Interrupted by Grace on Day Nineteen

I had another post planned for today.

But God…

Sweetboy informed me, this morning, that he hates it when I “go all psycho” when we need to get out the door for church.

Y’all.

I couldn’t even.

I had to take a minute and just slump down and cry.

There are Sundays where we all pitch in and work as a team to get out the door. It takes the type of planning and forethought that I’m sure even Bobby Fischer could appreciate.

Honestly, the child is right. It’s a rare morning, Sunday or not, without some sort of “For the love, child, GET YOUR SHOES ON” statement being made as I wrangle everyone out of the house. All The Planning is something I’ve let slide. Plus, it wears me out. So I don’t plan often. Or enough.

Clearly.

In that moment, I just wanted to hang up the towel and sit on the couch with some coffee and have a good pity party. Wouldn’t lamenting the fact that God forgot to give me a stronger “planning gene” be a better use of my time than sitting in church with my mind going over and over that terrible horrible conversation with Sweetboy?

No.

And I could feel Him gently nudging my heart, and telling me so.

The kids were nowhere near ready, but I was. So, Sweetman stayed behind and they did church together, at home. Sweetboy was picking out some worship music and Sweetgirl was running upstairs to get her pretty pink lamby Bible, as I left.

Why did I leave without them?

I needed to.

My own heart needed to be able to get quiet and be surrounded by the voices of some faithful. It needed to glide into a pew and worship the God of grace. More importantly, sometimes, this girl needs to retreat and regroup.

I really needed to do that, most of all.

And here’s what Grace whispered: “You are here. Be still and let me remind you of what I have overcome so that you can come confidently before me.”

So, I did. I got real still and just tuned my heart to grace.

And when I got back home, everyone was happy to see me and share what they’d done for “church” at home.

We all snuggled in as I explained how hurtful it was to hear that mama gets “psycho” in the morning. Sweetboy then explained how yucky it makes him feel when I’m rushing, rushing, rushing some mornings. Important apologies, laced with all sorts of grace, took place.

It become painfully clear that even though planning takes a lot out of me, it is in the best interest of my mission field down the hall that I do it. And, I do believe that God will honor my desire to provide a less chaotic kind of morning routine.

Grace interrupted my morning to rain down on me, even as it showed me the need for some change. That’s what Grace does. It loves me too much to leave me where I am.

I am so thankful.

Yes indeedy.

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This is day 19 of my Write 31 Days challenge.

Speaking With an Accent for Love

Those stormy moments we have with Sweetboy? They are always, eventually, countered by the treasured sound of his laughter. His giggle and guffaw do more to soothe our tattered hearts…  I believe that God provided Sweetboy’s laughter as a gift, wrapped up in this quirky melancholy son of ours.

And nothing makes my Sweetboy laugh harder than people talking in accents. If you ask him why, he’ll tell you that he finds different accents “interesting”.  And, in his mind apparently, interesting = hilarious.

This child is obsessed with All Things Geography, so it should come as no surprise that he enjoys learning how the people speak over in, say… Wales.  Or Mozambique. Or France.

I seized the moment, recently, when we were in the midst of a full on meltdown, to try out an accent that I’d been working on to make him laugh. (Try asking Mr. Google how to speak in a Welsh accent, some time.  Pure entertainment.) And it worked. Oh, how it worked!

He instantly snapped out of his deep dark place and asked, “Do you think they speak like that on the Western border of England, too, mama?”

Wait. What?

“Wales is on the western border of England. So, do you think that the people who live in England on the western border, but on the England side, not the Wales side…”

I now see who got my propensity for wordiness.

Seeing something worth moving his mind out of that negative parking space for, we were off on a You Tube search for “Welsh Accents”.

Just a few days ago, it was National Drink Wine Day. Serious. I took that as a sign that I should work on my Italian accent.  Maybe from the Tuscany region?

Yes.

Yes indeedy.

Teddybear Theology

Growing up, I had a teddy bear that was precious to me.  Preh-shus! I dubbed him, Tedward. I have no idea why.  I suppose my desire to name things anything other than the most popular or common names started young.

When Tedward was snuggled up with me, in my bed, I was able to sleep sweetly.  Tucked under my arm on car rides, I felt secure.  But most importantly, rubbing Tedward’s furry ear against my nose became a source of great comfort.  (Although, The Nana and Captain Ahab were thankful that rubbing his ear to my nose took the place of sucking my thumb. In the 4th grade!  I so wish I were kidding. Sigh… Braces for five years, anyone?)

