Parenting Riddle: What’s More Fun Than Taking Your Child to the ER Thanksgiving Weekend?

fullsizerender-4 Why, of course, taking both your children to the ER Thanksgiving weekend!

The first merry incident involved a pea and Joy’s finger pressed firmly up her nose. With ten adults surrounding her (including two nurse practitioners) we tried a variety of homespun methods for dislodging the pea. Straws. Snot suckers. Pepper to make her sneeze. At one point Ben pulled out the central vacuum but was outvoted 9-1.

I found him later in the garage (aka temporary laboratory) with the rubber of a slingshot attached to a large and particularly dirty funnel used for changing oil… Again, he was vetoed.

Alas the time came to forfeit large amounts of money and head to the hospital. It wasn’t all bad at least. They did give her a stuffed animal in the end.

Less than 48 hours later, I woke up from a mid-day nap to hear Isaiah’s bloodcurdling screams and discovered Ben hauling the bleeding boy up the stairs. This time the culprit was an old pair of blinds. And off we went again.

The moral of the story?

Stickers. Always bring stickers to entertain your kid at the ER.

No no, I can do better than that.

I was praying this morning a prayer similar to Psalm 51:1-2:

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.

As a gal who finds herself bending over approximately 300 times a day to wipe up something the twins so carelessly (and gleefully) drop on the white linoleum, I immediately thought about how weary and dreary and unappealing my request to God was, particularly when considering this wasn’t about a bright kitchen with a few spots on it. I was requesting God to go to the very depths of my heart, to help me with my current negativity and blot out the worst parts of me—the parts I work so hard to hide from anyone else on earth.

And I thought, “What is my view of God, the creator of the world, that I so absentmindedly make this request and assume He will just be a happy camper about complying? For that matter, why do I just assume God wants to spend all this time with me, knowing the worst parts of me, working tirelessly with me as I consistently try and fail and try again, when no other human would be interested in such a task?”

I suppose it’s because God makes it so clear throughout Scripture that that is exactly what He wants to do.

And suddenly I’m grateful.

Just like Ben and I didn’t hesitate to break away from our activities, scoop up our children, and get them the medical help they needed, God doesn’t hesitate to go to the depths for us.

In this season of celebrating Christ’s birth on our behalf, of remembering just how dark and deep God went for us, may we find a renewed spirit of joy and thankfulness.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10

 

Blessings,

Melissa Ferguson

 

Pearls and Dreams

pearls-2-1417045-1279x911We were still in pearls and trailing black dresses as we sat on barstools after the gala and talked about the evening’s end. It was the last of the ACFW conference (American Christian Fiction Writers), and we were all in good spirits after incredible food—three days of waiters offering coffee in white porcelain cups after every meal (one waiter even fluffed a napkin and put it on my lap)—conversation, interviews, and for some, awards.

I sat at the same table with one woman I’d met earlier, one who during the conference was full of grace as she encouraged and prayed for individuals as they walked into those terrifying 15 minute interviews. It was impressive to see that during the gala her face came up as one of the three finalists for an award in not just one but two categories. Unfortunately her name wasn’t called and she didn’t end up on stage with plaque in hand (this time). Still, what an honor. I congratulated her, but saw the understandable disappointment lingering in her eyes.

I thought to myself, “I’d be thrilled to be you! Walk home with two finalists awards under my belt.”

And it made me think.

Of the hundreds at that conference, we all had the same basic goal and could easily look to the person on our left or right and want to be in their position. The fun-loving girl chit chatting about thrift shops and plane tickets ended up being an author of (*pause while I google*) 12 books! I go to the bathroom and recognize the face of an author whose book I’m currently reading (I almost chanted the creepy phrase from a bathroom scene in her novel over the stall)! I turn around at dinner to find I’m back-to-back with none other than Francine Rivers.

But regardless of where we are, of the temptations to want to be in others’ shoes and situations, I find the words of Lewis impeccable:

“Never, in peace or war, commit your virtue or your happiness to the future. Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment ‘as to the Lord.’ It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received.”

What’s the point of not being happy with wherever I am right now? As a follower of God my hopes and dreams are not even my own. Who cares if I succeed or fail in finding an agent, selling my book, writing words that reach hundreds, thousands, millions? If it is not in the will of God, or of eternal significance, then may such ventures pass away unattended. But if it is the will of God, and of eternal significance, then I’m sure God can nudge the plans forward for His glory.

Because, after all, this isn’t about me.

 

Always be joyful.

Never stop praying.

Be thankful in all circumstances,

for this is God’s will for you

who belong to Christ Jesus.

 1 Thess 5:16-18

 

Check it out! C.S. Lewis The Weight of Glory

 

Daily Meditation: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 59-61; 2 Thessalonians 3