Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Nanny Diaries: Chapter Five - "Seeing with the Heart"

 John 20: 29 Jesus said, "So, you believe because you've seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing."

I have a major issue. . . the above verse, I am horrible with following through on.     Here is the bizarre part. . . I can believe for a miraculous healing for anyone.  I believe in the ability of people to cast out demons, give prophetic words months before they come true and a God who can do miracles that would blow anyones mind.  In these matters I am no doubting Thomas.  But when it comes to God doing things in my life, I'm more likely to believe in the Santa Claus who lives in the North Pole and the Easter bunny who came today and brought Sam and Elijah their baskets.   
  Most of you know about my nephew Micah.  The love I have in my heart for this little person is beyond words. He always teaches me some major life lesson when I am with him.  I look at this three year old and his ability to adapt and trust and I feel like the biggest wimp that has ever walked the planet.  If you don't already know this, Micah is visually impaired.  He has been since birth.  The only thing that he can see is a bit of light in one eye.   On Monday evening I am traveling to Detroit, Michigan to be with him and his baby brother while Micah has eye surgery. Despite this his impairment, he is one of the happiest, fun-loving, big-hearted, loving children you will ever meet in your life.  He is so trusting, open and fearless that all you can do is stand in awe when you watch him interact with others.  I'm not so trusting, open and fearless when it comes to people.  I've been hurt a lot. I've taken offense with God because He has allowed my life to go in directions different from those I've wanted, and honestly I can't say that I look back and see that it was better.  I'm still working on that.   So, my defense fortress is pretty high and made out of the toughest materials one can get.  But you know this.  
Here is what I think, the world needs more people like Micah.  The world needs people who are loving, love Jesus, care about others and trust others.  If more people had the attributes that he does what a wonderful world this would be.  If we all had the ability to trust God in this manner, what a glorious life we would have.  
So, once again the Lord has ordained it so that I can spend some time with Micah and learn more about trust.  I am sure that there will be many more lessons that I will learn during my time with him.  Those I will post upon my return.  Until then, be blessed!

Hebrews 11:1-3
1 Faith is being sure of what we hope for. It is being certain of what we do not see. 2 That is what the people of long ago were praised for.
 3 We have faith. So we understand that everything was made when God commanded it. That's why we believe that what we see was not made out of what could be seen.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Nanny Diaries: Chapter Four - "Takes a Lick'in"

  I don't know about you, but I am going to be honest, my affection is not unconditional.  One of my favorite quotes is, "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, no deal."  I can love someone with the love of the Lord, from a distance once they've hurt me, but they will no longer be to me what they once were.  It's just how it works.  I refuse to be the fool if I know that you're trying to play me for one.  
Last Tuesday I was going through the usual potty training routine with Elijah and during the last cycle he said to me four times, "Auntie, I love you."  The last time he holds on to my arm and lays his head against it and says, "I love you".  We can overlook the fact that during this time I was pulling up his pull-up.  I will take the love whenever I can get it, no matter the circumstances nowadays.  When I look at myself, I do not see one worthy of the kind of love this little person gives to me.  As soon as he gets home from preschool he kicks off his Woody Round-Up boots and yells, "Auntie!!  Auntie!!" looking for me.  Why?  I'm not cool?  Sometimes I am moody from PMS or just having a melancholy day.  The day he said, "I love you" to me four times I had not been as fun as usual.  The dot and PMS had the better of me.  

If you've been reading my blog, you know about my cat issues.  Well, Elijah adores Zoe.   When she was at the vet to be fixed and de-clawed he asked for her everyday and said, "I miss my kitty."   Meanwhile her absence those four days were the best days of my life!
Elijah has battle wounds that would have turned off my affections from Zoe in a heartbeat.  That cat has drawn blood from him and when she bites or scratches him the blood curdling screams that come from this little person are enough to make you want to throw Zoe out of the window.    The bowling ball sized tears that run down Elijah's rosy cheeks are just heartbreaking and you're sure that this will be the last straw and he will stay away from the cat.  But two minutes later, with a Toy Story bandaid prominently displayed on the new wound, he goes to Zoe and with one lonely tear left on his  eyelashes lays his face on her soft fur and says, "I love my kitty."  
As adults with all the wounds life has given us our cynical first reactions might be, "That little boy is a glutton for punishment."  Or, "That kid is not the sharpest tool in the shed if he keeps going near that cat."  But here is what I have learned.  Elijah has unconditional love and affection for everyone just the way Jesus has asked us to and I stand in shame when I watch him.  That little boy has taught me a lot about how God loves me. This is not to say that Elijah is perfect, he is a three-year old.  He has just really shown how God loves and how quickly I put walls up.
 I have a wicked fast internal construction company that begins putting up walls as soon as I meet you.  My internal architect has a plan ready for each scenario.  So, we are ready for you to cross me because you are human and it is inevitable that you will deeply hurt me and then it's going to take forever to repair the wound.  So, if I start now, hopefully the repairs will not take as long and even then it is only a crack in the wall.  
I'm not saying that we should walk around being an open-book to whomever we meet.  That is not smart either, but I know that I need to find a better balance than the one I currently have.  As I continue to work on the wounds I have, I pray that the Lord will show me how to give and receive love better than I do now. 
I'm so glad that His love is fully unconditional.  Just think about the wounds that our Lord has?  As loathsome and horrible a people we are he loves us wholeheartedly and unchangingly.  I in my wicked nature can't even seem to muster up that kind of love for my Lord.    He is just so loving and too good to us.  We truly do not deserve it.     
 Psalm 100:5 -  The Lord is good. His faithful love continues forever. It will last for all time to come. (NIR)