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Dirt Roads, Avenues and Highways to God
by Jennifer Kelly on May 14th, 2014

My daughters are at such a wonderful age. That 'oh-so-very-fun' time in their tiny, little lives where redundancy is ALL THEY KNOW. It seems (unbeknownst to me) that there is a 'four and five year old protocol' that exists in the world of innocent children. If you don't know exactly what this protocol is, let me explain:

It is the unfathomable, amazing, and unbelievable tenacity, to have the EXACT, SAME CONVERSATIONS, OVER and OVER again.

My personal favorite is the one that happens while we're in the car. 
FYI- I'm not a great driver.

Silence, acute awareness, Siri, and peace are absolute essentials for me while I'm behind the wheel. Obviously, safety and the ability to be quiet mean nothing to my children. Simply because, no matter WHERE we seem to be going, WHAT we seem to be doing, or HOW far we seem to driving, the SAME, EXACT questions, ALWAYS seem to exist...
"Mom, are we there yet?"
(Literally, two seconds of silence)
"No honey, we're almost there."
(This time 2.5 seconds of silence)
"Mom, how much longer?"
"Not much further babe."
(I get like .05 seconds of silence here)
"Mom, are you going left or right?"
"Mom, what road are we on?"
(0.1 milliseconds of silence)
(Deep inhale/exhale)
"Girls, I will let you know when we get there... OK?"
"OK, mom."
(1.5 seconds of silence, because at this point, they can't help themselves)
(Slight eruption/catastrophe/breakdown is happening in my mind)
"GIRLS. (Trying not to sound too, completely, irritated here) NO. MORE. QUESTIONS."
(I'm now thinking to myself, "Calm down Jen. Think of a game... where the frickity-frack am I?)
"Oh girls, I have an idea! (Sarcastic excitement inserted here) Let's play the quiet game until we get there! OK!?"
"OK! MOM!"
(Silence from girls and now I'm talking to myself, "Please, BE QUIET" and then I hear...)
"Let it go, let it gooooo"
(My youngest is no longer interested in the quiet game and decides to break into that song from Frozen)
"Mooooom, Khloe's not being quiet."

I really don't know why I drive in the car right now with a four and five year old.

I mean, I know I need to feed them and take them to school and take them on outings, but seriously!? We have the SAME conversations EVERY, SINGLE, DAY. Sometimes...three times a day. 

I laugh and cry, all that same time.  IT'S AWESOME. 

My crazy car episodes with the girls got me thinking about my own conversations with God.  How many times have I prayed this way?  The same road, the same conversation, and the SAME EXACT THING, over and over again.  It's so crazy what your own relationship with your kids will teach you about this life.

You know, on the days your actually paying attention.

When I realized the parallel between my kids' conversations in the car, and my own prayer life with Jesus, I felt very thankful and kind of sad. Thankful that God is much more patient and loving than I am with my own kids. Sad, because there's been too many of the same roads, same prayers, and same chaos, that I still haven't learned from.

I know that I've made some incredible progress in my walk with God. I also think, there will always be something that might creep in, or resurface, because we're not perfect. It's always a great time to look around, in the discrete places, under the rug, or behind closed doors, and be honest about what's happening there. The annoying, dirty, exhausting, bad habit that continues to lurk. The thing, the attitude, or something undone that you keep asking God to remove OVER and OVER again.

We're all in May... and May is that time when summer is so close you can taste it.  We're wrapping up the school year, headed out of town, kicking back to get some nice rest and relaxation with the family. Then, before you know it, summer's gone, school will start all over again, and everyone will be in the craze that is October, November, and December. It might just be the perfect time to ask yourself; do you seem to be having the same conversations with God?  What road are you on?  Where are you going?  Are you willing to turn around?

I am. I looked around, threw some stuff out, cried a little (or a lot), and added some new stuff in. I'm on a different road. I'm taking an avenue. It's a different way of approaching things in my life... a quicker way to progress. It's pretty fantastic because, that's actually what "avenue" means: "a way of approaching a problem or making progress toward something". 

I think God likes it when we finally recognize a problem, a sin, or the other crappy stuff and look to Him. When we say, "I'm so sorry Jesus" and actually mean it by doing something about it. You know, instead of asking and wanting and needing the same things from Him, over and over again.
An avenue is waking up, every-single-day-kinda-thing and seeking God first.

Giving Him your day, your thoughts, your attitude, and your life. An avenue bypasses the road we've gone down way too many times before. The avenue might not make sense at the moment. God might require you to relinquish something that's going to be difficult. An avenue takes courage and strength and patience. It might drive you crazy sitting in the back seat (pardon the pun) and playing the quiet game. But with God it's worth it every, single, time.

I know. I know. I dislike the whole patience/quiet/listening type of stuff that is required and needed to be in a relationship with God. It is hard, because we have a sin nature. We get lost and tired and hurt on dirt roads.  Just stop. Ask God to take over again, and you're right back on that avenue that eventually leads to the highway.

​So happy, so glad, so thankful, to be a child of God. 

It always happens that a little time goes by, and I still ask...

"God, Are we there yet?"
(Not one time has God ever replied in impatience or annoyance or contempt.

There has always, and only ever been, and will be, perfect love
The same answer remains.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding.  Acknowledge Him in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight" Proverbs 3:5-6

Plus, I like singing the Frozen song out loud. Even after the quad-billionth time of hearing it.
"Let it go, let it go..."

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Jason - May 21st, 2014 at 11:19 AM
Well said. Try driving with four girls, ages 16, 13, 10, and 2. But our conversations are full of so much personality and wit that I can't help but smile.

And you're right about prayer. In fact, Jesus has a lot to say about "babbling" in prayer and using "many words" when we pray. I sometimes feel like I'm repeating myself when I confess a sin... again. But real prayer and real repentance should be genuine and real.

Thank you for this. Stop by and check out my blog, as well. Keep it up.
Jennifer Kelly - May 21st, 2014 at 11:31 AM
Truly appreciate the comment Jason. I can imagine your conversations while driving are very much different from my own. I'm trying my absolute best to enjoy and hold onto these moments while they are so young. I will indeed check out your own blog, and thank you again! I really appreciate the feedback.
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