Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday, through a child's eyes

Kids of various ages and stages have a way of opening our older, dimmed eyes to the world around us.

I remember fondly the second year of our first born's life. His constant discoveries of the world around him drove me to relook at everything from worms to rainbows, from paint to boogers, from toes to eyelashes.

At the same time, I taught kindergarten. Every day the five and six year olds grew mentally and emotionally in ways only kindergarteners can. They discovered sounds and friends and adding and confidence and themselves.

Yesterday and today we remembered Good Friday, and again I had the privilege of seeing through a child's eyes.

Today as I helped with three and four year olds the story teller came in and shared the dusty story of the cross. The regular attenders' hands shot up with the right answers, but the visitors are the ones to learn from.

Have you ever done something wrong?
No, not me.
Have you ever disobeyed your mom?
No, not me. (a little more hesitantly)
Have you ever lied?
No, not me. There was one time that I had to, but it was not today. 

How short our memories are concerning our own glaring faults. Our own need of the Savior is glossed over by rationalizations and present circumstance.

The story goes on . . .

Jesus was taken to a cross and he had to die for those sins. He had done no wrong, but he loves you so much!
{Gasp} He died!?!?!

But that's not the end.
He's almost giddy as he hears the end of the story. 

I don't remember the first time I heard it, but serving there in that 3-4 year old room I heard it again for the first time. 

Another service, this time in the "adult" worship service. More introspective. Who do I say that He is? Me and Jesus. That's all that matters in that moment.

What do I think? Does my life bear that out? Time to contemplate, to stir up, to remember.

On the way out, our eleven year old who had just experienced his first adult version of Good Friday comments, "That was really good."

Later in the quietness I ask more - what exactly?

He says simply, it was so real

He's long believed, long understood the story, but seeing it there, like that, so focused and dramatized, and real.

Yes, real.

It really happened. Long ago, but just as relevant today. I build my hope on nothing less, than Jesus' blood and righteousness.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Fresh month, fresh goals

Funny how God seems to tug me back here about once a year.

a place to just write.

to think

to process

He's so good, and even in the midst of busy days that blur by, He shows Himself faithful continually. His mercies renew each day. More than I deserve.

This year I've set two goals each month, and I'm now contemplating the ones for the month ahead.

January was daily devotions and drinking all my water. This has stuck with me pretty consistently through February as well (which was the plan).

February was no desserts and no facebook. I've failed pretty miserably at both. However, I have seen cutbacks and residual benefits in both areas.

March. Should I retackle February? Maybe. I'm thinking not. Maybe in July.

But, what . . .

I need to workout more regularly, but I'm afraid that would be a fail with a busy month ahead. Maybe in May. Goal setting needs to be realistic or it is really just wasting my time and emotions.

So, for March I will not eat 2 hours before bedtime and I will pray for my husband each night. I started this unofficially again in January, but somehow it already slipped away in February. Time to make it a goal.

God has been beautifully working on our marriage. Through prayer, quiet talks, some hard circumstances, decisions, parenting, Friday night dates (why have we not always done this?), the book Cherish, and a gradual softening of our hearts. Marriage needs constant attention or it gets stale. We don't want that.

We decided to let God make it a beautiful thing again. Maybe He'll draw me back here in a few days to share the nuggets I've gleaned from Cherish by Gary Thomas, and the buds of fresh love we enjoy as a result. Such a convicting work that is crafting a new wife for my husband.

God is good, giving to His beloved even in their sleep. So many good stories of God doing just that.