Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Squirrels for Dinner

When I was a child, I can recall being in front of our house on the sidewalk creeping ever so slowly toward a squirrel so that I could just reach out and touch its tail. The excitement of such an interaction made my summer. So often I found myself in this position, quietly waiting on various wild creatures to come near, with the ever present little girl dream that they might play with me and be my friend.

Fast forward 25 years to this morning.....raising two little boys.

"Mama!! I see a squirrel outside", Caleb excitedly exclaims. "A squirrel!" Emet repeats.

"We need to kill that squirrel," Caleb continues. "Yeah! Kill the squirrel with a shotgun or a...or a winmag!!" joins Emet.

"I want to eat that squirrel for dinner!!" shouts Caleb.

Well, I guess Grandma Marion did say that squirrel meat tastes pretty good......but for tonight, I think I'll pass.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Caleb, where did the dinosaurs go?

This past weekend, we returned from a long weekend at my parents' house in Port Orchard for the annual Stolberg Family Reunion. While at Grandma and Grandpa B's, the boys camp out in their closet on pallets. (For the record, Grandma and Grandpa have a closet approaching the size of the boys' bedroom at home!) I snuck into the bedroom and overheard the following exchange.

Emet: "Cayub, where did dinosaurs go?"

Caleb: "Emet, I don't know. You'll have to ask God about that."

Emet: "Yes you do know 'bout dinosaurs!!"

Caleb: "No I don't know, Emet, but God knows EVERYTHING. He created everything, and He was never born and He never can die, and He is so big that he is EVERYWHERE at the same time! He is so tall that it would take 2 days to get to his head!......No, maybe even 16 days!"

Emet: "I would sit on His head!!" (heartily laughing, then) "Cayub, why did you take off your blanket?..." (a little window into the mental wanderings of a 2 year old)

Fast forwarding several days to yesterday, the children and I were outside, sitting at the edge of the garden. As I looked over the weed filled plot, I thought of the many life lessons one can learn from a garden. We talked about leaves and roots, how plants get their food from water, soil, and sun. We discussed weeds and how they can overtake plants, choking them out so the plant can't get any sunlight or water. We practiced pulling up weeds by only pulling the tops off of weeds, then by pulling the weed out by the roots so that it can't grow anymore.

I got out my Bible and began to read them the parable of the sewer. I explained as I went, and both boys were listening attentively. Here are the verses we read:

A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! Matthew 13:3-8

and the explanation.....

“Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
Matthew 13: 18-23

At the end of the story, I asked the boys, "So what did you learn from that story?" Caleb replied, "Nothing. I don't like Bible stories. I just like to think about money and steal other kids' toys."

So, there you have it! What a great parallel to our adult life minute fully believing and trusting in God.....the next, completely focused on pointless, worldly pursuits that come to nothing in the end. Apparently it starts young!

As a humorous aside, during the weed pulling process, Emet, having recently received the Veggie Tale DVD Larry Boy and the Rumor Weed, excitedly ripped the top off a weed and ran over to me shouting, "Look-it!!! I found a rumor weed!" :-)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Little Teachers

I look at you sleeping, your little eyes closed, and time stands still. You lay at peace in my care, trusting me...believing in me, because you don't know to do anything else.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made, priceless gifts, treasures placed in my keeping. Each one of you is special and unique. God designed you because He wanted you just the way you are.... everything about you. You are priceless to Him. Psalm 139:14 says, "I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well."

Your little chests rise and fall with each breath, and for a moment I see what God desires for me......peaceful rest in His care, not worried about tomorrow, just trusting that He is who He says He is.....believing all He has promised, because I know no other way.

As you grow older, little ones, you may wonder about your purpose in life - you may look around you for reassurance and not up to the One who created you. The beautiful things around you may begin to draw you away from your Heavenly Father as you begin to trust in them. You will find out that people may let you down, even Papa and I. You will learn about heartaches and disappointment. You will experience sorrow and pain. Your rest may not be so peaceful, your dreams not so sweet.

The funny thing is.......I'm beginning to see that God has as much purpose for you in my life as He has for me in yours. It is often through you that God speaks to me, and reminds me of how life is supposed to be....reminds me that things don't have to be so complicated....that He wants me to be snuggled safe in His care, leaving tomorrow to Him and not to my own plans, insecurities and fears.

Heavenly Father - hear my prayer! Help me to be as my children, tender and sweet, full of grace and mercy. Let me forgive easily and love much. Let my laughter ring with innocence and pure joy. Let me rest in Your care....believing, obeying and trusting that what You have for me is greater than what I plan for myself. May I always be about Your purpose and not my own. And, God, thank You for my little teachers....the ones You sent to show me the way Home.

"Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.' " Matthew 19:14