Ack!

I don’t know.  For some reason, this picture makes me think of Bill the Cat.

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Agree?  Disagree?  Let me know in the comments.

BilltheCat

(If you don’t know who Bill the Cat is, then you’re too young to read this blog.)

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One Day at a Time

It’s those days when you didn’t sleep well and wake up realizing that you have 5 meetings before noon and 3 afterwards. And then those meetings turn into beatings and you want to go hide in a cave.

It’s those days when you end up with more work to do when you finish than when you started.

It’s those days when you finally get the baby down and sit down to catch a breath, only to find 2 other children needing your attention because you’ve practically ignored them all week.

It’s those days when you can’t hardly see straight.

2010_04Apr_3021 It’s those days when you realize that in only a few short years you’ll be teaching one son to drive and taking another to pre-school. And then you realize that only a few short years later there will be 2 out of the house and you’ll have an only child.  Should we go for one more? Oh, I don’t know if I can do this again.

How will I survive? I don’t think I can make it!

One day at a time.

I don’t think that it was an accident that Jesus said:

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

– Matt. 6:34

I can say a hearty “Amen” to that last statement. 

And in the same passage, Jesus said, “Give us this day our daily bread.”  God gives us the strength to make it through this day, not the next week or month. 

Taking a day at a time seems to come fast enough without trying to handle the upcoming years.  And I can’t do anything about those right now anyway.

So I’ll keep praying for the strength to make it through the day and take it one day at a time.

A Penny For Your Thoughts

It looks like we’re finally coming out of the woods. ~A~ is about a month old now, and is getting on some semblance of a schedule. He’s gotten past the newborn awkwardness and is responding to his environment more. There are times when I talk to him and he opens his mouth like he wants to say something back, but just can’t find the words.

I wonder what he’s thinking. I’d pay good money to find out what is going on in his little brain and to see what the world looks like through his eyes.

The funny thing is, I wonder the same thing with my older boys even now. ~D~ was sitting on my lap this evening and got really quiet, like he was deep in thought. When I asked him about it, he demurred, “Nothing that you can help me with.” I could have pushed to get at the answer, but I’m not sure that would have been the best course of action, so I let it go.

So much of the time I feel like I’m trying to pull the information out of them:
“How was your day?”
“How was your piano lesson?”
“What did you do at the Y?”

And then they argue about who gets to tell what story of the day, and the information is left untold. And sometimes, it isn’t worth it to get it out of them, so I just stop trying.

When do you push to get inside their minds? When do you just wait and let them tell you? There is a balance in between that I’m still trying to figure out.

And so I’m still left wondering, “What are they thinking?”

The In-Between Life

If I flip back through the photos that I’ve taken this year, there are only a few highlights:

  • Photos from my wife’s birthday
  • Photos from The Big Snow
  • (Less)  Photos from The (Next) Big Snow

Not much in between or after that. But there have been have been a lot of days in between.  81 days to be exact.2009_11Nov_2510

Frustrating days, happy days, weary days, and just blah grey days that seemed to last forever. I don’t have photos from any of those days.  Just from the highlights.

A lot of times, I live for the highlights, even if it is just a lazy Saturday after an incredibly busy and frustrating week.  I look forward to those times and endure the in-between days to get to the “next big thing” that comes along in my life. Big decisions, big events.  Things that need to be remembered.

It has occurred to me that God is using my In-Between Life to prepare me for my next day as well as the Next Big Thing that comes along.  Little decisions that I face on a daily basis can either form my character and chip away little pieces of “Self” or can cause me to fall back and fail again.

It is these in-between times that I question scripture the most. It is where my truest self (good or bad) comes out. It is where life seems hard and grey and God seems far away.

Somehow, I think that God is even more interested in the process that we go through (the in-between life) to get where were going, than He is with us actually getting there.  He’ll take us the long way around, because it is in the process that we learn to Trust Him.

When Dreams Die

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Why does God allow dreams to die?

I asked Him that a few months ago and thought that I heard Him answer: Because I love you.

Years ago, I used to bring that dream out of my pocket every once in a while, dust it off and look at it, wonder if it would happen.  “God, I thought you promised…”

Then I relegated it to the top shelf.  I’d have to get a ladder to look at it.  “Maybe I didn’t hear right.  Maybe I misunderstood…”

Then that dream went into a storage box buried deep in the basement.  “Boy, good thing that never happened…”

And then, this summer, after  a torrential rain storm, we were cleaning out the flooded basement.  Everything was wet and we had to pull out all the baby junk that we had stored away.  The crib, the toys, the books, the dream.  We had no use for it.  It was just taking up room.

“Let’s just get rid of it all.  We could have a yard sale and clean out this basement.”  And I agreed.  What a relief to get rid of it all. Plans were made.  We would make some money and put it towards our vacation next year.

But a couple of weeks before the yard sale, my wife came to me and said, “I’m late.”

I thought: No, no, no. That’s ridiculous! That’s absurd!  We’ve already done this before, and I know where it ends. I said, “I’m sure it’s nothing.”

But then a week before the yard sale, she came back and said, “You know if we sell all this stuff and shouldn’t have, we’re going to kick ourselves.”
”Take the test. Let’s clear things up before we do this yard sale.”

And so I was downstairs in the basement when she called my name, “Craig! Can you come here please?”  It was the way she said it..kind of scared.  My heart sank.

God lets dreams die, only to resurrect them again at the proper time. Because God is a God of Resurrection.

And so after turning 40 later this year, we will be celebrating a new birth day in our family next spring…

The birth of our third child.

God has a sense of humor…doesn’t He?

Almost, but Not Quite…

I recently was digging through some “posts” that I wrote (but never published) during a blogging sabbatical.  I found one that dredges up fresh emotions as I read it again. I can remember that day 4 years ago, like it was yesterday.  It was right when my youngest sister was getting married:

April 2006

Have you ever been late in a good way?  I haven’t and my wife almost never is.  So it seemed that this was an exception.

It’s been 6 years since ~K~ was born and all hope of ever having another child has been dead and buried. We’ve wanted more kids, we’ve tried for more kids, but after 5 years, all hope is gone of this ever being so (although it is technically feasible). And when I think about it, I also think, "Are you crazy?  Life is so easy now, when it won’t be if we have another."

So when my wife mentioned this being late, I blew it off.  A couple days later, she mentioned it again and I blew it off again, but with less assurance.  This was unusual, but not unheard of.

But then there are the whispers of dreams, long gone and the resurfacing of dead hopes.  The insanity of it all starts to become something that you want to happen, but not really, but almost.

What would it be like?  Our lives would be changed forever.  But that has happened twice before and it has been all good.  Hard, but good.   My parents did it.  My youngest sister was born 10 years after me and is getting married this weekend.  Our family wouldn’t have been the same without her, although in a lot of ways she was an only child.  Hard, but good.

Then we took a pregnancy test.  I say we because I encouraged it.  Hadn’t really been involved with finding out about the other kids, but this one, I said, "Go for it!"  We waited together, our collective hope bobbing on the surface and tasting the dream-filled breezes that had just started to blow.
It was negative.

How do you stuff down those dreams, only recently awakened?  How do you let them die again and let the sterile, relief-filled stillness of practicality tell you that it is better this way? Hope, not yet fatally deflated, whispers that the test could be wrong.  Probably not, but it could be wrong.

And yet I can still hope in a God Who can be Trusted, even with this dying hope and fallen dreams.

Hope is not dead.

Heb 11:19.  Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.

This month ~K~ will be turning 10.