The Dutch Rush

they're Dutch...and life's a rush

“I was right and Mom was wrong…”

(Note: I found this post lost in my drafts. It was written quite awhile ago. Too good not to share.)

As you know, we now have several small children in our home. Our children are currently ages 1,3,4,6,10,13 & 16. Since I have never had the pleasure of having children spaced so closely together (the largest gap with these new littles is 18 months), this has provided some interesting situations.

At our house, Sunday morning is a test of everyone’s sanity, beginning at 5:30 am, when Michael gets ready to leave for church. Fast forward to 6:30 (somehow that hour goes very quickly), and the rest of the big kids need to get up, due to their many (chosen) responsibilities around church.

That leaves me at 7:30, alone with four small children. We stare at each other balefully, wondering how we will get to church without going insane. (It is possible that only one of us is staring balefully, the others may be chortling gleefully…)

I recently began taking them to the store for a treat after church, as we were wanting a small morale boost. I swear this isn’t bribing, but due to the incessant squabbling that begins the moment we set foot outside church to go home, well, candy seems to cheer the soul. Can anyone explain this phenomenon? They’ve been good for too long?

On that particular Sunday, as we were loading back into the car after the grocery store/candy episode, the potty-training three-year-old informed me that he had to go potty. Well…there was no way I was getting EVERYONE BACK OUT OF THE CAR, so I just told him that he probably didn’t have to go that bad. Only two minutes to get home.

This was a misguided decision.

We got home without incident, and went in the house. Due to the insanity of getting all the children into the house, I forgot the state of things.

As I was buckling the wailing (hungry) baby into the high chair, I heard a noise that meant Mr. Potty-trainer needs to get to the bathroom, stat.

Time to get serious.

I tell him to RUN. Too late for running.

He ran to me, now yelling (it was hard to know what he was saying, as multiple people feel the need to yell immediately upon returning home), but I realized I had lost this round.

Not understanding how bad it was, I told him to RUN to the nearest bathroom. He took a flying leap into the only room that has carpet, where his soaking wet sock splashed pee up in the air. I was close behind, and at that perfectly timed moment, someone slammed the front door which slammed the bathroom door (window was open) knocking a small bottle of oil-based medicine off the bathroom window-sill, spilling half of the bottle onto the floor.

We stared at each other.

He said he was sorry for peeing his pants. I told him it wasn’t his fault, because he’d told me he had to go.

He smiled. He loves it when things are my fault.

He also knows I will have to say our family’s magical words “you were right and I was wrong”. It makes everyone’s day when Mom has to say that.

So, child is on the toilet, I have just confessed to being (terribly) wrong, and I now hear that several other children are out in the living room, likely running around in a puddle of pee.

Perfect.

Okay. Baby still crying in high chair. 3-year-old on toilet. Bath pouring. A few children now playing in the bedroom. This only leaves a few children at large.

In a moment that was truly very unwise, I yelled to the kids to “THINK LIKE AN ADULT” and go see where the pee puddle is!!! Unfortunately, “think like an adult” means different things to different people, because I am quite certain that an adult would not then go and stand in the pee.

You’re asking yourself why in the world I didn’t go and see myself? Well, remember, wailing baby (hungry), half a bottle of medicine on bathroom floor, 3-year-old getting into the bath.

You see?

Alright, back in the bathroom, I am on hands and knees scrubbing the bathroom floor, and I see little eyes looking at me over the side of the tub. He looks at me and smiles. He loves it when it’s my fault.

Medicine still won’t come off the floor.

I walk back into the living room and see pee foot prints from the rug all the way across the floor.

Ah. Okay, maybe a mopping is in order.

I get to the front door, and finally see the VERY LARGE puddle for myself. And then I realize that the rug was the connection between the puddle, and the pee-prints.

Alrighty.

I get into our room (the one with the carpet) and crawl around for awhile finding his pee footprints (he was wearing socks, remember).

Back to the bathroom. I’m scrubbing the floor again (oil-based medicine). He is now singing “It was Moooooom’s fault”.

Cherub child.

Baby is still wailing, although she has been eating the entire time this has gone on. The others are getting restless in their rooms, I realize I’d better move faster.

I have now been home from church for 15 minutes, and my house has been mopped, the carpets scrubbed, and the bathroom floor is clean enough to eat off of.  I’d call this a productive time. As I was laying on our floor to catch my breath after finding (I hoped) all the pee-prints, I hear bubbles in the bath (right next to me) and then a little voice singing “and nooooowwww I have to poooooooop”.

More bubbles.

I’ve never moved so fast in my life. That child was out of the bath and on the toilet before he could blink.

He must think I’m quite perceptive.

Because I got there with about TWO SECONDS TO SPARE.

Michael got home and said “I hope you had a decent time getting the kids home”.

I stared at him. Balefully.

Thoughts on the Cross

This is a special season for followers of Christ. It is a time to ponder what Christ did for us on the cross, as well as a time to consider if we are living absolutely to the best of our ability for Him. I believe that if we profess to be followers of Christ, and yet have little or no desire to live radically, sold out, completely for Him, then something is dramatically lacking in our life of faith.

I hope and pray that each of you reading this might know God’s great love for you in His gift of eternal life, and that if we already believe in him, that serving Jesus would be the all-consuming passion of our lives.

As you already know, Amy Carmichael is one of my very favorite authors. She has written many of her own words about the cross, as well as compiling other’s words on the cross in her many books.

I wanted to share a few favorites with you.

“No wound? No scar?

