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Posts Tagged ‘sisters’

gloves

Preteen + preteen + peacemaker AKA tattletale + one year old = it’s spring but if we dare open our windows someone may call the law.  And I might need them to.

After much begging, pleading, and coercing from tomboy mom, I think my girls have finally chosen a sport they want to practice.  My girls – especially the older two – seem to have adopted a new way of life.  It is hard to describe, but if it had a name it might be called, “Four Girl Fight Club.”

Apparently they have come to believe that the only solution to their ridiculously difficult life is to fight with one another over everything.  Sometimes, the decibels are so high in this compound that it takes a conversation with a hard of hearing mom, a machine washing clothes, a screaming baby, a running lawn mower, a phone alarm ringing to remind me that today’s the last day to pay that bill before I have a 32 thousand dollar late fee, and the noise of a 25 year-old refrigerator to successfully ignore the bouts of unmitigated rage.

Oops.  Did I say ignore?  I mean avoid.  Er.  Um.  No.  I mean, I would never ignore or avoid my own children.  That’s ridiculous.  Clearly I’m busy with all the above mentioned, conveniently noisy tasks.  I would really prefer to be ringside.  Who doesn’t love a good fight, right?  That’s why, even being the free range parent that I am, I always make sure I rush in to see the good parts.  Anytime I am in the middle of 17 other things and I hear someone getting pummelled with pretend accusations, I run right in!

Yesterday was one of those days.

By the time I came to see what was the matter, one fighter was already crying and drawing an emo self-portrait complete with tears and monster sister hovering over her in the sketch, and the other was smugly smarting off about her rightness in the matter.

Now.  I always like to get the facts straight from both sides before I go trying to sub out for the referee, but, with all the commotion I didn’t hear that phone alarm and it just so happened that the ref’s paycheck was the bill I forgot to pay.  So, unfortunately, I had to jump right in quick before someone lost a tooth, or, in my case, their own flippin’ mind.

“What on the earth is going on in here, girls?!”

“Addie made an app and she made rules for the game she created but she isn’t following HER OWN RULES that SHE made!”

“That’s not true!  I made it so I am allowed to make the rules!!”

When I got down to the bottom of it all, it seems that my very technically inclined daughter made up a game and made a rule for her fellow gamers that she was not following herself.  This reality ignited the call to use every justice bone in my other daughter’s body.

“You can’t do that!!!  You can’t just change the rules for yourself!  You can’t just make other people follow them and not follow them yourself!”

“I made it!!!  I am the owner!  I can do whatever I want!”

“AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!” said the referee.

“Ok.  Let’s see here.  You are both right – in a way.  Addie is right that if she created it, as the administrator she is ABLE to do things in whatever fashion she chooses.  If she sets it up with an exception for herself, she can because she owns and created the game.  However, as a matter of good business and fairness, Mia is right.  No one likes leaders who expect others to follow the rules that they made but do not follow the rules themselves.  That’s why everyone gets mad at the government.  They have the authority to make the rules and laws because we have entrusted it to them – given it to them – but they are so unjust that they apply them to everyone but themselves.  They also change the rules whenever it is personally advantageous.  That is called injustice.  We do not want to be unjust to others.

So, I understand why everyone is upset but, while both of you are right, you are also both wrong. Think about your other two sisters, girls.  Maylee is upset.  Sonny is screaming.  You are scaring them.  I understand why you both feel justified, but the truth is that neither of you are.  Look how you’re treating each other.  This is not acceptable.

Next time, listen to each other.  Stop yelling over top of one another to get your ideas heard by the person you clearly disagree with.  Talk about it.  Don’t get upset when someone challenges your decisions.  Instead, answer them.  Know why you’re doing something and be able to explain it clearly when asked.  If you are the one asking, don’t be condescending.  When you have a different perspective, respect for the authority goes a long way – especially if you are older than they are.  Lastly, never forget to consider others who hear your disagreements.  Namely – your sisters.  But the windows are open for goodness sake! Everything we do affects other people.  Remember that.

And in that four girl fight club, I believe the Lord truly showed up with wisdom like unto Solomon’s for me.  My own heart was revealed as fighter number five and my own foolishness was found out.  Like the mechanic always says, they only know what you teach ’em.  God did none other than prove Himself faithful once again.

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The Good Days

danandlori

I was probably seven and he might have been eight.  It was a sunny summer day and mom had scooped us ice cream cones.  He was usually the ornery one and I was the compliant child.  Not this day, though.  Maybe that’s why I still remember.

Mom handed us the ice cream and I hatched a plan – ice cream on our heads!  Yes!  This was going to be awesome!  I mean, who wants to eat ice cream when you can smash it on top of your head?!

I told Danny my plan and out on the porch we ran.  1…2…3…plop.  Upside-down ice cream cones smack dab on top of our heads.  Just as it started to melt down our faces, out came mom.  She was really mad but it was really funny.  We just laughed and laughed.

