Saturday, December 1, 2007

Pressing Question

Elisa asked me thoughtfully, "Mom, does your heart sometimes tell you bad things to do?"

I nodded. "Mm-hmm."

In wonder, she said, "That happens to kids, sometimes, too!"

Further Note on The Golden Rule

My children were quietly painting with watercolor paints while I talked on the phone. The quietness soon erupted into the sounds of conflict and unsupervision.

"What is going on in there?" I yelled.

"Talia and Isaiah are throwing paint at each other!"

I took the paints away, rebuked them both (but especially Isaiah), and was given an excuse. "Mom, Talia started it."

"I don't care. How old are you?"

He held up five fingers for me to see.

"And how old is she?"

Two fingers were held up, and he nodded his head sadly to indicate I was right, it was babyish.

"Do you think you ought to be following the example of a baby?"

He shook his head slowly.

I made him help me wipe up the mess. Still trying to find an angle, he tried again. "But, Mom, the Bible says, 'Do unto others what they--'"

I didn't let him finish. "Nice try. The Bible says, 'Do to others what you would have them do to you,' not, 'Do to others what they have done to you.'"

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A Prayer

We joined Lani for dinner one evening, and with our six older kids gathered around the table, Isaiah prayed over the meal. His voice was earnest and gentle.

"Lord, thank You for this food, and please just nurse it into our bodies ... and help it to taste good." It put a whole new face on nourishment for us.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Do Unto Others

The kids memorize about one Bible verse every week. One of their memory verses is Matthew 7:12 (also known as the Golden Rule). A good paraphrase of it is: Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Sometimes the kids argue over the correct wording of their verses.

Talia said to no one in particular, "Do unto others what you can do to them!"

Elisa, always one to correct and instruct the erring, jumped right in. "No, Talia! It's, 'Do unto others what they have done to you!'"

Not quite what Jesus said.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Job Title

"Citizen Development" is the title I write in for my line of work on loan applications and other official documents.

I love that question: "Now ... do you work?"

"Uh, no." Why work when you could have a twenty-four-hour-a-day cycle of unpaid laundering, dishwashing, diaper-changing, nose-wiping, baby-rocking, toddler-chasing, meal-making, bill-paying, homeschooling, inane-question-answering, grocery-shopping, clothes-sorting and house-cleaning --- on three hours of sleep?

When I am asked, "Do you work?" I answer truthfully.

"Not for money."

What I find very funny is that in spite of the fact that all our income is Jeff's income, the credit union insists on listing me first, since I have the better credit score. I hope I don't lose my job.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Lead Me Not Into Temptation

Before I read the Bible to the kids one morning, I asked Isaiah if he would pray.

He bowed his head and prayed, "Jesus, help this Bible story not to be tempting, and help Your Word to be true."

Amen.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Tangible Truth

Isaiah said to us one morning (while looking affectionately at his baby brother), "Silas is really special to me. He shows me that God does answer prayers."
He had been asking God for a brother for two years.

Friday, June 1, 2007

The Recompense of the Wicked

Shortly after Silas was born, Jeff made a run to Walmart with the three older children. In the checkout line, the checker looked at him, at the three young children, and at the newborn diapers and other new baby purchases on the conveyor belt. She raised her eyebrows and said in a disapproving tone, "There's another?"

"Yes. Just born Tuesday," he answered. Jeff said she didn't congratulate him. He told me this at the dinner table, and it reminded me of what I had read in the Word recently:

"[God] rescues the poor from trouble
and increases their families like flocks of sheep.
The godly will see these things and be glad,
while the wicked are struck silent."
(Psalm 107:41-42)

I told my kids that not everyone values what God values.

I am the oldest of seven children, and the last five were born in four and one half years. We've made quite a spectacle for some time. When I was a kid, my family would go out together, and inevitably people would come up and make comments. There were two kinds of comments that we got.

Some people would exclaim what nice children we were, and how much they enjoyed seeing a big family.

But occasionally, some bitter-looking person would walk up to my mother and spit out how stupid she was for having so many children!

At this point in my story, Isaiah interrupted me (highly offended). "And did Mima kick 'em into the street?"

"What?!" I said, laughing. "No, Mima didn't kick them into the street! Why would she do that?"

"Well, if they were being mean..."

"Have you ever known Mima to kick anyone into the street?" I asked him.

"No ...but what should we do to them? What about putting something into their face and never taking it out of their face?" He really wanted guidance on what kind of vengeance we should take against these Mima-insulters.

"Is that what you think Jesus would do?" I asked.

"No..." Isaiah reluctantly conceded.

But Elisa piped up at this point (having a greater understanding of the just recompense of the wicked).

"He would put them into hell," she declared in her soft princess voice.
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