Wednesday, December 23, 2009
It is not yet three months since Andrew came home. It is easy to forget that. I mean, we still have "firsts" happening all the time, but I tend to notice them more when they are momentous or especially exciting. For example, today was the first time that we took the boys sliding. We bundled up, threw the sleds in the van, and headed out to a park across town that has a nice, beginner-sized hill for sledding. This has been much anticipated ever since the sleds were discovered in the house during the fall. The time on the hill did not disappoint whatsoever. It was one of those wonderful "firsts."
In general, the holidays bring a lot of opportunities for such special initial experiences. But there are also a lot of less-than-exciting firsts going on...and I can tend to miss them in the midst of the more exciting things. Tonight, I took time to marvel at my chance to watch Andrew and Jadon join Ethan and Abby in a puzzle game we've had in our family for some time. Then, a little later, I found myself trimming my seven-year-old's toenails for the first time. It's an odd sensation to be just beginning to feel this familial togetherness at the same time that you have these moments of realization about how little you know of each other...to have these punctuations of peculiarity throughout the story of our intimacy.
It's not unlike a marriage in some ways. Mike and I have been married over eleven years now, but just the other day, we both learned something new about each other. I remember saying with awe: "I never knew that about you!"
This practice of experiencing each other afresh...of doing things in a new way because of some enlightenment connected to one I love...it makes life a bit complex.
But I must say that I like it.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
It wasn't so long ago that we ourselves were stupid and stubborn, dupes of sin, ordered every which way by our glands, going around with a chip on our shoulder, hated and hating back. But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, he saved us from all that. It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously. God's gift has restored our relationship with him and given us back our lives. And there's more life to come—an eternity of life! You can count on this. --Titus 3:3-8 MSG
...steadily aware of our need to be renewed and made fresh by a divine touch...seems like there's something(s) new for God to be working on in us each day!!!
Monday, December 7, 2009
At breakfast this morning, Ethan told us that he dreamed about Santa Claus.
Now I love stories that kindle the imagination and all that, but I do have a problem with the way Santa's "Ho, ho, ho"s seems to drown out the cry of a baby in a manger at Christmastime. I desperately want my kids to approach Christmas with an attitude of graciousness and gratitude, learning to love God more, rather than growing in self-centeredness and shallowness. So I approach the whole Santa-thing rather gingerly.
This morning, after Ethan's comment about his dream, I asked him if he thought Santa was really real. He hesitated, then grinned and nodded.
"Well, let me tell you what I know," I said. "I know that there was a man named Saint Nicholas who lived a long time ago. He would bring presents to boys and girls who didn't have lots of toys or nice clothes. I think they would leave their boots out on the porch or the steps outside their house, and he would fill their boots with presents. Now, there's also a story about Santa Claus who wears a red suit and has a bunch of reindeer who pull his sleigh so he can bring presents to boys and girls. But the most important thing about Christmas is that God gave us Jesus. And that's why we give presents to each other at Christmas."
With the authority of a wise six-year-old, Ethan summed it up: "Jesus is the good-est gift."
That's it, buddy, that's what Christmas is all about!