When I think of all the difficulties and pain Danny faced in life, that is what I think of.  When I prayed for him, that was the memory I would remember.  When I think of Dan, scarce a thought slips by without the ice cream scene replaying.

And I laugh.  I still laugh because it’s still funny.  So few things in Dan’s life were fun.  There are so many things I don’t understand about how my only brother chose to live his life.  It is hard for me to make sense of any of it.  Sometimes the nonsensical just makes more sense I guess – especially when you’re forever little kids at heart.  I suppose that’s what he was.  That is what I am.  No matter how old we get,  it is what brothers and sisters are when it comes to one another.

Eat an ice cream cone.  Remember Dan that way.  Surely you will smile.

“You can love without fully understanding.” ~Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It

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Image

The worst thing about being a self-published, degree-less, amateur writer is the necessity to be one’s own editor.  This, by far, is the most humbling and awkward position for such a person to be in.  I’m not referring to petty spelling errors or the occasional typo (although those, too, can be quite embarrassing at times.)  No.  There are certain times where the truth becomes so crystal clear after the fact that a writer longs to obtain the magic cyber eraser from the sky and begin again.  But it doesn’t work that way now does it?  Consequently, the only solution is to either spend far more time thinking, praying, and fasting before pressing the fearful “publish” button, to return to the damaged article and correct it, or, to simply bite the bullet and draw the attention of your readers to the fact that you are the farthest thing from perfect that they have ever met…or read.

That said, my red pen is calling me this morning.  I cannot leave any room for doubt.  I must make some corrections in what I previously thought to be publishable.

To whom it may concern:

Now Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men. And Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.” 29 And David said, “What have I done now? Was it not but a word?” 30 And he turned away from him toward another, and spoke in the same way, and the people answered him again as before. ~1 Samuel 17:28-30

Little baby brother is showing big tough front-line brother up.  Big tough front-line brother is mad.  He is mad because he is jealous, prideful, and insecure about his own failure to do that which baby brother has the courage to do.

The writer speaks of her own cowardice and shame concerning that which she is called by her Lord to do.  How many underdogs have quietly shown her up simply by showing up and doing God’s will without talking about it!  She is often beside herself with pride, anger, and jealousy.

Why did you come here small boy?  Just who do you think you are?  I’ll tell you what I think: you are nothing.  You probably left the one itty-bitty responsibility you had unattended.  I know you.  I know what is in your black heart.  You are bored.  You are lazy.  You are just looking for some action in your miserable, purposeless life.  You have no business here on my turf.  You are worthless; better yet, you are evil.  Go back where you came from, inferior.

In her pride, the writer often errs with harsh, repeated diatribes where she should instead be expressing humble gratitude, holy grace, and the deferential  sorrow over her own sin.

Eliab, in his unrighteous anger, used every angle he could find to discredit David.  He sought wholeheartedly to deny him the honor due him for his courage and hunger for righteousness.

The writer often wrongly believes that her anger is righteous and that others’ actions and speech are suspicious, unrighteous, and undeserving of honor.  Because of this, she discounts their efforts and replaces acclamation and thanks to God with disgust, rejection, and unbelief towards God and the people he has chosen to use for his glory.

Nevertheless, David was obedient.  He was zealous for the Lord.  He was courageous, fearless, and wise even despite the towering foe he knew he was about to face and the pain of his brother’s injurious accusations.

Despite all the writer’s sin and suspicion, Jesus was obedient.  He was zealous, courageous, fearless, and wise in her stead.  Jesus paid no mind to Lori’s ridiculous demeanor.

Eliab would not hear of it.  He made sure his false accusations and unfounded charges were loud and clear.  He tells David he is presumptuous as he himself stands presuming upon his innocent brother.

There was no shortage of presumption or accusation.  The writer not only failed to appreciate her brother’s grace, she accused him of that which she was guilty.

David is not fazed.  David answers softly and turns around.  He continues about his Father’s business.  Consider, though, that there are quite a lot of things David could have said or done to defend himself.

Jesus was not fazed by Lori’s absurdity.  Jesus ignored her bogus rants.  He did all that the Father commanded him – for her.  Imagine what she really deserved…

He could have argued.  He could have cried.  He could have owned it.  He could have gone back home.  He could have clocked his brother a good one.  He could have reciprocated his brother’s false accusations.  Doubtless, there are countless ways David could have returned evil for evil.  None of them,however, would result in giving glory to God.

Jesus annihilated the writer with his wit and wisdom.  He wept for her condemned condition.  He owned her sin completely.  He refused to go back home without her.  He crushed her by falling upon her like a stone.  He never accused her.  He uses her imperfections to glorify God.

