Wednesday, July 6, 2011


 I wasn't expecting to learn something, not on a holiday.  Perhaps I'd read a sign of some historically significant event, or learn a cool new fact about butterflies, but I didn't expect to learn anything significant or insightful.  Clearly I was shortsighted as God used my family vacation to teach me not one, but two lessons.  Our first day there I learned about perseverance.  Abundance was to be the theme on day two.

 After a leisurely morning, we gathered our children and belongings together and headed to the Butterfly Conservatory.  The little nature lovers that they are, my children were delighted and enthusiastic with overtones of grumpiness. While waiting to enter the conservatory, my children spotted one of their favourite butterflies: the blue morpho.  Not only does this species have shimmering blue wings, it was also featured on a Diego episode that my children have watched many times.  Forgoing the informational video, they burst into butterfly area with great excitement.  Immediately they were surrounded by butterflies.

 At first my children were happy.  After about five minutes though, my eldest started showing signs of agitation.  She wanted a butterfly to land on her.  Although she was surrounded by many beautiful butterflies and was able to observe them up close, it wasn't good enough.  She wanted one on her head, hand, dress; it didn't matter as long as she could hold just one butterfly.  I encouraged her to be patient, but just then one landed on her father.  How unfair could the world get?  A butterfly landed on her dad and wouldn't leave! It just wasn't fair! She was on the verge of a meltdown.

 Gently I took her aside, wrapping her in a hug.  Empathizing with her, I asked if we could pray together.  She agreed.  With a nervous heart, I prayed quietly with her, asking God to please send a butterfly to land on Aris.  It's hard to pray such an important and yet trivial request when I have prayers that God seems to have ignored.  I cling to my belief that God answers prayer, that He cares so deeply about us even in trivial matters, but I doubt this even as I cling.  How would my very sensitive and emotionally struggling child cope if God didn't answer her prayer?  I chose to pray, to trust, even as doubts ran through my head.

 We walked along looking at the butterflies on the path, flowers, people, even on a turtle in the pond.  My nature lover informed me that butterflies get salt from stones and turtles, sometimes even going so far as to lick the eyeballs of turtles.  She said she read it in a book.   Still, no butterflies.  She was sad, but okay.  As I turned from taking a picture, I noticed a butterfly on her shoulder.  As soon as I pointed it out, it flew away.  Just then, Steve noticed one on her dress.  I was filled with relief. God had answered my prayer!

 Butterfly after butterfly began to land on her.  She stopped fretting, instead trying to get butterflies onto her hand.  While she was kneeling down, a blue morpho landed on her back.  Then another and another.  Soon she had three large butterflies competing for space on her back.  All the while, she was kneeling down.  One by one the butterflies opened their wings.  For a brief second, all three butterflies had their wings open at the same time.

 Watching my little girl with her butterflies, I was overwhelmed with His abundance.  She would have been happy with just one butterfly briefly.  Instead God gave her about 15, including these three for several minutes.  It took some patience and some faith on the part of her mama, but God provided abundantly.  My faith is still tattered, with all these questions roaming about unanswered but in some unexplainable way those butterflies helped heal me just a bit more. If God could answer such a little prayer so well, perhaps He is in process of answering my bigger ones too.  I just have to wait for those butterflies to start landing.

 Joining with Emily and the rest


  1. grace, grace, grace, this could have been written by me...except for the daughters and going to the conservatory and the butterflies, but you know what i mean? i cling and am afraid he won't answer me/my prayers. i cling harder when i pray with/for my boys b/cs i want them to KNOW perhaps w/ a sureity i don't have that He is there and solid and real.... and abundantly gives. thank you so much for sharing!!!

  2. o so beautiful! i love butteryfly sanctuaries, and your story is lovely. so happy he sent the butterflies and answered a prayer for you and your daughter.

  3. This is an amazing reminder of His love for us - even those like me who doubt as they cling.

  4. This is wonderful! I can see myself being like you, hoping that God would come through, but not quite sure. Perhaps the faith of a little girl did it, huh? God made a lasting impression on your daughter. I imagine she will some day tell her grandkids the story of how she and her mom prayed for one butterfly to land and God gave her 15.
    I suggest you blow up the photo of the butterflies on her back (doesn't have to be real big), frame it, and keep it in her room to remind you both that God does answer prayers. I need that reminder too.

  5. He give us grace more abundantly than we could ever ask or imagine. Because you prayed for her, your daughter will always remember this.

  6. Oh, He does answer prayer! God answers better than we even expect. He loves us so. I'm so happy she had that experience, that you prayed with her and then He answered while she patiently (or not so patiently) waited. ;)

    I love your Old Navy shirt story! My oldest used get one every single year for all her siblings.

  7. oh grace. i am crying. really, truly, crying. this took such faith on your part. i can just see God smiling and so, so proud of you and your beautiful mother heart. he doesn't just give--he lavishes. what a good God we have. xo

  8. This post was exquisite. Thank you. God bless!

  9. Amen, what a great story, I love that God cares about our little and big problems:)

  10. I'm happy to see you blogging again. I missed it when you didn't. Blessings

    Mary Horst

  11. Tattered faith - I know about that. And this gives me hope - maybe there's more than some sort of minimal provision in my future. Thank you!

  12. I love it!!! Yes, God cares about all the things that concern us! And yes, He is extravagant in answering our prayers!

    BTW -- I do the same thing with my kids -- we pray for lost keys, lost game cartridges, against bad dreams. We pray for bear spottings and for the seeds that we plant. It doesn't matter that these things seem trivial to adults -- God uses these moments to build their faith.

    Great story!