Archive | February 2010

I am an Israelite

Update on our resolution. Many, many thanks to Melissa Gibbs and her invitation to read through the Bible in a year. It’s February 6, and I’m happy to say both I and my hubby are back in the word (most days anyway:). I think – for me anyway – it started out as an obligation, and a bit of drudgery. But God’s word is a story – the best story – so we now meet the task not so much like a runner to the treadmill but more like (forgive my sacrilege) a Jack Bauer fan to a Sunday night. It’s interesting, exciting, and inviting.
Today was a big day. First, God parts the water of the Red Sea so the Israelites escape Egypt, and then, the waters pound back down to bury the Egyptian army. Of course the story is amazing, but what always gets me is those dumb Israelites. Three verses after a miracle, they’re complaining to Moses about bad-tasting water. After all they’ve seen, complaining. They’re just idiots. Stupid, bratty, forgetful idiots.
Of course, I think about this story for two seconds, and then the conviction hits. I quickly remember my own complaining. and worrying. and doubting. and the miracles I stubbornly forget. Everyday there’s some common annoyance, something lacking, something worrysome, something just as selfish and petty as yucky water, that has me grumbling to God.
I heard some guy on the radio recently say that faith is a function of memory. I had always thought of “faith” as some irrational but godly surrender of everything potentially awful in the future. But I think he’s right – that faith is more like forcing yourself to remember the acts of God in your past.
My little miracle is one room away, taking his ten o-clock nap. He’s not our miracle baby like most mean it, with hopeful praying month after month and finally those cheerful pink lines. No, when I think of our miracle, I remember standing in the nursery, holding him sobbing, wondering if he would ever look us in the eye or play normally or laugh and smile with us. I remember Todd and me on our knees in our living room, begging God to give us wisdom and heal our little Sam. I never want to forget. I want to remember my miracles. Forgive me, God, when the worries of today make me doubt.

“In your unfailing love you will lead
the people you have redeemed.
In your strength you will guide them
to your holy dwelling.” ~ Exodus 15:13


First, a story. Sam now hates his bouncy seat. I don’t know how it happened, but the place that for months brought so much laughter, entertainment, and joy (and that’s just to us) has become a downer. He cries even at the sight of it, his little legs kicking in defiance as you hold him above it. I guess it’s like the junior-higher whose stuffed animals get hidden when friends come over, the eight year old who stops playing Candy Land with mom…It’s inevitable, but sad. To me it was a lesson. Sure, they grow up so fast, blah, blah, blah, but more than that I was embarrassed – embarrassed of how seriously I took myself during those first hard days of motherhood. I think I really thought it would last forever. That I would never get a shower again, that I would rock a crying baby to sleep every two hours the rest of my life, that I would never again have five hours of sleep in a row. And yet (sadly I realize), it’s not true. People told me over and over, but somehow the neglected farm animal Fisher price bouncer brought it home. Life FLIES.

Second, a quote. We are watching “The Purpose Driven Life” as a family, and in the first video he says, “Imagine that eternity is a measuring tape from New York to Tokyo. Your life on earth is a few millimeters of that tape.” Again, embarrassment. My tears and worries and work seem to be about all the wrong things.

Third, a tragedy. The day after watching the video a fellow teacher and friend died in a car accident. Same age as me, driving the same road I would drive, the same time I would drive it. Gone. Luckily for Aimee, her funeral was a celebration. She spent her life caring about Jesus and others and all the right things. No, my grief (aside from the heartbreak for her parents) was selfish. Am I ready like she was? I want to get it right, want to care about the right things, want to leave here unashamed…
“Lord, teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”