Apr 262010

If you get hungry for anything other than ice cream in my new town, you’re gonna have to drive for a while. The nearest grocery store is miles and miles and then more miles away. I thought this would be a drawback of living here, but so far it hasn’t been. When everything’s inconvenient, a girl’s To Do list shortens itself dramatically. Mine looks like this these days:

1.Feed children.

2.Be kind.

3.Write something down.

4. Grow out bangs.

I’m sure that over time, other things will try to sneak themselves back on to my list. But I’m going to interview those things very, very thoroughly before I give them permission to come aboard.

The grocery store is about twenty miles and three stop lights away, and in between here and there are farms. Wide open green space after wide open green space. The fields are like water with their calming effect. They remind me that space and emptiness are needed to grow something new. And that all we really have to do in this life is plant some seeds and keep them watered, and God will take care of the rest.

The first time we drove by the farms, Tish looked out the window and said, “Mommy, the soccer fields here are HUGE!” Usually, I’d let that go, because I have a lot of kids and learned a long time ago that I can’t explain everything. You know how important energy conservation is to me. But I was having a good day so I said, “Actually, Tish, those are the fields where the farmers grow our crops.”

I felt proud of myself. I decided that was probably quite enough homeschooling for one day.

A few days later, as we were driving by the farms again, Tish said proudly, “Amma. Look at those fields. That’s where the farmers grow our Crocs!”

Close enough, I thought.

Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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Apr 222010

Seeking His Face, Seeing His Shoes

Hi, Monkees. As a bit of intro, this post is heavy on the G-man references, without (I hope) being heavy-handed. Also, I want you to know that I completely understand two things: 1. That there are some Monkees who just don’t get amped about posts about God, and 2. that even for the Monkees who do get amped about such posts, I could never write them as well as G. That said, I love you all and hope you’ll stick with me. Onward we go …

We’ve been talking a lot about God lately at our house, because my 4-year-old son AJ is old enough now to kinda grasp what I kinda know about Him. To be honest, his blind childlike faith probably means AJ understands God a lot better than I do.

Anyway, part of our bedtime ritual each night is reading a book from the library and a story from the Bible. His favorites so far are about how Adam and Eve lived in the garden of Eden, because he likes the idea of living outside with animals and not wearing clothes, and when Jesus walks on water – because, really, who wouldn’t want to do that?!

As we read each night, AJ listens very intently, alternately looking awed, interested, excited, confused. I read away, praying that he’s getting it, that I’m not scarring him for life, that he won’t ask me any hard questions. Sometimes he does, but usually he just says, “I really like the Bible, Mom. What story can we read tomorrow?” And then I exhale with relief, kiss him goodnight and say, “I’m glad you like it sweetheart. We can read whatever story you want tomorrow.” And we do it all again the next day.

We also have been praying together. It’s incredibly sweet to listen to AJ’s tiny voice mix in prayers for Mommy, Daddy and Mia with “thank you God for juice, my racecars and books.” Usually, it’s my favorite moment of the day (apologies to my husband).

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been talking with AJ about trying to see God in everything – trees, animals, people … and juice and racecars, too, I guess – so we can keep Him in our hearts. “It’s called ‘seeking His face,’” I told him.

My sweet AJ considered this for a moment and then said, “That’s really hard, Mom. God lives all the way in the clouds. Maybe we could just see His shoes.”

I chuckled, but I keep thinking back to it. Maybe my little man is onto something. Lately, I’ve been feeling like the woman in the Bible who was sick and believed that if she could just touch Jesus’ clothes it would be enough to heal her.

I wish I could be the kind of Christian that could have my perspectacles “lasiked” on permanently, so I could see God’s good work in everyone and everything. But, more often, I’m the kind that just catches glimpses in between commuting, carpooling and cooking. In reality, I just grab Jesus’ shirt tail for a few moments each day, squeeze hard and hope it’s enough.

I don’t want to be a hypocrite ever, least of all in front of my kids. But one of my favorite things about Jesus is that he always just met people where they were – whether they were homeless, blind, prostitute, murderer – and worked with what He had. This is my public prayer that He’ll keep walking with me where I am, until I can truly

“Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.” –1 Chronicles 16:11

Meantime, the view of His shoes ain’t half bad.

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Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
Join the Momastery on-line community on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest