Life...Seize the Moment

Thursday, July 31, 2008

How does one summarize four months of life in a few paragraphs that people will be interested in reading? It's not as though our life is all that extraordinary or unique. We live simply, putting one foot in front of the other, taking one breath and then another, tackling each task as it comes, and watching as the story that is our lives unfolds.

While Lucy has become the house dust mop in her efforts to become mobile, Joshua has left the baby stage completely behind. As a big boy no longer in diapers, Joshua is becoming very observant and curious. He knows most of his colors, points out items of interest when we ride together in the car, and has begun asking, "Why?" He is very interested in helping, but only when it looks exciting to him - which isn't always when we ask for it. He has quite an imagination and a very good memory - two tools that enable him play alone for hours, but also fill his mind with sometimes scary pictures during the long, dark hours of the night. Discovering how to follow Jesus, he is learning how to obey without whining, come quickly when called, worship in church, and - above all - show brotherly love to his sister. Though Lucy's lessons are more surface level ones, she too is learning to walk in the way she should go: taking naps when Mommy says to, playing happily with toys, and sitting still (or sleeping) in church.

The responsibility of this job called parenting has been filling Eli and I with a sense of our own inadequacy lately. Parenting now is more than just, "Don't touch!" followed by a quick slap on the hand when he touches anyway. All of a sudden, we have to deal with, "No!" followed quickly by, "Nope!" when we tell him not to say no to us. We have to contend with taking, pushing, and thinking more of oneself than of others. Day after day we go over the same lessons. Man's total depravity and his desperate need for a savior looks back at us out of those big brown eyes!

A moment when the two little sinners were in the bath together made me think that maybe all the teaching, training, and spanking will one day pay off. After filling the tub and scattering various cups, funnels, and fish, I left the kids to play while I checked something else. Seconds later, frustrated squawks sent me hurrying back. Lucy was alone at one end of the tub while Joshua had a pile of toys heaped between his legs at the other. Both looked up at me with upset faces when I asked, "What's going on?" I explained to Joshua again that he needs to look out for his sister's happiness before his own and told him to give Lucy a toy. Reluctantly, he handed her a boring teacup. "Joshua," I admonished, "share one of the fun toys with her. Make her happy!" He chose a brightly colored pop bead and as he held it out to her, she broke into a smile and her whole face lit up. I could see joy fill Joshua as he experienced the greater happiness that comes from sacrificing something for the good of another. And that's the end of the story, leaving the reader satisfied and content. But real life continues, and the next day brings new lessons to learn and teach. However, in the midst of today's selfishness, I can remember that some training did get through once and the sinful hearts are being made new.

When we aren't training the future generations we're working on improving our store - to help other people train the future generations. Summer has come again and teachers all around are flocking to sell last years curriculum and buy more for this year. But Eli is still working on projects: improving our new website and uploading all of our used inventory. And on top of all the rest, we're planning our big move in October. This is a project that I have entered into wholeheartedly. I have been buying tables and couches, picking out floor and paint colors, and arranging a much prettier, homier Exodus.

Life... We make plans for tomorrow and then before we know it those plans are yesterday's memories. The best we can do is seize the moment we and make it one worth looking back on.

Back to Recent Journey Chronicles