19 November 2008

Proving His Love

Every day, Walter has to re-earn Asher's love.

Even though his daddy is the one who plays with him for hours every evening after work, something happens during the night that erases memories Asher has of Walter's love for him.

Asher is allowed to watch two shows on the computer every morning. The first thing I often hear at 6:00 am from my penguin outfitted little boy is, " I want watch something." Before I turn on his show, I try to encourage him to be friendly to me. I usually ask him to come tell me Good Morning with a kiss first, and he happily complies.

We then go back upstairs to where daddy is just waking up and Asher knows he must also tell daddy Good Morning and give him a kiss before I turn a show on. Since daddy is the one who just nine hours earlier played the cow tuba and allowed Asher extra time to splash in the tub, I'd expect him to run to Walter with open arms and tell him Good Morning.

But each day, Asher hesitates, cries, sometimes clings to me, and doesn't want to greet daddy. It's as if Walter has to begin again each day to convince Asher that he loves him and is worthy of trust.

This morning, I was feeling especially bad for Walter about his daily task to prove his love for his son who I clearly see how much he loves. When I attempted to lament about this with him, my dear husband told me he is used to having to reprove his love since he has to do it with me when he's in the middle of studying for an exam and not around the house very often. Ouch...so that's why this feels familiar.

On a much larger scale, this also feels familiar. How many times do I wait for my Heavenly Father to reprove His love for me? The sun rises every morning and I miss the realization that I've been blessed with life on another day. Asher pads downstairs and gives me a hug and I forget how easily Asher was sent to our family. I have coffee with a good friend who has had such similar life challenges that our friendship must have been planned by God and I count it as coincidence.

I have been given daily reminders of God's love for me and these daily reminders are in addition to the most sacrifical gift He gave of Jesus which we are about to celebrate again this season. This morning as Asher again refused to run to his daddy I realized I'm no different. Just like Asher's memory gets reset during each night so he can't remember what a good daddy he has, my memory begin empty each day and I forget how God has already abundantly shown His love for me.

13 November 2008

Lose, but Don't Give Up

We went to see a movie this weekend. In high school, I went to see a movie almost every weekend, but this was a major event for Walter and me. I was really looking forward to seeing The Changeling. Usually I can judge a movie's potential as good if it
a. has a guy and a girl (a love story)
b. has a mom and a son (pulling at my mommy instincts.)
Since this was about a mother and her little boy, I was pumped to see it.

The movies is based on a true story about Christine Collins, a single mother who has to leave her 9 year old son home alone while she goes to work one day. She comes home and he is missing. The story gets worse as the LA police department reunites her with a boy who claims to be her son and then declares the case to be closed - mother and son reunited and all is well. But the boy isn't her son and her little boy is still missing.

Throughout the story, the mother loses battle after battle. She takes the boy home in defeat after no one believes that this is not her son. But just as any mother, she does not give up and won't accept this boy as her son. She returns to the police department with clear evidence that this is not her son, but is soon checked into a mental institution on the claims that she has attempted to shirk her motherly duties. Again and again, she loses battles, but never gives up. She lost so much and is willing to sacrifice everything rather than give in to defeat. Christine Collins' story is tragic beyond words and I believe I would also never give up even if I lost battles for Asher.

But what about the smaller battles I lose much more frequently? We learned in church last week that the enemy is not so interested in getting us to lose individual battles, but he wants us to give up all together.

If we will give up trying to make time to spend in prayer, the enemy has won. When we decide our tongues are too out of control to attempt to cut back on gossip, we have lost and he has won. While we are working towards the goal of winning the war over things like depression, anger, and pride reality is we will sometimes lose a battle. But as soon as we decide we have lost too many times and give up, that is when we have truly lost and the enemy has won.

It's ok to lose a battle, but don't let a loss defeat your passion to win the war.

05 November 2008

And Breathe...

When something is over, it never seems so bad.

I thought my legs would turn to mush and I would fall over as I ran miles 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, and 0.2 of the Chicago marathon, but then I crossed the finish line and felt like I could run another five miles.

I knew my body couldn't handle any more pain when I requested an epidural after 15 hours of labor. When it was final administered, I felt like I could have handled the pain a while longer.

I didn't think I could spend another day and night by myself while my husband stayed late into the night studying at the office yet again, but now it doesn't seem like that should have been such a big deal.

I shouldn't have grumbled and agonized about my situations because I know I've made it through those times in the past. Not just that I have made it through on my own, but that God has given me strength in each of those moments to persevere.

I've been trying to understand how God's people could grumble and complain against Him just three days after He miraculously parted the Red Sea. And if I remember my proneness to grumble despite recent gifts, I might give the Israelites a little more grace. During the time of deprivation, it feels like life can't go on unless the problem is solved.

And then the need is met. Food and drink are provided, my husband is at home, a baby is born, and the running is done. All seems well and we vow to never complain about our perceived suffering again.

The thing about the scene in the Sinai Desert that is most amazing is God's patience with His people when they grumbled against Him. He knows what He has just done and our proneness to quickly forget, yet He does not grow tired of meeting our needs again.

Until the need is taken away, we can just breathe.

03 November 2008

I've Been Tagged

My friend Marla tagged me. so according to the rules, I need to post 7 random facts about myself. You're probably thinking that's all that my blog is - random facts about us. This time I'll try to make them about me and not Asher, even though he is much more interesting. So here goes...

1. This drives my husband crazy, but I can not sleep at night unless the sheets are tightly tucked in, all the way around the bottom of the bed. If they become untucked I have to get out and retuck them.

2. I really want to visit Siberia. For the longest time (until I got married), I thought I would live there some day. Why? Because no one else wants to.

3. There are certain flowers that I despise. The main one being carnations. Walter has learned never to bring me flowers with carnations because they just make me mad and I will pluck them all out and toss them in the garbage can. There was a big ordeal this year for our anniversary, because the bouqet he ordered for me had carnations in it even though he had specifically requested tulips (my favorite) and not carnations!

4. I was born on Friday the 13th. This has made me always consider 13 my special lucky number. However, we stayed at a hotel this weekend and ended up the "14th" (the sneakily renamed 13th) floor and I did feel a twinge of spookiness until I remembered I don't believe in that stuff!

5. I refuse to shop at Walmart. I'll save my tirade against that mega-store for another post, but I will not set foot into the store. Someone gave me giftcards for Walmart once and I asked Walter to go use them for me so I didn't have to go against my principles of not shopping there.

6 Tomorrow marks exactly two months that I have been out of the paid labor force. It's been a long adjustment and I'm sure I'm not fully adjusted yet. I really miss the coupons my boss used to save for me from the Chicago Tribune!

7. We went to a wedding this weekend for one of Walter's college friends. It was nice to see his old friends again, but honestly I was just as excited about getting the matchbooks which were passed out as the favors. Our match supply was running really low and I have an obsession of burning a candle on my desk on the afternoons that I write. The idea of using a clicker lighter to light the candle kind of ruins that romantic writing mood for me.

That's 7 facts. I'm not sure I have 7 blogging friends who haven't already been tagged, so I am offically tagging any friends who read this and want to join in on the fun!