You're probably wondering about the title...my daughter Isabella loves to clean-she comes by it honestly. I am a shameless clean freak. One morning I was working away in the kitchen while she had the mop I'd left out overnight to dry. And I look over to check on her and my then-7-month-old son, and say the five words I never thought I'd say as a parent, "Isabella, don't mop your brother!" He didn't mind, and she just wanted to make sure he was sparkly. So welcome to my world!
Friday, July 23, 2010
What do you say?
As parents, we've all been there, starting the path to teaching our kids manners so they won't seem like neanderthals (although in today's society, who would notice? I digress). The whole litany of rules: don't talk with your mouth full, don't lift your dress up, don't hit, don't mop your brother, and the response to this one, "What do you say?" (thank you, in case you didn't get it). And they sigh and give a half-hearted, "Thank you," because they don't really see the point and can they just have their toy/snack/sippy cup now?
I've been digging through Colossians 1:9-14 recently. It's a fabulous read and could almost be our family's missions statement verbatim. If you haven't read it in a while, I encourage you to go back. By "digging through" I mean I take one verse a day and shuffle through all the resources I can find at http://www.blueletterbible.org/index.cfm Tons of stuff. Today I was reading through verse 12:
"...giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light." Stop. Read it again, out loud, slowly, and let the words sink in. I looked up "giving thanks" first and looking at all the Greek words that are similar (because the actual Greek word for "thanks" means "thanks"), I came across this gem: "to celebrate fully." Well, that just blew me away. How often have I thanked God for things much like my daughter does, because it's what I'm supposed to do? Like, "Thanks, God, for my health and our food and the fact that the kids are in bed." How often is it rote, or repeat or rhetoric? This particular passage is thanking God for allowing me to share with all the saints (Peter! Paul! Moses! Joseph! Abraham!) the sheer joy of sitting around heaven in the Light. Do I celebrate that fully? Do I have that kind of utter, soul-distilling gratitude for the many blessings in my life? I mentioned making a list of things I'm grateful for and, I'll admit, some days I sit there, pen poised above notebook and think, "Thankful for...thankful for...thankful for...?" How about I spend time throughout my day to celebrate fully the moments God gives me, the daily showing up of the Creator of the universe in my life, the fact that, some day (even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly), I'll be walking around in heaven amid the saints, enjoying the Light. I don't think it will be too hard to celebrate fully then, but I want to practice now. I don't want my life to be God asking, "What do you say?" and me sighing out a weary, "Thanks, God." I want to celebrate!