Month: September, 2010
Worldviews. They matter.
Through what set of values & beliefs do you interpret your world? Your circumstances? Your everything?
Mine are seen through a Biblical worldview. I believe in the Bible, literally. Every word. Not one word more nor one word less.
Therefore, when I look through the lens, I see God. I see a triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Recently, I’ve been adding the caption “He is clearly seen” to many of my photographs. It’s my way of saying: ”it’s just so obvious that Jesus is everything. Can’t you see Him?”
“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things have been created through Him and for Him.” Colossians 1:16
The other day it struck me. I say yes too often. And I allow myself to be interrupted too often.
When I began thinking about it, I realized how jacked up I am as a parent.
A few weeks ago Livy came home begging for cello lessons. ”Please, please,” she said urgently.
“Oh, honey, let me talk to Papa about it,” I said with a wavering voice.
And then I sat down and spoke with Papa about it. And Papa said, no. Oh.my.goodness! He said no, I thought. My next thought was: He’s going to have to tell her.
We sat her down at the dining room table and Papa began by saying, “Livy, we know that you really want to take cello lessons.”
Her smile reached from ear to ear in anticipation of his decision.
“Honey,” he continued “I just don’t think we can say yes right now. We think it is important for you to concentrate on your piano right now. Maybe next year we can think about it again.”
She sat there stunned. Tears quietly rolled down her cheeks. She didn’t say one word. She just looked at us with those tears. Those tears, people! Do you know what those tears do to a mama? Good golly, do you know?
And then she finally said, “I understand. Can I leave now?”
Every cell in my body was screaming at me. They were saying “Don’t just sit there woman! Do something! Rise to your feet and exclaim – YES! Yes, you may take the lessons! Woman! Move!”
I think my left eye began twitching. And then my foot began to shake.
And she walked out the door to go and find her friends to finish playing. I peaked outside later and they were building a fort in the tree in our front yard.
What was I doing? I was sitting inside the house thinking about whether or not we had just ruined her life. I mean really, she’s only seven years old and this was quite a blow. Would she survive this tragic turn of events? Would her childhood be marred by this evil and reprehensible decision?
Finally, it was time to face the music. ”Livy,” I said “it’s time to come in for your bath.”
As I walked upstairs to draw the bath, I heard her bounding up the stairs. ”Mama, what a great day it was today, wasn’t it?”
Seriously! That’s what you have to say after such drama?! I mean the tears…..the quiet heart break. Come on child…..did you really just say this was a fabulous day?
And then this mush of a brain I have began twirling in circles. Why-o-why do I try to make every answer yes? Why-o-why do I try to spare any kind of pain from coming their way? When will I learn that this is what makes them grow? That it is these things that form them?
I’ve decided that even though I love my children from the depths of my soul and back, I do want them to experience life to the full. And that means, getting disappointed along the way. It means big disappointments and small ones. It means some that make you cry uncontrollably.
Sometimes to be a good parent, one must stand back and watch as our children get hurt. And then – and then, my friends, we get the honor of helping them through. The honor of reinforcing that God really is in control of everything and that He does have good plans for those who trust Him.
I pledge not to be a parent that meddles too much in my children’s lives. I pledge to let them fly on their own. And I promise to be a soft place when they have crash landings.
Meals & menus are such a struggle for me. There, I said it.
Being a wife & mama carries with it the responsibility of making certain that my family is getting healthy food to eat. Every day. Being the mama of vegetarian children makes me worry all the more about such things.
In our home we have one meat eating husband, one vegetarian wife and two vegetarian children. Our family meals have to be well planned or we find ourselves ordering food from Panera all too many times during a month. Thank the Lord that the meat eating husband does not insist on eating meat everyday. In fact, most days he’s just as veg as the rest of us. Can you say blessing?
I’ve been convinced for some time now that organic produce is essential to being healthy. It’s not important that all of our produce (and dairy) is organic, but it’s pretty important to me these days that most of it is – have you seen Food, Inc.? Oy. Be prepared to change drastically if you decide to watch it!
Today we received our weekly delivery of organic fruits and veggies. Oh, and some organic chicken thighs for the hot, hot, hottie – although I’m not yet certain what to do with them. When I see the bounty every Monday, I know that dinner will be healthy and delicious.
Tonight we had this zucchini, tomato, gouda cheese tart:
And this salad, which really is just a thrown together deal – using what I could find.
And so tonight I feel like we did ok. Tomorrow may be a different story. I fail so many nights! Do you want to laugh? Ok, I’ll give it to you straight. Tomorrow night’s menu consists of Lentil Loaf. Yes, that’s what I said. It’s a strange concoction made from lentils and the final product looks like meatloaf. I know, you don’t want to come to dinner tomorrow night. I get it.
