Sunday, December 12, 2010

When The Baby’s Not Such A Baby

We passed another milestone this week.  Caleb had his first “solid” food.  Josiah gave him his first bite.  He wasn’t so convinced, but as the days have passed he’s gotten better and better.  I’m pretty sure that now at least half of his cereal gets to his tummy.  The other half ends up on the bib, but I think that’s pretty normal. 
As with every milestone we pass with Caleb I have to come to grips with the fact that this is my last baby, who with each milestone becomes less and less a baby.  With Josiah and Matthew I can easily say that I met each new stage of their lives with the joy of seeing them grow.  To be honest, with Caleb it’s probably 90% joy and 10% wanting him to stay a baby.  I even waited a few extra weeks instead of giving him cereal the day he turned 4 months like I did with his brothers.
As parents it’s easy to want to keep our children little, but it’s not God’s plan, or His idea of parenting.  Our children are born to grow and fulfill a purpose.  If they stay small they won’t be able to do that.  It’s better to celebrate and embrace their growth than to dread it. 
Are you celebrating your children’s growth?  Or are you wishing you could keep them young forever?  Celebrating and looking forward to their futures will help us live more contently, but it will also encourage us to pray with purpose.  If our hearts are to keep them with us our prayers will be along those lines, but if our hearts are to see them fulfill God’s purpose we will pray for them with more direction. 
When we see our children grow it’s obviously silly to try to keep them babies.  When it comes to spiritual children it’s another story.  Do you have spiritual children?  People you’ve ministered to?  People who have worked under your leadership?  What is your heart for them?  Growth?  What if they surpass you?  I think that’s where our hearts are truly tested.  Would you think yourself less of a leader if your followers surpass you? 
Think of it along the lines of parenthood.  Would you think yourself less of a parent if your children surpass you?  Of course not!  That is our hope for our children that they surpass us.  And if they do it’s a sign of a job well done.  It’s the same in leadership.  If your followers, students, or spiritual children surpass you it shows you’ve done a good job.  Even Christ said that we would do even greater things in His name!  He never wanted us to stay babies.  He took joy in our rebirth and salvation, but His hope for us is the same as our hope for our children.  That we will do even greater things in His name.

I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
John 14:12

Friday, December 10, 2010

Go To The Doctor

The icky sickies have arrived at our house.  A couple of weeks ago the boys started coughing.  I kept an eye on it and we were praying for them constantly throughout the weekend.  They got better every time we prayed.  Monday morning came and they seemed to be much better. 
A few hours after they woke up, Matthew started crying and screaming.  I tried everything I could to calm him down and nothing helped.  He started hitting his ear and yelling Stop!  Ouch!  So I called the Doctor.  And waited and waited on hold.  Once they answered the phone, Matthew was crying so loud that they couldn’t hear me.  So, even though I felt terrible about it, I ran into the bedroom, shut the door, and left him crying and screaming in the hall. 
While I was making the appointment, Samuel got home.  Early!  Praise God!  If there was ever a time I really needed him to show up unexpected it was then. 
We got the boys ready and headed to the doctor.  When I got Josiah out of the car, he had a red rash on half of his face.  I thought it was very odd, but Matthew was still the priority.  The nurses and doctor checked Matthew and said he had an ear infection and cold. 
I asked if a cold could cause a rash like Josiah’s and she said no.  She checked him to and turns out he had strep and scarlet fever.  My reaction.  Scarlet Fever?!?!?!?!  Wasn’t that a plague from history where people died?  The good thing was that the reaction was entirely interior and I didn’t say any of that out loud.  We picked up some meds from the pharmacy and were on our way home. 
A few days into caring for sick kids and administering medicine and I start coughing.  NO!  I can’t get sick!  I have a four and a half month baby to care for.  I have to take care of his sick brothers.  Not me!  But as the days went by I got worse. 
Until Saturday when I just didn’t get out of bed.  The cough was terrible, my throat was so sore it was difficult swallowing water, my body ached and I had a terrible headache.  Not to mention the abundance of mucus that I’m sure you don’t want to hear about. 
So I was in bed all day Saturday and Sunday basically only waking up briefly to nurse Caleb and order food.  Yes, that’s what happens when Mama’s sick in bed.  The Sanchez family eats take out.  Again Praise God that Samuel wasn’t sick and didn’t have to work. 
So Monday morning my father in law came over and took the older boys to his house while Caleb and I went to the doctor.  So now I’m almost halfway through my dose of antibiotics and although I still feel icky I can at least function and care for my family.
So what do I learn from all the ickies?  I think about how it could have been an entirely different story if I hadn’t recognized the illness for what it is.  If I had said well, Matthew’s crying and screaming because he’s misbehaving.  Or hmmm Josiah’s rash is odd, but nothing to worry about.  Or if I hadn’t recognized that I myself needed to go to the doctor. 
Ok, so really I’m sure we would have survived.  But there’s a sickness that’s MUCH worse.  I’ve heard it said that we all have a terminal illness and it’s name is sin.  It’s true we aren’t perfect, we aren’t holy, we aren’t righteous.  We have this illness and we NEED a doctor.  There’s only One who can cure us.  There’s only One who can do His perfect work in us.  There’s only one who can make us holy and righteous.  But if we don’t recognize the illness, we will start to believe that we don’t need Him.  And that is truly dangerous. 
So go to the doctor!

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
Mark 2:17

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Burnt Oatmeal

So the picture above is definitely NOT what I wanted to be looking at this morning, but it is the end result of my burning oatmeal twice.  I never make oatmeal.  Mainly because I’m not a big fan.  Breakfast to me means eggs and coffee.  Anything else can be added, but if there’s no eggs or coffee it just seems like something’s missing.  But I’ve had a cold and Sammy told me that he heard you’re not supposed to eat eggs when you’re sick.  Ok, I’ve never heard that, but since he said it I couldn’t just turn around and make eggs.  Besides, it could be true?  Maybe.  So when I asked him if he wanted breakfast before he left for work and he asked what I was going to make, the first thing I could come up with was oatmeal. 

The thing about burning oatmeal is that even if only the bottom burns, the smell and burnt flavor goes all the way through.  YUCK!  The same thing happens to me on occasion with rice.  So I have to throw it away and start from scratch.  There are a lot of things like that.  Part of it goes bad and the whole thing is trash.

The Bible tells us that our eyes are like that.  If our eyes go bad than our whole bodies are full of darkness.  Yikes!  I find this especially important as a mother of 3 boys.  I want them to have good eyes. 

Thanksgiving morning I was in the kitchen making breakfast and preparing the ham and sides to cook.  I had turned on the Macy’s day parade for the boys and every couple of minutes I heard them yelling “Spider Man!” “Buzz Lightyear!”  “Snoopy!”  Samuel was working on the computer at the kitchen table and at some point he looked up and commented that there was a big Victoria Secret’s ad right behind the parade.  Uhhh.  Really.  I was sure that I had picked something wholesome for my kids to watch!

If I want my eyes and my family’s eyes to remain good, I must be diligent and careful about what we see.  Just like if I don’t want to burn the oatmeal I’ve gotta be careful with the part at the bottom of the pot. 

Be careful little eyes what you see.

Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness.  See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.
Luke 11:34-35