Sunday, November 22, 2009

Out of the Mouths of Babes and Why Memory Work is Important.

Today was a hard day for the not-so-littles. Friday we spent lots of time looking at rentals together. Yesterday was spent at the property and, thanks in great part to faithful friends, got the last of the stuff out of the house. Yesterday was clean out the basement day; dark, damp and smoky. I don't use the words, "faithful friends," lightly. If you were there yesterday, THANK-YOU!!!

Today, we drove out to the house in the morning to get things under cover before the season of rain and snow start in earnest. Today Flower and Cub fell apart. They were mad, angry, irritated, and sad.sad.sad. It started with a discussion about rental properties and barn cats. We had a bumper crop this year and are up to 6. These are not your typical stand-offish, 1/2 wild barn cats. This are loved on, named (first, middle and last), taught to neck-ride cats that have been found and cuddled since day 1. Rental properties and roaming barn cats aren't a great fit. That realization hit over breakfast.

Next up was a discussion about stuffed animals and where the vast and decades old (we've had kids for a long time) collection of Beanie Babies, (thank-you Grandma Donna!) went. Lest you think I joke we counted Beanies into the 100's. Each one inventoried long before fire and insurance forms made their way into our lives, played with, and loved on by certain kiddos in our family. Smoke and small stuffed animals, no matter how cute, don't scream "Keep Me." That realization hit about bed-time tonight.

KB and I were planning the week and the discussion turned once again to the house. Flower started crying, recalling memories she had of singing on the front porch together, running out the front door in the freezing cold and dark of night to look at the latest astronomical wonder that GeekDad had announced, eating breakfast on the porch in the summer, walking to the river, all the while crying, crying, crying. KB tried to calm her saying that we weren't sure what would happen to the house yet and Miss. Flower, who has been an excellent, but not always happy about memory work, student began quoting one of our memory verses from last year, "to everything there is a season, a time to build up and a time to tear down." And the tears flowed. Poor little thing.

We've often been told that our "kids are just smart," or "not everyone can do what your kids can do." All of which might be true on any given day (though if you joined us for homework these days you might laugh at just how dull we are can be). Yea, I'm pretty sure my kids are smart. But, I also know that my kids are trained. Flower has been doing lots of memory work for the past 2 1/2 years. She doesn't even begin to love it. She doesn't like how tedious it is. She'd rather be playing. She'd rather have a girl party and paint her nails. She'd probably rather be cleaning toilets. Seriously. But despite all of that she's had to participate in memory work, including memorizing large portions of Scripture. Tonight I realized that not only does she understand the words of Scripture that she's memorized, but that she can apply the theology in profound and meaningful ways.

And I am humbled. I am in awe. I am crying with my wilted little Flower that is feeling burdened and sad, but knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God is in control and gives and takes away. An I am trusting that the God she believes in will hear her faithfulness and her sorrow and gather her tears and her memories and relieve her burden.

Cub admitted tonight that he didn't want to go to church, that he was mad at God for taking his house and the property and his cats and the dogs and the toys (no mention of clothes out of him, imagine that!) and he was pretty sure that he shouldn't go to church feeling like he wanted to punch out a window. Then he asked me if he was bitter. Which provided an opportunity to talk about getting committed to anger and frustration and disappointment and how important forgiveness is and that God is big enough to take all of his anger, which seems overwhelming to him, but is nothing to a mighty God, and loves him anyway. And he cried and went to church (though, True Confessions, we let him read a book during the service).

And now they are sleeping. I truly believe, and say frequently to my offspring, that sleep is cheap medicine. And I pray that God is restoring them as they sleep and that they wake up refreshed and full of vigor. Cause tomorrow, little do they know, we're actually gonna get some school done, including Memory Work.

A blessed Sabbath!

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