In spring of 2013, we were in one of our favorite places, New Orleans. Most of our local Blue Flame team got to journey with us for the training which was amazing! We Norvell’s were blessed to be able to stay a few extra days and show our kiddos our favorite places.
A dream in my heart that was stirred each time we went to NOLA, was that when we took the kids for the first time, I wanted to take them on a carriage ride through the French Quarter. And so, we went to the area where the horse drawn carriages were and found one that could accommodate the twelve of us. It was a sweet time and we had a great driver. Along the way, he told us our horses name was “Big Daddy”.
As we traveled around the city, we had a great time, but also noted that we were quite a load for Big Daddy. But he carried us well. When we arrived at our drop off point, we asked the driver if we could pet Big Daddy. He said yes. Our beloved friend Belle began praying for him to be filled up. She’s amazing like that.
I laid my hand on his neck and said, “Thank you Big Daddy”. What followed, I will never, ever forget. Big Daddy had blinders on. And so, he craned his neck around until he could see me. Face to face, see me. The moment he got to that place, he put his forehead on mine. And he stayed there with me, for a long time. Face to face, heart to heart we remained. When it was time for us to move on, I sadly said goodbye though he is forever in my heart.
Thankfulness is a powerful, compelling thing. And it is something that our Big Daddy, our Pappa, our God loves. When we come to Him with hearts exploding with gratefulness and hearts filled with the expression of it, He cannot help but meet us face to face. Every single time. For that is where He longs to be with us. Face to face, heart to heart, spirit to spirit.
Since that moment in NOLA, I have begun pursuing Pappa through utter thankfulness. I simply say, “Thank you Pappa”. Every time, every single time - I feel His forehead land upon mine. And I am undone. With each day, the intensity has increased. The revelation has increased. And I realized, when we thank him for what He has done, His favorite thing, is to do it again, but in greater measure. Wow! He just can’t help himself.
Over the years, many have asked Scott and I how to live by faith, with Pappa as source of everything. There are several things He has shown us that we have shared. The greatest of them is thankfulness. There is not a time that we start our car, that we don’t thank Him that it started. We don’t arrive at our destination without thanking Him that He got us there. I think that is why our car has lasted so long! When I open the fridge to find food to prepare, I thank Him for every morsel. Everyday, we thank Him that we have water, power and resources. And the next time, each and every time, we find that He does it, provides it, shares it, again and again.