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

Empower Me, Revised

This is a mini post…a down payment on the one to come, about perseverance.  (Ironically, I haven’t been able to finish the one on perseverance…I guess procrastination will come after that!)

I wrote this poem years ago and recently tweaked it to reflect more of what I’ve learned along this journey.

I hope it encourages you!









Empower Me

Empower me, Oh holy God
To run the race, the one you called
To forget the past, made wiser from sin
To run to the finish line
Where life begins

Empower me while running the race
To go full force ahead and to rest in your grace
To keep my eyes focused, always on the goal
To win the greatest prize
One more precious than gold.

Empower me to train and gain
All the wisdom for running the race
To jump all the hurdles
And run at your pace
To strive and strain every day
To live and think, and learn and love
To wholeheartedly serve you
Oh Holy God!
And win the prize you’ve set above!

Empower me, Oh Holy God!

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