Archive for December, 2008
“Pew-suh-curt.” That’s Orison’s pronunciation for persecute. We’ve been reading Acts, Chapter 9 for family devotions for the last few days—Paul on the road to Damascus.
“Saul! Saul! Why are you pew-suh-curtin’ me?”
We had a nice Christmas yesterday, very full of family and food. I was thrilled by my husband, who is a tremendous gift-giver, with my first iPod!
But the best Christmas present I ever got from him came four years ago.
Picture it—Christmas 2004…
I was a new mother, just six weeks out from the delivery of my own firstborn son.
I was a new stay-at-home mom, which was definitely a shock to the system. I never realized how much of my identity was wrapped up in getting dressed in the morning, getting the things done in my day that I wanted to do, sitting down to eat meals instead of grabbing whatever I could get my hands on by 11am, getting to wear my Speech Language Pathologist hat five days a week, etc.
I was enjoying our son, don’t get me wrong, but it was definitely a process where God was remaking me and changing who I was and how I viewed myself.
That Christmas, we had very little money. We had just bought our first house and those mortgage payments were definitely daunting with one income. So Abraham and I decided not to buy gifts for each other that year.
I didn’t obey. I felt horrible not having something for him to open on Christmas morning. I don’t even remember what I bought him—probably something like a shirt or tie—nothing that required too much thought. I just couldn’t deprogram myself from the materialistic aspect of Christmas.
Abraham obeyed. He didn’t buy me anything. On Christmas morning he had me play Hot and Cold. You know, the game. So the game sent me up our staircase (getting warmer and warmer) and into Orison’s bedroom.
By now, I was hot!
As I walked over to the dresser/changing table I was BURNING!! Perplexed, I looked at him and he handed me a simple slip of paper printed from the computer. It said:
When I’m home, I’ll change the diapers.
I remember being glad and thinking, “Aw, that’s really sweet.”
But the magnitude of the gift really hit me as the months and months went on through 2005, when he’d come home at 5pm and, never complaining or shirking, give to me over and over.
I tried not to take advantage of the gift, like letting Orison stay in that messy diaper for just 10 more minutes until the clock struck 5!
I can’t tell you how much that gift changed my experience of being a stay-at-home mom. I was energized by that gift, knowing that Abraham was seeing that there were aspects of my new career that were taking some getting used to. He saw into my struggle and gave me a beautiful gift, from his heart.
Now that he works from home, I don’t hold him to the same standard—the man has to work sometimes! But he still changes more than his fair share. It’s a habit he’s gotten into gladly and it continues to this day.
I know it’s too late for you husband readers to do it for this Christmas, but keep it in your bag of tricks for next year! Or… think of another task you could do for your wife that would bless her socks off. It really is the gift that keeps on giving.
Why should you read it?
- She has 10 children, 7 of whom are adopted. (If that alone doesn’t have you curious…)
- She’s faithful to her calling to be a Christian in her neighborhood, loving her neighbor as herself.
- She’s a nurturing mother to all her children.
- She’s one of the most joyful people I know.
There’s also a beautiful slideshow you can view.
I’m thankful to know a woman like Dorothy. She’s taught me so much. I love you, Dorothy!
For those who’ve been following our house-buying journey, just checking in to let you know that we finally made the big trek next door!
For those of you who are newer, in July we bought the duplex next door to us. We did tons of painting and work to get the downstairs unit ready, which we now rent to some friends who are new in town.
Then we started a kitchen remodel on our upstairs unit, which is now mostly done. Everything functions, but Abraham and I still need to finish some painting. I promise I’ll post pictures soon!
Our plan is to finish out the third floor/attic with our bedrooms, and live on floors two and three.
So Saturday was our big day! Abraham was able to con a few of his friends into helping us, which was amazing of them. AND… for people who understand Minnesota in December, it was about 40 degrees! The snow was melting and the guys were working in sweatshirts. It was incredible!
Right now the hardwood floors in half of the unit are being refinished, with one more coat of polyurethane due to go on tomorrow morning. After it dries and we air out the stench, we’ll be free to dig into the pile of our belongings stacked up in what will be our dining room!
So for now we’re on air mattresses in our old house. But we’ll be fully functioning in our new house by Wednesday! I can’t wait.
My husband turns 29 today. I don’t take it lightly anymore that for 29 years his body has functioned the way God intended it to—lungs breathing, kidneys filtering, brain firing. Sometimes I sit next to him and marvel at it. Both of us have all the parts we need to function, and they’re both working independently of each other, not run by any type of machinery—just these self-contained systems that work without us telling them to.
I know that at any moment just one of these things could be different: his lungs could stop breathing, his kidneys could stop filtering, his brain could stop firing all the neural signals and we would be changed. Forever changed.
Not only does his body keep working as it should, but there is a whole different dimension of humanity that makes us more than just Homo sapiens existing next to each other.
He has a heart.
He has emotions.
He has a soul.
And he’s chosen to share all of these things with me, another gift that I don’t take lightly. Here’s to another 29 (dare I ask for more?) together, Lord willing. I love you Abraham. Happy birthday.
In the last couple months, our oldest boy Orison (who just turned 4), has gotten into the “I think there’s something in my room!” phase. He comes running out of his room crying and telling us these elaborate tales about the rhinoceros with red eyes that’s in his pillow, or the giant in his closet who’s going to eat him.
This mostly happens in the 30 minutes right after we close the door and say our final goodnights. See, Orison has one of the most active imaginations I’ve ever encountered. He often pretends about pretending. So, we’re trying to be sensitive to the things he fears. But I also don’t want to coddle him too much.
We usually say Psalm 56:3 right after we’re done praying: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you [God].”
Then we go through the litany of “Mommy and Daddy are going to be here the whole time you’re in bed. You’re not alone. We’re here and Jesus is here.”
Then there’s usually a round of, “There’s nothing in your room except you, your toys, and your books. It’s the same room in the day and the night.”
Finally, there’s suggestions for good things to think about. Usually we talk about good things that happened during his day that he can remember and think about. Or think about a story he’s read recently that he liked. Or a video he’s seen recently on YouTube. The one he likes best right now is this one:
So last night I suggested all kinds of things he could think about. But after two times of running out of his room crying, Abraham went in to have a little heart-to-heart.
Orison (through high-pitched, heaving sobs):
Mommy said to think about good things.
Elton John is a good thing.
I will think about that.
It wasn’t until I was about twenty-eight years old that my friend Shannon taught me how to fold a fitted sheet. I was over at her house when she was folding and I made a comment about how I hate folding fitted sheets. Mine always ended up looking like a balled-up mess.
She promptly passed on her sheet-folding wisdom, changing my experience forever. Now I look forward to the fitted sheets!
If I only I could figure out a trick for flat sheets. Aside from getting extendable arms, I’m not sure there’s really a solution.