Planted in Pearland

What's going on in the life of Covenant Community Church

Can I even call it “suffering?” May 18, 2010

Filed under: Learning,Parenting — Maggie @ 8:58 pm

A couple of weeks ago, my one year-old son, Shepherd (pictured below), was waking up at 6am for several days in a row. His usual wake-up time is around 7:30, and in the Lord’s kindness, he’s been back to “normal” for the last week or so. It has been quite a relief from the unwanted 6am wake-up call. That said, I know that  he will very likely go through a waking up early phase again, perhaps even next week. I’ve been thinking about what my response to this unwanted wake-up call should be. Certainly, it should not be angry grumbling or a spiteful attitude that takes pleasure in letting him cry for 30 minutes while I refuse to get him out of bed. (You should know that I’m not opposed, in general, to letting him cry, just the attitude with which I do it.)

To my shame, both of these things have characterized my heart and my response.

Instead of acknowledging that this “light momentary affliction (and I do mean “light!”) is preparing for [me] an eternal  weight of glory beyond all comparison (2 Cor. 4:17), I have been frantically trying to fix what I deem to be a problem. I even took him to the doctor in the middle of it all to rule out an ear infection. (Confession: I really wanted it to be an ear infection that explained the early wake-up). Unfortunately (or fortunately), he got a clean bill of health, and I’m sure the pediatrician thought I was a crazy, paranoid new mom since Shep was giving her smiles and giggles the whole time she examined him. I left kind of embarrassed but trying to justify that I did it for his good rather than as a desperate attempt to explain and then fix something that is uncomfortable to me – an early morning wake-up call.

So now, knowing that he was perfectly healthy, I have been trying to think through how I have failed to respond in a godly way to this trial and what needs to change in my heart in order to respond differently. Why am I so quick to want to fix anything that makes me uncomfortable? Why is my first response anger and frustration when things get in the way of what I want – in this case, an awake, crying baby getting in the way of my desire to sleep.

Obviously, I am not believing that this is happening for my good and that the Lord is in control of it. Rather than agreeing with James 1:2-3, which says, ” Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance,” I am anything but joyful. I do not think rightly about suffering – I just want it to go away. I know this is because I don’t really understand what Paul means when he says in Romans:

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”  Romans 5:3-5

“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:16-18

I want to embrace any form of suffering (even an hour less of sleep) with joy and the hope of heaven always before me. Having an unexpected early wake-up call should serve as an opportunity to thank the Lord for producing endurance, character and hope in me. I want to embrace it as discipline and yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness from it (Heb. 12:11).

The Lord is merciful to be showing me my sin and teaching me this now, with “suffering” as minor as a 6am wake-up call.

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Watermelon

Filed under: Learning,Parenting,Random — Sarah @ 8:06 pm

I love watermelon. It’s the perfect, refreshing, delicious, sweet, summery fruit. When I was a kid, we ate watermelon almost every day during the summer. We’d be playing in the sprinkler or at the neighborhood pool (which we also did almost every day), and my mom would bring out a plate of ice-cold, freshly sliced chunks of watermelon. We would dig in; it would drip all over our faces and suits, but it didn’t matter because we’d just hop right back in the water! Yum and fun!

So, filled with those memories, I impulsively I bought a watermelon today at the grocery store (it was NOT on the list :). And you know what I’ve realized? Watermelon is a pain to cut. I mean, you REALLY have to work for it, especially if you want to “chunk” it, which is my favorite way to eat it. After spending most of Eliza’s nap slicing and chunking this massive watermelon, I have to admit, as much as I love watermelon, I’ll be tempted to bypass it next time I’m in the store thinking “Oh, it’s too much trouble” and go buy some grapes instead.

But I hope my next thought will be, “What if my mom had done that?” If she had, we kids wouldn’t have the water-playing-watermelon-eating memories that we have, and I probably wouldn’t enjoy eating watermelon as much as I do. It’s in the simple moments like this that I’m reminded – I’M the mom now, which means now I have to do things that I don’t necessarily like to do for the benefit of my kids.

The Bible talks about this. In Philippians, Paul tells us to “consider others better than ourselves” and to “look not only to you own interests but also to the interests of others” (Phil 2:3&4). I am grateful that, because God is so gracious, I can apply this truth to something as simple as cutting up a watermelon for my family to enjoy… And I’m thankful that I have a mom who modeled it for me first!

 

Shepherd is 1 (and has been for 3 weeks) May 4, 2010

Filed under: Kids — Maggie @ 8:27 pm
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So, judge me if you want to, but I let my son’s first birthday come and go without commenting on it. I was feeling a little bad about it, so I decided better late than never!

Here’s a recent picture of our newly-one-year-old-man. It’s hard to believe a year has gone by since he was born. It has seriously flown by…although those first few weeks felt like an eternity! The Lord is so kind to give us such a sweet and precious gift in Shep’s life. He brings us so much joy and it’s hard to remember what life was like before him. Happy (belated) birthday,my precious boy! We are so thankful to the Lord for your sweet little life!

Happy boy