Monday, March 18, 2013

Oh Wow.

We headed up to the cottage last weekend to relax.
My definition of relaxation differs slightly from my husbands.
Dave towed the trailer behind our van so he and the boys could pile in all the metal they've found around the property.
Saturday morning dawned gray and dreary but that didn't daunt them. Or me. Avonlea and I armed ourselves with stacks of Victorian magazines and cups of tea and relaxed to our heart's content. Dave and the boys collected their metal, running in every now and then to gloat over some big find.
"Mommy! Mommy! We found the hood of a car!"
"Oh wow." Flip page, sip tea. "How exciting."
The day waned and late into the afternoon Rowan came running up to the house. The door opened quickly and I got ready to say, "Oh wow."
"The car is falling over the cliff Mommy."
He had the door closed again before I could respond. I spent a moment in sympathy, the boys would be sad if they lost all the metal from the car hood, but whatever. Flip page.
The door opened again almost immediately, Rowan again, "Oh yeah, Dad says to pray."
Really? He wants me to pray for a car hood? This annoys me a little and I have trouble getting back into my magazine.
Ten minutes pass in the peaceful bliss of mother and daughter sipping and flipping.
Then Rowan's back, "Mommy, daddy wants you to come push the car."
I wake up rather suddenly and say, "What car are you talking about Rowan?"
"Our red van. Daddy drove it over the cliff trying to get the metal."
Coat and shoes were the work of seconds and I bolted down the access road. And there it was.
Our van at a 45 degree angle. The two driver's side wheels off the road. Dave was plying the shovel with a will, trying to get ground under the tires.
"Could you push the front while I put it in reverse?" he asks.
I push with all my little might but don't even budge it.
"Sweetheart, you wouldn't by chance have the parking brake on?" I gotta ask.
"Oh, oops."
I push again and it starts moving, but that only aggravates it's precarious position.
Rowan screams, "Daddy get out! It's going to flip over!"
It doesn't, but Dave gets out.
I start having creative solutions zinging through my head, probably because of the magazine/tea combo of the afternoon.
But no, it was not to be.
Dave called a tow truck and the boys were enthralled with the winch system.
The tow truck was free since it is a NEW van and still under warranty. Who knew that warranties cover ditches and bad back-ups and metal?
The boys got the trailer filled and took it to the metal yard today and had a great time.
I also had a great weekend and have learned that there is really nothing to make you appreciate quiet, creative moments with your daughter like having to interrupt them, to push a van up a steep hill. In the rain. With the parking brake on.
My definition of relaxation differs slightly from my husbands.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Good Gifts

My Dad's birthday was on Friday. He would have been 74.
I thought about him on his birthday, because he loved his birthday.
More pointedly, he loved presents.
He loved getting presents, but he also loved giving presents.

I had a box in a the attic for a long time filled with presents from my dad. A porcelain cat filled with bath salts. Assorted soaps. Stuffed animals. Figurines. The reason these presents were packed in the attic and not gracing the household adornment is because they were unpleasant to me. You see, my dad bought presents because he liked them. He didn't want to know what I wanted. If I put in a suggestion he got irritated.

Now, I have a sense of humor and could usually get a good laugh out of what he picked out for me, but that was all it was really worth.

I woke in the night last night, thinking of this, lamenting what was. And I started to realize that I think of God as a giver in the same vein I think of my dad. Meaning, I think of God giving me what He wants to give me, and not caring at all how I feel about it.
Not giving me what I really want because He doesn't really care what I want.
I picture Him, getting irritated at my prayers, as if He doesn't want my suggestions.
And sometimes, I want to take the whole lot of what He's given me and stick it in the attic!

Laying in my bed last night, the silence and the dark and the past all pressing down on me, I knew.
"For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord..."
God's gift is the sacrificial love of Jesus, the Lamb of God.
"Plans to prosper you and not to harm you..."
God's gift is the joy of eternal life.
"Plans to give you hope and a future..."
God's gift is the yearning in my heart to know Him intimately.
"Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you..."
God's gift is sight to my blind eyes.
"You will seek me and find me..."
God's gift is adoption.
"When you seek me with all your heart."

It was as if in a moment I realized that what I had always wanted was a porcelain cat filled with bath salts! I had one! It was in the attic!

In my heart I embraced the gifts that God, in His mercy, has given me.
And maybe,
just maybe,
I should stop making inventory of my own gifts,
and ask Him what He'd like from me.

Because now that I think about it,
I never saw some of those gifts that I gave my dad,
around the house....


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