Miss Amy Work gives us an update on God’s Girls Group
It’s been a busy year in God’s Girls Group for Diamond and me. We’ve baked chocolate chip cookies, pot of gold at the end of the rainbow cupcakes, birds nest cookies, and mug cakes (complete with an excessive amount of sprinkles). We’ve made potato soup and Irish soda bread, barbequed wings, pork chops, spaghetti pie, and chicken casserole. We’ve decorated snowflakes and valentines, dyed eggs, crafted Mother’s Day cards, painted picture frames, and created fairy gardens in a jar.
We’ve walked in the park, hiked long trails, attended festivals, dined at a fancy restaurant, had sleepovers, played board games, and labored over college choices and applications. We’ve honed skills of cleaning up after meals, paying attention to details, following instructions, finding ways to serve others, showing hospitality, and having good table manners. We’ve laughed until our sides ached, comforted each other in tough times, lamented our culture’s sin, struggled with our faith, wrestled to understand Scripture, and exploded in shouts of joy when the truth of God’s Word hits home. Most importantly, we have grown.
Diamond and Birds Nest Cookies Diamond Cooking in Elephant Slippers, a Birthday Gift
Sometimes, it’s the little things. Diamond has a habit of beginning to rinse dishes, getting distracted, and going off to do something else while leaving the water running… and running… and running. Last God’s Girls Group, Diamond was helping clear the table and clean up the kitchen. She had the water running in the sink, as usual. But this time, as she went to get something else off the table, she caught herself. She threw me a sparkly-eyed grin, flipped off the faucet, and sang out to herself the words she’s heard me say a thousand and one times: “Why is the water still running?” I laughed and threw my hands in the air. Touchdown! She remembered to turn off the water without being told!
One of my favorite moments of seeing growth in Diamond happened a couple months ago. We take turns praying before every meal and we always begin and end our time of study with prayer. Learning to pray is difficult, and learning to pray out loud is even more challenging. However, over the years, Diamond’s prayers have grown from awkward, fumbling, and rushed to much more thoughtful and heartfelt. This particular evening had been a long one. We’d had an intense study, littered with rabbit trails and tangents, all of which generated excellent questions that took us deeper into Scripture. But it was late and we needed to wrap it up. I asked Diamond to pray to close our study time. What happened next had me gripping the edge of my seat, holding my breath, and wishing it wouldn’t end. Diamond prayed like I had never heard her pray before. She opened her heart to her Heavenly Father in a completely comfortable, personable manner. She prayed for people and issues I had no idea were on her heart and mind. She spoke to God like she knew Him, loved Him and trusted Him completely. At one point she interrupted her flow and said, “God, I know I don’t usually pray this much, but all this stuff is just really important.” And then she continued to lay down her burdens at her Savior’s feet. She prayed selflessly and earnestly. And she prayed like she believed. Since that night, I have had the privilege of glimpsing her relationship with her Father through her prayers several more times. It has always blessed me richly.
And that brings me to the other growth I’ve seen – my own. Diamond is always appreciative of anything I do for her, but I keep telling her that she has no idea what a blessing she’s been to me. Every time we do a study, Diamond’s insightful (and sometimes funny) questions challenge me to reach back to Scripture for the answers. Half the time I have to wonder if God put a certain study before us for her sake or my own (it’s probably both!). When my faith is weak or I am struggling, God uses Diamond’s infectious enthusiasm for His Word, persistent questions, and joy in learning how all Scripture connects together and points to Christ to encourage (and sometimes chastise) me.
The year isn’t over yet. We still have a lot to do. College applications need to be submitted, resumes drafted, and jobs applied to. Our studies will continue to focus on Martin Luther and the Reformation and then we’ll examine the differences among a number of religions. I need one more craft idea for the coming months and need to figure out what we’ll cook for the dinners. But in all of the preparations, my deepest prayer is that God will prepare our hearts to receive His Word and cause us to grow in Him. May our love for Christ and desire to obey Him flow as richly and abundantly as the water left running in the sink!
A Very Special Birthday Treat in a Fancy Restaurant
P.S. In case you’re wondering, here are some of the questions Diamond asks. How would you do with answering these?
If God knows people are going to sin, why does He allow them to? Why doesn’t He stop them from sinning if He hates sin?
Why didn’t God make somebody for Jesus to marry? Oh, never mind. What woman would be perfect enough for Jesus? But did Jesus want to get married?
Do you still have to respect your parents if they beat you or if they sold you?
What if Satan turned nice? Would that be good? Could he go to heaven?
Does God forgive the angels that rebelled against Him?
And my personal favorite: Can demons have kids?