Where Whine Meets Wine

Faith Of A Boy

Life with children can be a crazy thing. It’s so easy to get lost in the day to day that we forget to see the big picture. And I am certainly guilty of failing to see things from their point of view, and not realizing just how much they take it and are aware of. Today I had a moment of clarity in a discussion with the biggest E.

We try and teach out children about God and His love for us, but we don’t always know how much of it “soaks in”, let alone how much they understand. I am here to tell you it is far greater than we think. We incorporate Biblical principals and stories throughout their days along with prayers, hoping that things will take hold. I’m not sure there’s an exact science to it or an exact age where things suddenly “make sense.” What I do know is that their faith is an amazing thing to behold. Something we should all strive after, just as the Scriptures say.

I was busy trying to reestablish some sense of organization to their bedrooms and playroom when I heard biggest E singing, “I promise God, I promise God, I promise God…” over and over. I asked him what it was that he was promising to God. He said, it’s that song we heard all those people singing about. At church last Sunday they did a snippet from their Easter play, with Jesus entering into Jerusalem, for Palm Sunday. It was very moving and through all the people and all the singing, you could feel the excitement and anticipation people must’ve felt, waiting for Jesus to arrive and bring the prophecy to fruition. It was so moving, it brought me to tears. It was also filled with (real!) animals- goats, a donkey, chickens, rabbits, so I was surprised that he had captured anything other than a petting zoo. But that wasn’t even the best part of the conversation!

He then asked me, “Does Daddy know that Jesus is bigger than him?” Yes, Daddy knows.Well, why does Daddy always pray for God to come to the places we are?” Well, sometimes we need God’s help and so we ask Him to come and help us. “But God always just stays with us because we always just need help. Just like when I pick up my toys. But I never have seen Him much putting away my toys.”

And it’s just as simple, and complex as that.

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In the past years I’ve given up a variety of things for Lent: certain food, pop, coffee, sugar, tv, radio… As I was thinking it over this last week, wondering what to give up this year, I came to this conclusion. Impatience. I am giving up impatience. I’m not sure it’s possible, but I’m attempting it. Go big, or go home, right?

You see, I have a just-turned-4 year old, a 2 1/2 year old… that’s a girl. Along with an 8 month old. (Can I add the 9 month old puppy to the list?) I have days where I feel like I wake up impatient. And I certainly wouldn’t want them under the care of an impatient person were they at a daycare. Why would I feel differently when they’re under my care? In fact, I’ve been trying to keep in mind that Big E and Miss E are at ages where they’ll be remembering things I do and say, maybe even for the rest of their lives. So I’ve been trying to live our days as if they’re going to be remembered forever. Which is essentially what brought me to my “Lent Challenge”…

Most people have probably heard of the movie, Fireproof. Well the “Love Dare” from the movie is also available to the masses. So I’m doin’ it! But not just on my husband, and not just on my children, but EVERYONE. Yes, it was written in the marriage format, but… it’s things you can apply to everyone you come in contact with. And from what I’ve gathered so far (and what I can remember of the movie) that it’s really about patience and kindness. And let me just say this… it’s gonna be tough. I mean, I consider myself a fairly patient person. I certainly am used to having my patience tested with three young children. But this is like REAL patience. Like controlling not only your reaction and words, but your thoughts kind of patience. Yesterday the dare was to not say anything negative. I believe I succeeded. But I do have to admit, I was kinda quiet yesterday! And it wasn’t because I was on the verge of saying negative things (at least most of the time)… I was just kind of afraid that once I started saying things, that I’d have a hard time NOT going there. I don’t know why this feels so hard. I think it’s the selfish thought that what if someone does or says something to me that makes me really mad? What if I have a valid reason for my anger? I’m supposed to just sit there in silence? Well the book says we are to speak all words in a “spirit of love,” even if hard words are necessary. It means the truth, but (and the book really says this):  “You bend over backwards…” to say things in kindness and not to say things just because I want to say them. Isn’t that why we say a lot of things, if we’re honest, because we want to say them.

Well, I’m a little tempted to just erase all this so no one has any record of it. So I always have an escape route! But I know that’s just my fear of failure. Because honestly, I’m probably going to have a day (or more) where I don’t complete the challenge, but it’s here in black and white and I can’t give up! I won’t give up! Positive thoughts. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. For 38 1/2 more days. After that it’s just the rest of my life…. but we’ll start with the next 38 1/2 days. Eh, how about we’ll just start with finishing today? *Sigh*

My new mantra: I want to be where patience and wisdom meet.