Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Least of These...

The weather is just too perfect, so the boy and I decide to take our subs to the restaurant's patio and enjoy the warm breeze. I'm basking in my child's sunny disposition this afternoon as much as I am loving the feeling of the sun's rays on my legs.

We've just begun to eat when a voice interrupts our conversation about the birthday sticker Drew got at school.

"Excuse me, ma'am..."

I turn around and my eyes lock with a young-ish man. His shirt is dirty and unbuttoned. His grin is toothless, and his red hair and beard are wiry and unkempt.

"I hate to disturb your meal, but I was just wondering if you had a quarter to spare."

He is keeping himself at a polite distance of about 15 feet, so as not to frighten us, I assume. I'm sort of grateful for that.

"Let me see... I'm just not sure." (And I'm not lying. Who knows on any given day whether my last quarter has been sacrificed to the gumball machine in order to keep a certain preschooler's whining to a minimum).

I open my wallet and find several bills and a few quarters. I reach for the quarters only. After all, it's what he's asked for. But I feel a nudge, so I obey by surrendering the small amount of cash to his hands.

He certainly needs it more than I do, and I want my son (who's watching the exchange intently) to witness his mommy being generous and unafraid of a person who looks a little different than we do.

"Here you go. God bless you today."

I turn back toward my sandwich, only to realize that the young man is lingering. He looks at my son and says, "You look just like your mommy!"

Drew smiles from ear to ear and laughs a belly laugh. "Thanks!" he responds.

The man continues to talk to my child, and now I'm a bit uncomfortable. He's telling Drew all about his niece. That she looks like a Gerber baby and that her name is Annabelle, though he doesn't understand why his sister would name her baby Annabelle.

Drew is captivated by this man's story, his smile extending from ear to ear. I, on the other hand, am squirming.

I want to be generous with my money, but not my time. I want to show my son that it's wrong to treat people differently based on the way they look, but I can't really see past the glaring differences at the moment. I want the exchange to be over so that I can get back to my hot lunch and my cold drink.

I don't want to think any more about how few hot meals he'll be able to secure with the $6.50 he's now clutching in his dirty hands. I don't want to think about where he'll sleep tonight. And I don't want to think about whether his sister worries over her brother's safety and wishes she could send him a card with an updated picture of baby Annabelle.

The man seems to pick up on my cues when I tell my son, "Say Goodbye to the nice man and tell him to have a good day!"

"Good-bye! Have a GREAT day! Hey - tomorrow's my birthday!!!"

"Wow - Happy Birthday. Have a great day yourself!!"

"O.K.!" Drew replies. "I'll see you next time!"

"See you around. Thanks again, ma'am. God bless."

He turns and walks down the sidewalk. He's almost out of sight when my son hollers as loudly as possible, "BBYYYYEEEE!!!"

And I shush him. With the sound of the shush still ringing in my ears, I'm disappointed in myself.

My son has befriended a young man today who apparently could use a nice conversation and much as the requested 25 cents. And they both seem uplifted by the exchange. What's my problem?!

Drew returns to his grilled cheese without a second thought. I wish my own mind was as settled.

I'm trying to recall where the Bible might back me up on my behavior. And this is the passage I am remembering:

Matthew 25: 37-40

"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Today, I gave my King a few dollars, then silently wished that He would ask no more.

Today, my child talked with the King, laughed with Him, and expressed his desire to "See [Him] again soon!"

It leaves me wondering: Who's teaching who these days?

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Storyteller Has Left The Building...

So, it's been a while...

I love blogging because it gives me the opportunity to be a storyteller. I love telling stories. Ask my family. I find it next to impossible to just recount the facts of any situation. I am compelled to add drama, hand motions, sound effects, and impersonations.

But lately, I am just off my storytelling game, folks. Not that I don't have the material. My son is as busy as ever, and with my 3 yr old nephew in town this past weekend (and my 13 year old nephew and 8 yr old niece in town the weekend before), there are plenty of funny things to share.

But the precious little bundle in my belly is still proving to be my kryptonite... so I'm just going to give you an update on what's been going on around here lately.

