Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Thank goodness for part 2

I love hearing what Isabelle is learning in her class at church each Sunday morning.  Two weeks ago, she learned about the parable of the prodigal son.  Or at least that is what I was deciphering.  You see, sometimes story lines get a little jumbled and details mixed around.  We've had a blind Jesus, friends that couldn't play over at his house, and many other interesting versions of scripture!  After this week though, I was concerned.  You see, she told me in full detail the story of the prodigal son, how he wanted to do things 'his way' and how he ended up feeding the pigs and he was so hungry he wanted to eat their food.  In earnest to hear what she got out of the story I asked, "So what did the dad say when the son came back home?"...the response was unexpected, "He didn't come home mom!".  She was adamant.  The son did not come home.  For all she knew he was still stuck in the mud with the pigs.  Paul and I spent all week trying to tell her otherwise, but she was convinced that the son did not come home.

Thank goodness for part 2.  You see, our church sends out a newsletter to parents letting them know what their child will be learning that week.  I had failed to read the first email.  On Thursday...I opened up the email to the title "Prodigal Son, Part 2".  Light bulb!  Poor girl hadn't even gotten to the part where the son comes home!  When we picked her up from class on Sunday we asked her, "so, what did you learn Izzy?".  Her response?  "You were right!"  And she got the rest of the story.

This little incident made me so grateful that there was even a part 2 to this parable.  How sad and heartbreaking it would be if we had a God who did not want us back, who did not celebrate when we return to His loving arms, who did not forgive without hesitation, a God who does not stop looking and waiting for us to come home.  I'm so thankful there is a part 2.  So thankful that I serve a Lord who loves me no matter what, and is always waiting with a full heavenly party to welcome me back to his care when I mess up. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

"Sky, Sea, Sky, Sea!"

My husband has been on a "Top Gear" kick.  For those of you unaware, it is a car fanatics show from the BBC.  There has been a recent American version, but Paul has been hitting back to the original classics he's never seen via streaming Netflix (love that!).  Anyways, on an episode recently watched the three guys were challenged to create an amphibious car...and then challenged to drive the car 40 miles to the English Channel...and then make their "boat cars" go across the choppy and dangerous channel.  It was a hoot.

One of the guys basically put a little fishing boat on top of a truck...unfortunately the steering for the boat aspect was in the back...and he was a rather short gentleman.  So, as he inched across the choppy waters of the channel all he could see (in a panicked voice) was "Sky! Sea! Sky! Sea!"  Now while this was completely hilarious it was also a scary predicament.  The channel is one of the busiest shipping yards in the world.  There were massive ships everywhere...and here he was in a makeshift, homemade, barely sea worthy vessel.  To not be able to see?  Yikes.

It made me think though about how often we try to face life in this way.  As we cross our 'channel' of life in hopes of getting to the other side- often we feel like we are losing our grips, we are losing the battle, all we can see is up and down.  No longer in control, no wits about us.  So what goes wrong?

First- we have a vessel problem.  Just like this chap did.  In order to cross the English Channel you have to have the proper vessel, one that can withstand the environment and get you safely across.  How could a car turned boat expect to cross?  How can we expect to face life in an unfit vessel?  We are a broken, sinful people.  We can't help but want to do things on our own, look out for our own selves.  We can't expect to cross unscathed with a broken vessel, with a broken heart and spirit.  Thank goodness for a CAPTAIN!

Second- you need a good guide.  These guys attempting to do the seemingly impossible needed expertise on their side.  A captain of their ship to help them out.  Sometimes, other people can help us across.  The one vehicle/vessel that did manage to float and make it across ended up towing and rescuing the other two.  People were there to receive the vessel on the other side.  In our lives, we can definitely receive help from others...but we will never feel fully satisfied and protected unless we have the ultimate Captain....the Head of our Vessel.  Jesus Christ can fix what is wrong with our vessel.  He can repair the damage.  He will create a new self giving us the Holy Spirit to help us live with Christ as the head. 

Third- In order to survive those sky,sea moments in life you have to trust.  You cannot anticipate every challenge life will throw.  Even with the Captain heading your newly fixed vessel, there are still old habits to break.  There are still old behaviors that will need to change.  There will still be choppy waters that need to be navigated.  Who can control the conditions?  Only God can.  Not only do the mountains and sea call out His name, but He also knows all that did, is, and will happen to us.  He promises to not give us more than we can handle.  We cannot expect each wave and big ship that crosses our path.  We can only trust and hang on that our God will protect and guide us as we go through the ups and downs.

There are many days I feel like I'm in a "sky! sea! sky! sea!" cycle.  The kids are going nuts, dinner is not coming together, the house is a disaster, I've failed to do basic errands or write a friend an email, the bible study sits unfinished, and all I want to do is watch Project Runway or some fluff show on TLC.  It hit me at about 3 am one morning as my 12 month old cried in the room down the hall struggling to put herself back to sleep that these thoughts came to me.  I haven't taken the time to fully edit them or find the scripture that matches up.  I just felt like writing down my 3am jumbled thoughts and work on the details later. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Just another day...

Showing off the pony tail and tutu.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Things I Love Thursday: Chicco Caddy Chair

High chairs are a pain. They are necessary, but they are a pain. Especially when you have moved into a home that has shaggy carpeting in the dining area (seriously, who does that?). My old basic graco high chair was just not working on the carpet, it was big, and I was getting annoyed. So I looked for answers. I thought about a space saver high chair...but it was too similar to the booster I already had and just wasn't what I was looking for. And then I found it:

The Chicco Caddy Chair

Its a kickback to the highchairs of old (I totally remember old school versions in the church gym at potlucks!). its in an awesome red color. It attaches to almost any table. It is completely washable in the washing machine. It takes up no extra space in my house. Its awesome! To finish off my 'child eating area' (which someone should invent built in vacuums to baby clothes or something) I put a plastic mat on the floor to catch spills...which then gets dragged immediately out the slider door to feed the birds any leftovers (and apparently a possum is enjoying the tastes too..). On the table I got one of these silicone trays to put on top. It catches any missed bites by the self feeding toddler and makes for a quick and easy clean up. Once or twice a week I quickly (it takes about 3 minutes) dismantle the chair and throw the red seat in the wash with my other dishtowels. It has been amazing. We started putting our daughter in it at 6 months but she was a confident sitter. This would be the only downside to this chair if it is replacing a high chair in that you really cannot put a non sitter in it. It can hold up to 35 pounds, so technically speaking my lightweight of a 4 year old could sit in it :) It has travelled with us to various parties and functions and works great.

Amazon currently has it on sale for just over $30 with free shipping- what a deal! I wish I had originally purchased this instead of the big bulky high chair long ago!
See it works:

For more Things I Love...check out The Diaper Diaries