Yet as the Master shall the servant be,

And pierced are the feet that follow Me;

But thine are whole: can he have followed far

Who has no wound nor scar?”

-Amy Carmichael

 

“There are some who would have Christ cheap. They would have Him without the cross. But the price will not come down.”

-Samuel Rutherford

 

“The cross of Christ is the only hope of the world. Our constant danger is that we cry, ‘Behold this new opportunity, behold our new methods, behold our human brotherhood.’ And [we] forget to cry, ‘Behold the Lamb of God!’ ”

-Amy Carmichael

 

“God hold us to that which drew us first, when the cross was the attraction, and we wanted nothing else.”

-Amy Carmichael

 

Blessings to you this Easter weekend.

Sunday Morning: Daniel, John Bunyan and Amy Carmichael

Well. I see that it’s been awhile since I wrote anything. Life has been a blur. This morning was no exception. But I did have a few minutes to read, think and pray, so I wanted to share what I read.

First, after reading a book that referenced Daniel’s (In the Bible) prayer life, I wanted to read that book again. It has been…instructive. His prayer of thanks to God for help interpreting King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was encouraging:

“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are His.

He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them.

He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.

He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.

I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers.

You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you, you have made known to us the dream of the king.”

-Daniel 2:20-23

Then a short reading from The Cloud of Witnessthis gem stood out to me this morning:

“Christ’s whole life was a Cross and a Martyrdom; and dost thou seek rest and joy for thyself?”

-Thomas A Kempis, The Cloud of Witness

(In my opinion, the issue is not rest or joy, but the avoidance of sharing in Christ’s sufferings. Just so we’re clear.)

I have a new book! Actually, I have several new books. Michael had the grand opportunity to go to The Gospel Coalition Conference in Indianapolis last week. He brought me a few books, cause he’s nice like that. You know you’ve got a pretty great guy when he packs a tiny carry on bag as his ONLY luggage, and then makes room in that bag for books!

Anyway. He made some good choices, one of them is Prayer, by John Bunyan. So far it is just right. In talking of sincere prayer over heavy burdens, he named some that are truly heavy, and that many of us are often broken over:

“Sincere prayer…is not, as many take it to be, a few babbling, prating, complimentary expressions, but a sensible feeling in the heart. Prayer has in it a sensibleness of diverse things; sometimes sense of sin, sometimes of mercy received, sometimes of the readiness of God to give mercy.”

-John Bunyan

He went on to describe the burden we feel in our soul over sin in our life, and the reality of hell and those who have decided not to take hell to be a serious concern. Those things are certainly a burden.

“For right prayer bubbles out of the heart when it is overcome with grief and bitterness, as blood is forced out of the flesh by reason of some heavy burden that lies upon it (He references several men in the Bible who were burdened and praying over sin and man’s delusion about their own sin.)…And all this from a sense of the justice of God, the guilt of sin, the pains of hell and destruction…you may see that prayer carries in it a sensible feeling, and that first from a sense of sin.”

-John Bunyan, Prayer

Don’t worry, he’s not all sin, hell and despair. I didn’t have time to read the section on mercy this morning…I’m getting there.

Next up was more cheeriness. Sorry.

Amy Carmichael was describing the heartache and desperation she and her teammates felt in their early attempts to rescue Indian children from temple prostitution. It was grief to read about it all of these years later, because although I know the work there in India was a success, it brings to mind all the children who suffer around the world today, and need help right now. For me this was a direct connection to praying sincerely and fervently for the Lord to light a fire in all of us for the rescue of these precious children. Whether here in our own cities, or around the world. The need is desperate. (As an interesting side note, try googling “Foster kids and human trafficking” and see what the studies are showing. I’ll give you a hint: massively high rates for foster children being trafficked…they need to be adopted and cared for. Quickly.)

Here’s what Amy Carmichael had to say nearly a hundred years ago after talking with the very first child she rescued:

“The child told us things that darkened the sunlight. It was impossible to forget those things…sometimes we felt as though the things that we had seen and heard had killed forever the laughter in us.

But children must have laughter round about them.”

Amy Carmichael, The Gold Cord

I know this was serious. These things have been on my heart and in my prayer throughout the day. Blessings on your Sunday.

Sunday Morning: Psalms, C.S. Lewis and The Cloud

So…back when it was quiet this morning, here’s a little snapshot of what I read. Good stuff.

Obviously, now it’s not so quiet. Someone is currently very mad about Lego creations falling apart. Another person is fed up with getting ready on Sunday morning. Three people are already at church. All small people are in their first round of church clothes (read: clothes that have not been puked on, spilled on, spit on, or pooped on…yet).   Continue reading

Sunday Morning

Sunday morning at our house is admittedly a force to be reckoned with. Sometimes I think that either God is showing me His crazy sense of humor, or Satan is…doing what Satan does.

I often wish I could share with you the special things I come across in my morning readings, and this seemed to be as good a morning as any. (Despite being Sunday, and all.)   Continue reading

Crazy Mary’s 2016 Booklist

Calling Mom crazy is one of the great joys in my family’s life. They really get a kick out of it. Michael even taught the baby. She doesn’t say that many words yet, but she does say “Mom’s Crazy!” with great expression. She thinks she’s hilarious. 

But despite being crazy, I was able to read several books this year, and here is my list to prove it! (One of my favorite bloggers does this every year, and it always seems like fun, until I sit down to try to remember what I read. Ahem. This is the most complete list I could think of. There may be a straggler or two…)  Continue reading

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