Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Gratitude # 862-891

862. Jonathan
863. who took the girls to the park this evening, so I could work out and finish cooking dinner,
864. and who canceled an appointment to get home earlier to his crazy wife,
865. and who is my best friend.
866. Another precious friend, from another generation, who has gone before me in this life and who offers deep heart wisdom and honest humility and grace.
867. Grace, extended like a beacon in the darkness of my failures.
868. Rain two days in a row
869. Cooler weather!
870. Chocolate chip cookies with real chocolate chips from a 5 lb bag (thanks Christi!) my parents brought in Nov.  Yes. I've been hoarding them...)
871. David Gray
872. Psalm 69
873. 8 month olds
874. Lily's angry face
875. Annie's monologues and made-up songs
876. Ada is the happiest baby in the world
877. My mother
878. My mother-in-law
879. My sisters-in-law
880. My grandmother
881. Jonathan's grandmother
882. My aunts and Jonathan's aunts
883. Learning about sacrifice and selflessness
884. Learning how to bail out the water from a sinking ship BEFORE it sinks (thanks Alison)
885. Quiet nights
886. Learning our city
887. Creative outlets
888. Sobering realities all around me to remind me of where I'm living and what I'm living for
889. Indira's cooking
890. new hand towels from my fav. shop
891. When all around my soul gives way, he then is all my hope and stay

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Ada Baby 5 months Old, 6 months old, 7 months old...

5 Months 

6 Months 
with sisters Annie, 4 and Lily 2.5

 7 months 
with Daddy in the ducky towel

7 months 
in Bop Bop's old tie

Can You Hear It?

It is ear splitting and earth shattering, shrill and hysterical.  Behind it are unslept hours and too little routine or consistency.  What drives and propels and forces it forward is the selfish, idolatrous heart of man...or in this case, of little girl.

It all began when I asked them to clean up their toys this evening.  There weren't a lot of toys.  I was changing the baby.  Jonathan was cleaning the kitchen.  We were engaged in other important activities, you see.  And when both girls ignored my pleas to clean up their toys and then fell to the floor whining about how hard it was to do and how they needed help, this mamma said, "Get out the sack!"  Jonathan grabbed a plastic bag and started cleaning up the toys for the girls, or rather, collecting them in the sack to be taken away for 24 hours (or more, depending on future requests to clean up and the attitudes that follow).  Anyway.  If you live within a 5 mile radius of our home, you would certainly fear the worst and run to protect our children, because as soon as Jonathan started putting their toys in that sack, all rationality exited the building and utter hysteria entered in its place. 

Both girls threw their tender two and four year old bodies to the floor and started beating the ground with their little fists in a full-blown, stereotypical tantrum!  They dragged themselves up from the ground only to fall screaming to all fours again.  Like, "Stella!  Steeeelllllllaaaaaaa"  As Jonathan moved through the house, Lily pulled it together enough to chase him, hurling her body into his, beating him with her fists, and screaming, "Give me back my toys!!  I am so MAD to you!! Give me back my toys!" And Annie could do nothing but weep inconsolably until she started doing that gagging cough that makes you think, "I swear, if you vomit you will seriously SERIOUSLY regret it."  

And it wasn't funny, because it was really bad.  I mean really pathetic, and bad. 

But it was kind of funny. 

So much so, that I had to send them to their beds because I burst out laughing.  

But then I ran out to the grocery store to grab some fruit for the morning/Monday start of the week, and on my way home, my arms laden with bananas and mangos and melons for my spoiled, greedy, thankless little girls, I saw this little boy, no bigger than my Annie, but probably 6 or so years of age, out alone in the trash pile across the street picking through bags of trash.  He was up to his ankles, feet bare amongst the waste and filth of years of peoples' trash and fecal matter and cow poop and fires and God only knows what else to glean and gather whatever treasure he might find.  Probably some to eat, some to sell and some to use.   I cannot paint this picture well.  I cannot convey how horrible it is.  The trash pile.  The wild dogs that run through it to provide for themselves and would, most certainly, tear that child to shreds if he got in their way.  I cannot tell you, but I'm almost certain he has parents who probably sent him out to perform this dirty job.  I don't know if they're working hard elsewhere, or drinking at home.  I honestly don't know.  But I know that it sobered me.  It made me pause and contemplate ways to help my girls see the connection between the want in this place, the desperation of this child's childhood and their own disgusting, horrific selfishness.  

I know. I know.  They are probably age appropriate.  And I would never want the alternative for them. And there are a host of explanations behind their behavior, but heavens, if they cannot comprehend how rich they are in earthly goods and know that it is nothing compared to their riches in Jesus, and if that doesn't motivate them to give graciously or at least thankfully pick up their toys, then I have failed.

Lord give me grace to show them how to be unselfish, by being unselfish.  Help me to show them how to do things without complaining, by not complaining.  And help us know what to do with that precious little one, made in your image, reduced in this world to digging through a trash pile, so that in the world to come, he might inherit a mansion in glory.  Amen.