Wednesday, December 15, 2010

humility with gratitude on the side

I should be sweeping or folding or both, at this ungodly, 1:40 a.m. hour.

But instead, because I've already had an hour and a half of sleep with the baby--may I still call her baby, please?--I think I'll focus on what is right, good, and lovely.  My house is none of those things, and that can make a person sour, sad, and sullen.

Some gratitude, including a humility story:

- My boys belting out this solo part in the car this morning, followed by four-year-old Mary doing the same:

I know, I know
What I stand for.
I know, I know
What I believe.
God's Holy Word
Will always lead my life
'Cause I don't want
My heart to be deceived

- Gift money from my mother and step-father, which I plan to use to get the boys their own large-print Bibles with covers, and Mary the Jesus Storybook Bible.  They will get nothing else this Dec. 25th except for new mittens and peppermint candy in their stockings.  We are moving on from Christmas toys and it feels so right! (It may not be right for you--not saying everyone should worship the same.)  Now, they can follow along during devotions!

- I'm thankful that we still have Internet, because the other night I had all the ingredients in a bowl for a pumpkin pie, and then realized I was out of evaporated milk.  Google came through for me, teaching me that you can substitute 2/3 cup nonfat dry milk mixed with 3/4 cup water.

- Heavy snow on evergreen trees.  So beautiful!

- Heavy snow reminds that home is heavenly; our families are blessings.

- Sisters giggling in the tub

- Miss Beth so happy to see sister Mary's sweet face every morning.

- Poverty and having to receive gifts from family.  So painful and humbling, and yet so stretching (in good ways).  I know something about the hopelessness of poverty and I can use that knowledge to bless others someday, with no strings attached, no judgement involved.

Now for another lesson in humility:  Four-year-old Mary, along with the other Christmas pageant children, sang one of the pageant songs in front of the congregation last Sunday.  The actual pageant is this Sunday but they've been previewing a few songs.  Mary loves to sway when she's up there along to the beat of the music.  I mean a lot of swaying.  She's eye-catching to say the least (ahem).  Making herself a further spectacle to delight the audience and give the pastor a chance to make a funny, she laid right down on the stage as the song finished.  Pastor joked that she was slain in the spirit over the experience.  Ha!  He's quick witted, eh?

Truth is she's probably too immature for such a long production. I'm now purposely clothing myself with a sense of humor, instead of my initial response--embarrassment and dismay.  The blessing here is a lesson on parental pride. As much as it would be convenient for us, kids don't fit into neat little molds and it isn't their job to make us shine as parents.

My son Paul, for example, sings with all his heart, but not always on cue with the music.  He and Peter have small solo singing parts that lead one of the songs (above).  Sunday, he didn't start on cue with the music and they had to begin it again.  At first I was dismayed.  I worry about Paul.  He's very much a head-in-the-clouds child (mild form of inattentive ADHD, but it doesn't need a label).  He'll forget his underwear and put on his pants without it.  You'll address him, even when close, and he'll be so absorbed he doesn't hear you.  You'll ask him to put on his pajamas, set them down in front of him, and thirty minutes later, he's got no clue why you're irritated to see him still naked.

Anyhow, it took someone in the produce section of Walmart last Sunday to tell me what a good job my kids had done, to see the pageant experience for what it was:  A chance for the Lord to use HIS precious children to send a message of hope and grace to all--especially to us self-absorbed, life-absorbed adults..  Shame on me for thinking it was about anything else.  Very humbling.

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