Saturday, January 3, 2015

Zeke and I

A paper that I wrote for school this past term. For my family. I love you guys!

He likes playing with cars and trucks. I like playing with my make-up and hair. He is still learning to dress himself. I am still learning to be thankful. If you were to get all the children in the world together, I’m sure he would be the happiest. I am happy, but I have a different load to bear than he does. I have bills and work and school. My world is big in comparison to his; but he lives in his world better than I do in mine. He gets bumps, scratches, and bruises all the time and doesn’t complain. I get a little paper cut and whine for hours. I like keeping things neat and clean but he likes to keep things messy. While he is supposedly sleeping I will vacuum up the evidence of the battle which he enacted that day. I often get to put him to bed while Mom and Dad go out for some time alone. I give him a bottle and tell him to pick out a couple books to read. He gets excited about books. I will turn the pages on a new adventure, and he will listen, ask questions, and sit on my lap in satisfaction.   
On one particular night, I was having a hard time putting him to bed. Zeke, the two-year-old, was learning to sleep in a big-boy bed and he liked the idea of being in a bed of his very own, but, like any respectable two-year-old, he enjoyed the freedom of being able to leave said bed at any moment. I, however, would have enjoyed staying in the big, soft, warm bed for the whole night, but who am I to argue with a small boy on the necessities of sleep?
Just before leaving, Zeke’s mother had told me not to hesitate to discipline this unruly sinner for his faults and neglect of slumberhood. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. The first time he got up I simply chided and berated him. There he stood, a smile splashed across his face, beaming with pride at his adventurous nature. He could get out of bed now. He didn’t have to deal with the annoyance of having to wait on Mom, or Dad, or (at the moment) an extremely short-tempered Aunt. I could not believe it. He smiled at me as if this was the most normal thing in the world, like we were two eager dogs about to go chasing after frisbees in the park under a sunny sky. The sun was not shining on my face. My face spoke shame. Shame on this little boy who thought he could get away with getting out of bed with just a smile ripening on his mouth. He slowly stopped smiling. He got the message. “Zeke, it’s time to go to bed. Please get back in bed and go to sleep.”
The little sinner, his game averted, was reluctantly marched back to his room. His head hung low and his shoulders slumped. After all, what else is a little boy to do at ten o’clock at night? Count the buzz lightyears on his pillow case? I sympathized with his predicament, but I also felt obliged to wield the authority given to me. No doubt, he would resist that authority, but I found a determination, a resolve, welling up within my soul to bring correction to my lost charge. So, to his room we marched.
The little warrior was put in bed under a warm blanket and a soft pillow was pushed under his head and I felt satisfied. Surely these circumstances will cause slumber to string it’s bow. He smiled at me, rolled over, and closed his eyes. Of course I thought about staying to confirm that he had in fact gone to sleep, but he was a two-year-old after all. How hard could it be to summon a nice happy dream to send you off to dreamland?
A slight tingle ran over my spine. A creak. I swallowed a sigh but couldn’t stop it completely. My eyes caught sight of a flash of bright blond hair and I knew: he had retreated from the bed—the object I had been putting my hopes in. I couldn’t understand this situation I was in. Well, I understood it, but was miffed that I found myself here.
And there he was, standing there beaming at me again. “Molly,” he said, “I don’t want to go to sleep.” That settled it. He was going to bed. Now. My small and large intestines quaked as I marched him to the bathroom. Once inside, it took one swat and then it was over. When it was done he didn’t cry or carry on. His little blue eyes grew big with question marks and surprise. He hadn’t thought I would do it either. He hadn’t realized I was the one in charge. We hugged and prayed, breathless from the ordeal. “Okay Zeke, it’s time to go to bed.” “Okay Molly.”
I didn’t hear from him the rest of the night, but I couldn’t stop my mind from rolling in tidal waves of anguish. Had I been too hard? Had I just lost a nephew? It was as if a piece of my heart had been stolen by this little two-year-old and I wouldn’t ever get it back. I was showing him my love by correcting him, but I had my doubts. I’ll always remember the moment the next day when those doubts were erased: Zeke put his little hands around my neck and gave me a hug.

