Tag Archives: Christian

Weighty words for Mother’s Day

“You did good.”

Just three fleeting words uttered by a kind-of-grumpy man trying to read a newspaper while his zealous wife pumped me for information on my family made a huge impression.

Catching up last Sunday at a Mexican restaurant with most of the family in one place was pure pleasure. We have just made one of the biggest leaps of faith ever. I gave my notice at work about four months ago. I left a job I loved because after 12 years of continual RIF and increasing Social Media ROI—it simply consumed me.

At the end of a double table, while my tortillas grew chilly, I bounced my 18-mos-old granddaughter back and forth between my husband and me.

An older woman at a small table just a few feet away looked over at our table with unabashed curiosity—peppering me with questions about where we lived, how many children I had, who were my children, how many grandchildren I had, where they went to school, etc.

My head was swiveling back and forth while I tried to pay attention to the delightful chatter of my son and his pregnant wife, two of their three children, my newly engaged daughter, and grinning Papa—who finally tried one last time to place Ella in the high chair.

The child was having none of it. She had missed all of her naps on this worshipful and social Sunday. She finally cuddled up and let me rock her. My guacamole was glazing over at this point.

“Oh, she is just so adorable,” the curly-haired, distracting woman said.

“Thank you.”

“What’s her name.”

“Ella—er, Elizabeth.”

“Oh, that’s wonderful. And she looks like her mom and her brother.”

The woman pointed to my side of the table where my daughter sat with my 7-year-old grandson, her nephew.

I explained patiently that all of the children belonged to the young woman on the other side of the table. The beautiful, obviously pregnant, brunette.

“Oh, my. That’s going to be a handful,” the old woman said in surprise.

Actually, I said, that’s not all. Five-year-old Madelyn is with her other grandmother right now. So they will have three girls. “Charlotte, the new baby; Elizabeth; and Madelyn.”

“Goodness.”

Then without missing a beat—my new-found friend said, “Well, at least she looks calm.”

Indeed, she did. After a long week sorting, packing, doing laundry and cleaning; driving children to and from school; managing the finances of her husband’s business; and preparing for a move into a new home—she was chatting at dinner with the family.

I am proud of Melissa. Motherhood can be a challenge at any stage—but with two elementary age children, and one in diapers and one on the way—she does an excellent job of caring for her children and her home.

I am proud of my son, John, who supports his wife, and for both of them who know that Christ alone offers the true source of strength and success.

As my daughter, Belinda, finished her meal, she scooped Ella up so I could eat. I turned and asked my new friends to excuse me.

Lost in a quick discussion of wedding colors, we ended dinner on a high note.

Giving the couple a quick wave as I picked up my purse in one hand and the diaper bag in another—I barely heard the words over the top of the newspaper—but I saw the intensity of the man’s gaze through his glasses, and that look stopped me in my tracks.

A man of few words—he had mostly observed the exchange at our table and the one between his wife and me. But his words have meant a lot this week as I ponder what kind of mother I am, what kind of helpmate I am to my husband, and what the future holds for me.

“You did good.”

 

 

 

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Narnia’s truth & fantasy perfect after VBS & ‘Ice Age 4’

Last night after Creation Quest VBS and the Friday night opening of “Ice Age: Continental Drift”— my grandchildren instructed me to read them C.S. Lewis’, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” Again.

And it wasn’t the pop-up “Narnia” they wanted either. No, Joey, 5, and Madelyn, 3, bypassed the colorful condensed summary of Lewis’ most enduring works, they eschewed my famous nursery rhyme re-enactments, they waved aside any notion of the re-telling of the “Three Little Pigs” or “The Story of the Three Bears” and even gave me a thumbs down when I suggested reading one of their specials from an illustrated collection of Bible stories for children.

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Instead, they chose the perfect combination of truth and fantasy that doesn’t contradict, doesn’t confuse. It complements, expands and explores.

And Joey suggested drowsily, after the first chapter, “Nana, maybe tomorrow we can watch the movie again.”

It was about this time three summers ago, after disregarding what most of the online commentaries advised, we first sat together and watched what has become our beloved Narnia. Once Lucy stepped from the cupboard into the forest, Joey was transfixed—Narnia has been our special place ever since.

After watching the movie I bought every version of the book I could find—and for a while read as much as I could whenever he would spend the night. Then after awhile Madelyn joined in.

Viewing one of the sequels in a movie theater with the family, Joey told Papa, “Aslan is God.” At age 3, our precocious little guy understood early that Aslan represents Christ.

And for those who are shocked, because, yes, Narnia can be very violent—that’s what fast forward buttons and Nana’s soft hands are for. Protecting little eyes. There’s a lot of violence in our world—and even nursery rhymes, the big bad wolf and Noah’s Ark can turn dangerous. It’s up to all of us to put this into perspective for the little ones.

Speaking of putting things into perspective. I think that’s what Joey and Maddy wanted last night. After a week of hand’s-on VBS at our church where they learned about all things related to creation—including a breakdown of the body, animals, the earth, and the solar system—they watched an animated movie that touched on some of these elements, but in such a distorted way their minds must have been on overload.

Children yearning for truth but craving for fantasy will no doubt adore C.S. Lewis. I have only to start telling the story of Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy—and their great adventure that begins in a wooden wardrobe much like the one standing in my spare room: “And now there was no mistaking it and all four children stood blinking into the daylight of a winter day. Behind them were coats hanging on pegs. In front of them were snow-covered trees.”

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