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Yesterday we went to the waterpark.  I wish I was the fun mom who loved the waterpark, but really, I barely survive it.

The crowds, sharing the concrete with hundreds of other bare feet, the stinky bathrooms, the chaos of a ton of kids splashing and spastically swimming causing me to think someone is always drowning.  Whew.  It’s stressing me out just writing about.

But, to my delight, yesterday we found a baby pool section with a small slide, and for a blissful ten minutes, all three of my kids were content in one contained place.  (A mother’s dream.)

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It’s the end of summer, and our baby is just getting up the confidence to go down the mini-slide that dumps into this 1 foot baby pool.  Yesterday, she stood stiff at the top of the slide, with water splashing in her eyes from the sprayers that are made for slightly taller kids.  Before she got up the courage to take the risk of sliding down into the pool, with her toddler vocabulary she raised her hand and shouted “Ho hand Momma ese!”  (which is translated “hold my hand please, Momma.”)

She was willing to go, as long as I held her hand to get her through the crazy face-sprayers and on her way down the tiny slide.

To her, it was big and scary, but my hand was enough for her to take the risk.

Life is presenting me with some new “slides” that seem big and risky.  From where I stand, with the water of “what-if’s” spraying in my face, I feel the same urgency to cry out for God to “ho hand ese, Daddy”.

And you know what?  I’m learning that He is more than present to hold my hand as I step towards the “slide” He’s inviting me to experience.

Because you see,

this “slide” has to do with loving people in a new way.

It has to do with taking risks,

stepping out of my comfort zone

and offering my heart to people in a way

that could be thrilling and amazing,

or it could result in pain and rejection.  

But I’m learning that real love takes risks.

And that’s ok when remind I myself that I have the trustworthy hand of God to hold all the way through.  I’m learning that if I fail, or get wounded and bruised in the process of loving, He is strong enough to heal me.  –> tweet this.

Every time I open my Bible it’s like a magnet drawing me deeper into a call of love in 1 John 3 &4.  I read and re-read this section and feel like God is washing my brain with the truth of what love looks like.  It’s challenging me to the core, and inviting me to risk love in so many new ways.

The one thing that I adore in this call to love is the promise of God’s abiding presence as we love others.

When we feel like loving others will be too hard, or too scary, or too overwhelming, He says that it’s this sort of love that marks us as His own.  And He gives us the sure promise that we will know and experience Him more as we love.

I want that.  A life full of God.  And you’d better believe that “Ho hand, ese daddy,” will be my chorus all along the way.

“But this is God’s commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another…

No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us…

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.”

(1 Jn. 3:23; 1 Jn. 4:12;17)

I’m praying that as I walk with God, that I would love radically, not only in my words and thoughts, but that I would show love in my actions. (1 Jn. 3:18)  Would you please pray that for me too?

How about you? Is there some way or some person that the Lord is asking you to serve with a new level of love, even thought it looks risky or costly or overwhelming?  

Have you risked actively loving someone or doing something that felt risky for God, and found that He was ever-present and filling you up?

I’d be so encouraged to hear from you!