Saturday, April 20, 2013


I have been browsing through old notes of mine.  I came across this gem, which, in honesty, encouraged me more than it did even then when I wrote it! Back in September 2009 I journaled about the use of names--more specifically, my own to my sons--Mom.  I am reminded tonight of the preciousness of this, the trust, hope, grace, and love that embodies my name and what a gift and responsibility it is.  More importantly, I lean on the name of Jesus.  He is my everything.  I needed that tonight...

So here's the original note. Ethan was in Kindergarten, and Isaac still in a crib! LOL!  How time changes, but our heart's lessons go on.   Hope it gives you encouragement like it did me.  

My bright-blue-eyed alarm clock woke me this morning. "Mom," the voice said softly,"I think your radio is on." Sure enough, the music was playing and neither Dan nor myself were moving. I inhaled deeply, hoping to expunge some energy from the little man standing beside my bed. 

As we go into his bedroom to hunt for the little plush walrus that he won for "good listening" in school yesterday, Ethan finds it and jumps up victorious! "Mom! I found it!" Simultaneously, I hear Isaac in his room next door wake up and chime in, "Momma! Momma! Momma!" 

I realized then how often I take hearing my name for granted. As a Mom, you often wish you had the ability to be called something different. You hear it all too much, usually at the most inopportune of times. My mother-in-law tells me that when my husband and his siblings were little, she would half-jokingly, half-seriously tell them that she changed her name and would not be responding to "Mom" anymore. Thankfully, there is a name that never loses it's urgency, never leaves the caller to fend for themselves, and always responds with an answer--God. 

The Psalmist, David, the Israelite King with a tendency to see the cup half empty one second, and overflowing the next, explains my point: "Pay attention God to my prayer; bend down and listen to my cry for help. Every time I'm in trouble I call on you, confident that you'll answer." When my children call me, use my name, they are confident I'll answer. They link my name with a need--with a question, with a conversation, with an answer. All to often I forget that my God is just a name away, hoping that I will call, hoping that I will take a moment and speak with Him, confident that He will listen and respond as He says He will.

I'm only human, and my name is fallible. My ability to answer every question and meet every need of my children is about as dependable as my ability to hear my alarm clock every morning. Thankfully, like David, I have a name to call on when my name fails. I have strength and hope in the name of God, his son Jesus--a name above every other name. 

I hear my name being called in the kitchen--Isaac wants to show me a truck...I'm glad to answer, because I am glad he knows my name. I am glad he uses it, and trusts I will answer.


Monday, April 15, 2013

look, don't touch

It's 10 am, and after a fast-paced morning (picture Nascar're getting warmer) I am making my  rounds through the boys' rooms after they have made it out the door to school.  No, I take that back; after they have been teleported out of their pajamas that lie in a heap. I walk over to see our new pet, a fancy rat named Willow, in her cage in Ethan's room.  Inside, all of her toys and her bed are moved around so she can't get to her water, or her food bowl.  It's was here.  I struggle not to get angry.  It wouldn't be so hard to take if this were the first, or even the second time.  But this is the 9th.  Yes.  I'm counting. 

The rule is, no opening Willow's cage without asking mom, dad, or Ethan.  I have found Isaac a few times, trying to sneak open the cage.  We have talked about it.  If Willow were to get out, we might lose her.  If Willow escaped, she might get hurt or not have food.  If you were Willow, would you like it if every time you turned around, something in your home was different or out of place?  If, if, if...

Thankfully, the cage is closed, but I take a few moments to readjust the interior so that she can get around. As I'm moving Willow's home back to it's original state, I remember a moment not too long ago in the store with Isaac...

We had made a stop at Hobby Lobby for a few items I needed, and as we browsed, I got down at eye level with Isaac and said, "There are a lot of breakable things here.  You can look with your eyes, but don't touch with your hands, okay?"

This is torture to Isaac.  Part of his major processing is done through hands-on.  He is quite the tactile learner.  I kept an eye on him as we walked around the aisles, trying to find all the items on my list without overstaying our welcome (or before something got broken).  I tried not to laugh as I watched Isaac reach a hand out to touch a ceramic statue, and then pause mid-lift.  Slowly, he put his hand back down and leaned in so close, his nose was almost touching the figure!  "Isaac?"  I ask, a little smile in my words--"What are you doing?"  He looked at me with a very serious stare and said, "Mom...can I look with my hands this time?" LOL

Back to the cage...

I will be having another talk with Isaac today.  We will discuss the rules....again.  We will have some sort of consequence to breaking the rules...again.  But we will also talk about how touch is important.  It helps us to connect and relate in a way that is becoming extinct in our culture.  A hug, a handshake, or a high five:  all of these physical touch responses are vital to Isaac's growth and sense of love and acceptance and all a part of relationships in our world. Touch brings about comfort, strength, appreciation, hope. 

As much as I know Isaac has done something he isn't allowed to do, I also know he does something that we all need to do more of--not being afraid of touching others lives and hearts.