Kendra hit an elderly lady today in our Toyota Corolla. I sounds worse than reality. Thankfully she braked enough that there was minimal damage after impact and no one was hurt. The 80 something year old lady was clearly incompetent to drive and Kendra spent most of her energy trying to keep the lady calm. Police and store owners in the vicinity were very helpful, thankfully.
Tucking Caleb into bed tonight, he said,” boy it sure was a full day today…I’ve never been in an accident before in my whole life.” We talked about it a bit and agreed that it could have been a lot worse and we were grateful for God’s protection and help through it.
Can’t remember how but we ended up talking about heaven and spiritual things. I was talking about how people want freedom to do whatever they want but that really we aren’t free without God because without God we can’t do what is right and what is for our best. We can’t serve two masters. Caleb said,”I’m sure glad I have the God I have. I can’t imagine living without him…I mean, there wouldn’t be a reason or purpose for living without God. You would just be getting stuff, and….”. I told him that was wisdom straight from God and exactly true.
Later, talking about how rich the story of Jesus is and how much there is to discover and learn…enough to fill your lifetime with discovery and it just gets richer as you get older. Many people have spent their lives studying and discovering treasures in the story of Jesus that we can learn from. He said,”it’s kind of like people having different gardens and they all have different secrets in them to explore…and things keep growing and the soil gets richer and richer.”
Pretty clear observation for a 10 year old I would say. I told him that was a great analogy. Those little widgets in his mind are always going and show some special reflection if you take enough time to dialog and listen. He’s such a precious son to me and I feel so blessed to have a son in the mix of my children…especially one who is sensitive to God and the things of his kingdom. Tallie too, is so compassionate and tender, a delightful creature. keeping her head cool with Karina is her biggest challenge at this point and can provoke the worst. I remember the days with J-M all too well. May we help them navigate towards friendship better than I fared with my brother (until much later that is).
Caleb is at the kiddie pool bouncing up and down in a big inner tube. He looks up and says,”hey dad, look at all the waves, is this a wave pool?”
I tell him,”you’re the one makin the waves with the inner tube.”
He was completely oblivious to the effects of his own movements on his surroundings. How much are we like this around people and relationships. Every little attitude and emotion we express, whether good or ill, affects those around us. Kind of disconcerting to be honest.
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I hear momma holler down the stairs as we come in from playing outside,”come and have a bath karina, you need to clean your bum.”
Immediately I hear Karina answer,”it smells really good.”
we had our first really good frost last night. This morning Caity wanted to go out and ride her trike on the deck in her jammies. I look around and the sliding door is wide open and she’s out on the deck. I quickly bring her back in and close the door. Not happy with this, she protests, “I wanna ride bike.” I explain it’s far too cold but she’s not happy with that answer…so I dutifully take her back outside to experience what I’m talking about. I take her hand and put it on the cold metal of her handlebar. She starts to understand and goes back in with me but is still a bit downtrodden with the shooting down of her great inspiration. looking out the window wistfully she points to the grass white with frost and asks, “what’s that?” I explain, “that’s frost, it happens when water on the grass freezes. it’s called f r o s t.” “oh” she says, “frost, ya frost.” then she pipes up with the authoritative statement, “Anna did it.”
I did not see that coming and for a while I’ve been using that line as a joke to great effect….”Anna did it.”
The day before, I was trying to blow Caity’s sniffly nose and trying to explain the difference between sucking air in and blowing it out your nose. for the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to communicate the difference so she would understand. She kept sniffing in more deeply thinking she was doing the same thing as I was demonstrating. somehow it didn’t make sense in her mind to send all that snott out into the world. Surely I must be telling her to suck it all back inside as best she could.
Today Kendra went to 3:00 people with Caleb and Tallie. We made a special T-Shirt with Tallie’s drawing for Spider. Home alone with Karina and Cait and Cait’s napping so need to do some activities with Karina. She’s all into setting up a tea party and before I even get involved she has started setting up tea on the downstairs round table. So she gets her dresses all laid out down there, teacups, plates, plastic foods and buiscuits all set up and then says “what else we do?”
I suggest we make special name cards for the table and we enjoy tea-staining the edges. while I’m finishing off some touches she moves on to drawing a picture with markers. she spends all of 4 to 5 minutes on the drawing and says, “look dad.” “wow, I really like that drawing” I said. “shanks, i weay wock hod on it.” How our perceptions do change and expectations for what represents our best. If only I could capture more of that spontaneous self assuredness. It’s a precious thing.
The other day Karina is on the toilet going through a big flush with somewhat runny stool. Caity decides to check out the action since she’s quite excited by her own achievements in this area. She looks behind Karina with her head over the bowl studying it intently and noticing how all the water looks brown and lumpy…like she filled it all up. Quite impressed she says, “wow, great poop Anna.” Karina swells her chest a little, looks over her shoulder and quite nonchalantly responds, “yeah, shanks” with an air of superiority that assumes that any lesser qualified poopers in the world ought to stop and recognize her natural gifting in this area.
