Friday, August 24, 2012

When to obey

Those who spend time with our family would hear me say this a lot: Obedience means that you obey now. Right away. Immediately.

Not after you think about it. Not in a little bit. Not when you are ready to obey. The only time that is appropriate for obedience is the moment you receive the instruction, not when you decide you want to obey.

Oh how difficult is this lesson! And how deceitful is the heart.

I do the exact thing I am teaching my sons not to do. Seeing my own foolishness in them stirs in me much annoyance -- and much fear -- as I know exactly where this path leads. Been there. At the same time, it also stirs up compassion for their little souls, and the urgency to steer them away.

They must learn to heed my voice, and trust in my love for them. Obeying right away can be the difference between life and death. And yet, I am somehow able to justify that my own sin is not as deadly.

When God instructs, I beg for more time. Or, I demand more time. Or, I simply ignore his commands. What makes it worse is that in my delay I start basking in my self-righteousness and consoling myself with my OK-ness. When the truth is that I am as OK as a four-year-old walking accross a busy intersection, and as safe as a two-year-old opening the door of a burning oven.
Well, at least I am aware that I need to be more consistent in my prayer life, or reading and meditating God's Word. Next year, I will serve and participate more at church. I promise I will be more hospitable or more patient after my pregnancy, or when the kids are older. I will reach out to that person at church when I finish this project. I will be more faithful in my church attendance after this season exams or (activity of your choice). I will put an end to this fling after graduation, it's not like I am going to marry him. I promise I will stop wasting time. This is the last (fill in the blank) I will ever watch. I need more time to think about getting baptized. This is a big decision! This is so hard! I am sure God understands.
Promising to obey is not obeying. Thinking about obeying is not righteousness. If I am not obeying right now, I am not obeying. Like Jonah, my prayers can be so full of conceit and deceit when the only prayer acceptable to God is the prayer of repentance.

I know I am asking my children to do a hard thing. An impossible thing, in fact. Immediate obedience requires death. To deny our own understanding, intuition, curiosity, and desires, and simply trust in the wisdom of our Father.

Thanks be to God that Christ has first demonstrated his obedience to the Father on the cross. The great shepherd laid down his life for his sheep. I can stand before the throne of grace only because I am covered in his blood, clothed in his obedience.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Hanan, who has been fairly quiet in the past two years, suddenly decides it is time to start talking. He has been telling us about the little person he is becoming, and we've been enjoying getting to know him.

At 26-months, Emeth was obsessed with wildlife, stories about trains, and the characters in those stories. Little brother also loves trains, but for entirely different reasons. These two boys are growing within the same walls, yet they are worlds apart.

Hanan is more of an abstract thinker. He is obsessed with numbers and colors and shapes. He takes things apart (sometimes permanently) and analyzes how they work. Turning wheels, pushing buttons, making music, and eating are among his favorite things. He adores his big brother, and says "hi ge ge!" and "thank you ge ge!" about hundred times a day.

Distracted. Always.
What I do when mommy says, "smile!"

In celebration of his aunties week-long visitation tomorrow, here is a glossary of some of my favorite words by the little bear.

waji - H2O

meee!!! meeeee!!! - MORE!!!!!!

eye or winkle winkle winkle - star.

pah-mei - please

te-te - a shape with three sides

ku-air - a shape with four sides

gle -  a shape with four sides, two sides are longer than the other two.

pen-gon - a shape with five sides.

ok-gon -  a shape with eight sides.

hoyee hoyee hoyee - my favorite song.

hoyee God in love be cake - (emphasis on cake) my other favorite song. (I have a lot of favorite songs)

buchen - mommy's heart when I disobey. This also happens to most things I take apart.

thona - the very useful engine. What I sleep with.

wowo - canine creatures. The other thing I sleep with.

mana - long yellow fruit, my new love.

turtle - not what you think. What mommy uses to wrap burritos.

crapper - crunchy cheesy things (crackers).

pah-per - what mommy changes when I go to the bathroom.

sillay, farnay - what I say when people are trying to make me laugh.

enenen - the number after ten, rhymes with seven.

ka-ga-mee - what I say when I need reassurance that I am not alone ("cover me")

haa-jee-ga - what I say when I need a hug

ge-ge pee ge - what I say when I want something from big brother

ding! - you and me, we are the same! (when he has a similar cup, cap, etc. with another person)