We moved to Indonesia! There is a story I’ll share with more time (ha), but, as per usual,
His mercy covered us all the way here.
I was in a car wreck last night on my way home from a book club meeting. I’m okay, but the car was totaled. The other driver made a left in front of me, and I smashed into him. Pretty unsettling. While searching for my phone and the rest of all my things, I noticed two people by the other car. There was the driver was on his phone, and the other man, white-haired and wearing all black, was stepping out of the passenger-side door. Seth, the one with more catholic sympathies, laughed as I thought the passenger looked like a priest!
Three or four kind, burly black men came around to see if they could help me. I found my phone and made a call to Seth when they started asking, “where’s the man who was in this car? (pointing at my van) Did he just run off? He just ran away! Did someone call the police yet?!” I explained I was the driver and was alone. Not everyone heard my response, and one of the other men came and asked me, “Where did the driver go? You were the passenger?” When I explained I was the driver, he asked where my passenger went. I learned later that the other driver had been alone as well. Thank you, Father.
I like Paul more now than I used to. He was sort of a busy mom. Although, he has the more interesting missionary map. Mine looks more like the floor-plan of our house, and it follows up and down the hall and back and forth from the kitchen to the bathroom and living room about a billion times before lunch. But he was on top of God’s call. Paul loved God more than he hated opposition. If he wasn’t on his way to prove (or re-prove) the true nature of Jesus to the lost and young believers, he was anxious to do so. And he kept the secret to contentedness in all things.
On behalf of my children, I have the anxiety part down. I worry about how to foster an understanding of His greatness and reliability in new and creative ways – in ways that will STICK. There simply isn’t enough time to be lazy and distracted. Jesus is the answer for peace with God and knowing God. Jesus is the answer for all their desires and cravings. Jesus is the answer for coping in unbearable suffering. Knowledge like this will “hold them” when I cannot. All of heaven, help me prove Him faithfully like Paul. Let them be sold on Jesus.
(Andy and his great-grandfather holding hands two days after Christmas, 2011.)
“Hello pretty! I’m in the bathtub!” Daisy Duck very busily hops around inside a play kitchen cup.
“Oh. You’re getting dressed,” replied Lighting McQueen matter-of-factly.
What’s a matter? What’s a matter? What’s a matter?” interrupted the Tiny Town Truck.
“What’s a matter, corn on a cob?” Daisy then gnaws on the corn for a few minutes before reprimanding the truck, “Tiny Town Train!!!!!!!”
Sir Topham Hat drives up, “Topham Hat. You’re in there,” she says, shaking him around in his little blue convertible.
(Imagined by Daisy. Recorded by Mom.)
Little kids don’t know how to appreciate the newness and absence of routine that vacation makes possible. It’s the whole point: we want to go away from the rigmarole. But for children this is like turning the world upside down. For example, most nights in our hotel Daisy woke up in complete confusion because she thought she was supposed to be at home in her own bed. At home kids are used to eating meals and taking naps at regular times, but on vacation we rearrange our normal life around gatherings, site-seeing, and “plans.” This is such a huge task for little people. During our stay in Atlanta, I think Andy handled it all very well. We settled the kids in their giant beds one night, and Andy made it clear he wanted to snuggle with Seth.
Seth basically said, “No. You need to get to sleep.”
Andy, “But you snuggled with Daisy last night.”
Seth, “No. I didn’t snuggle with her. I just came to sleep in her bed.”
Seth, “Because she gets scared.”
Seth, “Because she wakes up and doesn’t know where she is.”
Andy, “Daddy, I don’t know where I am.”
Seth, “Yes, you do. Where are you?”
Andy, “Nothing. Nowhere. I am with nobody.”
I think Seth ended up laying down with him for a few minutes.
(Dear Uncle John and Aunt Melissa, thank you for making our hotel arrangements for New Years. Our stay in Atlanta was completely comfortable, and our time with you and the whole family was happy and warm! Never mind the kids’ confusion!)
(For me, it is “The Diaper Bag.”)
