Saturday, December 26, 2009

Filling Big Shoes

I'm not sure what it is about their Daddy's shoes but both boys love putting them on and tromping about the house. John will spend a good 20 minutes putting them on, standing up, walking, falling out of them, and doing it all again. Which for my little tazmanian devil, is a long, long time. It does come in handy when I am trying to make dinner and correct papers.

I guess if they were going to try to fill anybody's shoes they couldn't find a man with more integrity, love and desire to live for Jesus, or intelligence (at least in my opinion). Of anybody in the whole world, I hope they continue to try to fill their father's footsteps, not some sports star, not some movie star, not some singer, but Chris'. His sense of doing the right thing, no matter the cost, his sincere love for Jesus, his desire to know all he can about Jesus, his incredible work ethic, his self-confidence, his ability to have fun are all attributes I pray my boys acquire. But more than that I pray their their love for filling Chris' shoes pales in comparision to their love for trying follow in Jesus' footsteps.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

THE week

... or is it better worded the Weak? In either case we have had a weak week. It is not often that our whole family gets hit at once with illness, usually it is just me and the kids. Chris remains safe in his hidey-hole in the basement. This past week was different. Wednesday was the start of our weak week. John started throwing up during nap (gross). He continued to throw up every 15-20 minutes (no exageration) until he went to bed at 6:30. I started to throw up somewhere between Russia and writing Christian words to secular Christmas songs on Thursday. Good thing I had my empty water container for the ride home, although my intervals were fewer than John's. Let's just say it was not empty when we arrived home. Elijah started throwing up just as I stopped Thursday night and Chris followed two hours later. I am sure that all the linens in our house have been washed, twice, in what was the longest night of my life since giving birth to Elijah.

One thing that struck me was that often I am flippant about my health. I mean, if I die I know where I am going. And I am used to sucking it up. I avoided the doctor as a teen and young adult because I didn't want my mom to have to pay another bill. But Thursday night, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday were reminders that health is a gift.

The other thing that struck me is that one should be very careful what they pray for. I have been fervently praying for some self-control in the area of food. I don't know what it is about food that controls me so but I know it has to stop. Well, when one cannot eat because doing so causing severe stomach pain, food starts to look a bit different. It is not longer a comfort or a friend but really a despised enemy. I guess God really does use whatever comes into our lives to teach and mold us.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


My perspective on life changed dramatically this week. In the span of 10 minutes on Tuesday my eyes were opened to a very obvious truth. One that most of us take for granted. Here's how it happened,
In the midst of teaching my 6th graders the wonders of action verbs with a rousing game of charades the beep of the intercom interrupted our class. "Mrs. Anderson you need to answer your phone," the voice said urgently. My stomach got that icky feeling that one gets when they are about to hear something they don't want to hear. I rushed to my phone to take the call. On the other end was Jodi, my dearly loved, daycare provider and friend. She has been part of our lives since before Elijah was born. She was so hysterical I could not understand what she was saying. What I thought I heard was, "I'm sorry, so sorry." My heart was racing as I tried to decipher her words. Finally, it came out, "My niece, my niece, she died." In an instant I could breath again but in the next I realized that my relief was at the cost of Jodi's grief.
Rushing to pick up John and console my friend I left my 6th graders, baffled, with the tech. guy. When I arrived at her house she related the story. Her niece had been feeling feverish and sore, but she had just delivered her second baby a couple of weeks prior, so it didn't seem urgent. She was intending to go to the doctor but never made it. She died in the ambulance. Just like that. She was gone. Forever.
Jodi could not understand what had happened. She was very close to her niece, who was 25. What would happen to her daughters, a 5 year old and a newborn? How would Jodi's sister survive the devastating loss of a daughter?
When I got back to school I felt God pushing a thought into my mind, "You are not guaranteed this day. What are you doing with this gift?" Jodi's niece did not wake up on Tuesday morning knowing she would die. She walked her daughter to the bus, she texted Jodi, she kissed her baby. But, then it was all over. All week I have been thinking about that. What am I doing to show God's love to those around me? Am I taking advantage of the gift of this day? I am certainly not guaranteed even one more hour.
How about you? How are you taking advantage of the gift of this day?