Sunday, August 23, 2009

Samuel, Blue Dog, and Me

Did Mary complain?

A few moments ago, I closed my fun-filled evening with my second most favorite part of the day…putting my sweet baby boy to bed. My first most favorite part of my day is picking that same sweet baby boy up out of his crib each morning. He holds up one empty arm, the other clutching “blue dog” tightly, and begs to be rescued. We start the day with cuddles and prayers and end the day with cuddles and prayers…me, Samuel and Blue Dog. These are the things I never thought about when we prayed for a baby. I never thought about the kisses, the cuddles, the pats…the love. We just wanted a baby. I didn’t realize the love would be THIS intense. I also didn’t realize having a baby would be so much work. Weird, coming from someone who cared for twin babies for 8 months, right?

As he nursed tonight, I sang him a few songs. If he could have, he probably would ask me kindly to be quiet, but I sang them anyway. “There is a Redeemer”…the Keith Green version, popped into my head. I thought about Mary nursing Jesus and most likely singing to Him. I thought about the songs she may have sung and if they were about a coming Messiah or Redeemer. I thought about how she must have felt, knowing she was nursing the Savior of the world, Jesus the Christ Child. I wondered if she had the temptation to wrap that baby up and run like the wind, knowing that one day He would suffer a torturous death for people who wouldn’t even accept the life He had afforded them. Then I wondered, “Did Mary ever complain?” Did she complain that Joseph didn’t help enough? Did she complain that their home wasn’t as big as cousin Elizabeth’s or that her robes were old and shabby? Did she complain that she worked day after day and didn’t get paid a single cent for any of it? Did the mother of Jesus complain about changing His diapers or fuss at Him for ruining her pretties?

These questions hit me hard. I did a mental checklist:
Hard-working husband-check
Roof over my head-check
Closet full of clothes-check
Getting “paid” in “sugar” and cuddles-check check!
Healthy family-check

This story will portray me to be about as deep as a kddie pool but oh well…
If you know me but at all, you know I complain about my hair…a lot. It’s just so crazy!! Anyway, I complained constantly in high school about it but got a serious attitude adjustment in tenth grade. I was in FHA, that’s Future Homemakers of America, (shocking, I know) and we took a field trip to the Ronald McDonald house. Seeing all those children who were sick and had lost their hair made me so thankful for my health. My hair didn’t seem to be that big of a deal anymore. Silly story, but it was huge for me back then.

I think we need to remind ourselves what we’re put here for…to build up, not tear down. Each time we complain we bring down the person we’re talking to. If it’s our husband, we’re saying “you don’t do enough”. If it’s our friends, we’re saying “I’m insecure”. If we’re believers we’re saying “God, you haven’t done enough!”. Wow. I’m feeling a bit guilty right about now.

OK, so what? I challenge you, and myself, with this: when you’re tempted to complain or find fault in any aspect of your life…make a checklist. When your husband is driving you up one wall and down the other…thank God that you HAVE a husband…a healthy one, a working one…find something GOOD to say about him. When your kids make a mess… thank the Lord you HAVE kids. When you’re tempted to fuss about your “small” house, (hello, I’m talking to myself here) thank the Lord you HAVE a house! We could all be living in a van down by the river, for crying out loud!!

And if all else fails, remember what mom used to say…”If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”. Just make sure you put your hand on your hip and wave your finger when you’re saying it.