Monday, April 26, 2010

The Lion

I LOVE the Narnia series by C. S. Lewis.



There's a section of one of the books that has been sort of floating around the Mommy-blogosphere for about a week now and I thought I'd post as well.



For those who haven't read the books, Christ is portrayed as a Lion named Aslan. The books follow various adventures of children, in this particular book, Shasta and Aravis.

From "A Horse and His Boy:"



“I do not call you unfortunate,” said the Large Voice.



“Don’t you think it was bad luck to meet so many lions?” said Shasta.



“There was only one lion,” said the Voice.



“What on earth do you mean? I’ve just told you there were at least two the first night and…”



“There was only one; but he was swift of foot.”



“How do you know?”



“I was the lion.”



And as Shasta gaped with open mouth and said nothing, the Voice continued. “I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the Horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you. ”



“Then it was you who wounded Aravis?”



“It was I.”



“But what for?"



“Child,” said the Voice, “I am telling you your story, not hers.”



there are two things i love about remembering this story that i read as a child. first, i KNOW that God has his hands in every aspect of my life. nothing i've been through or am going through has caught him off guard.

and second, my story is not the same as my friend who is prettier than i am or my other friend who's children are "perfect" or my other friend who's father is dying of cancer. i can't compare my insides with someone else's outsides. maybe there's a struggle in my past that will save me from some hurt in the future. maybe someone else's apparent "got-it-together-ness" is not quite as grand as it seems.

whatever God has for me next might not be the same as what He has next for you. that's ok. let's trust Him together, shall we? :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Love One Another

There's an old joke that goes something like this:



A man was walking down the street one day and looked up and saw a man standing on the window ledge of his building. He was clearly about to jump to take his own life.



So the man calls up to the jumper: "Don't do it!"



Jumper says, "Why? What is there to live for?"



Man, "Well, do you believe in God?"



Jumper, "Yes"



Man, "Me, too! Are you Christian?"



Jumper, "Yes"



Man, "Me, too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?"



Jumper, "Protestant"



Man, "Me, too! Baptist or Lutheran?"



Jumper, "Lutheran"



Man, "Me, too! Missouri Synod or ELCA?"



Jumper, "ELCA"



Man, "JUMP, YOU HEATHEN!"



My pastor told this joke once in a sermon not to pick on any one group of people but to demonstrate that if we talk to each other for long enough, we'll find something we disagree about.



I'm frustrated about something today.



There are many issues Christians disagree about. Everything from politics to whether or not we can have a beer with our BBQ seems fodder for division.



And while I don't want to go into what the actual topic is, I was told by someone this week that my intellectual opinion about a relatively minor dogmatic issue makes me not good enough.



The problem is whether or not the issue really is minor. And I understand that. But I promise you this is NOT a salvation issue



I just really really really HATE how good Christians have become at coming up with "important distinctions" that separate those who are saved from those who just aren't good enough. And I really hate that those lines give us an excuse to be at best disrespectful and unloving and at worst downright hateful.



I'm going to do my best to find someone I disagree with today and give them a hug ... or maybe not. That would mean if you read this and I hugged you you'd be suspicious :) But you get the idea.



Can't we all just get along?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Compassion

So Charlie says to me at the lunch table today:

"Compassion is when you see someone who needs help and you wanna help them."

Don't be too impressed, it's a quote from a movie. Veggie Tales' Jonah, to be exact.

Then Emma dropped her cup of water and Charlie jumped out of his chair, picked it up, and held it for Emma to drink (she takes sips from her cup but can't hold it herself yet). Emma drinks more for Charlie than she does for me, but I'm over it.

When Emma was done with her sip, Charlie climbed back into his chair and said, "See? That's compassion!"

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Charlie's Bible...

...reminded me of something again tonight.

God led his people up against the Red Sea ON PURPOSE to show them that HE would fight their battles.

He parted the waters.

Moses told his people that they only needed to "be still."

There are no Emma crisises going on around here or anything like that, but lots of little things (like the spring breaking on the garage door opener) have been piling up.

I LOVE that Charlie loves reading his Bible.

And I'm going to try really hard tonight to rest in God's peace.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Giggles and Bad guys

I was changing an Emma diaper last week and I suddenly heard Charlie grab some of his "man tools" and run upstairs. I went up to our bedroom and the following sight greeted me, accompanied by a VERY serious explanation:




video



Oh, if only plastic gray pliers were all we ever needed to protect ourselves from bad guys :)

Well, whatever he's doing must be working, because SLOWLY the Emma Bear is returning to normal:




video





Ok, well, there's still a bit of the cold hanging on, but it's SO good to hear those giggles again!

And before you judge how enormous my thighs look in this next video, PLEASE remember that my daughter is VERY little:

video

isn't she cute? :)

The latest update on the Bear is that she's still not wearing her hearing aids. She does ok when they are in, but we're doing drops 3 times a day for the infection, so whenever we put them in they get a lot of moisture in them. So she gets a break most of the time. Plus one of them whistles ALL the time, which I'm sure is user error, but I can't figure it out. So we are going to make another audiology appointment. sigh

But other than that, we are just fine. And God is good, so what more do we need?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

More pictures than most of you are interested in :)

Our Good Friday service was excellent, but it was just me and the girl ...
Charlie and Daddy were at the new Twins Stadium! Charlie LOVES that Papa and Daddy love baseball and so Mommy is ok being a baseball widow :)

And for Easter dinner there were 4 generations around a table.
Charlie and Emma were all spiffed up:



But Emma hasn't been "herself" lately. Actually, it's been a good month since I could say that she was really 100% ...
Either way, she looked cute :)

And check out this stud muffin!


