It might be boring, so consider yourself warned.

My hubby got to join me for my OB appointment on Friday. Although I've had 1 ultrasound and saw the baby's heartbeat about a month ago, we got to HEAR it for the first time at this lately appointment. Such a beautiful sound...

At this appointment, I also found out that I'm down 5 lbs (take THAT, Weight Watchers!). After reviewing my charts, my doctor kindly pointed out that I don't "do this pregnancy thing well" and that we shouldn't do this again. No kidding.

He also gave me Carte Blanche for anytime I feel like I need to go to the local ER and just "get topped off" with IV fluids and a Zofran pump. I could have kissed him. Haven't taken him up on the offer yet, but I'm treating it like a free pass to the spa... and saving it for a special day.

Drew turns four on Friday. And he's asking for underwear, clothes, socks and shoes. He wants to completely shift his wardrobe to all things labeled "4". Oh, and he wants (and is getting) a skateboard. Apparently, we're not satisfied with the fact that he has not yet injured himself on his bike or roller skates. Now, we're going to send him down the sidewalk on a piece of plywood attached to wheels.

We've planned nothing for his birthday. And I'm seriously wondering if I can get away with a big party later this summer and just pretend, when we look back years from now, that we actually celebrated sometime within the general vinicity of his big day. As long as the new baby's not actually in the pictures, I might get away with my ruse.

In other news, my hubby has decided that he's going to start the P90X fitness program. When I was pregnant with Drew, he decided to train for a marathon. So, the bigger I grew, the more weight he lost. And in comparison, it was quite a sight. You can imagine my excitement at the prospect that, come fall, my husband will be in amazing physical condition. And I.... well,

On a positive note, I get to share my testimony at our last Bible study meeting this Wednesday. Please pray that I suffer NO morning sickness that morning and that God stills my heart as I prepare to share HIS words. And mostly, that I just don't get in the way. I'm thrilled for this opportunity. This Wednesday morning Bible study has been such a huge blessing in my life.

The blessings are overflowing! Hopefully, I'll be back to telling stories about all the many blessings He gives me to share!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

His perception, well... it's pretty close to reality

We've been having a pretty neat, ongoing conversation with Drew for the past several days. (If your children are old enough, I'd love for you to try this at home and let me know some of their responses, too.)

It all started several nights ago at bedtime. I was reminding Drew of all the things he loves to do. Like riding bikes and running fast and wearing his soccer cleats... anything I could think of that I knew he enjoyed, I listed. He LOVED hearing all about himself through my eyes. So, after my long laundry list, I decided to turn the tables.

"Drew, what do you think Mommy loves to do?"

After several moments of serious consideration, his answer was:

"Drive. You love to drive me places!"

Oh, o.k. I can see where he would get the impression that I must enjoy it if I seem to be doing it all the time... (And I'm certainly grateful his answer wasn't "Yell" or "Sit on the bathroom floor with your head in the toilet" or "Sleep". Because I've been spending a whole lot of time doing those things lately, too.)

So, I asked a few more that night.

"What does Daddy like to do?"
"Play with Walker and play with me in the front yard."

"How about Walker, what does he like to do?"
"Chase the ball when Daddy kicks it."

And as of today, we've compiled the following additions to our list:

Grandma: "She likes to smell the roses!" (My mom LOVED that, by the way)
Grandpa: "He likes to wear ties."
Diado (Grandpa in Alabama): "He likes to play with me."
Baba (Grandma in Alabama): "She likes to love me."

Little Boy... I think you have us almost figured out...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A New Name

I need you to help me come up with a name. But first, I must warn you...

Some of the best advice I received when I was expecting our firstborn (Holy Cow, I am now qualified to label him as something other than our "only"...) was the advice NOT to discuss or ask opinions about baby names.

Once we decided on a name, 100%, we did share our choice with family and friends. But we tried hard not to allow anyone with a heartbeat and an opinion to help us through the baby-naming process. Because everyone with a heartbeat certainly does have an opinion... and when it comes to naming babies, EVERYONE seems more than willing to share their thoughts.

