A Lesson from Will
My oldest son, Will, turned eight last month, and at his school they observe birthdays by bringing the child up front and singing "Happy Birthday." Then the child is usually posed some kind of a question like, "so what are you looking forward to doing while you are eight?" And my darling Will said, "Well, my Gramma is coming over today." And yes, my mom practically burst into tears when I picked her up at the airport a couple hours later. But the point is that even though Will is spoiled in many ways, with toys and experiences galore, what he really looks forward to is hanging out with Gramma. That's living in the present, and it's such an admirable quality. How many adults do you know that are that relational? People for whom the real treasure of their hearts is people -- not things, not status, not the next achievement or the next experience. Yet Jesus said we will be known by our love for one another. (John 13:35)
A Lesson from Nate
My middle son, Nate, is a smartypants. He has an unbelievable memory and loves to learn. Plus he artfully capitalizes on his good looks and engaging personality. He will talk to anyone of any age and he has interesting things to say because even though he is only six, he knows a lot about a lot of things, especially sports. He likes to ensure kids at school are kept fully abreast of the latest sports news, coach firings, team records, upcoming opponents, and amazing plays. He told me yesterday that he didn't know if he could really give good updates at school for golf and tennis because he doesn't really know many of the players. So that's kind of an indication of what he does know -- pretty much everything else! The problem with Nate is that he does no wrong. He is never to blame. Yesterday he was sent to "The Red Hot Spot" in class. And guess what? "It was for nothing! Maybe she didn't think I had raised my hand but I did." Yeah, right. That stubborn it's-not-my-fault stance is so unattractive and yet so very common. Like Nate we all need to be reminded that none is perfect, and that a willingness to own up is imperative. 1 John 1:9 says, "That if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." But the verse and the promise turn on the word "if." Is there something you need to confess today? I myself just made a phone call.
A Lesson from Sam
Often times when Sam toddles into a room, Daddy will yell out, "Big Sam!" It's kind of like a Cheers thing, and we do it for the other boys too. Unfortunately, for me, Sammy doesn't yet realize that I actually do not want to be in on this little charade. A couple of weeks ago I entered the room where Sam was playing and was graced with the animated greeting of: "Big Mom!" And then a few days ago, when I did something that especially met Sam's two-year-old approval, he patted me gently and said, "Good boy!" Yes, being the lone female has its costs. But don't you just love his enthusiasm? Many times each day he runs over to me with that huge, open mouth smile and arms spread like eagles, proclaiming, "So good to see you!" It is totally random. We may have spent every waking moment together all day, and he will still do it. Needless to say, I love it. I'm dreading that it will likely end. But should it? Maybe we can all learn something from Sam. Throw your arms around someone today and tell them, "So good to see you!" And mean it.