And now this week ... well, Monday and Tuesday were pretty much a bust. Charlie got dragged to a GI appt on Monday morning that wasn't terribly helpful "yes, she's sick, but it's a virus, there's nothing we can do, make up her calories at night" and then Monday afternoon we went to get Emma's new hearing aides and found that she still has pretty bad ear infections in both ears. The tubes aren't clogged, they just aren't draining fast enough to keep up with the gunk in her ears. So Tuesday we took her to the ENT to get drops. I'm hopeful that she'll feel better soon. She's still not tolerating her feeds and she's acting like she doesn't feel well. Plus we're supposed to be getting her used to the hearing aids ... but I'm giving myself and her some grace with that adventure for the time being. :)

But today the kids and I just stayed home and played in the back yard! It's beautiful out there, despite the fact that it's still in the 50's

And Grandma sent us a "manney-fying" glass!







he's doing important work, checking out the world
















EVERYTHING is getting inspected :)



And Charlie picked Emma her first dandelion of the season :)













She is wearing her aids in these pictures, you really can't see them past all her hair!






So that's us :)
If you feel like praying, I'm feeling a bit over-whelmed right now. Please pray for peace and patience and grace as I try to remember that God's design for our family is not too much for me to handle. The power of the resurrection at work within me can most assuredly handle a little stress, but I just need to remember to tap into that. I'm not SUPPOSED to do this on my own, it IS more than I can handle, but I CAN do all things through Christ who gives me strength.


Friday, April 2, 2010

good friday

i love the show "Godspell"

i was in it once in high school. my one line was "tweet, tweet, tweet!"

four years later my brothers played john the baptist and jesus. they have more talent than i do.

this was, of course, in our church.

but then one good friday when i was in college, my mother took me to see a professional staging of the show in minneapolis. i was so excited! i was like a child, trying to keep myself from singing out loud with the songs i loved. we beseech thee, hear us!

but the end of the show absolutely broke my heart.

for those of you who don't know, the show is taken from the book of matthew. it starts with john the baptist singing "prepare ye the way of the lord" and ends with a christ singing a very moving "oh, god, i'm dying"

the last scene is the crucifixion. the music is absolutely heartbreaking.

but after jesus dies, the music picks up. it's the curtain call, after all, so they reprise the "prepare ye the way of the lord" song and the show, of course, ends in a major key

but christ doesn't come back

i didn't know that when i went to see the show for the first time on a non-church stage. the music swelling at the end was just such an OBVIOUS moment for jesus to come back on stage and join in the final happy chorus, in my (churched) mind. that's what the christ character always 'resurrected' in our stagings. when the drums come back in and the key changes from minor to major and the electric guitar picks up the rhythm, jesus dances (or in my brother's case, does a backflip) back on to the stage and the congregation stands and applauds.

it's not there in the script.

the show ends with the cast of characters remembering him and honoring him and singing "long live god" as if his teachings are going to live in our hearts and minds forever.

but HE doesn't ACTUALLY come back.

i wept.

i sat in my seat long after the theater had emptied, weeping.

i wanted to stand up and scream to the audience, "come back! you're missing it! he DOESN'T STAY DEAD!!!"

that was the best easter sunday service ever for me. HE HAS RISEN INDEED!

I'm thinking about it today because I'm getting ready to go to a Good Friday service. I'm tired and busy and preoccupied. For some reason this year, I want to skip to the end. I want to gloss over Good Friday and get to the party. I feel like I don't have the emotional energy to pour into watching scenes from The Passion of the Christ and I want to move more quickly to singing the Alleluias.

But both Friday and Sunday matter.

It matters that He died. It matters that He suffered. It matters that His heart bled and STOPPED and He was placed in a tomb.

But

It also matters that He DIDN'T STAY DEAD!

He paid the price, but he also conquered the grave.

I don't really understand all the whys, but I know that both parts matter. So I'm going to a Good Friday service, but I know that I know

that

Friday

isn't

the end.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Feed my Sheep

I've been thinking a lot in the past couple of days about Jesus' conversation with Peter after he rose from the dead.

Jesus: Do you love me?

Peter: You know I love you!

Jesus: Then feed my sheep.

(repeat 3 times, for emphasis)

Here's what I've been thinking. Who are Jesus' sheep I'm supposed to be feeding?

At this point in my life, my answer is my kids.

So at those times when I'd rather plug Charlie in to a movie or plop Emma in the exersaucer, I'm replaying this in my head.

Jesus: Do you love me?

Me: Of course I love you!

Jesus: Then feed my sheep.

dishes can wait, read to Charlie. table can be wiped down later, play with Emma. phone calls can be returned ... my job right now is to feed the little souls God has entrusted me with.

it's been in my head lately ... not sure if it makes as much sense outside my head as it does inside my head, but it's what i've been thinking about lately, so i thought i'd share :)

Feeling triumphant

When we first brought Emma home, our pediatrician told us that if we ever needed to bring Emma in because we "just knew something was wrong," even if there were NO symptoms, she would always work us in.

Emma has been doing more retching than usual and not tolerating her normal amount of food at a bolus feeding, but other than that she's been totally healthy for at least a week.

She had a cold, but has been recovered from that for several days.

And she's even slept through the night for several nights in a row!

But I took her in today anyway because ... well, the retching, yes, but ... you know ... I just ... I dunno.

And she has an ear infection.

Hasn't been fussy or pulling at her ear. In fact, she's been quite happy and playful.

I'm so glad I took her in.

But I have to ask - do all roads lead to the tummy with these kiddos?

I'm curious to see if the ear infection gets better and magically heals her tummy as well! :)