Sometimes it Takes a Toddler

As I have demonstrated over and over again through this blog (and many other life circumstances), I tend to be a little slow on the up-take.

Yes, I am a college grad. In elementary education.

I was on the Dean's List.

I have a long list of resume-worthy descriptions of myself. None of which make me immune to the density that sometimes overtakes me. I guess maybe it's not so much density as plain old self absorption.

Let me give you a perfect example.

I may have mentioned that I recently read the book Crazy Love. If you haven't read it, you should. It will change your life.

Now, I tend to exaggerate...just a tad...every now and then, but I couldn't be more serious about this. I am pretty sure it was the most challenging book I have ever read. When I say challenging, let me clarify: it was an easy read, but it made me rethink so many things in and about my life. You should go buy it/borrow it/check it out. right now.

One of the main points that Chan conveys in the book is that we need to take much more literally Christ's command to love our neighbor as ourselves. How? Well, it's obviously going to be a different call on everyone's life. I appreciated that he acknowledged that. It could be through giving money, serving, sacrificing time or comfort of resources. He gave a lot of good real life examples.

I also really appreciated that Chan was bold and unapologetic about saying that, for some people, it would be a very radical call. He says something along the lines of "I'm not saying that everyone is called to quit their job and move to Africa to be a missionary. But, are you? Maybe." The point is that we are quick to claim that we are "called" to only things that we want to do and feel comfortable doing.

Enter: me.

I could give you hundreds of examples of how I am a lot of talk and not a lot of walk. I am an outright hypocrite about so many things. In all reality, until I read that book, I didn't think too much of my lack of faith-in-action. I am easily caught in the trap of comparing myself to everyone else and thinking I'm ok.

You know how it goes.

You put your life up next to someone else's and you start tallying.

"Well, at least I don't struggle with _____".

"She might be better about_____...but at least I am doing ______".

"Even though he has_________...at least I have my act together when it comes to _______".

And, seriously...what's the point of that??

We are called to:

Feed the hungry
Give drink to the thirsty
Clothe the naked
Shelter the homeless
Visit the sick
Visit those in prison
Bury the dead

(Matthew 25)

It doesn't matter if I feel like doing it.

It doesn't matter if it's not convenient.

It doesn't matter if other people don't make it a priority.

It doesn't matter if other people don't think it's a good idea.

It's what we are called to do.

Why is that so hard for me sometimes?

So, all of that to FINALLY get to the real story.

The other day I was driving somewhere in Ames with the kids. I saw a man walking on the sidewalk. I have seen him before. I don't know his story, but I know he's homeless. I passed by him without a second thought.

Until about 30 seconds later.

Remember the part where I am slow??

So, after I realize that I am an idiot...about 1000 things start going through my head.

"What should I have done? I have kids in the car. I don't know if he is mentally stable...some people say he's not. Other people say he is. How much should I consider my own safety? Maybe if Joe was in the car...would that have actually changed things? Does it matter? I didn't do anything. I could have at least bought some food for him. Is that lame? Shouldn't I be taking that verse in Matthew 25 literally? Does that mean I...like...bring him home with me?"

Ridiculous, I know. It's hard to be in my head sometimes. (To be quite honest, I am still a little confused on what this should look like - especially when there are kiddos involved. Any ideas?)

About this time, Roman pipes up from the back, singing a song at the top of his lungs, from the Veggie Tales movie, "Jonah".

"If you believe God's love is true then you should know what you should do"

And I actually start thinking about Jonah's disobedience.

I know, I know.

If I claim to belong to the King, then I need to be serious about people being able to see Him when they come in contact with me.

I should know what to do.

The eating and the not sleeping, The pretending and the dancing

It's been a while since I have written about what the boys have been up to...the time has come.

  • still eating like a champ
  • still not sleeping much (much to my dismay. But, much more to Joe's dismay...he has very little patience in the middle of the night. Can't blame him.)
  • cruising and getting really close to walking! He actually took a couple of steps to me today - although it was slightly falling forward steps. :)
  • waves
  • says "hi, da", "mama", tries to say "baby", "bye-bye" - none of these are super clear, but he says them in appropriate situations or when you ask him to say it.
  • gives kisses
  • gives high-fives


  • really enjoys pretending: pretends to drive his little 4 wheeler to the park, to the zoo, to Grandma's house. pretends to make me chocolate cake.
  • is very in tune to the people around him: knows to "make" Tony a cheeseburger (because he loves McDonald's) and Judah an avocado (his favorite lunch), gets very upset when Judah is sad
  • memorizes Bible verses: he knows John 3:16, Zephaniah 3:17, Ephesians 4:32. We are working on Phil 4:13. Any other recommendations??
  • asks for a dance party every time Joe comes in the door (which consists of Veggie Tales music and Joe's DJ lights)
  • can identify most letters and knows some letter sounds. I was really impressed with him the other day when he got out his Noah's ark matching game and stacked matching cards on top of each other so that the word "lion" was right above the word "lion" on the card underneath...I hadn't shown him that, but he was noticing that the words matched.
  • the other day he dumped out his woven toy basket and laid in it. When I looked over at him, he said "Just like baby Moses".
  • He ruined his first library book :(. I put him down for the night, and later walked by his bedroom as I was going down the hall and noticed he had turned his light on. I opened the door to see him sitting on the floor with three torn pages. We had a nice long talk...several times. A couple of days later I took him to the library, and before we went in, I reminded him he needed to apologize to the librarian. He walked in, went right over to her, and said "I tore the pages". She kind of looked at me for an explanation, so I said "Roman has a confession to make". He repeated and then said he was sorry. She reassured him that he was very brave for being honest and telling her. We had to pay for the book, but I was so proud of my little guy for being big enough to apologize.


1000 Gifts (10)

181. hope in the dead of winter: Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow..."

182. winning free things - especially free things that we needed anyway!! We won a tricycle AND a car seat at Boone's health and safety fair this weekend. That was a God-incidence.

183. time out of the house doing fun things with my family

184. dinner with 3 couples whom I love and admire

185. people who chose to be genuine and make themselves vulnerable

186. God's timing...a lot of things have come up recently that can only be explained by a providential plan.

187. new babies

188. a sweet message at church today about spiritual warfare in the most obvious places...why is it that we never look in the most obvious places??

189. my husband...words can't describe how much I love that man.

190. people who are obedient to God's call when it requires much sacrifice and much more trust...you know who you are! So excited to see how God will move in the upcoming weeks!

191. high schoolers. I love them so much. I love that they aren't afraid to ask questions. I love that they aren't worried about being "politically correct". I love that they want raw truth.

192. people who challenge me

193. Lent. Because 40 days in the dessert makes you thirst.

194. El Azteca. Best Mexican food ever.

195. How incredibly adorable Roman is when he carries on an entire conversation with me...using correct pronouns!

195. Judah's first steps.

196. sunshine

197. Sunday = day of rest

198. people who work hard to make their marriages great

199. Children's Bibles

200. The 5 Love Languages

**For the record, I am not editing these as I go. As I look back on this list, I see many things that are repeats from other posts. My first instinct was that I was doing something wrong.

After some reflection, I think I'm doing something right.