The Collar I Struck the board, and cry’d, No more. I will abroad. What? shall I ever sigh and pine? My lines and life are free; free as the rode, Loose as the winde, as large as store. Shall I be still in suit? Have I no harvest but a thorn To let me bloud, and not restore What I have lost with cordiall fruit? Sure there was wine Before my sighs did drie it: there was corn Before my tears did drown it. Is the yeare onely lost to me? Have I no bayes to crown it? No flowers, no garlands gay? all blasted? All wasted? Not so, my heart: but there is fruit, And thou hast hands. Recover all thy sigh-blown age On double pleasures: leave thy cold dispute Of what is fit, and not. Forsake thy cage, Thy rope of sands,1 Which pettie thoughts have made, and made to thee Good cable, to enforce and draw, And be thy law, While thou didst wink and wouldst not see. Away; take heed: I will abroad. Call in thy deaths head there: tie up thy fears. He that forbears To suit and serve his need, Deserves his load. But as I rav’d and grew more fierce and wilde At every word, Me thoughts I heard one calling, Childe: And I reply’d, My Lord.
Since the fourth of July our family enjoyed much needed time with parents in Denver and Memphis. As Seth finished his comps last spring, the summertime bid us take many opportunities for deep breaths of quality family time. Now that the fall semester has begun (for the SIXth time in graduate-school) the weeks have become quickly filled.
This afternoon I was sitting on the edge of the tub in our hall bathroom helping Daisy use the potty. And since I stepped out to grab her some fresh undies (poor thing, who wants to go potty when you can just hold it till the very last millisecond and keep playing as long as you possibly can?), I
started continued praying over some potentially hard issues that have been a burden to me for a couple days. When I returned to Daisy, I sat down and started crying, still feeling unsettled, and she said to me, “You’re happy?” I said, “Well, you make me VERY happy, but right now I’m sad inside.” She just smiled at me and said, “God is with you. He is here. He gives you a kiss!”
And later after lunch when the kids were napping, He also gave me this section from the Psalms in our little daily reader subscription (although quoted with changed pronouns since it sounded more honest coming from God) …
“I am your hiding place and your shield; You need to hope in My word. Depart from her evildoers that she may keep My commandments. I uphold you according to My promise, that you may live, and you will not be put to shame in your hope! I will hold you up that you may be safe and have regard for My statues continually!” Psalm 119:114-117
Bless the Lord. (And thank You for my darling daughter, the agent of Your kiss.)
My dear friend who lives on the other side of our large planet lost a diamond. The engagement ring. (This happened to me to me hours before walking down the isle. Very sick feeling. Thankfully we found it in the sink drain of the hotel.) Well, my friend is a missionary in China. When we talk about treasured possessions we usually mean things unseen and intangible. And those things far outweigh the need for jewelry. And the cost and loveliness of the diamond is nothing to the union it symbolizes. But still, even replacing it with a new diamond is not the same. I can’t quite explain that one. When she emailed me, naturally so happy, to say she found it, I was reminded of a clever bunch of words and music by Andrew Peterson, about the lost coin.
Loose Change | Andrew Peterson
I’d give you all of me to know what you were thinking
And if I had one wish I’d wish I wasn’t sinking here
Drowning in this well
Oh can’t you tell
That I can’t pick myself up off the ground
I’ve been face down
And pushed aside
Well, you know I’d rather just turn tail and run
Than lie here in the sun
And watch you pass me by
‘Cause I ain’t worth a dime
But if only I could stand up straight
I wouldn’t have to lie and wait
I could up and roll away
And never be ignored
I’ve got a feeling that I’m something more
Than just a piece of copper ore
Turning green and looking for
The reason I was born
Well, I’ve been around since 1974
In banks and bottom drawers
On railroad ties
I’ve been passed around and cast aside
And skipped and flipped and flattened wide
Spun around and thrown away and left alone to lie
But I heard about a penny found
Lying underneath the couch
By a woman who was kneeling down
Looking for some change
Then the woman danced around
Called her friends all over town
Told ‘em what was lost is found
It’s another penny saved
So I find that all this time
Beneath the surface, I could shine
Like all the gold a king and queen could measure
See, even just a penny is a treasure