The bottom line is, David had bigger fish to fry and he knew it.  He’s got no time for this kind of infantile tomfoolery.  David was interested in only one thing – the Lord’s will.  He knew it was not his reputation that was ultimately at stake here; it was the Lord’s!  How important it was for him to overlook the insults being hurled at him and turn away from that mess.  Therefore, he was wise.  He was patient.  He was forgiving.  Such things are apparent by the way he held his peace (save a question or two about the validity of the charges) and, in doing so, kept his peace.

Jesus has a plan that far exceeds any error the writer can make.  He does not let her stupidity slow down his sanctification in her.  He has only one goal – conforming Lori to himself.  He is not concerned in the least with what this means in regards to her reputation; He is concerned about his beautiful child and his worthy Name.  He disregards her foolish, blatant, repeated errors and he allows his flawless wisdom, patience, and forgiveness to reign over her with peace.  He questions her softly and, in his kind mercy and gentle grace, convicts her of the sin she holds most tightly onto.

Likewise, Matthew Henry writes, “Those that undertake great and public services must not think it strange if they be discountenanced and opposed by those from whom they had reason to expect support and assistance; but must humbly go on with their work, in the face not only of their enemies’ threats, but of their friends’ slights and suspicions.”

Will walker writes, “Through a variety of means, Satan attacks our children at the level of their identity and purpose. If he can get them to believe that they are nothing more than a sinner (a message propagated through much of the evangelical church), then he can render them useless in the mission of God.” Lord, let it never be said of me again!

The writer offers extensive apologies for her dullness and ignorance.  If there is room in your heart to be like unto her Savior, please forgive her.  May his face shine upon you, be gracious unto you, and give you peace.  Amen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIRk5bebycI

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clam

My little clam

Giggles and glee fill the upstairs after church on Sunday afternoon.  As I read about the consummation of all things and Mr. Chandler teaches me how the Greek word for “new” found in the passages employing the phrase, “new heavens and new earth” actually means renewed, not brand new, God practically illustrates for me.

“OUCH!!”

Wailing ensues as I try to mentally justify my hesitation to rise from my favorite neglected couch cushion once again.

Up the stairs I trudge, aggravated at the all too familiar interruption.

“What’s wrong, girls?  What’s going on up here?”

As I search for the key to unlock the door Addie is groveling behind, Mia, my most trusted informant proceeds to tell me how much fun they were having until she accidentally stepped on Addie’s arm.

“How did that happen, Mia?”

“Well, she was under me.  Addie was worshipping Maylee and kissing her feet.  Maylee was trying to get away and I was trying to help Maylee escape!”

“Why was Addie worshipping Maylee??”

“Because Maylee was pretending to be a princess.”

“So Addie was trying to play with you and you were both trying to get away from her before you trampled her arm?”

“Well, yeah, I guess.”

I find the key and open up to my whimpering child curled up in a ball in the corner alone.  From the looks of things, she appears to want to stay that way.

But I know better.  I know my Addie.  Most like her mommy, little Addie is like a clam.  You’ve got to dig her open very carefully before the pearls of profession begin to appear.

“What happened, Addie.”

“I want the door closed!  No one’s allowed in here!”

Knowing her well enough to know I had better wait a few minutes before cleaning the wound lest I create a housefull of collateral ear damage, and knowing that her arm was in much less pain than her heart, I close the door.

“Leave Addie alone, girls.”

I return to my book and I hear Mia and Maylee planning a tea party.  Mia calls over to Fort Knox and says kindly, “We’re having a tea party, Addie.  You can come if you want.”

Grace.  Grace covers offense, even when injuries are accidental.

“I don’t want to have a tea party!  I want to play penquin!”

“We can play that if you want.  We don’t have to play tea party.  We can do whatever you want.”

Sacrifice.  Grace-filled hearts sacrifice for the good of others.

Addie emerges and comes downstairs, still sobbing.

“Come sit here by me, Addie,” I encourage.

As Mia places Addie’s security blankey over us both, Addie rests.

“Aren’t you gonna play penquin with us?” Mia asks.

“Addie will be up soon.  She’s tired right now.  Go play with Maylee.” I answer for her.

I wipe Addie’s tears and begin to record the events as such.  Addie rests on my shoulder and watches my steady hand scrawl the story of us all.

Ten minutes later, she lifts her blanket and looks up at me for approval.  “Where are you going?” I ask with a genuinely sad face.

“The tea party!”

Renewed; not new.  Thanks to the Holy Spirit, now I get it, Mr. Chandler.  Reconciliation is the prerequisite to consummation.

“What we see in the scripture’s vision of the end of redemptive history is not an earth thrown in the trash can with its righteous inhabitants escaping to disembodied bliss in the clouds but a restored earth where creation has been reconciled to God.” ~Matt Chandler, The Explicit Gospel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt6IPagpC9A

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