Have a dressed up day!

Monday, June 29, 2015

when you are trying to raise a son into a man that sees

I want to raise a boy into a man that sees.

I send him over to ask if it's okay.  He runs back all smiles - yeah, Mommy, she says I can.

So he is changing clothes and bug spraying when my phone rings.

Marie, Max just knocked on my door and asked if he can cut my grass.

Yes ma'am, is it okay?

It would be wonderful.  Last night before I fell asleep I prayed to God to send someone to knock on my door today to cut my grass.

We both laugh amd chat a minute and then hang up.

His daddy gets him going and then he cuts.  He follows the pattern and cuts circle after circle after circle.

And I watch.

And then my phone rings.

Marie, my son says he wants to send Max $30 for cutting the yard.  

No, thank you, but please no ma'am.  That's not why he's cutting it.  I don't want him to think he has to get paid.  

And then she begins to cry.  

I prayed to God last night before I went to bed that someone would knock on my door today and ask to cut my grass.

Yes ma'am, I know.  

And she hangs up crying.

I go to the window and watch.  He's cut the same spot so many times there's bald patches appearing. I go outside and guide him to a few missed spots.

Repost from here - We were blessed beyond any form of our worth with three beautiful girls and my years were over forty and much time had passed since we made the unspoken bond of no more children by not speaking of it any longer.

There are some things that are very hard to explain.  And the fear is if you try you might sound somewhat extravagant.  Or like a dreamer.  Or just plain foolish.

But on a night earlier pressed against each other I laughed loud and told him we just made a baby.  I knew it.  I felt it.  I can't explain it.  I said it but how does a woman know such a thing at such a time?

But I did.

And I was right.

And weeks passed and he came home as I walked out of the laundry room and right into his arms and cried and there were only three words -

You're pregnant?


And I said words that were too honest when I wondered aloud why would God give us another child?  I didn't want another baby or need another baby and why would I be pregnant unless He was giving us a son?  Why would I be pregnant if it were a girl?

Some things will shame till the day we die.

And I didn't realize how badly I wanted a boy until the thought that I might not have one.

But I was afraid to say the words too loudly or too often.

And on a table too short in cold dark room I held the hand of the man I love and watched only him.  And there it was.  Wand moved and fingers touched keys and I saw it on his face before she spoke the words.

It's a boy.

But I already knew for his smile started slowly and he saw and looked at me in a way he had never looked at me before. 

And then my excitement turned to fear as I realized I had no idea how to take care of a boy.

But I could figure the taking care of part out.

But raising a son?.  How do you raise a man?

To be honest I had come to believe God didn't think I'd be any good at it.  I guess He believed I was the daughter raising type.

But here, now, he was granting us a son.  Blessing us with a son.

In this post I continue on to explain a promise I made to God when it appeared later on in the pregnancy that something was very wrong with Max.

I'm still not going to share that promise here in this white space.  It's personal.  Too personal.  And it was a hard promise.  One I want to keep but am not so sure I'll ever be able to.  I think of it often.

So here we are raising a son.

Girls are natural care givers, mostly kind-hearted and compassionate.  Instinct drives much of what they do.  A mother's instinct.

But boys like bad guys and heroes and dirt and mess and often get wrapped up in their own little gross worlds, too wrapped up to just notice things around them. They go too fast to just notice.   

And boys seem to not have chivalry in this modern age.  I don't want the age of harlots and brew and turkey legs devoured around an uncivilized table.

But there has to be an in-between, because boys growing up now are missing the mark.  Parents are missing the mark.

I want to raise a son into a man.

A real man.  A man like Christ the man.  A wise, kind, compassionate, loving man who has the hands of a hard worker.  A just man who angers with injustice and a zeal for God's house that will consume him. John 2:17 

A man who is not afraid of hard work and sweat.  One who is not afraid to be gentle. A man who never tires of loving one woman and telling her so.

And I want to raise a son who grows into a man who notices.  One who notices things going on around him.  A man with a keen sense of what needs to be done and then just does it.  One who notices a woman carrying a box while men stand all around her.  Notices an elderly neighbor's yard that needs attention.  A man who notices the child in the corner without a friend. And then becomes that friend.

I want to raise a boy into a man that sees.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

when you can't believe in statistics because how can you bear that?

It was 2001 and Judy walked up to me on the right hand side by the front doors and said, You should direct Vacation Bible School.  God told me so.

It was more of a command than a request.

Now, fourteen years later, I've been to Japan and the United Kingdom and the Amazon and . . .

I guess I've been all over the world.

So many years of prayers.  Over a thousand children.  Many now grown and gone and I wonder where and question.

And it's scary.  Every year I come close to quitting.  And if you really get to the heart of it I know I'm just scared.  

God will happen in spite of me.  Not because of me.

I remind myself.

This year I watched them as I always do from the back.  They raise their arms and stomp their feet and sing about taming their tongues and walking with the wise.

Where will they all go?  What will they do?  Who will they become? 

Will they say yes now or later -
or never?

They sing and dance and laugh and I begin to beg again, as every year.

I look at the back of their little heads and know all will one day die, some with eternity being separation and fire. 

Today I don't even make it through the doors at the beginning of the day before the tears fall and I wonder which ones?  Is it the little brown haired boy that sits on the third row?  The one with the glasses and cow-licked hair?  Or the little curly haired blond girl with blue eyes that light up when she sings?

There's the beautiful little girl who keeps walking right out of her flip flops and the quiet lovely child in the corner soaking in every word and motion.  Is it them?  The same little ones whose mothers held them close?

I stand in the prayer room before the morning begins and choke out my words so badly I have to ask someone to take over.  And they stay with me and cry with me and petition with me.  Not for one but for all. 

Statistics will tell you mathematically every child here will not accept Christ and spend an eternity in Heaven.  Statistics will tell you of one thousand children only one-hundred and seventy will even attend church.  And I can't bear that.  How do you bear that?

But I do not have to.  I can't believe in statistics.

I can only believe in faith.

I believe in my God, your God, the one and only God.  Lord, soften their hearts and prepare them and let them hear and see and know and say yes.

Because everyday, somewhere, some child is hearing the name Jesus.
Drawing of me losing my cool courtesy of budding artist, Izzy.

Have a dressed up day!

. . . put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12