Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wanted: Replacement Mother

Family of four in need of replacement mother.

Erratic hours
On call 24/7
Days off subject to last minute cancellation

Must be able to:
Function coherently on very little sleep
Communicate effectively with 2 year old
Negotiate sibling skirmishes
Be extremely diplomatic about friends
Play barbies ad nauseum
Patch up wounds without flinching
Distribute large quantities of snacks from purse at a moment's notice
Dress a man and two children (and yourself) and get them out the door in time for church
And don't worry about a little sand in the car

A sense of humor is a must
Tasteful wackiness is acceptable
But please don't get carried away
You will, above all, be required to set a good example
Creativity is encouraged
You should be subtly intelligent and discreet
It is not necessary to play a musical instrument (but it is a "wow" factor)
You must be willing to sing at the top of your lungs when the situation calls for it

Have a poker face ready at all times
Be clever at answering the "why's"
Be a natural at improv
Know what to do when the muddy dog gets in, the cat gets out, and the 2 yr old is running off with a sharpie in his hands
At the same time

Must sign up for the long haul
Meaning birthdays, graduations, weddings, anniversaries, grandchildren and family reunions
Never lose sight of the important things
The big picture
The little details
And most of all Jesus.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bending Down

I was struck with the effiminate nature of the phrase "bending down" today. No--more specific than that--it's a motherly phrase. We women who have small children have a special knowledge about bending down. We do it more than anyone else--to wipe noses, to tie shoes, to clean faces, to hug, to pick up, to put down, to kiss, to wipe away a tear. We bend down out of neccessity--you really have to get down there if you want to get all of the chocolate off your two-year old's face. We bend down out of convenience--it is so much easier to bend down to listen to your child's story than to try and decipher the words from on high. We also (and this is my favorite) bend down out of love--for the heart gets a thrill when, because we bent down, we meet them on their level and we see their joy and we can feel it in their sticky embrace that threatens to adhere like glue to our hearts and forever mar the smooth surface with texture and color (and maybe a little grape jelly, too). And I can't help thinking how the Lord has said he leads us with cords of human kindness. That He is like one who lifts a little child to the cheek and then bends down to feed us. This fact about the Lord's character is a secert present that waits to be opened by each mother. It's pretty wrapping being all we could see until we first lifted that tiny bundle to lay it sleeping in a crib--THEN and only then were we able to open the gift and see what was inside--an image of our King bending down...