love

Lesson from the Littles

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In this first week of our journey, I sure have learned a lot from the two youngest kids. We call them The Littles. Now, I know that 4th and 5th graders aren’t normally considered little, but in this family, they are. The older two are The Boys and the younger two are The Littles. That’s just how it is.

We spent three wonderful days camping in Flagstaff, AZ. Those days were full of dirt, relaxing, campfires, and outdoor living. You know, all of the things that make life just a little bit better.

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One of the days that we were there we went and explored the Grand Canyon. It was beautiful and incredible and breathtaking and all of the adjectives you would expect when you go and see one of the Natural Wonders of the World. We stood and looked and pondered the wonder of it all and our insignificance and our significance and all of the Thoughts You Think at the Grand Canyon.

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Well, all of us except Jar. Jar was more interested in the people. As we walked through the parking lot, he read all of the license plates. He wondered about the families, where they came from, and where they were going. He listened to the accents he heard, watched the different customs taking place, and wanted to know more about the lives of the people he saw. He was fascinated by everyone around us, noticing the little things that we all ignored.

As we pushed past the people to stare and watch and think, he saw the people and wanted to know their story.

I want to be more like my son.

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When the camping was over, we came back down to the Greater Phoenix Area. The Girl had some softball to play and we had some cheering to do.

This is The Girl’s first year playing fast pitch softball. She played baseball for five years before this and knows the fundamentals, but this was her first time with the bows and the cheers and all the softballness. She loved it. She is still a bit confused about the bow, but she loves softball.

Her team went undefeated for the regular season, and the pitcher was incredible. I’m talking several no-hitters, way beyond the rest of the league incredible. Strike after strike after strike. It sure was impressive.

The Girl plays 3rd base and shortstop, and I never got tired of watching her out there. Every single pitch of every single inning, she was ready. She would hop into position, glove down, eager to make a play. Now, 19 times out of 20 there was no play to be made, but she didn’t care. She was ready.

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She received no attention, no glory, and most of the time there was no external reward for her actions. But that didn’t stop her. Every pitch, every inning, every game. Doing her job to the best of her abilities, no matter what.

I want to be more like my daughter.

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So now we are off again, ready to see what we see and learn what we learn. Oh, and also enjoy the company of our kids, who are pretty awesome people.

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See you much later, Arizona.

Nevada, Oregon, and Washington… we’re coming for ya.

See you soon.

 

 

 

 

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I Walked into a Sliding Glass Door

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Last night I was all set to write a post. I was angry and I wasn’t going to take it anymore. I had seen enough Facebook posts, Instagram pictures, Tweets, and Daily Show clips to help me fire off an epic rant. It needed to be said, so I was going to say it.

I geared up to write the post that would get it out there once and for all. As I considered the method I would use – an open letter? ironic poem? scathing haiku? – I heard a still, small voice say these words to me:

Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone…

Dude.

One time I walked into a sliding glass door. Let me tell you, it hurts. It stops you in your tracks, knocks you back, and you stand there with a stinging forehead and nose. But the worst part of it is the crushing blow to your ego. For the rest of your life you have to carry around the knowledge that you are one of those people. The type that walk into sliding glass doors.

That still, small voice that I heard last night had the same effect on me as walking into a glass door.

And so I sat for a minute, trying to figure out what I was going to do. I was in a writing mood, so I did what every rational person would do in my situation – I started trying to justify the original post that I was going to write.

But they said… he did… she posted… it’s wrong… I need to hold them accountable…

And since the first trip into the sliding glass door obviously wasn’t enough, I heard it again.

Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone…

Wow. Okay.

So now what?

I wasn’t going to walk back into that door, so I just waited. I waited to hear what that voice would say next. I knew that He wouldn’t knock me back – twice – if He didn’t have something I needed to hear, and so I waited.

And He didn’t disappoint.

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you…

Love each other.  Got it.

I can do that. Love the outcast? Okay. Hang out with the ugly ones, the undesirable? Sure. Sit and talk with the least of these, bear your shame?

Sweet. I’m on it. That’s what I do, and it actually comes easy to me.

I got this.

Well, if you are thinking that I am the type of person who needs to walk into a glass door three times before I am ready to really listen… you’re right.

And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister…

Boom. Door.

I tried to take the easy way out. I seriously clung to the fact that I love my brother. Our relationship is actually stronger than it has ever been.

You did that God. You gave me back my brother. Why are you talking to me about loving my brother?

Oh.

Those brothers and sisters? The ones I was all set to write an angry post about?

I don’t hate them. I love them. I just think they’re…

I love them, I do. I just need to point out that…

Dude.

At that point last night David looked at me and asked what was up. Earlier in the evening he had been subjected to my “brainstorming” about what I would write, so he had a pretty good idea. I told him my thoughts, and he answered.

“So, you mean, it’s kind of like the guy who went and prayed and thanked God that he wasn’t like the sinner standing next to him rather than realizing his own brokenness before the Lord?”

I just looked at him. I knew he was right. He had hit the nail on the head. But I was still pouting from my encounters with the glass doors so I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction of agreeing immediately. (I believe I have already established the fact that I can be a huge brat.)

So this time David put it a little more bluntly.

“So basically when we sit around pointing fingers at them and saying that they’re rude, obnoxious jerks and we’re so glad we aren’t like that… we’re being rude, obnoxious jerks and in the end we really all just need Jesus so let’s look to Him instead of getting caught up in all of this?”

Exactly.

“So then what can I do?” I asked.

“Love Jesus. Love the people He puts into your life. Point those people to Jesus. And pray. What else can you do?”

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you…

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us…

We love because he first loved us…

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

See you soon!

Toothpaste Love

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The other day one of my friends posted on Facebook about how she loves the fact that every morning if her husband brushes his teeth before she does, he puts toothpaste on her toothbrush too.

Not only did the post gather over 20 “likes” and a bunch of comments about how cute and sweet it was and how her husband should be cloned, it also was an excellent example of the fact that it really is the little things that matter. In this age of huge romantic gestures, here was a wife relishing in the fact that her husband of over 15 years still took ten seconds out of his day to make her life a little bit easier.

I love this.

There are countless books out there on how to have a strong marriage or how to show love to your spouse. Although I am sure that those books offer plenty of great advice, I wonder if any of them talk about the importance of showing each other toothpaste love.

If not, they most certainly should.

Anyway, I am going to follow the lead of my friends. I am going to try and show my husband more toothpaste love. Or coffee cup love. Or remote control love. Or whatever little things I can think of to let him know I love him.

Because, really, there is nothing more excellent or praiseworthy than love.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

See you tomorrow!