Saturday, July 19, 2008

Missed Familiarity

I am in a melancholy mood tonight. A little drab. Here is what says about these two.

Melancholy: adjective- soberly thoughtful; pensive
Drab: noun- dull; cheerless; lacking in spirit, brightness, etc.
I was trying to figure that out too. Why? I really don't have the necessary descriptions associated with someone even to warrant the above definitions or a lot to make me sad or contemplative or a bunch of the other adjectives at I think it has to do with missed familiarity. Now you are asking yourselves. What does that mean exactly? Good question.

Every night before bed we have a routine. One of the few routines that have stuck with us through that past year because of all the upheaval in our lives. We try to make bedtime for the girls somewhat routine. If not always at the same time at least the consistency of the pattern of preparing and going to bed has become routine or "familiar" if you will.

The routine goes like this usually without fail no matter where we are or whatever time we are going to bed, unless one of the noodles has fallen asleep ahead of time and it would wreck their world to be awakened, not to mention just plain cruel, we do the following.

Lili is first, we ask her if she has said goodnight to "Poppy" and if she has she climbs up on me to say her good nights to me. If she hasn't she goes to tell Poppy goodnight and tries to score some sort of treat so she will get cavities and oh, never mind. That USED to be what happened until we put a stop to that. Grandfathers have a tough time saying no sometime but I will hand it to Poppy, once we told him make sure she doesn't coax a cracker or piece of chocolate out of him, he sticks with NO. And many nights we understand that as Lili comes back into the room crying her little eyes out saying "Poppy said No!".

She climbs up onto me and we chat a little bit about the day. Sometimes I sing my our "Somebodies Sleepy" song to her. I wrote it for Aly and finished it for Lili. They both act like they don't like it, but I usually see a little curl of a smile break out. Lili especially likes to climb into my arms and say "baby". She loves for us to hold her like a little baby and rock and sing to her. It also takes up time and that is what she wants to do when it's bedtime anyway. But she does it other times in the day too so she really does like it and not just for wasting time.

I look at her and say OK let's kiss, and we give each other butterfly kisses, and then Eskimo kisses and then a lip kiss, and then I pray for her. I pray that she falls asleep quickly and that she doesn't have any bad dreams only beautiful, fun dreams. I pray that she sleeps all through the night and gets lots of rest for the next days business. And I pray that God would put his angels around us all to protect us from evil. Then we tell each other we love each other a billion gazillion times and she wanders to the bedroom where Mom goes through a routine with her in her special way.

While that is going on, IF she hasn't batted those gorgeous brown eyes at me and pulled her grip on me tighter around her finger, I will get Aly to go brush her teeth and if she is not already dressed for bed to get dressed. IF she has me in her cross hairs she may just sit by me and play on my laptop for about 30 minutes while Shelley is in with Lili. Aly loves to play on the computer. And I admit I truly enjoy the just "Aly and me" time that it provides. Of course I have to try to reduce my mentality to a 4 year old and try to enjoy putting 4 scoops of ice cream on bunny's cone or counting the number of bubbles of a certain color. But I get to watch my daughter laugh and learn and smile and just "be" beside me as I hold her. Moments that I know will all too soon disappear and I will long for them.

Usually after all of the playing on the computer and rounds of questions are asked of any particular subject, I make sure she has said goodnight to Poppy and then we go through our ritual of kissing and loving before she goes with Mom off to enjoy some special time with her before she goes to sleep.

For the past two nights I have missed the special kiss and love times and she has just gone onto bed. She of course has told her Mom that she said goodnight to me but I don't think it's because she doesn't want to kiss and love on me before she goes to bed. Who in their right mind could resist that?!!! ;-) I know it is because she has had two very, very early and busy and exhausting days these past two days. She is so tired by the nights end that she can hardly keep her eyes open and she is a complete grump bucket extraordinaire. I could hear her grumping as her Mom made her go to the potty before coming to bed. And I remembered we hadn't said our good nights but I understood how tired she was and I want her to go to sleep and get rest.

Regardless, I still missed out on the special moment of my little girl climbing up on me in my recliner and stretching out looking me in my eyes and telling me she loved me and kissing me with her eyelashes and her nose and her lips. I love just holding her and smelling her hair and knowing that I am her Daddy man and she is my little princess.

