Saturday, October 30, 2010


Today I had to discipline my son.

He has recently started doing two things that are very bad; biting and throwing a fit when he doesn't get his way.  I don't think he totally understands that when he bites someone it hurts, but he certainly does understand that he's angry when he throws a fit!  Well, today he started to throw a fit when I took something away from him.  When I say that he "threw a fit," I mean that he started screaming.  So, I flicked his little lips and said, "no fits!"  As soon as I did this, he knew that he was in trouble.  His big blue eyes filled with tears and he cried as if his heart was breaking.  This melted my heart and I hugged him immediately and told him how much I love him. 

A little bit later, I was rocking him in the rocking chair before nap time and he bit my arm.  When he does this I really think he's being playful and affectionate.  It makes me think of Tinkerbell giving Peter a "loving bite" on his chin.  However, this affection is somewhat painful because his six (or seven!) little teeth are SHARP!  So when he bit me, I flicked his lips again (this "flick" is actually very gentle; it's just enough to let him know that it's not okay) and told him, "no biting!"  Again, his big blue eyes filled with tears and he sobbed as if his heart was broken.  We were already sitting in the rocking chair, and I could suddenly feel his sadness deep in my bones and it brought tears to my eyes.  Of course, I know that it is my privilege and honor to teach my son obedience to God and kindness to others, so it is my duty to discipline him when he is naughty.  Still, this is no easy task when I know the discipline will hurt his feelings!  I hugged him tightly to me and told him that I love him so much, but that he has to learn not to bite.  Soon he calmed down and we snuggled for a while until he fell asleep.

These moments are some that I know I will never forget.  How can a mother forget teaching her child what "no" means?  How can a mother forget the deep hurt that fills her heart when her child is hurt?  I can only imagine that these empathetic feelings will grow stronger and stronger as he gets older.

I can't help but think of my Heavenly Father.  If my small son's tears hurt my heart that much, how much more then do my tears hurt Him?  I'm sure He loves me far more than I love my son; He sacrificed His son for me, after all!  Therefore, He must hurt for me when I hurt. What a thought!

Monday, October 25, 2010


With tears in her blue eyes, she said,
“It’s broken, Daddy!  I don’t know how to fix it.”
As she held the fragile thing out to him,
He could see the pain it had caused her.
His dark eyes were filled with compassion
He held out his hands to her and she gave it to him.
He looked at it carefully, running his thumb across the edges.
“Do you see this?” He asked softly.  Those eyes
Were intently watching her as she moved in closer.
“This sharpness is what severed it in the beginning.”
As he spoke, he showed her a small edge protruding
Sharper than any knife she’d ever seen.
Her eyes widened and her face flushed.
He continued, “It seems to have gotten worse since then.”
He paused. “Sometimes these things cannot be fixed.”
She took a deep breath and waited
For his solution.  His eyes were piercing
As he said, “You will need to take care of that
Before anything else can be repaired.”
She sighed and looked down.  This
Would be much harder than she’d thought.
“I should have brought this to you sooner.”
She couldn’t stop the tears from flowing down.
She felt her father wrap his arms around her as she cried.
“My child, “ he said, “you know that I love you.
I understand that you cannot be perfect.”
Her shoulders shook and a great weight was lifted.
She knew what she had to do, and now
She was prepared to do it.  He waited
And when she returned, she handed it back to him.
The sharp edge was still there, but it looked
As if she’d filed it down until it was quite dull.
“That hurt a lot, didn’t it?” he asked.  She nodded.
“It will never go back the way it was,” he smiled,
“Although sometimes I think it’s better afterwards.
There is some beauty in symmetry, but I like
All of the little differences that make you unique.”
She thought about this.  “We’re all so different.
Is that why?” His smile widened.  “Yes.”
He handed it back to her.  “Is that better?”
She turned it over and over in her hands, realizing
That although it wasn’t the same as it was before
It was beautiful in its own strange way.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Dear Pastor of the Church I Pass on My Way to Work Every Day,

Please note that when you spell "EVENING OF PRASE" incorrectly, it not only stresses me out, but makes me want to scream.  Also, you may be losing out on potential church members and/or converts because of this irresponsible lack of attention to detail.  Please, change your marquee message!


Monday, October 11, 2010


As a child I was given good principles, but left to follow them in pride and conceit.
-Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice

When I was sixteen I fell in love with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  Something about the language enraptured me.  The story reminded me of Beauty and the Beast, my favorite fairy tale.  Through the years, though, it has become much more to me than just a story.  To me, there are many life applications in this, my favorite novel.  The most recent has been the conviction that many of us (and myself in particular) fall into pride like the main characters.  To see what pride looks like, watch Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth.  They both exhibit pride (and prejudice!).  Mr. Darcy’s pride is apparent, whereas Elizabeth covers hers with laughter.  She pretends to be the “everywoman” and to eschew pretension, but she secretly thinks that her understanding is superior to everyone else’s.

We know what apparent pride looks like, but secret pride is hard to pinpoint.  We go to church and we say all of the right words.  We sing the songs and smile and shake hands and pretend to love everyone.  But when push comes to shove, we look down on those who are different from us.  Yes, even when they aren’t all that different!  We don’t truly love and accept others the way Christ loves and accepts us!  We don’t extend the same grace to others that we want (and need!) extended to us!  We think that we are superior in some way: “their marriage is unhappy;” “their children are unruly;” “their clothes aren’t just right;” “they never talk;” “they talk too much;” or whatever small thing that irks us. 
It is certainly not easy to love and accept others the way that we should, but that is what Christ has called us to do.

Of course, that is easier said than done, and I don’t have all of the answers to the “how.”  What I do have is the example of Christ: the One who walked and talked and supped with sinners just like me.