Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Birthday Lesson

Yes, I should have known better. No, I wasn't thinking clearly when I said he wouldn't touch it.

The moral of the story? Never set a flaming object in front of a one-year-old who missed his nap.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Scurrying

My husband read to me last night from Dallas Willard's The Great Omission. This paragraph exposed my endless chase of that phantom day as the sin it is:

Many well-meaning people ... cannot succeed in being kind because they are too rushed to get things done. Haste has worry, fear, and anger as close associates; it is a deadly enemy of kindness ... we might prayerfully meditate to see clearly the damage done by our unkindness, and honestly compare it to what, if anything, is really gained by our hurry. We will come to understand that for the most part our hurry is really based upon pride, self-importance, fear, and lack of faith, and rarely upon the production of anything of true value for anyone.

Productive. That's what I'm always striving - or at the very least, wishing - to be. Even when I'm wasting time, I like to waste it doing something. When I crawl into bed, I like to be able to reflect on the day and say, "Well, at least I accomplished this and that."

Maybe that's why I grimace inside when somebody brings up the story of Mary and Martha. After all, Martha was trying really hard to get some important things done. Doesn't she get any credit for that?

Well, no. And neither do I get credit for my anxious scurrying. In an article on Mary and Martha, Jon Bloom confesses his own hurrying:

... what is exposed is a belief that if I don’t do ____, others will think I’m ____. Maybe they’ll think I’m disorganized or messy or lazy ... It is self-exultation masquerading as diligent, competent, productive service ... I’m anxious and troubled because to be admirable requires getting more done than I can possibly do. And doing more than Jesus requires. So I scurry around and, in the process, often neglect the most important things.

The most important things. In this season of my life, many items on the daily to-do list are important. Colossians 3:23 reminds me that it's good to work hard at whatever I do. But the work is a means, not an end. And the end is not a sense of personal accomplishment or self-worth, but a genuine delight in my Savior.

Sometimes I wonder if Martha ever got it. Did she repent and choose what was best? Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever get it. Will I repent and choose what is best?

To be continued ...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

J.D.'s First Birthday

J.D. is too young to celebrate his birthday with our family's traditional breakfast in bed. Instead, we sang "Happy Birthday" to him first thing in the morning. Immediately Ali and Jair wanted to know, "Can he walk now?" and "Why isn't he talking, Mommy?" They took me literally when I said he would walk and talk "when he is one."

J.D. is not walking yet, but he can name many of his favorite things: dah is ball, cah is car, ahsah is outside, and khee is blanky. He points and says dis or dat at objects that interest him, answers toy phones with "Ah!" and yells "Da-Da!" when his favorite person in the world enters the room.

We celebrated at a Mexican restaurant, where we hope to spend many birthdays with our boy - at least until he no longer thinks a free sopapilla merits wearing a giant sombrero and hearing his name shouted to all the patrons.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Uncle Brad's Graduation

"The graduation's over? We can talk now? Yay!""Why is it so cold?" "Can we go get more cookies as soon as you take the picture?"

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Scrambled Lyrics from a Scary Musical

If you haven't seen that oh-so-scary movie The Sound of Music recently, brush up on the lyrics of My Favorite Things and Do-Re-Mi before you read our latest meatball minutes.
***
The swimming pool sat empty in the twilight. Jeremy and I were cleaning up after an impromptu cook-out, and Ali and Jair took their boundless enthusiasm from the deck to the empty pool. They ran in circles, singing out to the neighborhood. (Oh, if only hot dogs and cookies gave me that kind of energy.) Jer and I stopped to listen to the words and heard this...
"When the dog bites, when the bee stings, these are a few of my favorite things!"
***
At the breakfast table, Ali stopped Do-Re-Mi mid-song to resolve an important issue: "Mommy, drink with jam and bread won't really turn us back to dough, will it?"

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Waiting

Awards banquets, graduations, weddings, and receptions are full of interest and significance for grown-up people. For small people, they offer a little bit of excitement, possibly something yummy to eat, and lots and lots and lots of WAITING. Jair finds the waiting easier to bear if he can snuggle on somebody's shoulder. Here he is with his Uncle Scotty, waiting to be seated for a wedding. (He slept, spread across two chairs, through the entire ceremony.)

Monday, May 7, 2007

Movies

I bet you didn't know that The Sound of Music and Spider-Man have something in common. I didn't know myself, until yesterday. While Jeremy and I were in a meeting at church, my sister watched Ali, Jair, and J.D. Some other boys there were talking about Spider-Man, and Ali had this to say to my sister:

"I'm four years old now, and I've seen The Sound of Music, and it's very scary, so I think I can watch Spider-Man too."

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Common Bond

I love to see babies interact with each other. They seem delighted finally to find someone else who knows what it's like to crawl around all the big people's feet. Here's my J.D. with my friend Alyssa's daughter Adriana.
Here are my three with Alyssa'a three. Alyssa and I became friends when we were Ali's age. The day she called to tell me her family was moving to another state, I bawled. We were 10 years old , and this was the most catastrophic event of our short lives. Fifteen years later, we know common interests and a common faith in Jesus can sustain friendships across hundreds of miles.