So... we've decided to begin the process of finding a name for our little one. The meaning of the name is really important to me this time around. And I have found a couple of really great options, names that speak to what this baby means at this time in our lives, what God's been teaching me through the process, etc. And when the time comes, I will be so excited to share our child's name with you.

In the mean time, I really do need some help choosing a new name....

For my blog.

I love being "Mom2Drew", but I fear what it might do to this new little one if I choose to ignore his/her existence in the title of my blog, right? So, I need some help. Get those creative juices flowing.

I hope we can have some fun with this. As an extra incentive, I'll make it a contest. The prize I have in mind is something ADORABLE from a friend who has the coolest monogramming business out there. But I still need to work out those details...

I'll bring you more on that later.

Until then, if you have a heartbeat and a keyboard, I'm awaiting your opinion!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Correct Me If I'm Wrong...

But I'm not sure I've ever seen a cuter almost-four-year-old boy on Easter Sunday than this one:

Then again, after what will now be referred to as the "Great Easter Egg Hunt Debacle of 2009" (wherein my son discovered that none of the eggs at Grandma's egg hunt were filled with candy, and he pitched a five minute temper tantrum, refusing to hunt for "empty eggs"), the CUTE wasn't cutting it anymore.

A stern lecture comprised of two main points (1. Definition of unacceptable behavior and 2. Focus on real meaning of why we celebrate Easter) seemed to work. Drew pulled himself together, apologized to Grandma and the rest of the family, and announced that his tummy "wasn't really hungry for candy after all!" Good news.

The egg hunt festivities resumed, and the boy uncovered what seemed like 513 brightly colored eggs.

He then asked to play "Egg Hunt" at least six more times inside the house (which was fine with all the other men of the family who wanted to be in close proximity to the coverage of a certain golf game going on in Augusta, Georgia).

All in all, it was a wonderful Easter Sunday, complete with heartfelt worship, family fun, and good food.

I pray that you experienced the joys of Easter in a whole new way yesterday. And I hope you stumbled upon a few empty eggs yourself! Let's let them be a reminder of that empty tomb on the first Resurrection morning.

He is not here, He has risen! (Matthew 28:6)

Christ is risen indeed!

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Power of One

This past Friday night, we went to see Chris Tomlin in concert. It was as amazing and wonderful and worshipful as I had hoped it would be. If you ever have the opportunity to see Chris Tomlin, let me encourage you to GO!GO!GO! He will NOT disappoint.

Equally amazing and wonderful and worshipful and EXCITING and ENERGETIC was the opening entertainment provided by Israel Houghton and New Breed. We've been singing their worship songs at church for years now. Songs like, "I am a friend of God", "Lord, You are Good"... you'd know a bunch of them. (Go to Youtube and look him up... but don't get comfortable sitting down because I guarantee you're going to want to be moving around to the music!)

Anyway... Israel shared a portion of his testimony Friday night as he explained some of the meaning behind his newly release album "Power of One".

His mother, as a young teenage girl, had found herself pregnant, deserted, penniless, and hopeless. One day late in her pregnancy, as she stood on a street corner, a woman on on the other side of the street happened to noticed her. And crossed the street. And simply told her about the love of Jesus.

And right there on a sidewalk in San Diego, Israel's mother gave her heart and her life to Jesus. And a little boy, who just as easily could have become an abortion statistic (if his mom had listened to advice from friends and family), became one of our generation's foremost worship leaders.

To summarize his point, Israel shared with us that sometimes we get into the mindset that we have to travel to some remote country or culture to make a difference for the Kingdom. That we must desire to cross an ocean to change a life.

When, really, we may just need to be willing to cross a street first.

The Power of One.

So, in our small group on Sunday, we've been studying a series on the Disciples. This week, it was Andrew. I took particular notice of this lesson because of my personal affinity for the name! I was so intrigued by the ability to study what the Bible tells us about this disciple, the first one called by Jesus to follow Him.

