Recently we’ve been babysitting different children for different reasons, having an open door. Even when I think it will be hard, it always ends up better, the children meant to be playing together with their invisible shops and doctors offices, worried ‘mommies,’ bringing Elijah, ‘so sick’ who plays the part well to whichever doctor’s on call (aka wearing the plastic stethoscope). One little girl has been sharing one room with her parents and baby brother right now which has been very hard for them, and yesterday she told us while we were reading, “Right now, I don’t have a room, but tomorrow, I am moving into a castle…for 100 weeks!!”
Elijah nodded in agreement, “Me, too! To Disneyland for one-some weeks!”
Bunch of liars.
“What’s a numerical expression?”
“Well, do you know what numerical means?”
“Yeah, I think so…”
“I think it means….um, hmmm, I think magical?”
“Oh honey, how I wish. But no, there is no magic in math. Math is just about the opposite. Which makes it kind of cool, you don’t need magic to solve it, but math is pretty much the proof of lack of magic.”
“Ohhhh, ok, I see. Hmmm, I think I was thinking of Harry Potter!”
Andrew and I are convinced reading aloud with a preteen is one of the best experiences you can share with them. If you are looking to bond or connect with any preteen in your life, get shoulder to shoulder with them and a good book. The innate qualities in this activity make it rich with connection, it’s shoulder to shoulder, which has less social pressure for the preteen, it’s exciting, and brings up great side conversations while you get lost in a story. I think it’s could be easy to be too tired at the end of a day, but each time we make the time, it’s ten fold more blessing. There is nothing, nothing more important that connection. These two can’t get enough of Mr. Potter right now. Plus, she can find magic in math.
“Treasure, you wan marry me?”
We just rented Maria a flute from her school, and she has been picking it up rather quickly as we watch some YouTube modules. We practice blowing bits of paper off our hands. Finley ran and grabbed his flute, his little red, plastic recorder and they practiced together, both telling me, “I love my flute!” So far, the tones are about the same handle-ablility in my ears, yet the metal one has moments of greater potential, it’s starting to sound pretty good. We somehow lost the recorder…
When children are part of your daily waking and resting, it’s hard to see their changes. Maybe when big changes are happening, they are hard to miss, it’s the more subtle ones that take longer to see. Seeds frozen beneath a hardened ground, always there, yet unreachable. For those of us impatient people, we’d love to jackhammer our way in, reach the goal quickly, no time to wait. “Grow, heal, ok?” Fear and lack of self worth hardened around each, and every one.
Our culture and lives ‘demand’ instant, quick, immediate, but summer doesn’t come quickly, and God’s way is with a seasonal passing, rains coating the earth, storm clouds looming and dark, but with purpose. Death bringing way to life, as trees fall, and seeds are released, a slow overturn, but in the right time. For all of time.
A few meals, doctors visits can change the visible, but it’s over a long time for a frozen ground to melt deep within the surface, the first flickers of warmth unseen. Our option is to keep going, it’s an act of obedience, it is the option. Faith in the unseen. It’s slow going, and even after what could seem enough time, please, enough time, to not see results can be discouraging, and I want to make that clear. The frozen, crystal ground can’t melt overnight, and even in our failures, the seeds will stir, unseen.
Be generous: Invest in acts of charity.
Charity yields high returns.
Don’t hoard your goods; spread them around.
Be a blessing to others. This could be your last night.
When the clouds are full of water, it rains.
When the wind blows down a tree, it lies where it falls.
Don’t sit there watching the wind. Do your own work.
Don’t stare at the clouds. Get on with your life.
Just as you’ll never understand
the mystery of life forming in a pregnant woman,
So you’ll never understand
the mystery at work in all that God does.
Go to work in the morning
and stick to it until evening without watching the clock.
You never know from moment to moment
how your work will turn out in the end. ecc 11.1-6
“I don’t know these words!”
“But, you know these letters…”
Wednesday we were watching two little ones while their mama took grandma to the doctor. All the kids were strapped into the car while Maria was in her piano lesson, and Elijah turned to Gavin,
“Gavin, you have a mom?”
Gavin: “No.” He shrugged.
“Me no have a mom. She drove away without me, so me no have one. She no live at your house.”
Elijah nodded emphatically, after just having seen Gavin’s mom an hour prior.
For everything I don’t deserve, God, which is everything, thank you. Thank you for telling us to love, it’s always the better option. Thank you for healing in your own time, for bringing life and healing. For seeds that grow, the rain, and struggle that causes it. For it not being temporary, but real.
So where are you stuck? Where are your efforts resting in that you so long to bloom?