Has it ever been windy around these parts lately! Each year I schedule a time to get photographs of our girls’ around the beginning of the school year. Livy’s has been postponed because of the whether a few times. Tonight, I decided to take advantage of a family outing to get some photographs of her.
What can I say about Livy? She is a very spirited child and even when she’s quiet, you know she’s there. I’m not sure how, but she has a presence about her. My favorite thing about her? She says mama no less than three thousand times a day. She’s either asking me a question and asking me to do something – usually play with her.
Last night on the way home from the county fair she said: ”Mama, my tongue is asleep!”
It is hard for her to contain her excitement about things sometimes! She was anticipating enjoying a few fair rides when this spontaneous burst of excitement came out.
See the adoration for her sister?
I’m so in love with this next image. I know it’s crazy…..but I love it. I can see them in this magnificent light and it makes me dream about the future.
The photograph on the right is her contemplating that scary looking ride! She stared at it for about five minutes.
I love the story these tell.
I am very grateful for the next two shots. Dave took these……and I just love them. I love our interaction with each other and I adore her little spirit. Our souls are connected and I really do marvel at her.
For the love of Pete, my friends, this little girl is full of the dickens. But I double dog dare you to be sullen while she is around.
“Mama, come and play with me!”
“Mama, we are building a fort and writing a screenplay!”
“Mama, can I please have some ice cream?”
“Mama, my friend hurt her neck outside, can I please get her an ice cube?”
“Ok, Mama, then can you show me some exercises that might help her neck?”
“Mama, come and see the slide show of my art – PLEASE MAMA, NOW!”
“Mama, do I have to have my hair washed tonight in my bath?”
“Please, mama, I don’t want to have my hair washed!”
“Mama, there is a skeleton at the bottom of my fish tank!”
“Mama, can I sleep in Mak’s room tonight?”
“Ok, Mama, can I sleep with you, then?”
“Ok Mama, can I leave my bedroom door open for Roxy and Ella, then?”
“MAMAAAA I am not hungry anymore.”
“Ok, Mama, how many more bites do I need to take?”
“Mama, I’m from China.”
“Mama, I won around the world in school today!”
“Mama, I got a tally today.”
“Oh, mama, you are the best mama in the whole wide world.”
“Mama will you braid my hair before bedtime so it will be wavy in the morning?”
“Mama will you take me to the park today?”
“Mama, I love you.”
Are there material things in your life that hold such meaning that you protect them with an unhealthy vengeance? I do. There is a ring that I’ve once hyperventilated over not being able to find. There is the Bible that is now tattered that, while reading at my dining room table, I was horrified to realize that I really didn’t know Jesus or who I really was. There are cards and letters, most notably from my mom and dad while I was away at college.
And then there is this van. This doggone van. The van that safely carried my babies around town. The van in which I’ve laughed with my beloved. The van that has ice cream stains smeared into the seats and gold fish crushed into the floor boards. The van that hid many a moldy milk-filled sippy cup.
The van. I’m not witty enough to have named my van. But if I had, I may have named her Betty. Because Betty is a safe name. Betty is a good friend who never lets you down. Betty will always be there, smiling – even when you are crying. Betty loves your children and your children love her back.
Wowzer, I really am nuts.
The van sat in our driveway, unable to move for over a year. She sat there and I looked at her through my dining room window. She sat there in the snow and then through the rain. She just sat there looking so sad. But I just couldn’t let her go. ”Maybe we should fix her”, I would say to the hot, hot, hottie. ”Honey”, he’d say right back, “we have two vehicles that work very well”. Drats! I hate it when that happens.
And then came along a man. A man who wanted to fix the van and use her. ”No! No!”, I said. ”He cannot have my van. No way.” I was adamant. No man, woman or child was taking my van. No. Sorry.
Truthfully, I wasn’t sorry. Not one bit. Man, you cannot take it. No.
As I sat there and watched her, I wondered why I was so attached to her. And then I realized that being a sentimental sap does not give me the right to hold things so closely. She has nothing left to offer us. I was convicted. So one day back in June, the man came and took her. I hear he rides her all around town now.
Is it wrong that I have tears in my eyes while I type this? Go ahead, you can be honest.
Before the man came and took her that early June morning, I aroused my girls from their deep slumber to say goodbye. Goodbye van. We will miss you. But don’t worry, we will be ok. We have lots of good memories of you. Be good to your new man.
This year on the first day of school something struck me. The sisterhood of our girls.
The gap in their ages once made me worry that they wouldn’t connect until later in life. Isn’t it funny the way we worry about such things; how we spend our time focusing on finding something to worry about?
When I watch them together now, I’m very aware of the bond they have. The way they love each other is different than the way that they love other people. I adore watching their love for one another. Mak’s maternal, protective side comes out when Liv faces challenges. Livy’s adoration comes out just the way she looks at Mak. The way Livy stares at Mak is something I embrace and take mental snapshots of because I don’t ever want to forget the love she has for her sister.