Monkey, bee and butterfly. He was so proud of his puppets that we even enjoyed a show. He was proud of himself too, asking to take a separate photo with each puppet creation. I love his creativity and his comfort in performing for a crowd. Abe is not self conscious at all. He never shows timidity when speaking before a group, in front of strangers or trying new things that he feels like he may fail before others. I admire his sense of self and his contentment.
Abe has been filled with such anticipation to fly his kite. He was given a big, beautiful eagle kite and he wanted so badly to fly it. He asked almost daily "Mom, is it windy enough to fly my kite?" Finally it was a blustery day and we ventured out into our big backyard (that is surrounded my trees, mind you). He ran and ran, dodging highly wooded areas and finally the kite took flight. He tugged and pulled at the kite string as the bird glided overhead. He was so excited. The smile he wore for the rest of the day was worth the soggy feet that we got, trekking around the marshy parts of our backyard.
Our 7 month old, doll baby is rocking the ponytail now. Her hair is finally long enough and the bald spot has filled in just enough to where the hairstyle fits perfectly. She is sitting all by herself now. She loves to give sugar. She chews her finger and her toes. Still no teeth. She makes the cutest sound like a car driving. She makes it when she is happy or when she is frustrated. She is still nursing 6-7 times a day and twice at night. I am used to it and I no longer feel quite so tired in the mornings. She loves her binkey, requiring it a naptime. Her siblings bring it to her lovingly any time of day though. She is a happy, growing girl.
It has been a hard few months, right? It has. Tensions are high for one reason or another. It seem like when one hot topic cools off, another one begins to boil over. Along with our opinions, defenses and our feelings. Oh the feelings! The feelings are everywhere and everyone is having them. And, you have probably chosen a side or tend to lean further in one direction than the other on the issues. You may have gone over all of the reasons why all of the things that you believe are right. Of course you're right, or you wouldn't believe it right? Can I be blunt with you? You aren't right. I'm not right, either. We are getting this wrong. ALL OF US. WRONG. SO VERY WRONG.
We are a splintered nation. Unity is endangered, and in many areas unity has not been seen in such a long time that it seems extinct. Imagine that. Unity could be on the verge of extinction. My mind goes to ugly places. Before we get all dramatic and start rambling on about the state of unity in our country and where fault lies...Stop. Many of us have large protective barriers fashioned between us and "the other side", that we cannot even see each other anymore. Behind all of these opinions and reasonings, demands and marches, and all of these social media profiles are real people. We are neighbors, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, friends. We only see opposition, lines drawn in the sand. Many of us are even daring the other to step over that line. There is so much anger. The truth is the anger is failing us. The real TRUTH is that "Love never fails. 1 Cor. 13:8" "...love covers a multitude of sins. Prov. 10:12". Lay down your defenses. You cannot love well from behind a shield.
But some of us aren't really trying to love here, are we? Maybe at one point we were. This feels more like hate and we do not even realize it. Or maybe we do. Oh sure, you know when the "other guy" is hating, because you feel it and it offends you. Now look inward. Look at your own heart. Do you hate? Merriam-Webster defines hate as intense hostility and aversion. UMMMMM....have you been on Facebook? Are you reading the news outlets? There are fingers pointing in all directions. Every single one. If you are trying to find the right side, you can't. You won't. There will always be a finger pointing at you. And we all swear we are right. We have our band of brothers that think exactly the same as we do all huddled together in the same corner and we are all doing the same thing. Just to be sure. Some are silent and some are loud. And even that's wrong. So many of us are demanding our own way. Aren't we? We all just want to be heard. I ask you this...at what price are we willing to assure that we are being heard?
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."1 Corinthians 13:4-7
We are in an extremely vulnerable place. As a nation, very vulnerable. Many eyes across the globe know that we are on the verge of something. As we continue to demand our own way for the sake of love, and dishonor one another in the name of love, the divide deepens. And its our fault. Its not the political parties' fault, its not the church's fault, its the fault of the unchurched or the fault of a different religious group. It's not the liberals' or the conservatives' faults. IT'S NOT EVEN THE CURRENT OR PAST PRESIDENT'S FAULT. It is every single one of us collectively that is causing this estrangement. I am going to get really real for a second. Can I call out my family right now? My family, the church. I feel like I can say some hard things and you might get mad, but we are family and you will get over it and still love me. We aren't standing in the gap. We are breaking down. Our behavior is unbecoming of a bride. We are throwing blows at one another, to our own brothers and sisters, in the name of righteousness. "But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another. Gal 5:15. And everyone else is screaming at us too. We are buckling under the pressure to have the answers and we are all coming up with different ones. The answer in Jesus. Not a platform, not a charity, not even a really good moral belief. We are letting this happen by placing our selves above others, some of us even in the name of others. We aren't loving others, if we aren't loving each other. In John 13, Jesus said "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” WOW, just wow! Our love for one another.
We are not being the light in a dark world. We are mimicking the darkness. We have made this about being right. We are so sure we are right. Just like Eve was in the garden. She was sure of herself. An idea had been planted in her mind. And the Word says she evaluated her surrounding intricately.She looked for the good, she did...just like we think we do. "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate." Gen. 3:6. She was wrong. We are so sure of ourselves. So sure that we are doing good. The truth is hate isn't the opposite of love, self is. Hate is a byproduct of fear. Many of us are afraid. I know I am. We are about the shatter into a million pieces if we aren't careful. Have we forgotten that God is sovereign? He reigns. That is the only thing I am sure of anymore. HE REIGNS ALONE. In prayer I have begged for His wisdom, and His Word says if we lack wisdom, ask Him and He will give it generously. He does not need us to help Him. He needs us to seek Him. On our knees. Humble. Repentant. Would you seek Him with me?
"...if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." 2 Chron. 7:14