Milk And A Song

Julia is a great toddler, but she has some kinks we’re hoping are worked out by spring. There’s the fact that she’s still in our bedroom, making it difficult to do anything very early or very late without waking her. Then there’s the bedtime routine, which consists of putting her down with blanket, binky, and a sippy cup of milk. Up until last week this last item was a bottle, so we are making progress.

Many times when I cover her up, she will say, ‘gong’, which means she wants me to sing her a song. Not just any song- oh, no, she wants to hear Jesus Loves Me. Again. And again. And again. I’ve had to learn the less common verses to this ditty, to keep my sanity.

Last night when I lay her down, I tried to change the subject every time she asked for a gong. Finally I lay down myself, letting her complain her way to sleep. Am I neglecting her? I asked myself. No, I had to conclude. First, she asks for this song in such a demanding way, that to keep giving her her way is likely worse for her in the long run. And, if we have the ultimate goal of her going to sleep on her own, this part of the routine has to go.

A ministry we support in South America has the opportunity to open a home for at risk girls. So many details had to come together in such a short time for the home to be up and running, that I told our kids we were praying for a miracle. My little girls drafted a prayer calendar, and faithfully prayed for this need for the past month. Today I got word that only one thing remains for the home to be open. This is big. This is God- big. I am so excited that He is answering our prayers and working this miracle on behalf of these girls, so that my girls can see how much He loves us.

I came away from this news so pumped, that a ‘news’ post on Facebook sent me crashing. A couple were discovered, having chained their children in their rooms, neglected and abused. A homeschool family. Nice. I’m not certain of the accuracy of the news story, hence the quotes around it, nor do I care. The ‘homeschool’ part of it isn’t what grieved me, either. I guess it was just realizing over again how much evil there is in this world. Here we make some headway against trafficking in South America, only to be reminded that it exists everywhere there are people wanting to hurt other people.

For the rest of the day today, I saw my tasks of caring for my family in a new light. I get to kiss you again. I get to change your diaper to make you more comfortable. I get to make some delicious food for us all, and we get to sit and eat together. Only by God’s grace am I in a position of getting to do much of this the right way, and not in a filthy home, chained to a bed, or worse, the one who bought the chains for my child. Thank You, O merciful One.

Tonight, I get to tuck Julia in and make sure she is warm and comfortable in her bed. I may just sing to her, too. Thank you, Jesus, for showing me how to love.

Together

I tried to comment on my sister’s new blog, but was unable because I don’t have a Blogger or Google account (well, actually I have both) that was wanting to cooperate. This is what I would have said.

I loved Steven Curtis Chapman’s book. I read it this fall, and was encouraged in many ways. What I didn’t expect was to find that the journey he and his wife are on closely resembles Luke’s and mine. They and we have struggled, for a myriad of reasons. We couples both have read the marriage books and gone to the marriage counselor expecting at some point there to be that magic solution that fixes it, whatever ‘it’ may be. But that isn’t how it has worked out. The best Steven and Mary Beth, and we ourselves, can do, is to say, “Today, we are together. Today, we are okay.” That is all we have, all we are ever given. And it is a precious gift.

I’m beyond words at having the chance to wake up for nineteen years, going on twenty, and making trouble, making up, and making babies with my best friend.

Happy anniversary to us.