Eventually, that furry ear became less and less furry.  He lost an eye.  At some point, the threading, that was his nose, seemed to disappear.  And, somewhere along the way, he developed a hole on the inside of one of his legs that led to much Losing Of The Stuffing. (If only it worked that way in real life.)

I didn’t give two hoots about any of that, though.  He was still my bear.  And I loved him so.  I imagine that God feels much the same way about me.  I have lost some of my stuffing (my fervor for him).  Sometimes, my ability to sniff out the truth is dulled.  My eyes zero in on one good thing to the exclusion of all the better things He has for me.  But, he loves me still.  Thank you God!

That bear was so important to me, and had seen me through so much joy and sorrow, that I even packed him in my suitcase for my wedding night.  Ask Sweetman.  He was a bit taken aback when I informed him that this would happen, but he knew that Tedward was important and he loved me.  (It also confirmed in my heart that THIS was the man for me!)

And now, you probably know far more than you ever wanted to about that.

Fast forward almost four years.  The Nana graciously spent the first two weeks of Sweetboy’s birth with Sweetman and I to see us through the crazy roller coaster ride of Brand Spankin’ New Parenthood.

She noticed, the day that we were to bring Sweetboy home from the hospital, that Tedward was on my bed.  And he was looking worn.  She also, in her wisdom, knew that the last thing I’d be thinking about, that first night home from the hospital, would be Tedward.  So, she packed him in her suitcase with the intent of performing a little Stuffed Animal Surgery.

Somewhere around day 4 of being home, sleep-deprived and hormone-infused, I asked her if she’d seen Tedward.  She calmly explained that she noticed he was a bit threadbare and wanted to take him back home with her to repair him.

We both forgot about him.  Sadly, for almost a decade.

Until last week.  Last week, we received a Valentine’s Box in the mail from The Nana.  And, among other treasures, here’s what was inside:

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You can read the note for yourself.  I cried.  And then practically hugged the stuffing right out of him.  He was instantly snatched from my hands by my Sweetgirl.  I attempted to chase after her and tell her his long and sweet history with me.  She had other intentions.

Please meet “Rosie Glitter”:

Tedwina

Oh. My. Stars.

Poor bear.

But, he is with me again.  Even if he’s now a she. And even if he’s been claimed by my children.

Much like my relationship with God.

Sometimes, I want to hug the stuffing right out of Him. He’s seen me through highs and lows.  He loves me no matter what and He’s always with me.  And I pray, oh how I pray, to pass my love for Him right on down to my sweet children. Oh, yes indeedy!

 

Ain’t You Sweet

Ever been to a part of the good ol’ U.S. of A., other than the one you live in, and experience some major culture shock?  C’mon, you know what I’m talking about.  I just know you do.  It never ceases to amaze me, though, how hospitable some parts of the country are. Now, I’m not going to get into calling out “this part” of the country versus “that part” because I think the whole “red state” versus “blue state” notion is about as unifying as a wedge.  And while I don’t cater to the “why can’t we all just get along” theory all that much, I do cater to the “treat others as you want to be treated” theory.

And so, I’m going to share a wonderful kind of culture shock that I was subjected to a while back.  Summertime was drawing to a close, but since  Sweetboy was still an “only child” at that point and not yet anywhere near school age,  I bravely left Sweetdaddy at home to work and took off on a plane to spend a week with Nana and Grampy.  We were visiting them in their latest retirement destination possibility.  (Another post for another day…) This particular state is a wonderful smorgasbord of a place, with a bit of everything for everyone; lakes and rivers, the ocean, mountains, and some metro areas along with some very backwoodsy kinda ones.  We were in the backwoodsy, along the river part.

One fine day, while winding through gorgeous mountainous roads, we had to make a quick pit stop at the grocery store for a few essentials (ice cream, chips, salsa, beer – in that order!).  I left Sweetboy in the car with the grandparentals and ran in to grab our necessaries. I was waiting patiently in line thinking about the order in which I might like to consume said essentials, when the lady in front of me wrapped up her transaction and it was my turn. I noticed that she left her co-cola bottle on the counter next the debit machine. So I, of course, felt it was my duty to hightail it after her and make sure she had it in hand to drive with.  It hadn’t even been opened yet, you see.  Let no co-cola be left behind, was my thinking.  I caught up to this woman in the parking lot and breathlessly said, “Ma’am, you left your co-cola behind at the checkout line!”  She beamed. That is to say that she flashed me the biggest toothless smile I could never even have imagined and said, with all earnestness, “Well, ain’t you sweet!”.

It has become a family motto around here. Oh, yes indeedy, it has.  Need I say more?