Lamppostings

Finding and creating adventures in everyday life.


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Thankful Thursday – Growing Up

I’ve often said that being a grown up is hard work. There’s a lot of adulthood that’s not much fun. Not that it’s bad or tragic, it’s just that it’s hard work. Paying bills, making wise choices (or trying to), making sure the kids are fed and watered, tidying the house (everyday – can you believe that? Doing it once, even really well, is not enough), insurance, driver’s licenses, putting gas in the car, you get the idea. It can be tedious, boring, and what’s the opposite of fun?

At the same time, there is something amazing when you feel your character actually changing. It hurts sometimes, it is uncomfortable, it is a challenge and yet there is joy.

There are things about being a child that are wonderful – the freedom, the joy in the present, the simplicity of life. At the same time, children tend to be selfish, they see everything in black and white, they don’t have a lot of patience with the shortcomings of others while being very good at ignoring their own.

Ah, the simple days.

Ah, the simple days.

I feel like I’ve been growing up a lot recently in my thinking, in the way that I look at others. I’m looking forward to sharing more about it, but it’s tough on me. There are deep-seated thought patterns and judgements that are being challenged and changed. It’s good though, did I mention that? It’s really good. Being a grown up is hard, but there is a different kind of freedom, a deep joy and you can find simplicity in the midst of our complex lives. I am thankful today that I’m a grown up.

I hope I don’t stop growing. I’m thankful for the grown ups in my life who are blazing the trail. I’ve got a long way to go and I’m going to enjoy the journey.


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How Many Fingers Today?

I love it when my boys want to hold my hand while we are walking. Sometimes they just run up to me and grab my hand, other times I have to tell them that they must as we cross a road or walk over an icy patch.

I got to thinking about it a lot this past Summer when we were hiking The Butte (that’s butte, not butt, people!) once a week as a family (until it got too hot for me). It’s a pretty major walk, a mile up and a mile down. The boys amazed me that at 5 and 3 years old, they did this 500 foot ascent without complaining (mostly). We played games along the way and always looked for familiar landmarks. I would walk with one of them and my husband would walk with the other. There was lots of hand-holding both on the way up and the way down. This was for safety and to keep them on track as they were often distracted along the way – many times by dirt! There may have occasionally been a bit of dragging on the steeper parts (better workout for Mom and Dad!)

Heading Down

Heading Down

We learned that Jude loves sticks and that Zane loves stones and I’m thinking that the rock band that they start when they are 17 and 15 should be called Sticks and Stones.

Grabbing a thumb for good measure.

Grabbing a thumb for good measure.

Anyway, when I would walk with Jude, the five-year old, he would hold my whole hand. When I would walk with Zane, the three-year old, he would only hold my index finger. It was easier for his little hand to grasp one finger and hold on tight. I thought about the difference that two years can make. Now whenever Zane holds my “hand” I try to cherish it as I know that the times and these boys they are a changin’. Zane now alternates between clutching one and two fingers.

IMG490

Sometimes, all I can do is hold onto one of God’s fingers – I can’t get my hand around His whole hand, so I grasp a finger and hold tight. It’s enough for today – it helps keep me safe and keeps me moving when I get distracted by “stuff”. On other days I can hold three fingers or maybe even His whole hand, that’s good too. On special occasions, I find that I can intertwine my fingers with His and that is amazing. Whether it’s a one finger day or a whole hand day, I’m just thankful that He walks with His hand held out to the side so I can grab it when I need it.


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Words on Wednesday – Questions, Questions, Questions

My status update on Facebook recently went like this:

Jude: Why isn’t God a million, or a google, or a googolplex (in age)? Are the clouds above the sky or under the sky? When everyone dies, will there still be a heaven and an earth? What makes the bubbles in pop? This boy keeps me on my toes & running to Google, God, Daddy & Grandpa for answers! (Not necessarily in that order.)

