Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Silence

So last week my sweet Avonlea left me a note on my pillow asking if she could play the computer in the morning. Unfortunately Grant found the note before I did and taking a piece of my stationary he answered it. A very confused little woman sought me out the next day. "Mommy this note is signed by you but it's not your handwriting! Did you write this?"
The note read, "No you can't play computer because you are nauthy. I have work to do. play with Grant. Mommy"
Grieved that the spelling issues didn't tip her off, I replied, "No, I didn't write that Avonlea and you did just right by coming to me and asking."
She tripped off to play the computer with my blessing.

My house is very quiet these days. That's because I'm not talking. I'm narrating a Good Friday service and I'm singing in three Easter services. So, I need to take care of the goods, grease down the engine, or whatever. Every year this happens. The week before my voice is needed it decides to go on vacation somewhere. It's rather incredible. I'm chugging lemon tea and honey and gargling salt water but the best advice I've gotten was "do not talk." It sounds so easy - zip your lips and throw away the key! But the words that would be stifle and choke and long for expression. And I have to wonder, why would God give me a voice to use for Him and then take it away when I try to do so. As this thought was making it's circuit in my mind the above story of the note keep coming up to jog alongside it. I thought about my advice to Avonlea, if in doubt over the validity of something ask the assumed giver. So I did and He replied in James 1.
"Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows...everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.....if anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless."
The light blinked on. This enforced silence is a gift. A time to be obedient to God in private before I am obedient in public. A time to chastise this unruly tongue of mine. An opportunity to examine the thoughts internally that normally would have been spoken in haste. Last year my voice came back right before I needed it and the enforced silence filled me with suppressed expression that found it's way out in the services. I pray that the same thing will happen this year and that this week of quiet will not be in vain.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Avonlea's Story

My little girl likes big words. She uses them even though the definition may be vague to her. She wrote this random story and had Dave and I in hysterics. Enjoy.

The Handkerchief

"Come prompt," a voice on the telephone said.
"Okay I'll come at seven o'clock."
"Fine." Click.
Creak, a door opened and a boy about 11 came in. "Hi it's Mom's anniversary, usually we have a party but not today!" he finished with a gesture.
"Where's your dad?"
"Oh he's at the drudgery. My you have huge columns! I guarantee there made from the 1800's?"
"Yes."
"Do you have a cylinder around here?"
"Yes it's very prominent."
"Mom has a way of application so I thought..."the boys words trailed off. He looked sick.
"Are you okay?"
The boy nodded. "Just a second I have to succeed my oxygen."
The man said, "we'll be expecting your Dad any second now."
The boy looked up, "it's all very substantial drudgery."
"Here eat!"
The boy licked his lips. "I'll swallow prompt! Wait I have an earache. Look there's a cardinal."

Monday, March 22, 2010

Whispers

A whisper woke me. It was accompanied by a chubby index finger traveling the freeways of my face. Left cheek bone, merge to rutted mouth freeway, head north, east across laugh lines, hang a sharp south down nose. Repeat. And the words press themselves into my subconscious, "You are so bootyful mommy. Willy willy bootyful. Adordibble. Sigh. (The finger is out of gas for a minute) But you going to get stressed today. Willy stressed. But she's so bootyful." Sigh. (Finger resumes).
It always amazes me when God speaks to me through my children. Especially, when he speaks through the naughty ones, the stress inducers. The ones who etched the freeways on my face.
But I hear. And the laundry and school work and instruments and bookwork and health care and democracy fall into perspective and I smile. Because I'm bootyful and willy willy loved.

"After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper............" (I Kings 19:12)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Passions Pursued


