Chasing Contentment

Friday, August 20

It must be difficult for children to rear happy, contented mamas. I finally realized I've felt so sad this week because Griffin's had such a big, growing up week. And while I rarely - consciously - feel sad about him getting older, clearly this week was different. He promoted at church on Sunday, started first grade on Monday, lied to me about getting in trouble on Tuesday, and left his homework at school on Thursday. He's getting to be such a ... boy.

And then, today, I realized he'll be in with the big kids for Wednesday night services at church, and that was when it occured to me that it had been a really big week for us... for him. And now that I know that's why I'm sad, maybe I can just acknowledge the sadness and move on.

I want for him to grow up to be a kind, caring, Godly man, and I think he's well on his way, and that pleases me. I am so thankful for having the opportunity to be his mama. May he always be patient with me when I struggle with letting him be more than I'm ready for him to be.

[  posted by Chel on Friday, August 20, 2004  ]

Thursday, August 12

Ten years ago tomorrow, Mike and I were married. What a glorious 10 years it's been! I am honored and humbled over and over again that God chose to put the two of us together. I'm not the easiest person to live with, I'm quite sure, and I'm delighted Mike chooses to live with me and love me every single day. I've always said that, despite his being a moron sometimes, he's way better than me. I married up. And I am endlessly thankful for it.

On the morning of our wedding, my friend, Mika, gave me a rock. She's this big fan of metaphors and analogies, and this rock is a perfect example. It's an odd shape with a hole in the center of it. She had tied a pretty white ribbon through the hole, around the rock. She explained that the rock came from the stream outside her parents' house and that the water had worn the hole in the center. She said it's like marriage. God wears on the rough edges of each of us to create this new being. He sometimes wears holes in the union in order to perfect it, and the wearing only creates something more beautiful.

Being short on time that morning, I left the rock in my car. That rock has been with me through 10 years of marriage and four cars now. Each time we buy a new one, I tell Mike, "be sure to get the rock." I look at the frayed ends of the ribbon, no longer a pretty white, and I think of how blessed Mike and I are.

[  posted by Chel on Thursday, August 12, 2004  ]

Thursday, August 5

We have this old, rectangular house with twenty-odd windows, so even in the nighttime, it's flooded with light. The house is situated on this big corner lot, surrounded by trees, so if the streetlights do go out, the lot and the house both because pitch black. And I hate that feeling of being without power, of being completely in the dark. Mike, blessedly, knows how I feel about it and is always close by when the power goes out. He always holds my hand for a moment or two before heading off in search of the flashlight Griff has inevitably taken and misplaced.

I am grateful that Mike's always there in those moments when I'm most afraid. I'm amazed that God knows each of us so well that He knows the person who would best compliment us and best support and encourage us along the path of our life. I am grateful, too, for the knowledge that God is better than the streetlights flooding our home with light because His light will never shut down from a storm or too much heat. His light will fill the blackness of our nights on and on and on. And I can never be worthy of that, and yet, He gives it anyway. I am humbled by that thought.

[  posted by Chel on Thursday, August 05, 2004  ]

Monday, August 2

Griff is beginning to ask good, thoughtful questions about faith, about God. We've always been very up-front about our faith, and he's always has a general awareness of our belief in God and in Jesus. He's recently seen several children baptized in our church, and he's asking questions about that process and about how people get to that point. I am thrilled and humbled by this whole matter.

I believe with great conviction that these children are not mine, but rather, God's, merely on loan to me. It strikes me flat to consider that God trusted me and Mike enough to give us these precious little souls to rear and protect and prepare. I know that God can touch their hearts without any intervention on our parts, and I am honored that He chooses to allow us to be a part of this journey.

We watch a lot of Spiderman in our house, and I keep thinking of Uncle Ben's infamous line, "With great power comes great responsibility." I cannot imagine a greater responsibility than shepherding a child's spiritual life. Personally, I'm quite sure I'm not up to the challenge, and thus, I am again grateful that the Lord always prepares and equips us for what He asks of us.

May God guide Mike and I as we guide Griff and Eliza.

[  posted by Chel on Monday, August 02, 2004  ]