Tuesday, November 9, 2010

On the squirrels' lunch under the glowing trees

The other day, I asked Emeth to be quiet (by toning down his voice) because Yohanan finally fell asleep. The sweet big brother that he is responded obediently to my instruction...

Mommy, Emeth quiet!
Good job, Emeth! Thank you for being quiet.

(a few seconds later)

Mommy, Emeth quiet; Hanan sleeping!
Good job, little bear!

(a few seconds later)

Mommy? Emeth quiet!
*sigh* ...

When I think I am humble, I am not.
Because humility is not a virtue to be spotted in oneself. When I prize my moment of humility, I can be sure that it quickly turns into something else. A humble person would not be thinking about herself at all. 

When I think I am wise, I am not.
Because wisdom completely trusts in God's instruction, not my own understanding. Wisdom loves correction and rebuke (is this even humanly possible? I mean, really). Wisdom recognizes oneself as a fool.

When I think I am being patient, am I or am I not?

There was a time when I thought I was patient. I did not mind traffic jams. Long waits in lines and airports did not bother me. And then, I became a mom. And then, I became a mom of two. There are days I look at myself, or worse -- listen to the tone of my voice -- and wonder whether there was ever that patient version of me. I had no idea what I was talking about.

I was outside with the boys the other day, for the autumn sunshine and dancing leaves. There was no agenda, no where to be. Emeth cooked with sticks and stones -- "squirrels' lunch," he declared. The sky was round and golden at that hour, like the whole wheat cookies I baked this morning, speckled with bittersweet chocolate.

Under those glowing trees, I think I caught a whiff of patience. Long-sufferance was definitely not on my mind -- it was no suffering at all!

Emeth is quiet when his attention is directed away from himself. He is most quiet when he stands by the window looking for the moon, singing about twinkling stars. Likewise, we draw near to humility when we fix our hearts on loving our neighbors; we approach wisdom when we fear the Lord. Perhaps patience can be gained the same way.

Soul, look away from self,
Look away from my schedule, my rules, my goals, my comfort,
Soul, lift your eyes to the hills.


winifredlam said...

so good...so good.

serene555 said...

Beautiful photo... you rarely post photos on here (although there are heaps of them on FB - also tahnks to your sisters).

I'd be keen to see photos of your culinary exploits! how did your cookies look like?

Natalie said...

Hi, I am Jean's best friend, and I just have to say that ever since she introduced me to your blog, I have greatly enjoyed reading your posts! You have a way with words, and I love how you teach and learn lessons about Christ from everyday things. Just thought I'd thank you for writing, it is a regular source of encouragement and enjoyment for me! :) ~Natalie Gray

Seda said...

Wini -- any tips on how to be patient, especially when handling these precious boys of ours? =)

Serene -- thanks, though i did very little to make the tree look like it has wet paint on it. =)
my pictures of food are just plain ugly!!! the cookies are dark brown with choc swirls and chips because some of the chips had melted. i like them thick, so i chilled the dough before baking. on a different note, i've always thought of myself as an oatmeal choc chip kinda cookie-eater, but MAN! these are addicting!!

Natalie -- thank you for your kind words. =) I owe YOU many thanks for your love towards Jean, and the hospitality your family has showered on her. I feel like I've known you for years now, though we've never met. =)
congratulations on your marriage! has your little one arrived?

Natalie said...

Our little one's due date is Jan 19th, so we are still in the eager anticipation mode so far! I must say, reading your "birth plan" and story on this blog helped inspire me before I was even married or pregnant to study and plan on natural childbirth myself. My husband and I plan on using the Bradley method's approach to natural child birth when the time comes, and are studying it now. So exciting! :)

Lulu said...

Hi Irene! I'm ditto-ing Natalie - I've been reading your blog too and it's so encouraging!!! :D Thanks for posting!

Seda said...

Natalie -- jan 19? yay! i'll be thinking about you during that time. i'm so excited for you. do let me know if you have any questions. my experience is limited to only two births, ;) BUT i would love to help!

Lulu -- *wave* hi! thanks for dropping by. =)

YeeLing said...

aww me loves this one :) me read it 2 times now! and still love it :P hehe