Struggling With More and The One Safe Addiction


Standing over the kitchen sink, I run cleansing water over the dirty dishes. My daughter brings more porcelain to be cleaned. Lipstick smeared glasses, greasy pans. More and more. Cleaning the dirty. Will it ever end? 

My daughter’s sweet hand scrapes across the dish. I envision her tiny hands, like the cherished day was just yesterday. Chubby thumbs pressed determinedly to all four tiny fingers, fingertips on hands bumping together repeatedly, requesting more. Quiet souls needing more and letting it be known. Teaching my girls that sweet sign language word had to be the smartest thing I ever did. I wish I could take credit, but I’ll forever love that wise friend. 

Sitting at a table full of children who were crying and screaming to receive something desired, my daughter would look around at the chaos and quietly and gently press her tiny gathered fingers together, signaling “more” … more Cheerios, more apple juice, more.

Her tender, quiet spirit blessed my heart.



O Soul, you’ve always had a problem with more. You know you have. An uncontrolled chuckle spurts out. Undeniable. “Give her an inch, and she’ll take a mile.” Guilty.

I could never stop at planting one flower. Nope. I’ll know every flower name. I no longer put my hands down to work a garden.

One framed cross-stitch led to a house full. They’ve all been dismantled and rest in my closet.

I could never stop at one cookie. I just can’t keep them in the house.

I can’t stop with one Pringle. I’ll snack on them all day.

I could never stop at using one coupon. My whole family thanks me for giving up that venture.

I could never stop making Mickey Mouse pancakes. When a desire for pancakes was revealed, I made pancakes every day until I was begged to stop.





I could never stop with taking one picture. Don’t place the camera in my hands, please.

I could never stop with one trip to Disney World. The girls have been every year since they were six and eight.

I could never stop at writing. One blog post led to three manuscripts down, and one in the works.

If I find a song I love, I will play it over and over.

O Soul, you know how to drive something in the ground. Don’t you? You know how to make everyone around you cry for relief. 

I rinse off a dish and place it in the dishwasher. A smile spreads over my face, thinking over my secret new missionbeing accepted on the launch team for Beth Moore’s new Bible study, Entrusted. 



O Soul, you found the one thing that you can never tire ofstudying God’s Word. You can never have too much. You can never study too much. You can never have more than enough. 

The one who breathed life into you can’t be run into the ground.

At only 29, my first Beth Moore study gave me a deep love to study and soak in God’s truths. God’s truths are life for me, teaching me that I can survive in this world, that I’m okay. She made God’s Word come alive for me. I saw a lady who genuinely loved God so much, that I said to myself

I want to love God that much. 

My daughter’s precious 16-year-old hand passes the last dish to wash. More. Father, let her see more of you in me. Let her see something that she can’t get enough of. Let this walk with you, as weak as it often is, be just enough to cause her to want more and more of you.



Father, thank you for entrusting my daughter in my hands. I’ve gotten so much wrong. But you are my right. My right for more. I keep bringing you more and more, the dirt in my life is endless. And you never tire of me. You keep cleansing me and making me new.

In the midst of this world’s chaos, with all the outcries and screams, you have taken us to the banquet hall. Your love over us is breath-taking. 

Father, be our desire, the very thing we desperately need. Our one stronghold. Our greatest love. Be our addiction, the one thing we quietly cry for in the secret room of our heart. Be our cry for relief. Be our ever-waking desire, our first and last thought of the day. The thing we can’t outdo. The thing we can’t overdo. 

Father, be our more. Our cleansing more.



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Confessions

This blog post was written for Blooming with Joy’s website
as a guest writer.
The “gift-a-way” is expired but …
Re-posting it for anyone who may have missed it.
Blessed by you,
Shelli
 
