I like Paul more now than I used to. He was a busy mama, kinda. 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 the lunch hour. 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 how he maintained contentedness in all things, I
do not know guess I forget and need to reread Philippians.
On behalf of my children, I have the anxiety part down. I worry about how to foster views 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 (as I SO often catch myself). Jesus must be proved over and over again. 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. He’s the only One who can bear us up when everything is melting away. 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.)
Did Paul ever have to confess being his own opposition (well, I mean, post-conversion)?
(For me, it is “The Apron.”)
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?
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.
Daisy: Thank you, Lord, for the beautiful day. (x2 or 3) Thank you for our house. Thank you for our food. (At this point Daisy has some gas.) Thank you for our toots! (giggles)
Seth: Okay, Daisy. That’s enough. Say, “Amen.”
Andy: Thank you, Lord, for the smoke alarm. Amen.
Ah. I’ve been meaning to write. Since the fourth of July our family enjoyed much needed time with our parents in Denver and Memphis. (With all my heart I hope that the relationships we have with our kids will be as meaningful as we have both enjoyed with our parents.) As Seth finished his comps last spring, the summertime bid us take many opportunities for deep breaths of quality family time. (big happy sigh) Now that the fall semester has begun (for the SIXth time in graduate-school) the weeks have become quickly filled, and I only manage the intention to write. But some things cannot be skipped…
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 for 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 I’ve quoted it with changed pronouns since it sounded more honest coming from God — a Bible Reading no-no?) …
“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 big, expensive — not to mention sparkly — one she was given the night she was engaged. (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 where my family lodged.) 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 like. 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 recently 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
happy, excited toddler and preschooler? check.
one easy, mellow infant? check.
one filthy, cozy-coupe grocery cart? check.
disinfectant spray? check.
disinfectant wipes? check.
one big, empty-ish grocery store? check.
lots of lovely fresh produce for once! sing praises? check.
quickly get all items on list and a couple I forgot to write down? check.
one purple balloon? check.
one blue balloon? check.
infant fast asleep? check.
drive home safely? check.
infant saves massive poop until AFTER being removed from carseat? check.
happy mama? mm-hmm.
Me: Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?
Andy: The soldiers put Him on the cross.
Me: Yes, you’re right! They did. Why did He have to die? To save me from my…
Andy: Sins. So we wouldn’t have to die.
Me: Yes! And we can live with Him in heaven.
Andy: But we can’t actually see Him. Because He’s so far away. Like Grandma and Grandad. They are so far away.
Me: Well, yes. But if we believe in Him, He is right here with us!
Andy: (matter of factly) Because the soldiers made different cars for Him to drive.
Lean over your plate. Should we call grandma? It was an accident. (Are we already out of wipes again?) Hold still. Daddy will be so proud! Does it hurt? Change your attitude. Where are your shorts? Can you encourage her? (I should fix lunches.) Better run to the potty! Okay, you’re going to need a bath. Take your hands out of your mouth. Can you put this in the garbage please? In a few minutes you can have a turn. If you’re done with it put it away. (I needed to have gone to medical school.) Can you please run and grab a burp cloth? If you’re going to whine, go to your room – no one wants to hear. You used the potty, yay! Be careful. No. What comes after G? Please put the school bus back in the toy box. You need to say I’m sorry. (I can hardly keep my eyes open.) Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see? Slow down. You need to have one more bite of ham before you can have another grape. Where is the phone? You can’t put your weight on him – you’re too big! Ssh, he’s asleep. You’re gonna have to wait. (Maybe this song will be meaningful.) Hurry – the garbage truck is coming! I just can’t hold you both at the same time. Calm down. Yay, Daddy’s home!! Do you need a kiss? Find all the straight edge pieces first. Come on, we need to go wash our hands. Go put that on Daddy’s desk. Uh-oh. Why are you spilling that all over? I’ll get the step stool. Use soap! Not right now. (I can’t believe she’ll eat brussel sprouts, but not a pb&j.) It’s time to lay down. Are you listening to me? Let’s pray. (Where are my shoes?) Slowly, slowly down they came…Each dog part of a long dog chain. Tummy time. What are you thinking about? Turn it the other way. It’s too hot. I’m so sorry I yelled at you, honey. I don’t want to yell. I love you – will you forgive me? (Heaven help.)
Saturday night, January 22, our house was full of people. Your uncle Tyler from Korea, Grandma and Grandad from Denver, and Gran-D was here from Dallas. So, it was a great weekend to be born. (You would soon be greeted by many who love you!)
While everyone else slept soundly on Friday night, I was awake with contractions from about 12 AM to 4:30 AM. But it was not to be. (This really confused your uncle. Ha.) After a great Saturday of visiting with family, and a pep talk/belly pat from Gran-D, my Birthing-Autopilot turned on around 1 AM. We arranged to meet Judy (Again! She delivered Daisy, too.) at the Birth Center around 3:30. And much like your sister, you were born a few hours later at 7:12 AM. All 8 lbs of you. I’m in love!