Dear Dad,

You know me.  Do you know how comforting and uncomfortable that is?  Comforting because most of the time I don’t even get myself, and it’s nice to know that You do!  Uncomfortable because what I do know about myself isn’t what I’d want You, or anybody else, to know.

Most of the time I am walking life on a tight rope; watching my next steps too closely, just sure I’m going to get off balance and fall.  I tend to think all eyes are on me.  I am way too self-absorbed.  I recently begged You to help me do something, anything, where I wasn’t thinking of myself.  The irony of that prayer is that I probably won’t “see” it because if I did, there I am in it again. Nevertheless, it is my prayer, Dad.

I want to be like a cup in my children’s hands – filled so full that when they turn it spills on the floor, on their clothes, on the person nearest them.  We are always telling them not to fill the cup so full, but I don’t think You say that.  I think You delight in overflowing cups; maybe even the knocked over ones. Last night Timothy told me he had spilled his tea but that he’d cleaned it up.  I forgot about it until after they were in bed and I was walking barefoot in the kitchen.  Sticky!  (We make sweet tea around here!)  I got down with a rag and began to wipe the one spot only to find a larger area than I had expected.  Sugar-sticky floor everywhere, all because a cup got knocked over.  It was okay, though, because the sweetness of Timothy was left behind.

All my children like using the water dispenser on the refrigerator, but they inevitably fill it too full!  They have all turned too quick and spilled or splashed onto something or someone.  Do you know that this reality has never stopped them from continuing to fill to the brim?  They are not trying to be disobedient – their spirits speak no such thing.  They just really get delighted when they can press that water out into their cup, and they just don’t want to stop it from coming!  Yes, Dad, that I would be a cup in the hands of my children – never wanting to stop receiving more.  Getting filled until I can hold no more and at every turn spilling onto the person around me.  Would that people know You had been there because I had been a vessel spilling You out!

When we decided to sponsor Jenifer a year and a half ago, it was a fulfilling of something I had longed to do for awhile.  I wish I could say I felt like I was on some mountain top because we were now Jenifer’s family, but it just seemed like a natural thing to do.  It didn’t feel bad or less than what it was, just like it was the natural thing for the Stephan’s to do.    I haven’t written near enough letters.  I haven’t thought of her or prayed for her and her family like I wanted to – should have.  We, as a family, include her in our ‘Goodnight Prayers’, but I don’t know if I ponder her in that moment like I should.  (I don’t know if I ponder the others we pray for either.)  She is a real person; a beautiful little girl who You created to know You.  She has a beautiful Momma with beautiful words of her love for You and Your care for them.  She has a Dad who works hard to provide for his family.  She has a sister that I don’t really hear much about.  She has grandparents who have been sick.  She gets to go to school and learn and grow in knowledge.  Jenifer has a future and a hope in You, Dad, and I am so thankful that we can be a part of her life.  I pray we can be more…to her…and to other children.  Nathan has mentioned “more”.  We could have more Compassion children.  I believe we will.  It’s just I want it to be more than it has been.  I want the Stephan’s to be cups in our children’s hands…being filled to the brim with Your love and compassion and spilled out at every turn.  Maybe we could even be knocked over until all that we have is poured out for others.

It is my prayer for me, for us, for The Church.  I read Jesus’ Words yesterday; the ones where He says, “If anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:42).  What if we did that?  Gave out cups of cold water?  To Little Ones?  What if we did it the way my children would do it?  Filling it too high; not just the extra we are willing to drop into a can, that doesn’t cause any mess in our lives or inconvenient “spills.”  What if we weren’t afraid of having to clean up a mess – to be “Royally Inconvenienced” in order to spill His love out on others?  So what if we might have to clean up sweet stickies off of the floor – wouldn’t the joy come from knowing that they had the Joy and Love of the Lord poured out in their lives?

Dad, make me like a cup in the hands of my children.  Fill me full, spill out, knock me over til all of You is poured out from within me.  Oh, that others would know You simply because I was a cup, filled to the brim with You, offered…always…willingly…to them.


Your Daughter, An Aspiring Cup.


This month we are trying to sponsor 3,108 children!  We have 2,271 to go!  Would you pray about sponsoring one of these “little ones”?  Would you be a cup in their lives?