"If the God you believe in as an idea doesn’t start showing up in what happens to you in your own life, you have as much cause for concern as if the God you don’t believe in as an idea does start showing up. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, to keep in constant touch with what is going on in your own life’s story and to pay close attention to what is going on in the stories of others’ lives. If God is present anywhere, it is in those stories that God is present. If God is not present in those stories, then they are scarcely worth telling." ~ Frederick Buechner

03 February 2015

Growth Simulation

My goofy boy brings so much laughter to our home.
FYI: I posted the first portion of this story to FB earlier today, for those to whom this sounds familiar.

Every Sunday, when we pick up our little man from KidZone at church, he has a large white sticker on his back with two questions that we can ask him regarding that day's lesson.

This past weekend, I asked, "How are some ways you can grow in God, B?"

He gave the generic answers you'd expect.

"Obey Daddy and Mommy."


"Don't be rude."

"Be kind to everybody."

When I prompted him for more answers, he thought for a moment and then replied, "A simulator. A growing simulator."

This past weekend, we learned that a family from our life group would be putting down their beloved dog of almost 16 years on Monday. As we prayed for them, B said he wanted Jesus to help their hearts not be so owie anymore.
Just like Daddy

Together with our other friends from our life group, we decided that we wanted our friends to return home from the vet to lots of comfort. A plan was set into motion, with everyone contributing some love.

B did a wonderful job helping me make cookies for our friends, being oh-so-careful with the cookie cutter, but especially with the icing, because he didn't want the cookies to be "messed up" (you think he inherited any of my Type A personality?).

"I'm a big, strong boy, Mama. I can do the rolling."
Carefully drawing the long line for each letter "F" for Finnegan

He sat at the dining room table, observing me putting together a framed memento of Finnegan as he worked on a sympathy card for our friends.

"Why did he get old, Mommy?"
"Those balloons will help them feel better."
"How come the vet can't give him more shots to help him feel better?"
"How do you draw a doggie, Mama? I drew the people, but I don't know how to draw a doggie very well."
"Why is he dying?"
"Did Miss Melanie have Finney for a long time, Mommy? Was I born yet?"
"I think the cookies will help them feel better. Cookies are yummy."
And through all the questions, even the tough ones, I was so grateful for this small glimpse into his still-compassionate heart, the reminder that he is still my sweet little boy, even in this stage when that sweetness is too often buried under preschool-aged angst and emotion. My mama heart needs these reminders, these moments of grace and beauty. It is so easy to get bogged down in the day to day challenges of mothering, of remembering that the struggles are small compared to the ultimate hope of the brave, strong, confident, secure, passionate, and godly man that I want my son to be.
Christopher Robin is full of wisdom beyond his years.
(I wish I had taken a photo of his card, you guys, because his "doggie" ended up having a few extra "legs" and it was just plain cuteness.)

One of our friends was going to collect everything from all the families and make a drop off late yesterday afternoon, but B insisted that he wanted to deliver the cookies himself, even though I explained to him that we wouldn't be going inside. So after their naps, we loaded everything up into the car, including the balloons and doggie treats (for our friends' other dog) that another friend had dropped off.
It was sweet to see him carrying the gifts of love up to our friends' doorstep and placing them carefully in front of the door. We prayed that the gifts would bring comfort to their "owie hearts" as we drove out of their neighborhood.
And then he requested that we stop by the fire station on the way home so he could check out the trucks.

I love the resilience of children, the way they take things in stride, how they are able to be fully in the moment.

When I picked him up from school today, he kissed his baby sister's head ever so gently and announced, "I had a great day today! School is so much fun!"

And I remembered that saying about mothers, that when we have babies, pieces of our hearts are forever walking around outside of our bodies.
And I was also reminded that he is so much more than his goofiness, uncontainable energy, his challenging moments, his uninhibited emotions. That the beautiful soul that we saw in him as a baby is still very much there. That, just like the rest of us, he is a work in progress, destined to be one of God's masterpieces.

No need for a simulator, my boy. You are growing up just fine (mostly by God's abundant grace)!

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