Monday, April 28, 2014

A Whole New Gross

There are certain things that have caught me by surprise being the mother of three boys. Having to say, “Get off the roof,” multiple times in one day and having a lawn mower that is pimped out complete with skull gear shifter and racing flames are just a couple of them. You would think after 18 years my ability to be surprised by what happens in my home would have begun to wain but a couple of weeks ago we reached a whole new level of ‘You have got to be kidding me!’

On Saturday it was time to clean rooms. Now I am not one to be a stickler for tidiness but the fact that I could smell my older boy’s rooms from the hallway meant it was time to draw a line in the sand. Ethan’s room smelled like a locker room and Shelby’s…well, let’s just say there was an oder coming from his that went beyond smelly socks and teenage boy funk. The ultimatum was delivered, “If you want to go to the movies then your laundry must be done and room completely cleaned.” Both boys were eager to go to the movies so they quickly went to work.

Not long after they started Shelby came into the kitchen with a stunned look on his slightly green face. Our conversation went something like this:

Shelby: Mom, I think I found out what is making my room smell weird.
Me: Well, whatever it is clean it up and get it out of your room.
Shelby: But, Mom, a few days ago Ethan killed a squirrel in the back yard.
Me: Yeah, so?
Shelby: I think the dog put it under my bed.
Me: WHAT?!?

Yes, there was a dead decaying squirrel under my son’s bed delivering its lovely fragrance to our home not to mention what it was doing to my carpet! I can honestly say I WAS MORTIFIED!!! I mean a lot of really gross things have happened over the years like the time two HUGE cockroaches crawled out of Shelby’s lunch in Pre-K (yes, that is a story for another blog) but this was over the top gross. Shelby was a trooper about it all. He and a close, I mean really close, friend tied handkerchieves around their faces put on gloves and went on the retrieval mission. The squirrel was removed but the oder was another issue. 

This was one situation where it was completely legitimate to blame the dog. She is such a sweet thing, but oh my goodness, what was she thinking! It has been a couple of weeks and the oder and my embarrassment have finally subsided. 

I will never get the suzy homemaker award for keeping the perfect home but that’s ok. I am an imperfect mom raising imperfect children. Our life is a journey of ups and down, glorious moments and totally gross ones, too. I might be mortified every now and then but I wouldn't change a thing because it is a really fun ride.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Flying by Faith

Recently I was tasked with explaining the concept of walking by faith to elementary students. If you want to really get a grip on the truth of a subject try to figure out a way to explain it to a child. The story below is what God gave me.
Perched on a ridge high above a vast valley were four birds. Three of the birds were eagles proud and noble. The fourth was a penguin somewhat out of place. As all four of the birds looked across the valley they searched for thermals. These rising columns of invisible air are every birds dream because if he happened to fly into one he can soar for hours searching for food. Without the thermals finding food is difficult and exhausting.

The penguin stood on the edge and told the other birds tales of riding the thermals for hours. He explained how he managed to locate the invisible winds and exactly what one must do to stay aloft riding the air for hours. The penguin was very convincing, so convincing that the eagles almost believed that this penguin had actually experienced the amazing lift of a thermal, but of course, the penguin never left the cliff. After all, he was a penguin and penguins don’t fly.

The first eagle stood on the edge of the cliff worried and scared. He had been taught that thermals are out there waiting to be found, but he couldn’t see them. In order to discover a thermal he knew that he must jump and fly down toward the bottom of the valley. As he imagined doing this visions of what could go wrong filled his head. What if I crash? What if I can’t find one and I am too tired to fly back home? The worries of what could happen kept his feet firmly planted on the ridge. He would have a hard time finding food and would not experience the joy of soaring high above the earth.

The second eagle stood on the edge of the cliff confident that he knew exactly what to do. He knew for sure that he would be able to find all the food he needed. He looked across the valley and pinpointed exactly where he thought a thermal should be. With great vigor and enthusiasm he jumped from the cliff and dove toward the bottom. He adjusted his course so that he was headed for the location that he believed contained a thermal. As he flew he felt his right wing tip toward the sky. This unexpected gust of wind knocked him off course. He fought to correct his path, but he kept experiencing the nudge of an invisible draft pulling him in a different direction. The eagle was determined to not allow this wind to take him away from where he wanted to go. He wrestled and fought all the way to the area where he was convinced the thermal would be, but nothing was there, no wind, no lift, no soaring. Exhausted from fighting so hard to get where he wanted to be the eagle fell to the earth.

The third eagle stood on the edge of the cliff excited and a little scared. He looked out over the valley not knowing where he would find a thermal and this made him cautious. All of his life he had heard the stories about thermals. Catching a thermal and soaring far above the valley was not only the best way to find food, but it was also the most exhilarating way to fly. The eagle looked over the edge and took a deep breath. He was certain the thermals were there but there was only one way to find out, diving off the edge. The eagle dove and zoomed toward the bottom of the valley. As he flew he carefully paid attention. The moment he felt the tip of his wing lift toward the sky, he turned toward it. Immediately the eagle felt the rush of the thermal carrying him high above the valley. The eagle spread his wings and let the current carry him where it wanted. Effortlessly he soared for hours. He did find plenty of food that day but the greatest thing he found was the joy of soaring through the clouds.
The point of it all is:
1. Faith is where our journey begins. From the moment of salvation we become creatures destined to walk by faith.
2. Faith must not stop with salvation. Don't let fear and what you want rob you of the joys of faith.
So do you relate to one of the birds? Which one? It is time to jump and let God take you where He wants you to go.