Wednesday, June 30, 2010

hidden

Don't you sometimes wish you could hide from the world this easily?

Cover your eyes, and the world disappears. She does this when I am trying to get her dressed in the morning, and she wants to stay naked. She does this when I am trying to feed her something she doesn't want to eat. She does this simply to play her favorite game of Peek-a-Boo. If I can't see you, then you can't find me.

It is easy to laugh at a child when we see this. But we do the same thing in our Spiritual lives, don't we? Hiding from God, that is. He suggests something new in our lives and we cover our eyes. I don't want a job change... I don't see the need to develop a new friendship with that person... I don't want to move... I don't want to pour extra energy into that ministry. Whatever it is, we all live in some type of Spiritual denial. If we refuse to see the good that can come of these changes, we ultimately avoid the growth that follows.

The great thing about a child hiding behind her hands is that it never lasts very long. Developmentally, at the age of one, children are learning about the idea of object permanence... the concept that when an object disappears from sight, it still exists. I am always waiting for her on the other side. She still has to get dressed at some point in the morning, even if she tries to hide for a while. God is patient with me too. He is still on the other side of those decisions I avoid. Maybe my Spiritual object permanence still needs some development.


Instead of hiding, help me to shout "Here I am, Lord!"


"No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began... However, as it is written: 'No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him'" 1 Cor 2:7,9


"So do not be afraid... There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known" Matt 10:26

Monday, June 21, 2010

hawaiian haiku

There is no relaxation like vacation in Hawaii.
We stayed in a resort on the island of Kauai.


Everyday we snorkeled or went swimming in the pool,
visited a beach, and read a book or two.




Annike returned with a suitcase of clean clothes;
Her tutu suit was all she'd wear, and shoes to shield her toes.




Of course there was the option to wear no clothes at all,
But sand gets into many cracks... the big ones and the small.




The water slide was all the rage - look close, she's having fun!
It'd be scary for you too at first, if you were only one.




Best of all, we loved the time we spent with family,
Joined by Ashley's kin, missing only sister Jilly.




Most importantly, we thank the Lord as we end this little rhyme
For resources to take this trip, and a restful time.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

nakey

The word I hear about 20 times a day from my daughter is "nakey". Translation: "Please take my clothes off, Mom, so I can run around naked!"

Every child passes through a stage in which they take the no clothing option at every given chance. Annike comes by it honestly. My childhood naked stage lasted from age 1 to age 7, and I think Christian might still be going through his.


It strikes me that young children have no need for modesty, and I am so thankful for Annike's innocence. She is unaware that there might be anything to hide. She feels freedom in being "nakey" and has complete self-confidence in her body. But I am saddened to think that one day she may begin to feel some shame over her physical appearance, as most young women do. She will want to hide the parts of her body that are different than the women we see on t.v. or in magazines. And this will be a turning point in her innocence.


As near as I can tell, Annike's favorite Bible story is the Creation story. In every children's Bible book we have, she finds Adam and Eve and says "nakey" with a big grin on her face. Somehow she knows they aren't wearing any clothes even though the G-rated illustrations are such that Adam is holding a cat in front of his private parts, and Eve is standing behind a bush, or some other clever disguise. When I tell her the story, it sounds something like this: God created Adam and Eve nakey. They listened to lies the snake told them, and disobeyed God. Then they had to wear clothes. I guess you wouldn't want to wear clothes either if you were listening to my Bible stories.


There is a lot more to the story than this. But I am struck by the truth about the impact of the world on our children. They are born untouched by evil. Confident in their nakedness. Then messages of perfection, self-worth, value, physical beauty, talent,... (the list goes on), take root in their innocent hearts. Their eyes are opened, and they feel shame in their nakedness.

Some part of me wants to dread the day when Annike feels shame over her body. Make no mistake, I do want to protect her from adverse influences. But instead of focusing on her future heartaches, I want to celebrate this time of innocence in her life. She is a reminder to me that God created us confident in our nakey-ness. A reminder that we were made exactly the way we were supposed to be made, and that any shame in our lives is not a part of God's original plan for us.

"When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked;" Genesis 3:6-7
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