My Little Engines that Keep on Goin’ / Empower Me

“Chug, chug, chug. Puff, puff, puff. Ding-dong, ding-dong. The little train rumbled over the tracks. She was a happy little train for she had such a jolly load to carry.  Her cars were filled full of good things for boys and girls.”

Sometimes my kids remind me of the Little Engine that Could (By Watty Piper).  If they have their mind set on something, they keep on trying until they get what they want.  “I think I can– I think I can–I think I can–I think I can… I thought I could. I thought I could. I thought I could.”!

With Dash, he often will set in his mind that we are going on some fun adventure, that has not been planned or discussed with us.  He will ask every couple minutes to go to the Apple Store, or the park.  If he doesn’t get the response he wants, he will create a schedule with times on it, just to make sure his parents understand!  He may even make extremely real-sounding announcements over his built-in intercom (voice), and make sounds that are very much like a timer going off!  The schedule would look something like:

9:00 Breakfast
9:30 Get Dressed
10:00 pack up snacks
10:30 Go to the Apple Store

With Sketch, he often will want some sort of snack, and he will try to get it by asking for it with one word and a cute expression. Eyebrows are raised and an excited look is on his face, when he says, “Goldfish?” a little more loudly than normal.  Usually, we will ignore this because we want him to be motivated to speak in sentences, not get away with the minimum.  So, after he says it a few times with no response, he will ask even more loudly and with more words, “Goldfish, please?”  and then later, “Mommy, Daddy!  Can I have Goldfish please?” He just keeps on trying (if he doesn’t get frustrated first) until he gets what he wants.

(I guess persevering and badgering are very similar…except, with badgering there is a lack of respect that goes along with it, making it a very unattractive behavior problem instead of a positive character trait!)

For my Princess Buttercup, well, she just didn’t give up trying to get a baby sister.  She has begged and begged at home for years.  It was ALL she wanted for Christmas or her Birthday.  Finally, exhausted from being asked so much for a baby, I told her we were probably NOT going to have any more babies! It just wasn’t going to happen. So if she really wants one, she’s just going to have to pray about it!  (oops!).

Apparently, she had been praying.  The Sunday School teachers said she’d been putting that in as a prayer request for 2 years!

This year, on her 8th birthday she tried again, “All I want for my birthday are the same things I always want: a baby sister, a doll house, and a dog!”

So, we decided to give her the doll house, sponsor a child who is a girl a little younger than her for her sister, and said no to the dog (Sketch is allergic!)

And, sure enough, her persevering paid off.  The day after her 8th birthday, God made it known to us that yes, in fact, we WERE going to have another baby.  We don’t know yet if it is a boy or girl, but the Sunday School teachers are without a doubt, that it is a girl for Tori!!!

Persevering is not always so easy though. I don’t know about you, but for me when the huge mountain comes and there are no larger trains to help me up it, I just want to give up.  Sometimes, where there is blow after blow & hurdle after hurdle set before me, I will get discouraged and stop trying. But when what we are fighting for is right, and is what God has set us out to do, we should not give up, no matter how bleak it looks.

It is a good thing that the Little Blue Engine did not give up.  If he had, then “all the little boys and girls on the other side of the mountain” would not have had their “wonderful toys to play with and the good food to eat.”  The Little Blue Engine kept on going because of the joy set before him:  the kids on the other side of the mountain.

Because of the joy set before Him, Jesus gave the ultimate example of perseverance.  He continued on even to death on the cross.  The joy set before Jesus, was you and me.

Hebrews 12:1-3

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

What an encouraging verse!  Let us “not grow weary and lose heart.”!  Keep on keeping on is how the VeggieTales defined perseverance… just keep on getting up we trip, or stumble on a hurdle, or fall down exhausted…

1 Cor 9: 24-27

24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.

This verse along with Hebrew 12, was the inspiration behind the poem I posted the other day, as a “downpayment” for this post.  To view the poem, click on the link: Empower Me




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6 Comments

  1. fiona2107 said,

    February 5, 2011 at 7:50 AM

    Oh Merri…you are an absolute inspiration!

    Wonderful post….I hope princess buttercup gets her girl 🙂

  2. alienhippy said,

    February 5, 2011 at 7:51 AM

    Oh Merri,
    I am just about to turn my computer off and your notification came up. Do you realise just how frustrating this is for me?
    I really look forward to reading your new posts, and I’m going out now. I have deliberately not looked at or read any of this yet because I will not want to stop once I start.
    I’LL BE BACK!! yes that was my Arnie voice.
    Love you. xx 🙂

  3. Alienhippy said,

    February 5, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    Hi Merri I’m back,
    This is such a delightful post, it has given such a wonderful view of all your personalities. I can so relate to sketch shouting for Goldfish! Yes that was definitely me. Only I made up lots of my own words too, and completely confused everybody. I had my own wonderful language, I understood it perfectly and so did God…giggle.
    I prayed many time for a little sister, God finally gave me what I needed 2 days after my 12th Birthday. I believe my teen years would have been SO much worse if I hadn’t of had my baby sis to focus all my love on.
    Thank you for this post, it was lovely to read.
    Love and hugs.
    Lisa. xx 🙂

    • Merri Lewis said,

      February 6, 2011 at 9:50 PM

      Thank you Lisa! That is sooo interesting about making up your own words. I have a friend who’s son created his own language, too! Amazing 🙂 Awww! that is so sweet about your sister :)!!!

  4. betsy said,

    February 6, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    Oh how cute! Hope you’re feeling well!

    • Merri Lewis said,

      February 6, 2011 at 9:51 PM

      Thank you!!!


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