Better with, than without.

I was listening in as our youth pastor’s wife gave some dating advice to our students last month.

One student asked the question, “Does God want some people to be single and some people to be married?  How do you know what God wants for you?”

It’s a great question.  One that I’ve thought about before.  When I was very young I went through a phase where I felt empowered and wanted everyone to know that I didn’t need a boyfriend to be happy.  It was true.  I was perfectly happy on my own.  

When I met Randall, I sat down and rationally made the decision to move toward marriage with him in our relationship.  We married in 2002 and I still feel like we’re in the honeymoon phase.  

But in all honesty, there have still been some times when I’ve wondered what life would be like if I were single.  What amazing things could I be doing if I weren’t tied down to one place?  I like to think that I would travel to Calcutta and serve the poor and be completely selfless.

Rachel, our youth pastor’s wife, answered the question saying that someone once asked her to consider, “Are you of more use to God with your significant other, or without?”

I’ve never considered that question seriously.  I assume if I were single and childless I could do more for God and devote my life to Him fully.  But in reality, Randall is the one who has shown me how to be a servant.  Parenthood has shown me how to be selfless.  I am so far from being the next Mother Teresa. Soooo far.  But I know I am closer to God, and being the woman God wants me to be because of this man.

Happy Birthday Randall. Thank you for all you are and all you’ve done for me!  I love you with all of my heart!

Milk and a Feather

Mornings are crazy. Always.

John Ortberg has said, “Hurry can destroy our souls.  Hurry can keep us from living well.”

I know that my voice is most often raised when I’m struggling to get my boys to move faster. I know that when I’m in a hurry, it affects my mood and everyone around me. But we just don’t have the luxury of time when we have to be out at the bustop at 7:00am every morning.

Yes.  Don’t you think that’s crazy that my 5 year old boys had to be up at 6:15 every day before kindergarten?! Our school is one of three early elementary schools and time seems to govern our lives these days.

So our schedule gets a little hectic in the mornings.  Last Wednesday, I was making lunches in the kitchen while the boys were getting dressed upstairs.  I overheard Asher yell to Randall in the next room:

“Dad?  Can I have some milk and a feather?”

“No.  Why?”

“I want to make milk come out my nose.”

Obviously, Asher is not in a hurry, even when Randall and I are.  I laughed so hard.  I’m still laughing…  A feather?!  Where does he come up with these things!

God, thank you for the reminder to slow down.

An update: now and later.

I’ve been teaching a class at my church twice a week for the past 6 weeks.  It was a great class.  I poured my heart and soul into it and it has consumed me.  It has taken all of my time and energy and now it’s over.  And I have a headache and I’m relieved and I’m emotional.  I can only pray that it was meaningful to the participants.

Today, Isaac had a musical at school.  I was teaching the class this morning, so I missed it, but I got to see the dress rehearsal yesterday.  It was a great little musical, but the music teacher stopped the kids and restarted them many times.  I didn’t quite get the full affect.

He was Pinocchio.

Randall texted me, just before my class started that Isaac suddenly had a speaking part because another kid got sick.  I just got off the phone with Randall and he said Isaac did a great job.  This was the first time, I’ve wished my kids had a phone.  I wanted to tell Isaac now how sorry I was that I missed his performance.  I wanted to tell him now that I heard he’d done a great job.  I wanted to tell him now that I am so proud of him.

It’s been a crazy year with highs and a lot of new lows.  But we’ve been meeting with Isaac’s teacher and he’s doing really well.  I don’t know if he’s trying harder, or if the little tactics we’ve implemented are working, or if we’ve changed our expectations of him but it’s been a good last month or so.

In the class that I taught today, I asked everyone to look forward to the future with excitement. So on my way home, as I was wishing Isaac had a phone or some way I could quickly send him a little note of encouragement, I started to imagine our future.

Right now, we’re in this awkward stage of learning how to have a two way relationship.  Years ago, I just loved the snot out of him and he let me take care of him.  Now that he’s older and his personality is growing every day, he’s becoming his own person and choosing to separate himself from me.  Which is a natural part of growing up.

It has been hard to relate to him when he’s been proving to be so opposite of my personality.  But he is still mine.  He is still half me (though I’m sure the bigger half of him is made up of Randall).  I’ve found the one bond, I think, that will always connect us.

Isaac loves stories.  The boys always ask me to tell them stories.  Most of the time they just ask me to make one up, or tell an old favorite fairy tale.  Recently, the boys have been wanting to hear real stories from my life. We lost track of time last Saturday, just sitting and talking and telling stories.  We were supposed to meet up with friends and go to church together, but by the time I looked at my clock, I knew we weren’t going to make it in time.

The boys asked me last week to tell them the story of Harry Potter.  I’ve been telling them for years that they can’t watch the Harry Potter movies until they read the book.  We tried reading The Sorcerer’s Stone together last summer, but they just weren’t interested and I certainly didn’t want to push it on them.  But last week, they were asking for it again, so I got out my old paperback copy and started reading to them as they built with their legos.  The neighbor boys came over to play but they didn’t want to stop reading, so I read a chapter to the neighbor boys as well.

 

I was reminded of the very first time that I picked up the book.  My little sister was rereading the series before the first movie came out and I asked her to read it to me.  We were going to go see a movie together and had some time to kill.  So she and I took turns reading out loud to each other.  It’s a special moment I’ll never forget.

I’ve cherished the memories I’ve had of my dad reading to my siblings and me at bedtime when we were children.  I pray that my past will foreshadow the future, and someday Isaac will look back on his childhood and see the things we’ve had in common and remember these times as special moments.