Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Good Works

Emeline 'eating' a cookie. She simply licks off all the frosting.
Ethne used large scrapbook paper and cut it into strips and taped it up to decorate in preparation for her parents Easter visit. I was all her own idea and she accomplished it without my help.

I’ve been a Christ follower for nearly 40 years. Early on, I chose a life verse. Here it is: Ephesians 2:10 (New American Standard Bible) “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
I like it that I am His workmanship, makes me think of the Lord as an artist interacting with a beloved work (one that is in progress). The original word means ‘poem,’ so maybe I am, each of us, is a masterpiece of the Lord expressing Himself (creatively and precisely) through our lives.
I also really like that the Lord has prepared (beforehand) specific works for me. Not your works, my own. And so I don’t need to come up with my purpose in life or even for today, He’s already done the ground work, I just need to listen to Him and obey. I often thought of this regarding writing and how, when and what I’m ‘supposed’ to write.
Today, I saw something new. It’s been there all along, but I never really noticed it. It’s the part of the verse that says, “so that we would walk in them.” (Emphasis added).
Like a jolt I saw that the good works prepared just for me by God Himself are to be walked in. So maybe these are not the articles I publish, or novels I strive to write, or anything at all that has to do with the public or being ‘out there.’ Because out there doesn’t really reflect the way I spend most of my time.
Maybe these good works, loving prepared for me to walk in by my Creator, are the ordinary tasks of life. Like—walking around the neighborhood or cooking a meal for my husband, or being patient and merciful to my grandchildren. Noticing the store clerk or being kind when there is traffic. Speaking in gentle tones and encouraging those I love.
Walking is so ordinary. It’s taking one step after another every single day until we reach our final destination. (See my blog “The Daily Walk” for more thoughts on this topic).
This has changed the way I think about this verse. These good works are more likely to be the way I live my life, day in and day out, then what I did or didn’t do out in the public arena. Wow.
“Lord, help me to walk faithfully in the good works you’ve prepared for me. Right now, help me to be the best Grammy ever to these two precious girls living in our home. Amen."

Friday, April 03, 2009

"It's okay, she's old"

Emeline puts a placemat down instead of the rugs.

Ethne gathers all the pillows and blankets to make a cozy place on the couch.

What’s it like being parents of preschoolers when your 50 years old? Here are two examples.
1. Craig comes home. He plops down. The overstuffed chair has more energy than he has. And, after a day of playing young mom, I’m breathing, but barely responsive.
Emeline scampers up next to me on the sofa and begins to sing, “Happy Day, To you,” over and over.
In between stanzas she laughs joyfully.
We look at her and our mouths inch upward.
“Isn’t she darling?”
Craig nods.
“This would make a great movie.”
He nods again.
“Or even a picture.”
We both glance across the room to the camera but don’t budge. It might as well be locked in a safe and buried under 50 feet of snow, on top of Mt. Everest. I can’t prove it, but boy was she cute, honest.

2. Around eight o’clock that same night, as we were headed off to bed, Craig asks, “What did you do to your hair?”
“Nothing.” And I mean nothing.
He considers this in silence born of experience of being married over 30 years.
I explain, “I did wash it this morning and put stuff in it, but then that’s all, because I got busy.” That day I had managed to take care of the girls, drive to the airport, drop donations off at GoodWill and go to the grocery store but not brush my hair.
I figure that the best part of being old with preschoolers is that my hair is gray and so, when I forget to brush it, people simply click their tongues and whisper, “It’s okay, she’s old.”