so inspiring to me. Thanks for sharing.


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