We are quite the pair. He likes red. I like blue. He is a child and I am an adult, but he is sometimes wiser than I. He receives correction quickly. I drag my feet to the confession booth. He is a sinner who repents without delay. I am a sinner who repents slowly. Oh that I would like a little child become and receive correction quickly and thankfully.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Unborn voice

My picture is displayed for all the world to see.
I laugh, I cry, and I feel pain.
There I am, barely a twinkle in the eye of the beholder,
but I am here.
Don't turn your face away
and act like it doesn't matter.
Breathing is joy. Voices make me tremble.
Grab that string and pull on it.
That is truth. That is beauty.
I will write you a story and you can tell me the ending.
One sheep was taken from its fold of comfort,
swept up like dust off the floor.
Are you the thief? Is your part the villain?
You don't want that part.
Folly will eat you slow until there is nothing left for us to see.
Be brave and grant me a hearing.
Fear will try to choke you, but you can fight back.
Hear that hissing from your tongue?
That is the snake trying to get out, trying to win.
My brother tells his daughters to crush it, beat it, stamp it down.
They know that he's no threat.
That dog is licking his wounds
and by the lion's stripes we will be the victors.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I am Thankful for...

It's easy to forget to thank God for the everyday blessings we enjoy. Like books, music, laughter, and chocolate. Then the big things happen like the blessing of a new computer and we are blown away and are reminded to be thankful once again. Here are some other things I'm thankful for: 

mashed potatoes



                                                                           And Skating

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How God works

"God is more concerned with conforming me to the likeness of His Son than leaving me in my comfort zones. God is more interested in inward qualities than outward circumstances - things like refining my faith, humbling my heart, cleaning up my thought life and strengthening my character."

-Joni Eareckson Tada

Thursday, May 10, 2012

No Fear

I struggle a lot with fear. Fear of man, fear of change, fear of the unknown. Yea, it doesn't sound very nice. It's okay to have fears and I don't think anyone can go through life without them. The trick is to not let your fears control you. You are standing paralyzed by fear before a crowd of people. What are you going to do? Let that fear get the better of you? Or are you going to take a breath, let it out, and give that speech you prepared? Fear is a choice. You can give in and be paralyzed by it for the rest of your life, or you can choose to trust in God who is giving you that fear for a reason.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknoweledge Him and He will make straight your paths." Proverbs  3:5-6

My question to myself is why? Why am I so afraid? So often it comes back to my pride. I think I will get hurt, or I can't do that, or I will look bad in peoples eyes. If that is where you are, then you need to check your pride. Obviously God is telling you to do something that you don't want to do. Guess what? If God wants you to do it, then He will work around your pride. You will probably end up doing whatever it is anyway.

Satan likes to use those lies our pride is feeding us. He is hoping we will give in. He wants us afraid and on edge. That is his stomping ground. I've had to remind myself of this. Yes, I am little miss 5 ft. scardey cat and guess what? God can work with that. He has worked with that.

This past week another fear challenge was sent my way. In the providence of God, a friend of mine suddenly died. It was shocking mostly. I've never had a friend just suddenly not there. I've had friends gradually die and I've been somewhat prepared for it. No one was prepared for this. I wasn't that close to this friend, but God used him to send me another fear message. Simply put, I don't need to be afraid. When I first heard about what had happened to my friend, I was shocked at first. But that gradually was inching towards fear. Lightbulb! Am I going to be scared and run and hide? Or am I simply going to take a breath and pray that God's will be done.

I felt for my friends who are especially affected by this tragic death and for the family. They are hurting and I was hurting too. Their response has not been one of fear though. They have all been taking their grief to the Lord and saying "Lord how can we honor you?" That is radical.

So what can we do but say with gusto "No Fear!" With hearts full and legs trembling we can rise up and bless our faithful God. I like this passage from Romans:

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."  -Romans 8:35-39

In Christ we have nothing to fear.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Six Protectors

Here is some more poetry to make up for my lapse in writing:

Six protectors strong and bold
fearless there they stand
against all the mighty hold
honor in their hand

Laughter is their strength
Courage is their friend
They will go to any length
Through Christ, never bend

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Morning

Faintly echoing through the vibrations of an ear comes the blaring of an alarm. Suddenly snapped out of slumber, you feel like questioning everything in a split second. Where am I? What time is it? What day is it? As questions are answered, contentment settles in. Duty calls and it is time to Carpe Diem. Oh, but the soft, cushioned feeling of that mattress is calling. Stretching and rotating arms vertically helps a little. You are awake. After getting dressed, you read and prepare for another adventure. Streams of molecules are running over the surface of the windows around you. Wet tire scraping against the pavement is audible. Yes, it's another Oregon day. Breakfast and coffee are needed. Silence calls out like a diver right before he hits the pool. Before long though, noise will get the upper hand. Your mother will be puttering around in the kitchen, your Dad will be typing on a computer, and your brother will be crunching on some food. Life will begin again like a new creation. God speaks and we have to listen. With these thoughts, your morning has begun.