Then it hit me.That is how God must feel when I don't give him the attention he deserves. OK so I am reducing the creator of the universe to the emotions of a carnal minded man but nonetheless I still believe that He WANTS me to give Him that attention. That "from the heart" consideration that should be His always. I realize that God is sovereign and does not need anything but He still can want can't he? Isn't it apparent that He wants us to obey Him? To love him? After all His word says that it is not his desire that any should perish but that all should come to the saving knowledge of Jesus. Isn't that right? SO God can want. And I believe that he wants us to give him "special" attention that only we can give. After all isn't that why we were created? To give him praise and worship from a personal relationship? PERSONAL.?!

That is why I have felt melancholy or drab. I missed my special time with my little girl. Just imagine that if I missed this with my one little child, just think how God must feel when His children (born again believers) fail to give Him any attention at all.

Oh yeah, I know we pray to bless our food, and we pray and ask God for help when we need it and we praise Him when we hear of something good happening to our friends or family but what about the PERSONAL attention. I am surely guilty of it. I used to sing to God all the time. I would make up praise songs and even when they didn't rhyme or have that great a melody they were still from my heart. A true praise that I know He was please with.

If it's possible I would like to imagine being able to make God feel like I do when my girls are wanting to please me. You know by drawing a picture or doing something you have shown them to do. I wish I had a dollar for ever time my girls had said "Daddy, watch me!" I would be dictating this to my secretary who lived with us in our mansion.

Sometimes I want to pull my hair out, what's left of it, but I realize that those words will eventually fade too. Kind of like my initial excitement and love and desire for my Heavenly Father to watch me has faded too.

I pray that it comes back.

I believe it will and is.

I just know that my girls and my wife continue to teach me everyday how wonderful our God is. I am going to take some serious time to plan some butterfly kisses for my Abba.

How about you?

Friday, July 11, 2008

God's Perfect Timing

My heart is so full. I am re living the moment yesterday when my oldest, Aly asked Shelley and me about how to get her free gift. I believe she said something like " I think I am ready to get my free gift from God". I don't have to tell you how our hearts nearly exploded. We had a little discussion and I will try to sum it up for you so you might gain insight or have and opinion or give some leadership etc.

I have to admit my first thoughts were- No wait, if you do then the Lord might take you home. I know that sounds crazy but I was reminded of the tragedy of Steven Curtis Chapmans family. I know their little girl is in heaven but it is such a hard loss for them. Anyway, then all I could think of is that the rapture must be getting ready to happen or I was getting ready to die. Yeah, I know I really need therapy but I am just telling you what went through my mind in about a millisecond when I realized my child was wanting info on the single most important decision of her life.

We of course wanted to encourage her but we also wanted to make sure she understood what it was that she was wanting to do. At 4 1/2 years of age she is such a smart little person so understanding and inquisitive. I know she was comprehending a lot but I think she was just not ready quite yet. Which of course made me believe that I had talked her out of it but I knew that really wasn't the case. I think the Holy Spirit wants to iron out a few wrinkles first.

For example, Aly came running in the living room with her hands up close to her chest and ran right past us and on her way to her room which is highly unlike her unless she is going to the bathroom and you know she HAS to announce her potty visits as if someone may abduct her off of the throne if she doesn't tell us. Shelley noticed it at first and asked her where she was going and what she had in her hand. Well, she sheepishly stopped and looked that deer in the headlight look and just stood there as if she would disappear or we would forget what we had just asked if she was only still and very quiet.
Shelley asked her again and this time it had my interest peeked. Well, Aly just kind of stood there continuing to focus on her inner psychic abilities to make us forget what was going on. After some increased volume on our part and serious looks and forward sitting in our chair she opened her hands and showed us some coins, mostly pennies that she had picked up off of "Poppy's" room floor. Shelley asked her whether or not Poppy had given them to her and she shyly shook her head no. Praise God for honesty, we have seriously worked on that. Now it seems we were working on stealing. We had to make it plain to her that taking anything that doesn't belong to you without permission is in fact stealing. So she knew she was in for a spanking as we had just had this discussion two nights before when she had taken one of those little BP trucks that they sell around Christmas, well, she had taken it from Poppy's room to play with it in the kitchen and WITHOUT Poppy's permission.

When we moved here, Shelley's dad, Poppy as the girls call him, gave us the whole house except for one little room that he basically lives in. He said he didn't want anything else but that room and he wanted us to make sure that he could maintain his privacy. He made it plain that he loved us and the girls and wanted them to come to visit him often but not when the door was closed or when he wasn't home.

