Dec 27 2013

Hear the Bells

It feels like a collective sigh of relief today. Christmas is over.  We survived.

Sometimes you wonder (at least I do, why we do this to ourselves? Overspend, Overeat, and lack sleep and we call it a celebration. 

Yesterday, I dropped "The Sunshines" (my 3 kids) off with their Dad for the rest of their winter break. I was driving home wondering, lamenting, how I ended up in this situation, alone. Wondering if I could just skip it all next year? 

I have spent the week cooking, entertaining, running around, I told a friend, on the phone, I felt like collapsing now that it's over.

That friend reminded me, "yeah, but you wouldn't have it any other way." True.  

It's crazy and chaotic parenting 3 children alone, but then again, I can't stand how quiet it is now that they are gone.  The quiet reminds me how great I have it every other day of the year.  

There's this old song, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" redone by Steven Curtis Chapman. It's based on a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I never understood it until now.  How the melancholy meets joy at Christmas. When your life doesn't turn out the way you dreamed, you lament, but at the same time see hope.

Longfellow wrote it on Christmas while grieving over his wife’s accidental death: 

In despair I bow'd my head:

There is no peace on earth, I said,

For hate is strong, and mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Then he heard church bells, causing his demeanor to change. What began melancholy, ended hopeful:

I heard the bells on Christmas day

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;

The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,

With peace on earth, good will to men.

I want to hear the bells too Lord. Help me to get over the fact that my family doesn’t look like a Norman Rockwell painting, but one day, You will set things right...

Nov 13 2013

See You Believin'

"I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day."  -Edgar Guest.  

The thing about getting people to do what you want. You might notice it doesn’t work to give them a big speech.They have to see you doing it. 

Especially kids.  If you want your kids to eat healthy and exercise, they have to see you eating healthy and exercising. 

You can’t really sit at the dinner table with cheeseburger and French fries for you, and serve them grilled salmon and asparagus and expect them to eat it.  

Same thing goes with Faith.  

You can’t drop them off at church, while you go shopping and expect them to believe in God.

I have 2 friends whom I’ve been inviting to church and interesting their response was, "yeah I should go,for my kids.  So they can have a belief in God."  

I wasn’t sure what to say. Maybe you disagree with me, and that’s totally fine. I just don’t think it works that way.  If you want your family to believe in God, they have to see you believing Monday through Saturday too. 

It challenged me.  i began wondering if my kids really do see me doing that.  They see me eating healthy, exercising, doing dishes.  But, do they see me believing?  

Well, timing is everything. After I had that conversation last night, this morning, my youngest daughter, Zoe (3), woke up early and came downstairs.  It happened to be while I was sipping a cup of coffee with my Bible open and praying. I didn't send her back to bed this time.  I made her a cup of hot chocolate, and read my bible and prayed out loud.