Sunday, August 27, 2006

For Mature Audiences only....

My son is hitting the age where he is becoming more and more aware of the differences between boys and girls.

Honestly, this is hard, because with his development he can be so intellectual, and yet often behind even Julia in his awareness of such things - and I enjoy that innocence. For example, it was only about 4 weeks ago that he became aware that Julia had no boy parts. He was trying to be a helper as we were teaching both kids to shower by themselves, and he stood outside the shower calling to her each part of the body she should wash next. When he got to that, he seemed shocked when I explained that she didn't have the same parts he has. "Well then what DOES she have?" he asked in disbelief. "How does she go to the potty?" ( All this in spite of the fact that neither of them have ever been very private around each other. )
I gave some answer. I think it was adequate, but all the times I told myself to figure out what to say before the moment came were now useless, as the moment was here before I was ready.

Tonight was another moment like that.
He seemed fascinated with that other part of women that he now notices is different. So here's how the conversation went tonight:

Eli- "Mom, what do you call those?"

Me - (Thinking..... Dying. Did he really just ask me that? I'm in the middle of reading a book to him. That is SO like a boy! Why doesn't he ask Jason this stuff? Wait. I am the mom. It's okay. This is a normal question. Set the stage Heather, set the stage ... today is the day that determines how openly he will communicate with you for the rest of your life. When he is a teenager, this is the moment he will look back on and know whether it is safe or not to talk to his mom about anything. Long pause. Think, Think Think. Do I entrust accurate words with maturity to a boy who struggles sometimes with social interaction? Or is that too much for him right now? Think. Think. Think. Other words I could give him?? Oh wait, that's worse. No way. Ok. Got it.)

Me- "Eli, what do you think they are called?"

Eli - "Mom, I know what it is, but I don't want to say it, because it's a bad word."

Me - (Thinking... What bad word could he have learned? WHO IS TEACHING HIM BAD WORDS? I AM SETTING UP A CAMP ON THE PLAYGROUND AND SO HELP ME ANYONE OUT THERE WHO IS GOING TO BE TEACHING MY SON BAD WORDS IS GONNA... Oh wait. ...still in the moment Heather...Eli's still here. You're still setting the stage for all future communication - get in the game girl...."

Me - "It's okay Eli, just tell me what you've heard."

Eli - "Mom, I really don't want to ... it's bad and you know it. And I don't want to say it."

Me - "Eli, I promise you I won't be mad at you. Just tell me the truth and I promise you that you can always know I will do the same. "

Eli - "You know. It starts with an 'F'".

Me - (Not hiding the shocked and confused look on my face.) ( Have they come up with new 'bad'words that I am not aware of? Am I behind the times already in first grade? Wait! How can it be that I am failing miserably already!?!)

Eli - ( Picking up quickly on my obvious ignorance....) 'Okay, I will give you the next letter mom. 'F', 'A'....."

Me - ( My mind is racing, and anxiety is building. What? WHAT? WHAT IS IT? What do they call it now? )

Me - "Eli, I don't know what it is, I'm sorry. Please just tell me. "

Eli - (Rolling his eyes.) "Okay, mom, but I know it's a bad word, ( Now looking at me with great trepidation...) and I'll just give you the last letter, so don't be mad. It's a 'T'.

Me - (Thinking... okay, now what were the letters?...Oh... sweet air, as I take a deep breath in, smile lovingly (yet not so as to embarrass him), and rejoice that the bad word is "Fat". I was tempted to rationalize that as being a correct scientific term in some circles, but decided that wouldn't serve him long term, especially when he gets married.)

So, we had a calm, truthful, and insightful discussion after that, cut short by Eli's diverted attention to a poster on his wall.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Hearing, thinking, cleaning up. What do these three things have in common?

In the car this morning, Julia told me she wanted to go to heaven. Being up for insight, I asked her why.

"Because I want to talk to Jesus."

I, taking hold of the opportunity to encourage her, said "Julia - you can talk to Jesus every time you pray!"

"Yeah, but I want Him to hear me better."


Dad.... I want you to know, I've overthought it some more, :-) ... and after living in denial I now admit you are right after all these years. I do think too much. (We have a friend here who has said the same.)
Now the only problem is that if I stop, I won't have anything to write about..... (Just kidding.) God used what you said to make a point ( actually a few ) this week. Thanks.

Well. Jason just took me on a "guided imagery" journey in preparation for the youth ralley class he is doing this weekend. (Literally - he interrupted my blogging to do it. ) For any of you who did it last night, my room was a brown dusty attic looking area, with a lot of clutter..... it told me a lot. :-)

Good night!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A fun moment

No real point to this post, except to share a moment of amazement. Jason's been reading Chronicles of Narnia to Eli each night. ( Eli has also been listening to the books on CD).

Tonight the boy quoted by memory a page and a half of dialogue from one of the chapters.... british accents and all for each of the characters.

It cracked me up.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Flying, Swimming , Reasoning.

Thanks to all of you who commented last week. Every single comment blessed Jason and I so much. We are rich because of your friendship. :-)

I flew to Nashville this week for my grandmother's 80th birthday. Julia flew with me. She was eagerly anticipating the takeoff, and after an extra long taxi down one of the runways, she looked at me and said with disgust "We're going to drive there?!?"