These were questions that came up during a short car ride.  Jude is four years old. He is working hard at figuring out the universe.  My husband and I are, for the moment, the ones that he asks these questions to the most. He wants answers. So do I. I still have so many questions, there are so many things that I don’t understand. I try to answer him as honestly as I can, to say “I don’t know” when I don’t know, to say let’s Google it, to say let’s ask Daddy or Grandpa or Grandma. But I know that some of the questions he asks simply don’t have clear answers. Questions about the nature of God and of Man.

I think about my own journey of faith. I look back on how I viewed things as a teenager, as a young adult – I could be so rigid, everything was black and white and it was safe and it was comfortable. I don’t see things that way anymore, life is much more grey than I once thought. This grey landscape can be scary and uncomfortable, there are many more unanswered and unanswerable questions than I ever thought there could be. It’s also a place of great love and freedom. I’ve found a God of grace and forgiveness. I’ve found fellow pilgrims disguised as vagabonds. I’ve found truth in rated R movies.  I’ve found love where I thought there was only judgement.

I want my sons to discover that love for themselves. I will be part of their journey, I hope that I can impart wisdom, and that they can avoid some of the mistakes that I made. I also know that they have to find their own way. They will make mistakes, they will judge, they will be blinded to things. Their questions will probably scare me and I will fear for the roads they might take, but I pray that they keep asking the questions because there are often, but not always, answers. Sometimes the answers aren’t what we expected, but there is always love.

Then there are those questions I love, the ones that have easy answers that I can Google! What sound does a rhinoceros make? (It sounds like a donkey.) How many people are there in the whole world? (Seven billion.) How many kinds of animals are there in the world? (There are an estimated three million different kinds of animals.)

My favourite thing is when Jude or Zane reminds me of the truth that we know, but sometimes forget. That we can pray and God hears. That God heals us. That Jesus loves everyone. Jude’s memory verse for Awana this week was, “Jesus came into the world to save sinners”. He accidentally said “scissors” instead of “sinners” the first time he said it, so that has been his joke all week. I have a picture in my head now of Jesus gathering up all the scissors in the world and rescuing them from certain doom. Anyway, on our way to Awana tonight, Jude was saying the scripture, but he was saying, “Jesus came into the world to save all sinners.” I was about to correct him, when he told me that he knows it just says “sinners”, but he knows that Jesus wants to save “all sinners.” I wasn’t about to argue with that because it’s the truth.

Keeping asking, keep seeking, find truth, find love. That’s the best thing I can wish for my boys.


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Lent

Lent is here. Last night we had our pancakes for dessert, but didn’t party it up much as I was ill. Today, we begin the journey toward Easter. I wasn’t raised to consider Lent much. We were raised as Christians, but not in the variety that observes Lent. As an adult, I’ve been drawn to the idea of Lent. For me, it’s about self-sacrifice & identifying with Christ.

Lenten fasts can be confidential & I think it’s admirable when people don’t make a big deal about what they are doing for Lent – either giving something up or taking on a new habit or ritual. I also think it’s great when people share what they are doing for Lent as I believe in the importance of community for support, accountability & cheerleading!

That being said, I am doing three things for Lent:

1. I am not watching tv in the afternoons. This is usually my time to veg out & while that’s important, it can tend to take over my day. My time will instead be spent with my sons or working on household projects or reading or doing something creative or praying.

2. I am not having the radio on in the car. I’ve actually been searching the dial for a good radio station here in town, but to no avail. (A purely personal taste thing) I’ve been listening to Top 40 stuff & I’m kind of sad about it. Lots of trash. We also don’t have any kind of workable MP3 set up in the car so there’s nothing but the radio. My attention in the car will therefore be interacting with my boys & husband if they are in the car with me & prayer if I am alone.

3. I am going to only eat when I am hungry & stop before I’m full. I have issues with food. Now is not the time to go into all the details, but I’m definitely a comfort/emotional eater. I am going to eat mindfully, paying attention to my body & responding to its needs, not just its wants. I actually think this will be more difficult for me than a complete fast – I’m not good at moderation!

I’m excited about this journey before me & the celebration at the end.