Monday, November 2, 2009

little boys

dear emily,

don't you just adore little boys? there is something about their carefree, ornery zest for life that just slays me. i love that you let asa and phin get just as dirty as they need to play as hard as they should. nothing is more winsome than a dirt-smudged smile and an excited high-pitched voice saying, "mommy, look what i found for you!" it's also a little scary...a flower from your garden or a snake from the creek?
it is pretty adorable, too, how much they revere their daddies. my boys used to watch out the front window for hans to return home and then tackle him at the door. no matter how tired he was, he would throw them over his shoulder and hurl them onto the couch. this was the signal for 'chinese team!' the shrieks of laughter would increase and someone would inevitably get hurt, but what fun they had playing this mysterious game.

their natures are wired to hunt, gather, and protect. i'm not sure if 'chinese team' taught them much more than that they had to be a little tough to play and that their daddy loved them a lot. when isaac was three, he used to pretend to be samson between a column and the couch. he would close his eyes and say, "let me die with the philistines!", imagining that he was bringing the whole house down.

we don't know what the Lord has specifically planned for our sons, but we can prepare them for most anything by teaching them that He loves them even more than their daddies do and that He will equip them for any task. we can pray that they will be valiant and courageous, with hearts turned toward the Lord and wills bent to obey.

ezekiel 22:30
'i looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap...'


dear emily,

i was a plain, introverted little girl, completely content to be left alone to read 'black beauty' and 'little women.'...until the fateful day i discovered make-up! before the annual church choir banquet, my gorgeous mother applied the tiniest bit of mascara to my pale, lifeless, puny lashes.

it was the most amazing thing to watch a skinny, homely girl turn into a choir queen! i actually did win that title at the church banquet (what kind of a church has a choir queen?) it was heartbreaking to wash off my beauty that night before i went to bed, and the next day at school, i kept wanting to tell all the kids, "you don't understand, i really AM beautiful!"

the good news was that i still had 'black beauty.'

hans and i decided, before we even had girls, that we would never speak to them about their looks. we wanted them to be confident in who God made them to be and not in how He made them to appear. we worried that if we extolled their 'outside', they might neglect their 'inside'.

1 peter 3:3,4 'your beauty should not come from outward adornment...instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.'

i have a dear friend whose mother wouldn't allow her to fast in high school, because she worried about the health risk. so my intrepid friend barbie fasted makeup one day a HIGH SCHOOL! needless to say, she is a mighty woman of God.

even with our good intentions, when the girls hit high school and saw us as the ignorant, annoying people we were, we threw out our principles and shouted desperately, 'we think you're beautiful!'