The weekend was fun. It always takes a while for that side of my family to warm up to each other. I'm usually not there long enough for that to happen. But I prayed that God would speed the normal dynamics up for His purposes and He answered that prayer amazingly. Too often I forget to pray for such things. A friend recently told me that she prays for God to give her extra hours in the day. I've done that recently - and His faithfulness amazes me.:-)

Eli told me today that he wanted to be baptized. I've known it was coming. He is so intelligent... so logical, and so sensitive. He's questioned everything about it - the reason, the logistics, and "What happens when you go under the water?"
It's funny when a physical mind tries to dissect the spiritual realm.

I asked him why he wanted to do it. He replied "Because I believe in Jesus and I want to know God better."

It's a hard place to be as a parent. It's the thing I desire most for him in life - to give himself fully to Christ,and to embrace Christ as his Lord, his Master, his Rescuer. But to celebrate this decision in the lives of others, and yet walk patiently through Eli's desire to experience it, knowing it is so much more than he even has the capacity to grasp right now is hard to do.

I've been trying to put into words all day how to affirm his heart towards God, and yet help him delay his decision until it can truly reflect a desire to lay down his own life and embrace Christ's. Yet I don't want him to feel rejected by God or by us as we pursue that patiently. And I'm not the most sensitive communicator. So your prayers are cherished.
This morning, I told him I loved him, I was proud of him, and that we could study it some more. He didn't bring it up again, for now.

Last week at a swim party, Eli didn't pass a test to swim to the deep end of the pool. The lifeguard said he could retest, but I knew he wasn't ready. Yet he was determined. I told him to practice, and he did diligently. After about 30 minutes, he called to me to get the lifeguard's attention so he could retest. I told him to wait, and practice a few more times. He resisted, and motioned for me to get her. After 2 or 3 more exchanges, he finally bypassed me and flagged down the lifeguard himself. She generously passed him and kept a close eye on him.
I love that spirit of determination in him. I pray it will help him refuse to take no for an answer when the time is right and he really knows what it means to own this decision.

Thanks for your prayers over him.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Water is a good theme this week. :-)

Yeah!! Now I can feel like I'm in a fishbowl when you read this!! Haha! I am so excited to change the look of this blog - (Thanks Theresa! ) but in the process I cut my picture in half, and I guess after that completely off. It took me two weeks to figure out how to put a picture on in the first place! So just look at the fish.....

These last few weeks have been busy, challenging, and messy. I don't like to write when I feel like my life is messy, ... and life is often messy, hence the long gaps. It's still messy tonight, but I am a recovering perfectionist, so this is therapy. :-)

Of most significance this week was my husband's decision to be baptized Sunday.
(Julia told him later that night that she was so proud of him. - Because he went underwater! That takes on new meaning when it was the very thing you feared about swimming lessons all summer!!!)

For many, I'm sure, this was a surprising event. I certainly know he didn't wake up Sunday morning with that on his "to do" list either. I can remember the first discussion about some of his thoughts & doubts surrounding about his baptism as a young person occured even before we were married. There haven't been many discussions about it, maybe 5 or 6 "mental wrestlings" about it over the last 10 years, but nevertheless, it has always been there.
Jason shared later that God used the bible class that morning to prepare him and deal with his pride, and the sermon to deal with him directly over this long struggle - every argument he presented was answered by God's Spirit, all the way around. When the lesson was over, he was already in tears, and as he stood up to walk forward, he just leaned over and said "I'm done."

What victory in those words.

I don't know how to vicariously experience someone else's freedom or salvation, but I feel like that moment was the closest I've ever been, personally. The beginning of freedom is found only at the end of oneself, and that was as much at the end of himself as I have ever had the privilege of knowing Jason.

It reminded me again of how much I am my own prison guard, when my God calls me to freedom. Sometimes freedom, in its purest form, doesn't look fashionable to me. I'd prefer a nice, clean, competent look over a messy, mistaken, desperate look. The irony is that the fashionable look is just a imitation overcoat, - never the real thing, inside or out.

"I'm done."

While being cleaned and sealed and redeemed is a beautiful gift poured into us in an instance, "I'm done" is a phrase worth repeating daily in the life of every follow of Christ. To begin every single morning at the end of ourselves is to accept the invitation into true freedom and life, every day.

A special thanks to those of you who celebrated this day with us.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Sex education - on the right track.

Jason's been reading a old but good book on raising kids, and protecting their purity. It sparked off sex education conversation with Julia . I loved how it started....

Jason: "Julia, do you know where babies come from?"

Julia: "Yep."

Jason: "Where do they come from?"

Julia: "The babysitter."

I liked that answer. :-)

Movie Night

Tonight, our kiddos were invited to spend the night and that left us with an opportunity for a date! WOO HOO!

So after dinner, we hit the movies.

I don't know if M. Night Shyamalan has a cult following, but if he does, I'm in it.
I have yet to walk away from one of his movies and simply say "That was a good movie."
On the surface, every movie of his merits "good" just by it's story, suspense, surprise, and the point in every movie where he gets you to gasp out loud in just a good old fashioned scary moment.

I know some people don't get them or like them, but if you follow the symbolism in each, you know why I think he is brilliant.
Jason and I drove home tonight reflecting on the spiritual and symbolic theme of each movie he has made. I'd put the contents of our discussion down, but I don't want to ruin the current movie. If your a fan though, find another fan.... and enjoy the discussion that ensues as you think about the themes.

Sixth Sense
The Village
The Lady in the Water

Jason thinks that 10 years from now he will make a movie that will tie all of his previous movies together. I don't know what that would look like, but I know I would love it!