 
Heart Confessions of a Missions Writer
By Shelli Littleton
Typhoon Haiyan pummeled my heart along with the Philippines. Why? I have had the privilege of interviewing missionaries there and sharing their stories with the world. A missionary friend wrote to assure me that she was back in the U.S. for a visit; she was safe from destruction. But where was her heart? Yes; she longed to return to the Philippines to help.
Love.
Yes, writing for Woman’s Missionary Union’s magazine, Missions Mosaic, keeps my heart feeling a broad spectrum of emotions. My most embarrassing moment, you might ask? I couldn’t retrieve an email from Melissa Moore … Beth Moore’s daughter! I couldn’t believe God had opened this sweet door for me to write on her Compassion International India trip, and I can’t get her email. My husband had set up “outlook” for my email. I had to actually go on-line to view her email, and it took me a while and my husband to figure this out. She was so gracious. Me? H-u-m-i-l-i-a-t-e-d! I no longer use “outlook.”
Grin.
My funniest moment happened while interviewing a young Brazilian missionary on mission in Africa. We spoke on the phone. Wow! She could speak a little English; I could speak no Portuguese. We laughed ourselves silly. Ending our conversation, I said, “I’ll let you go”; Texas translation: I would hang up the phone. And she laughed out loud. I realized she was thinking, “You’ll let me go … where?”
Doll.
My heart’s greatest overjoy was derived from Ron Hall, author of Same Kind of Different As Me. I had read the book, and Ron said he would do an interview. Thrilled! I couldn’t believe when my caller ID declared: Ron Hall. I told him his book made me want to give him and Denver Moore big hugs. During that same time, he came to my church to speak. Sheer God-thing. I had the opportunity to write yet another article on him for our church newsletter. When I walked into the Visitor’s Center where Ron was autographing books, he greeted me with a big hug. I was overjoyed and couldn’t function properly the entire day! He had not forgotten my request for a hug.
Precious.
When did my heart cry most? Challenged to write an article about a child forced into marriage and giving birth at ten years old brought me to tears. This precious child, who should have been chasing butterflies and dancing on her daddy’s toes, was living in a Nigerian, Muslim, lower-class society. Because her body was not ready for childbirth, she was left with a permanent limp and a chronic leakage of human waste. This is common. Their babies often die as they die to society. They are divorced … outcasts; but there is hope through Christ. One child said, “Rayuwu ba tare da Isa ba, ban’zane, na gan Isa, na taba shi, nakuma zama da shi,” which translates: “Life without Jesus is a miserable life. I have seen, touched, and even leave with your Jesus.”
Beautiful.
My most heart-humbling moments writing for WMU are when I am blessed to share my own personal hardships of infertility, miscarriage, daughter’s cancer battle at one year old, parents’ divorce, and adoption stories. I thank God for taking the very things Satan would have loved to have used to destroy me and using them for ministry.
Invaluable.
My future heart confession? My heart is breaking and overjoyed that my dearest friend is leaving on a jet plane this coming year for Asia. Though she will be missed terribly here, what I wouldn’t give to write an article on her work there!
Please, God?!
 
 


Shelli Littleton is New to the Blogger World

And how! I deleted my initial post … I knew that would happen. For those Siestas who commented, please forgive me. I am awfully horrible at technology. But learning. I told you I need blogger prayers!

Just to re-cap what I wrote earlier, but condensed … thank you, Beth Moore, for inviting me and so many others to a “Jesus Year” and for the invitation to Houston. It was great to be at a small, church type setting with you. 2009 was such a blessed year, hiding God’s Word continually in my heart. Thank you for that precious hug.
Here I am with Amanda. I told her I felt like I was at Disney World! I felt like I was waiting to take my picture with Cinderella! She is a cutie pie and so sweet … right up there with Cinderella!
Here I am with Melissa. She was so sweet to do an interview with me earlier in the year on her India mission trip. She, like Amanda, is beautiful inside and out. The humidity is starting to take effect on my hair!
Here is my new friend, Donna. We sat together at the event and said our verses to each other. It was a blessed time together, and I couldn’t wait to come home and add her to my facebook friends.



It was great to see Beth Moore earlier in the year at Life Today, as well. She was so sweet to my girls which made me get all teary-eyed. And she didn’t know it, but she was loving on a precious 9 year old cancer survivor … our Katelyn.



My oldest, Karalee, says she is a “good talker” just like Beth! Beth is a huge role model for her. Thank you, Beth, for being so loving and approachable. I love your humor … how you can make me laugh so hard and have me crying the next minute. You are my favorite Bible teacher.

Before we went to the Life Today taping, my husband and I were sitting at home and watching Beth teach on Life Today. A woman began to cry, and Brian looked at me and said, “You aren’t going to cry, are you?” I said, “No.” How silly. Why would I cry? Well, as we were in the audience … the minute Beth walks out, tears well-up in my eyes. I almost laughed out loud thinking about the question my husband had asked me earlier. It’s about love. It’s just that Beth has been such a sweet teacher and God has used her so sweetly in my life … but she’s always on the screen … never face to face. It made me think of Jesus. Don’t you just know tears are going to well-up in our eyes when we see our sweet Savior face to face. He’s been our teacher … for He, Himself, has taught us.

Just before this Houston event, the girls were part of a Lifeway VBS taping at our church in Fort Worth. The new material is already out in the stores … Saddle Ridge Ranch. The girls performed all the songs and will be on a tape other churches can purchase to help them learn the songs. The whole Lifeway team came and the precious man, Jeff Slaughter, who wrote the songs was there. Our Katelyn wanted a picture with him in the worst way. She normally could careless about taking pictures with anyone, but he was on the CD helping them learn the songs all those months. He’s so precious. I love to see people who have become well-known in their Christian service be so approachable and loving. He didn’t meet a stranger. If you walked by him, you were going to get hugged. He welcomed the love from fellow Christians. Beautiful. He sang a song, I Just Want To Be Like Jesus … and he couldn’t talk about it without crying.

The Lord has been so good allowing me to write for Woman’s Missionary Union and my church newsletter. The mission stories have been such an eye opener for me. Our world is hurting so. Jesus is the answer to our every need.


Father, thank you that you choose to use this homemaker and mother, who feels so unqualified most of the time … but like my dear friend once said … “God doesn’t call the qualified; He qualifies the ones He calls.” Keep us humble, God … our eyes fixed on you … and may the most important thing in our hearts be making your name well-known. “Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.” Isaiah 26:8 … one of my blessed scriptures this “Jesus Year.”