For the most part the girls honor this. Sometimes however, they get those 2 and 4 year old mind sets and forget about the rules and just play without thinking or care for the consequences of actions gone awry. We believe that this was one of those times. After all , Aly knows that Poppy would die for her and would give her the world if she asked for it and he could get it. Surely she understood that he would be glad to give her some spare change that had fallen on the floor.

We are confident that this was not a serious character issue that we should worry about. But it COULD become one if not handled properly. SO she knew that a spanking was in line with what we had determined just the other day... and she was not happy about that. But I felt the mercy of the Lord working through my little "pats" with a back scratcher to her behind with one good one at the end.

She was still very upset and I kind of noticed it was a different upset than one of a sore butt. She was genuinely sorry for what she had done. I could see the remorse in her face and her sadness at having disappointed me and Shelley and Poppy by doing something wrong like stealing.
SO I recognize this as the Holy Spirits refining time for Aly. She is very much aware that she has sinned. She knows what sinning is and she knows what forgiveness is. She also knows about Jesus and that "he died on the cross so that we don't have to die. " AND " three days later God grew him back to life". My personal favorite description of resurrection.

What an awesome God we serve who has planned out our salvation!!! He knew before he created the world the personality of this little child. That she would choose Him and they would know each other in a wonderful relationship for eternity. I look forward to praying the sinners prayer with my daughter, that is if I don't blubber like a baby myself. Right now I am about to lose it because I know that when that happens my little girl will miraculously become my sister also. What a wonderful mystery. I just am so thankful that she is asking and the Holy Spirit is working. YES even at 4 1/2 years old God can reach us and communicate the Good News of Jesus. Praise His Name!!!

Please pray for Shelley and me and especially Aly at this time of decision. That the timing will be perfect and that we will do what God wants us to. What am I saying, of course it will and He will and we will...His perfect will. Just remember to praise Him. He really deserves our praise!!!!!

Praise ye the LORD.
Praise God in his sanctuary:
Praise him in the firmament of his power.
Psalms 150:1

Love always,

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me !!

Hello dear friends. Thank you once again for sharing a few minutes of your busy day reading about my beautiful family and our experiences. What a really awesome thing the Internet is that allows us to share our lives electronically!

We celebrated my birthday (July 4Th) on Friday and I was blessed with what has become a tradition in our home. I am awakened by my beautiful daughters who are adorned in patriotic garb, topped off with red "do" rags. I get to kiss and love on them and add my "do" rag to the mix and we hug and love and take pictures and they give me cards and "sup-presents". It is a wonderful way to wake up, especially on your birthday.

I am also the beneficiary of a special "summer time" hat each father's day or birthday. This tradition was started even before we got our Aly and Lili. The girls at the children's home felt so sorry for me as I was burning my head each time we went to the beach or the pool so they would get a hat and decorate it for me, and then proceed to lose it for me at the beach or pool. You can't have anything. (I sound like my Ma.)
So you can see from the hat that it is not a fashion item but simply something to keep the sun out of your face and from burning your head. My Aly and Lili had a fun time decorating it and for me that is worth more that anything. Here they are trying to put it on my head.

We spent the rest of the day out by the pool, after eating our bar-b-que chicken and potato salad and other yummies. We saved my favorite birthday request cake, death by strawberries, for after our swim. Shelley outdid herself as usual.

I must admit that I never would have dreamed in my imaginings as I was growing up that I would be 47 years old and the father of a 2 1/2 year old and a 4 1/2 year old. It is really an amazing and awesome God we serve who gives us such blessings when we are so undeserving.

I hope if you have not read Shelley's blog you will. Our Aly presented Shelley with a very heart rendering question while we were swimming Friday. Shelley handled it very well.
I do so wish I could take away the pain that will ultimately come to my two wonderful children. I am sad to say that there is no way for me to do this. We must trust in Jesus to meet their need and lead them according to His plan, not ours. I know He will do a wonderful thing in their lives. He has already shown His miracle power so many times. We are so blessed to be the parents of these two little marvels.

Of course I am their daddy man so I can brag and brag but truthfully if you got to spend any time around them yourself you would too be amazed at their abilities and insights at such young ages. I would love to take credit however, I will simply say that God knows what he is doing and he certainly chose the right match with our family!

Thanks for stopping by and love to you and yours!