Chapter Fifty: APPLAUSE
It is very difficult for me to understand how a parent cannot be on time for the one hour they see their child each week. I realize I am looking at this from an “all needs met, have great support” perspective. But I still don’t get it. It seems I am hearing more how folks just aren’t showing up for their kids. These are not folks I do life with or even near life … It is a whole new circle I have met in this past year’s journey. But, like most things … it has got me to thinking about showing up for our kids. In fact, it had me greeting every parent in our four year old’s head start program and applauding for them as they simply walked their kiddo to school. But, I wrangled myself … kind of.
I’m not talking “go to every single thing they ever have, eat lunch with team at school everyday, meet them at the bus stop with fresh baked cookies show up.” Showing up isn’t big or expensive or extravagant. It’s simply being there. My friend, Meredith, has a condition that causes her to have an insane amount of seizures. She can do very little in the care of their daughter. This grieves her soul greatly, she feels like she is missing out and is simply not enough for her daughter. What she is coming to realize is that her lap is all she needs to show up … her empty available lap for her sweet girl to sit in. That is enough.
I’ve done the “run about and be at everything with all the right shirts and pompoms.” I’ve jumped up so quick to rush off to the next thing that I catapulted a child out of my lap. I have (and will again) forget to show up for the moments that are the sweetest and the tenderest, the moments that linger the longest. The moments where you simply show up … that last hug or glance before they jump out of the car to go to school, that lingering time snuggled on the couch, the conversation that actually happens because we have shown up.
I applaud the parent that shows up and want to learn from them.
Chapter Fifty One: SCRIPTURE COMES ALIVE
We had a trial on behalf of the boys’ case. I was all kinds of anxious. All kinds. Robert and I rallied the troops and asked for prayer that Gods will would be done and we would rest well in however that outcome was. We were looking hard for some big time peace. And it came. It came directly from God’s Word that our friends passed on to us.
You see, I know God’s word. I can pass out His promises like no one else. I am almost too comfortable with it … meaning, I fail to really hear what He is saying. And that’s not good.
When I received text after text from friends with Gods promises, I could hardly believe what was happening, His Word was coming alive again to me. It was amazing. I am so grateful that even though my heart grows stagnant…His Word grows more full of life.
Chapter Fifty One: HALF-ASS
(if you have a problem with sin and cussing, you might want to skip this one)
Sometimes while doing chores around our house, they aren’t done with excellence.
Most the time, I grumble and slam things near those that I am working with mumbling in my brain, “why do they do this so half ass. Haven’t I taught them better? Haven’t I set a good example?”
One time, I actually said it to one of my kids. And I am not going to lie … it felt good. For a minute. Or longer.
As you can imagine, it escalated quickly from there. I can’t say that it was the prettiest of exchanges … but a lesson came from it. (shocker).
First. I didn’t google it … as I was afraid of what would come up. But to the best of my knowledge there are two forms of this word:
- An ass as a donkey. (You know like in the “olden days,” like in the bible, where we all used to fight to read that section out loud in Sunday School so we could actually cuss. Huh … who knew house chores with kids would give you ALL kinds of opportunity to say it?
- An ass as someone’s hiney. (hiney is the approved word in our home)Either way you cut it … half of either of those would be weird, absolutely useless and probably quite messy. So, really my point is true. Why would we ever want to do anything half hiney? Yuck. Ouch. Not cool.
Second. I do things half-ass. All. The. Time. It seems I am getting much better at it, unfortunately. I like to think that my perfectionism is being balanced with my perspective. Whatever you do, don’t look under my bed … you’ll find half a donkey.
So, when said child and I finally were able to speak rationally to each other at the end of the day, I decided to do one thing full out, not half way. Full out extend grace. To both of us. We both screwed up bad … with our actions and our attitudes … but that didn’t mean we should continue walking around in shame and pouting. We needed to forgive each other for the way we acted. And we needed to forgive ourselves. I think we forget the latter way. too. often. (I do.)
We, as people living together on earth, hurt each other and beat ourselves up daily. And we need to give ourselves and each other 110% grace and forgiveness. No room for half-ass there. Jesus didn’t do it that way, so neither should we. It’s a free gift. It doesn’t cost us a thing. So,when it’s the right time (which is all of the time), let’s give it away FULLY. No half-ass grace giving for us. Nope. No how, no way.
Chapter Fifty Two: Land Mines
I have never walked into a battle zone. In my mind, I think walking through a land mine would be like walking through a child’s bedroom in the dark where legos had been left out. I obviously don’t have a true perspective of what a land mine field would be like.
But, in my mind, it is what we are maneuvering through right now. Final meetings and trials, the saddest of emotions and the most excited of emotions. Conversations with parents and kids need to happen and none of them will be easy.
We are walking carefully right now in our home and the lives that live in it. There will be an explosion or two … or one hundred before this is all over. Meltdowns will occur. Heck, that happens in all homes, every life. This side of heaven, there are seasons where we don’t know what will blow up when we set our foot down.
So … onward, we go … through the emotional land mines. And I couldn’t be more at peace.