Revelation of God’s character and the nature of His relationship to us strike me at the most unexpected times and in the most peculiar way. I was having a tender moment with Caitlyn while watching her Sunday morning (Kendra took the other three to Imago for service). Caity has been potty training of her own accord and has taken to removing her diaper and lower clothing, perhaps to make it easier to jump on the potty whenever the urge hits her…or whenever the fancy takes her which seems more the case lately.
So, she hollered out “I go poopie” and grabbed my hand to help her. We head into the bathroom, plunk her down on the big potty and wait. She takes her time, just happy to be there like the “big” people in her life. She holds on to my leg with both arms and just looks up at me with her tiny face and big eyes and just gives me one of those “I love you Daddy” looks with her eyes and smile. A little more pushing and patient waiting and she proudly announces, “see Daddy? I poopie!” She looks behind her to confirm that her two little nuggets are indeed there…and then back at me with such a happy smile.
You know what? I couldn’t have been more proud of or delighted in her than at that moment. The fact that she was sharing her proud moment with me and the love in her heart with which she included me made it all precious. perhaps even more memorable than the onstage production of the front room dance routines…although those are a great delight that send us running for our cameras. These bathroom times are more private moments held in trust but very precious.
I imagine in this experience how the simplest things we might do can bring great joy to God’s heart. It is all about the joy in our hearts as we do the little things with love for God that delight him. The big accomplishments for “His kingdom” don’t impress Him in the least if they haven’t been done out of loyal devotion to Him. Conversely, cleaning diapers can be a trophy of honor in God’s showcase of good deeds if done out of humble devotion to Him. Our passion and love for Him must infuse all of our service to Him if it is to be useful for his purposes both in us and in the world. Anything less is unworthy of being brought before him as it must be a “love” offering that we lay at his feet, not simply a gift of our talents and resources.
we had a good visit with Misty on Friday. It’s been a hard season for her in Canada as she feels quite alone with husband working away from home for weeks at a time. She was very soft hearted and responsive to encouragement…excited about their baby which is 15 weeks along now.
I felt that strong urge of God’s compassion in my heart that I haven’t felt for quite a while now but used to feel quite frequently…a desire to be used by God to express his encouragement and compassion to a heart in need of Him. After we prayed for her she shared that whenever she gets prayed for she always asks God if there is something He wants to say to the ones praying for her. She said she had a very strong impression for Karina that she would be used by God as a strong spiritual warrior. “she’s a real warrior,” she said. we’ve definitely seen the fighting spirit in her…a boldness and feisty confidence that’s both a blessing in the right place and a grief to her siblings when targeted at them. It’s encouraging to see the vision of God for her life and gives me deeper resolve to invest in her little life with hope and patience. Maybe that word was given at this time primarily to me so that I would take a step back from the little tornado of her emotions and see the big picture of what we will one day see as she develops the precious qualities God has put in her small form.
Caleb decides to toast himself some leftover waffles for a late breakfast this morning. He goes to help himself to the whip cream dispenser assuming that he knows how it works…after all he’s seen people hold it upside down and pull the trigger lots of times. He doesn’t ask for help cause “he’s got this.” I’m doing dishes beside him and next thing I know there’s a loud hissing noise accompanied by whipped shrapnel scattering all over the kitchen. I start by shouting out “what on earth are you…” and see him with a stunned look on his face and whip cream all over the place and can’t help laughing. We have a good laugh and then I give him the rag to clean it up…the fridge, the stove, the floor, the cabinets, the counters, the fruit etc.
Can’t help but see an analogy here of how we often think we understand a situation or a person because it resembles something we’ve seen before or looks familiar. It takes maturity to understand how little we really know for sure and the need for humility as we continually ask God to show us how to do things with his wisdom, “the right way.”
Today I took the day off, being the second day after Christmas. We went to the bookstore since it seems to have something for everyone. I was with Tallie, Caleb, and Karina in the kids book and toy section. Then Karina needed to go piddle and Tallie piped up saying she knew where to go and could take her there. I thought it would be good for Tallie to take some responsibility for her sister and help her out….so off they go to the little girls’ room. I stand outside a few yards reading a magazine.
Next thing I hear Tallie hollering in the bathroom, “I need help…dad, help.” And Karina is yelling in a distressed voice, “help, I did a poopie.” “She pooped on the ground.”
“Well, help her out,” I said. “I can’t do it” Tallie yells in a distressed voice. By now she is feeling overwhelmed with the grave burden of it all. So I tell her to come to the door and ask her if there is anyone else in there. It’s clear so I move in. Poor Karina is squatting on the floor by the toilet. Crap is smeared on the lid of the toilet seat and down the side and a nice pile is sitting on the floor at it’s base. It took a few minutes of scrubbing amidst distressed explanations in gurgled English of what happened. I finished cleaning up the floor, toilet and my daughter while reassuring her over and over that everything was just fine, everything normal. I mean what could be more natural?
Meanwhile the door opens and someone else comes in. I hear Tallie explaining to a woman that her dad is in there helping her little sister in the bathroom. We wait til we’re alone and walk out, wash hands and carry on with an uneventful day.