I know that many of you are familiar with the story of Jesus feeding 5,000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. But did you know that it was Andrew who brought the boy to Jesus?

The disciples had a problem (How are we going to feed all these people?), and Phillip had just pointed out the obvious (there's absolutely no way we have enough money to buy food to feed everyone).

But Andrew noticed a boy who happened to be brown-bagging it that day. And he brought the boy and his little lunch to the Master. And that little lunch, in the hands of the Savior, miraculously fed the crowd of thousands (with baskets of leftovers to spare). (John 6:1-14)

One disiple who took notice of one boy with one lunch.
The Power of One.

Do you have time for another example? How about Edward Kimball? This Sunday School teacher had a heart for a young man named Dwight who had been a member of his class. So, he went to the shoe store where Dwight worked one day, just to talk to the boy about the love of Christ. Dwight L. Moody accepted Jesus and went on to become one of the greatest evangelists in church history.

One Sunday School teacher who was bold enough to have one conversation with one boy.
The Power of One.

So, I am being reminded of this "theme" at every turn. Perhaps, God is gently reminding me that His purposes for me may not always be on a grand scale. Perhaps, He's reminding me to be willing to walk across the street or notice someone in a crowd or have a conversation.

And perhaps, during this Holy Week, He's reminding me of the ultimate Power of One. The One who defied death and sin and the grave. One Savior. One cross. One sacrifice.

It's everything (and the only thing) we'll ever need.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Calgon, Take Me Away!

I need a bath. Just a few minutes to unwind with a book and a tub full of warm bubbles. I remember that when we first got married, my hubby and I lived in a newer home with a gorgeous big garden bath tub. I also recall that I stole away to that bubbly retreat at least 4 nights a week.

This was before kids... this was when I had the luxury of down time... quiet time... "Me" time.

But I'm optimistic that in my current expectant condition, the men in my life will grant me a few moments of precious "Me" time tonight, too.

My son has just finished up his own shower and the hubby is back from the store. This is just perfect. With blessings from both boys, I gather a book, a drink, a pillow for my head, and make my way to the tub.

In our current home, the only tub is in Drew's bathroom. After throwing Elmo's submarine, an array of bathtub markers, a few cups, and two pairs of goggles into the toy bin, I turn the water on and pour in a capful of sweet-smelling soap. I wonder silently how my son can practically swim laps in this tiny bath when I can barely fit my expanding body within it's walls.

Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to this time of peace and qui....

Oh, hi buddy!
What do you need?
I know! Mommy's belly is getting bigger, isn't it?
Yes... I'm very excited, too.
Oh... you know what... no thanks. I don't need any help in the bath tub tonight.
Really, I'm just fine.
Sure, you can have a sip of my drink. Leave some for mommy, o.k.?
Just leave the bubbles alone.
Oh, haha! That IS silly - now you do look like Santa Claus!
Oh, and now I do, too!
Hey - why don't you go find Daddy?

OK, back to my relaxing, and suddenly much colder, bath... How long did I let that hot water run for Drew's shower earlier? Surely there's enough hot water left to fill this tiny basin???

Nope, I'm definitely running out of hot water. Shoot.

Oh, hey Drew! You're back!
Tell you what. I could use your help.
Could you please turn the water off for Mommy now?
Keep turning.
Don't stop now!
You have it pointed to cold, cold, cold, buddy!
Please turn it all the way off.
The water is so cold to Mommy, Drew!
Please keep turning that faucet.
Whew, thanks!
Ok.. don't climb up here.
Don't lean over me like that.
I'll hand you your goggles, just get down off of the tub, son!
It's slippery....
Oh, yes... it IS a good thing that I caught you, isn't it?
Now, what's Daddy doing?
Why don't you go find him again?

My optimism is waning. And I'm starting to shiver. Perhaps I'll call it a night. I haven't even cracked open the book and the bubbles are starting to disappear.

I make a mental note to talk to the hubby about a master bath remodel. My plans will include space for a giant garden tub. And a time machine. Because the only way I envision a night of "Me" time is if I can somehow set the dial back about 4 years.