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Thursday, October 4, 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?” my husband 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. My husband 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, and at the top of their lungs, off key, off meter, they belted out the words to their favorite worship song.

I looked at my husband 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 his daddy’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 wooden countertop.

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

You are always welcome at my little place - A Path Made Straight

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Blogger Denise said...

I really loved this post, thanks for sharing.

October 4, 2007 at 1:18 AM  
Blogger Amy Grant Bayliss said...

That is so awesome! My boys definitely push me beyond my comfort zone too. I have to admit though, God has used them mightily to "nudge" me to live life and not just be a spectator.

... and for that I am forever grateful.

October 4, 2007 at 10:16 AM  
Blogger Angie said...

I loved that to "tears"---today, the Lord has just blessed me with everything I've read....this one made me cry!
Thank you for sharing....this is definitely faith building!!!

October 4, 2007 at 11:32 AM  
Blogger lori said...

How incredible! What wonderful work you are doing..praying that they keep SHOUTING it from the mountaintops or bar stools!!:)
I loved it!!

October 4, 2007 at 1:28 PM  
Blogger Darlene said...

Elise, shy or not, you are so wonderful to me. A blessing each time I read your words. I haven't cried like that in a long time, when the boys started singing, and then again at the end paragraph. Wow!

October 4, 2007 at 1:50 PM  
Blogger Vicki said...

Wow, that blessed me so much that tears welled up in my eyes. What a joy! Just so you know, I'm shy, too.

Thank you so much for writing this! It made my day!

October 4, 2007 at 2:36 PM  
Blogger Donetta said...

From the mouth of babes we will be taught. "he was just singing"
Being not the doing
Just the being in Him who he is in us.

October 4, 2007 at 6:34 PM  
Blogger Sue @ praise & coffee said...

Oh how precious!

October 4, 2007 at 8:34 PM  
Anonymous Lynn said...

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.


October 5, 2007 at 9:06 AM  
Blogger Mel's World said...


What a beautiful story of how God doesn't care how we sing...just that we sing praises to Him!!!

You must be so proud of your boys...well done mom & dad, well done!


October 7, 2007 at 2:05 PM  

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It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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