Saturday, February 10, 2007

A Wave And A Smile

My son is in such a friendly stage right now. He recently discovered that waving at someone causes them to smile, and wave back - amazing! Our trips to the grocery story are down right comical if not slightly embarrassing. I’ve started to think that he is secretly tallying up the number of people he can get to wave back to him as if trying to beat the number from the week before. Up until yesterday, he had an amazing track record for turning the grumpiest-looking people into happy, baby-talking, ‘googlers’ (as I call them).

Yesterday was different though because as we walked down the long aisle of paper towels and sandwich bags, a man approached our cart, looked at my waving son and kept walking without a response. My son instantly looked at me with a puzzled look and then strained to his right to look around me at the man as he walked away still waving just as eagerly as before. He watched until the man was out of sight and then looked at me with big puppy dog eyes and his hand cocked to the side like, “What happened?” I kissed his sweet head then waved back at him as exuberantly as I could which pacified him until he found his next instant friend.

In the long run, the moment probably had little if any long term effect on him but it affected me because it made me realize all of the heartbreaking lessons he has yet to learn. Granted, having someone not return a friendly wave isn’t big in the grand scheme of things but I know it is just the beginning of some very painful life lessons. I know that if I could prevent him from enduring the heartbreak that he will inevitably endure I would, but in my heart of hearts I know that those lessons are necessary for his emotional and spiritual growth and that they will ultimately play a role in the kind of man, husband, and father that he becomes.

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Romans 5: 3-4

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

In "Other" Words: Giddy

"I long to worship Jesus with the heart of a child, in a state of pure and true adoration. Yet so many things of the world cloud my thoughts and pull on my heart until it's no longer just a girl in the arms of the Father."
~Darlene Schact~
"The Mom Complex"

Just the other day, I watched my friend's daughter for her so that she could make one final visit to her obstetrician before the arrival of her new baby boy. I have to confess that I absolutely adore my friend's daughter, whom I'll call RR, and love it when my friend calls me to watch her. This particular visit, RR arrived during the middle of my son's nap so the first 30 minutes she and I played quietly in the opposite end of the house. As I heard my son start to stir, RR and I tiptoed quietly down the hall to his room where I barely cracked open the door and let RR peak her head in. The groggy little boy looked up sleepily from his crib and when he saw the sweet face of his precious friend, a grin the size of Texas immediately spread across his face. As she walked closer to his crib, his smile grew so big that he looked positively giddy. RR started giggling and clapping and my little guy just sat there staring at her, starry-eyed with unashamed joy ( I later told my mom he looked high). He stood up, glanced quickly at me and then pointed at her as if to say, "I want to see her!!!". I picked him up and placed him on the floor next to her and they both began giggling, then she gave him a big hug and they both fell over giggling. I stood there, drinking in the moment, knowing that moments like those were rare and that very soon there would come a day when both would be ashamed to so publicly enjoy each other's company.

Every time I think back to that moment, my eyes tear up because I've felt that adoration in my heart towards my heavenly Father many, many times in my life but I don't know that I've ever let my joy creep to the surface like my son. What holds me back? Oh, so many things: insecurity, fear, judgment, laziness, doubt, you name it. How different my life would be if my Father had allowed such petty things to stifle the expression of his love for me!

Monday, February 05, 2007

From The Mouths of Babes

I love Fridays not only because I have the day off but because my son and I get to spend the whole day together doing all of the fun things we don’t get to do during the work week. Among my favorite activities is taking my little guy to our city’s gigantic wooden castle playground. We generally spend at least an hour, sometimes two climbing up and down the steps of the castles and forts, sliding down the slides, swinging in the swing and generally covering ourselves in dirt and sand….it is awesome. Just this past Friday we made our weekly trip to the park only to discover that this week the playground was unusually packed. We made our trek back to the toddler section and began our usual routine when four boys, about 11 or 12 years old, came tearing into the toddler section running up the steps that my little guy was methodically climbing. I immediately grabbed him moving his tiny little fingers out of the way of the fast feet of the oblivious boys and we moved on to another section as to stay out of their way. A little wary of the rowdy boys, I kept my ears peeled to their conversation so I could ensure that a sudden stampede of racing wouldn’t trample my little guy. In the process I overheard their conversation as they played in the sand. It went a little something like this:

Boy #1 “Hey let’s build forts in the sand!”
Boy #2
“Nah, I wanna build the Giant Wall of China.”
Boy #3
“You dummy, it is the GREAT Wall of China, not the GIANT Wall of China”
(the other boys laugh)
Boy #2
“ Well….it IS giant!”

A few minutes later….

Boy #1 “Hey! Why are you building your city so close to mine?”
Boy #2 “Don’t worry – we aren’t enemies!”
Boy #3 “Hey Parker, what are you building?”
Boy #1 (Parker) “A church”
Boy #3 “Cool! Can I build mine next to yours?”
Boy #1 “Yeah, that is a good idea. We should probably just combine them with a bridge or something.”
Boy #3 “Yeah, churches are always better when they work together.”

How ‘bout that? Four rowdy boys, dressed in fatigues and cowboy boots with plastic rifles, oblivious to the little guys in their pathways yet onto a concept so profound. What a lesson to be learned.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Romans 12:18

Your thoughts?

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Places I've Been

Here is a sampling of some of the places I've been this week; I hope these blogs are as beneficial to you as they were to me.

Be sure to check out this month's installment of the Christian Women Online Magazine with special guest and Christian novelist Robin Lee Hatcher. Love is the theme and I think you'll love it! Click here. This issue also includes a really interesting column by Kim Brenneman called Top Ten Time Theives...check it out!

Check out Jim Martin's blog God Hungry for a number of great posts including 'Marriage and Following Jesus', "When Life is Hard' (2 parts) and "What do you wish church leaders knew about everyday people?'. Be sure to leave him some love!

Make a stop at Curl, Up and Read to welcome brand new blogger Kristi and enjoy a number of excellent posts. Be sure to leave her some love!

Finally, check out Christopher Green's blog Green Pastures for a number of great posts including "Checking Our Balance", "Feed Me Seymor" and my personal favorite (because it is about my son) "Little Friends". Be sure to leave him some love!