It's seems a bit surreal to be cooking dinner to a live harp concert, especially when I'm frying up Mexican. Avonlea has taken lessons for three weeks now. She loves it. She played for an hour last night and put everyone but Rowan to sleep.
I was not prepared for the amount of comments and questions that I received due to the "passion" post. There's a lot of good thinking out there and here are some of the ideas I gleaned.
First, several people told me that the things they were passionate about as children were what they actually ended up pursuing, in some form or another, later in life. This was true in my case as all those dance lessons enabled me to teach for the last 15 years.
Second, care must be taken that one child's passion doesn't drain the family's time or money in a way that makes siblings resentful.
Thirdly, when in doubt, wait. True passion is interwoven in the soul of who God made us. It's the song in our hearts on repeat. If your child's passion is legitimate you will hear the refrain again if the time is not right now. I am so glad I waited those two years before I let Avonlea play the harp. She is a much better musician now so it came much more naturally to her. She is also more responsible and takes care of her things better now than she did at eight.
I think at the heart of all this is the love we have for our children and our desire to see them become who God created them to be in Him and through Him.
And for my friend whose son's passion is learning to make bombs.........that could be surreal as well.
PS Speaking of songs on repeat, I once ate a whole Thanksgiving dinner to "Feeling Groovy." I didn't realize the repeat button was on till dinner was over! (Weren't my parents saints?)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Living Lent

"Fix these words of mine in your hearts, and minds....teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." (Deut. 11: 18-19)
I awoke yesterday with this verse in my head at 6AM. Two minutes later there was a voice by my bedside, "Do you think the ark went to Heaven with Noah?" Hmmmm could I in good conscience pretend slumber? No. So Rowan got into bed with me and we thrashed out the details of Heaven, Noah, arks, animals, and God (Who does indeed have a sense of humor).
My first exposure to lent as a child was through a Catholic friend ("The main difference between you and me is that I get to drink wine at communion and you don't"). She said you had to give something up for forty days and her mommy gave up sugar and was grumpy and her dad gave up creamer and was even more grumpy and she couldn't have any gum for another two weeks! Oh...I see...kinda?
Now, I understand that lent goes deeper than creamer and grumpiness, deeper even than giving something up. But the misconception persists so I swung the other way and added something.
I decided to try and live Deut. 11:18-19. This should be a given, but unfortunately, it often gets swept under the rug of busyness. So I've made a concentrated effort this lent to talk Jesus. Here are some of the issues that have been revealed: One of my children thought that Jesus didn't really die but only pretended. One of my children asserted that he could jump the chasm of sin and get to Heaven on his own. And one of the parents (me) were deeply convicted about how often she glibly dishes out the Bible at meals and then does just what she feels like in between.

Jesus is on the tongue and in the heart and the metamorphis is somehow more visual when it's the fore-front of our days. True, we may only be changing from a grub to a bigger grub (no butterflies in sight yet) but we are stretching and talking and learning from each other. ("If God didn't die, how did He get to Heaven?")

So lent is teaching me to know and love Jesus more and to share that as a family and I don't even have to give up tea! (See me shudder!)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Preparing for Easter

video

"Savior, He can move the mountains,

My God is mighty to save, He is mighty to save.

Forever, author of salvation,

He rose and conquered the grave, Jesus conquered the grave."

"I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure." Luke 10:21

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

On the job training

On Friday I told my woes of mating cats and a new story emerged. A friend worked with a dog breeder. She told how male studs were worth thousands of dollars and how a female could damage a male by pulling away too soon. So...she had to sit with the dogs and hold them together until the act was consummated. Wow. I had to watch the cats but never assist. She held out her hands and said, "sometimes I would just think, what am I doing here!" But her madness had method and the goal was new birth; life.
This week I have echoed her sentiments. The fevers have soared, the coughs racked little bodies, reams of tissues clog every waste basket, Avonlea has broken every blood vessel in her face, once again, vomiting. I throw my hands out and ask, "What am I doing here?" They need a nurse or at least someone awake and naturally compassionate! It's not the first time I've asked this question.
When allergies descended and I was left to bake a birthday cake with oats and maple syrup.
When I called poison control and gave my last name and they replied, "Oh, Rowan's mom?"
When the math problems were all wrong and they replied, "But mom, you helped me with them!"
When my four year old told me I need to talk in a big boy voice.
When the days are long and utterly demanding and I think, I wasn't trained for this! I can do ballet, write poetry, sing, tell stories but this.............
And I remember, "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Cor. 4:18)
So yes, sometimes I think my children would be better off with a trained nurse, a chef, a scholar, a philosopher, but God entrusted them to faulty, (though entertaining), me. And what is unseen is the fact that I am assisting in the great work of God in bringing my children to new birth; true life. And I'm being trained on the job.


PS Just a note, mustard plasters and cough suppressents are counter productive

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