Perhaps being snowed in for two days has left my emotions high- perhaps its the beauty of creation a midst the flurrying snow- perhaps, its just life racing by and realizing that the days pass all too quickly.
Three things lay heavily on my mind this evening, all different, but all converging on the same themes- change, separation, and eternity.
A few weeks ago, our nine year old, our oldest child, turned a decade. My baby, my first born, the little guy who has a plethora of pictures all over our walls because, well, we had time to take a ton of pictures when there was just one. He is not so much our baby any more though - he is growing and becoming less dependent upon us and more functional on his own. I am proud of the little man growing up before our eyes, but I still at times long for the days when it was just the three of us and the devotion we could give to him, and the way he just wanted momma. I knew this feeling of natural separation was coming - but until it does, preparing for it is near to impossible. I suppose this is similar to life before a child - how can one truly understand all the emotions and devotion that goes into bearing forth and caring for life until you are confronted with it personally..
There is another case of natural separation, or possibly natural separation that should come, but is a bit hastened by outside means. Our three-year old has sucked his middle and ring finger since about two months old. Feeling that this is no longer a worthy endeavor to carry on now that he is pushing four, we have tried various means to separate this comfort attachment. All have failed!
While napping this afternoon, his hand was laying so clearly in a position to perform the last trick up my sleeve- bitter nail polish. I tip-toed into his room, polished the two comfort fingers, prayed, waited a bit longer for the polish to dry, and then went downstairs. I was sad, his comfort was going to become a bitterness to him at my doing - my little guy would need to become a big guy.
Tonight was difficult. He could not stand the bitter taste. However, he toughened up from time to time as we told him this was helping him become a big boy. Several times we caught our sweet little man, two fingers locked in position to suck, only to quickly withdraw at the memory of the bitterness.
And then he said the words that made me want to wipe the stuff off his little three year old fingers: "Mama, I still want to suck, but I need to pray to God to help me not to. Please pray for me, mama, please." So sincere, so reliant on the good Lord for help. I held him and prayed quietly that he would not endure this trial alone but by prayer to God.
For over a week now, I have been nursing an injured chicken- it is one that has a name. If you have chickens, you know when they have a name, you are asking for trouble. This chicken was unique, and the only one we had of her kind. She was one of our three "retired girls" that have free roam of our land, because she was old and earned it, moved across the country and back two times, and again, was named. On Monday, her other retired companion, one from the first batch of chickens we ever started in AZ, was found dead by my son. So seeing her fail, and having lost the other a few days earlier has weighed heavily upon me.
Today was to be the day of parting. We prayed, and she was later buried under the old apple tree with her other retired companion, both entering into their permanent retirement. The numbers of chickens with names are now countable on one hand. We have learned from loss, from separation.
So, grasping, emotional, I must cope with these inherent separations before me. Funny how your child teaches you when you think must teach them. As my three year old prayed earlier, so I must pray. Lord, I cling to earthly things more than I ought. I pray that I might clench the eternal promises instead of that which is passing. As Jim Elliott said: " He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep in order to gain that which he cannot lose."
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A Little Bit About Me
Once a big city dweller, now out in the hills and hollows of middle Tennessee. A child of the sovereign God, a wife to my best friend and incredibly loving man of God, and a humble servant to the Lord being given five of His children to raise, nurture, teach, love, and care for. Besides the Lord, my husband, and family, my loves are a good book, a good meal with friends, Sunday church and fellowship, and writing.