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Friday, September 21, 2012

The Danger of Encountering God

I'm just going to say it: I'm afraid to meet God.

Those words kind of sting. I was raised a Christian - a real one, not a we-go-to-church-on-Sunday-with-a-hangover Christian. As a kid I knew Jesus. He was my best friend, my hero. As I got older I learned about my own sin and how much I needed His friendship.

And as an adult I crashed into Him in a candle-lit apartment after being raked through my own degenerate mind with merciless brutality. Satan and I had quite the tango going before God cut in. I'm not being cute. I was a pitiful mess and I can say with confidence that God met me on the carpet. He was gentle and He was strong. He gave me hope and light and peace without which I could die. I truly believe that. I could be dead.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

"Children are brave!"

Yes, I watch The View. Moving on.

I don't know that I have heard such a clear and honest articulation of childhood. Children are brave. Any mother who has watched her baby take those first trepidatious steps can attest to his fortitude. Determined with his shaky, unreliable feet he fixes his attention, puts his fear behind him and walks. Falls. And invariably, at some point, tries again. Adults don't usually have that courage. Children are on their own in a big and mysterious world.

I love watching RJ explore. She takes delight in things that to me have lost their luster. This morning she was dancing and laughing at her wire hanger percussion and I was blessed with a peek into Wonder. That is just one of the gifts she gives me daily. Because she is an Explorer. On par with Lewis & Clark, she is discovering a completely unknown land. She has adventures in kitchen hideaways and toilet bowls. She scales mountains of armchairs and pillows. She boldly approaches the Wild Beast with an unreasonable hope that he will, for the first time, enjoy her company as much as she enjoys his. She is a Pioneer. She is charting territory for her future brothers and sisters (and I think she will be a great Expedition Leader).

And one day she will leave. I also love Jamie Lee's declaration of independence for our children. Our culture is so intent on keeping the young young that so often parents fail to raise adults. And she is so right: if we do our jobs, separation will be mutually beneficial and anticipated. As much as I thoroughly enjoy every second we get to spend with her, RJ is somebody's wife in the making. She is in her education for motherhood.

I expect to be heartbroken when she moves away and starts her family (or does something else as the Lord wills), but in the best possible way. A shifting paradigm is never a smooth ordeal, but I so look forward to watching her use all we are able to teach her and learn from her as she navigates this life with her own RJ flair. I pray and trust {well, working on the trust} that she will not depart from the Truth. That: my children loving God when they are out of my nest, will be my deepest joy in parenthood.

And I will not shield my brave little ones from this: it will take courage.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Mom Moments

When RJ is snug in her bed and the night is winding down, I have the honor of putting our well loved home back in order. I pick up her brightly colored toys and stack them neatly near the wall. I clear the sink and sweep the crumbs from the counters. I toss and fluff throw pillows to their homes on the couches and I grab bits of garbage or laundry during my final walk through.

I love the thought of RJ hearing me wash dishes. I can remember my mom doing her gifts of service every night; it made me feel comfortable and safe. I would wake up to a cleared kitchen and folded laundry. The floors would be clean and ready for another day of wear. No matter what transpired the day before, our home was a clean slate every morning. 

It makes me think of that verse:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
 As RJ grows I hope to relay that character trait of God to her. I hope to give her the grace He so generously gives me and let her rest in the home He allows me to make for her. A home of mercy. I hope that my patience and love for my children is new every morning and that I will remember constantly to enjoy these little blessings while they are still young.

And I hope that I will take joy every evening, when my babies are snug and the night is quieting, in picking up the brightly colored reminders of God's favor and wiping off remnants of His abundance from the countertops.