Friday, January 28, 2011

Why do kids grow up.

The two facts which attract almost every normal person to children are, first, that they are very serious, and, secondly, that they are in consequence very happy.  They are jolly with the completeness which is possible only in the absence of humour.  The most unfathomable schools and sages have never attained to the gravity which dwells in the eyes of a baby of three months old.
It is the gravity of astonishment at the universe, and astonishment at the universe is not mysticism, but a transcendent common-sense. - G.K. Chesterton
It is a day that forces the reflection of where the time went.  More than your own birthday, your child's birthday marks time passing.  After a point I stopped noticing my birthdays.  There is no great hoopla.  But as kids hit each marker it strikes out.  The world is closing in and trying to steal their innocence.  They can grow up, but does it have to happen so quickly.

If they lose their amazement at the moon, soon they may stop noticing it shines.  I hope she keeps on seeing both, and is never chasing moonshine.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I was trained.

I remember amusing myself by writing my own answers to the questions; but I soon found that they were very broken and agnostic answers.  To the question, "What are you?" I could only answer, "God knows."  And to the question, "What is meant by the Fall?" I could answer with complete sincerity, "That whatever I am, I am not myself."  This is the prime paradox of our religion; something that we have never in any full sense known, is not only better than ourselves, but even more natural to us than ourselves.   -GK Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Becky & I went thru another round of adoption training this past Saturday.  Despite how painful it may sound (and some parts are) I'm generally enjoying these sessions.  I get a strange kick out of learning new things.  One thing from this past session really hung in my ears.  The lesson was focusing on natural assumptions that are often encountered and may carry some pain.

ppl say: real mom, real brother
and should say: birth parent, birth siblings
(adoption is real, your adopted parents are real)

ppl say: taken away from their parents
should say: parental rights were terminated
(focus on the loss of rights, not the act of separation)

ppl say:  this is Rachel & she's adopted
should say:  Rachel WAS adopted (or joined the family) at age 7.
(adoption is an event in life, not a definition of who you are).

It is easy to say this is word-smithing and just being nit-picky.  I am sure people generally don't mean harm by saying these type of things, and if they mean harm they shouldn't be around your family.  But they are all overheard by the kids and focus on the difference rather than the family.  Around very vulnerable kids too.

But the last example caught me; more the explanation.  Adoption is an event in life, not a definition.

I had a great awakening at seeing being a redeemed sinner as a definition.  I am a sinner everyday and redeemed everyday. 
It is not that salvation was a one time event and now you are on your own.  "Thanks for the ride Jesus, see you later."  Everyday is like Christmas; Christ entering our world, our lives everyday.  Some days it is more evident than others.  But is a great start to each day to remember what has been done for us.

Do events affect us.  Yes.  But they define our struggle not our person.  They are hammer hits that forge material that makes us; they are not the material that makes us.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Here Lies - Art O. Debate

"The art of debate has been covered by the graffiti of spin."

Pardon me for dwelling on liking this line.  I came up with it and really like it.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

More Theology from a 5 y/o

At our Christmas Eve service Communion was served.  Now, our nearly 7 y/o daughter (Broo) has had communion before this time but none of the other kids.  Somehow my 5 y/o son (Cabu) was aware of things moving above his tiny head that was sketching on the bulletin; so he had his chance for taking communion.

Side note - I fell into a Methodist-ic thinking on the issue of kids taking communion.  "Kids may not understand what it's all about but they know when they are excluded.  Let them participate"

Broo has a knack for playing up her vast superior experience in life matters.  She often takes it as her role to educate Cabu and this time was no different.  The bread was so "yummy"; and the juice isn't really wine and it tastes good; "some folks say body & blood but it's just bread & juice". 

This bothered me on a few levels.  First, kids have a warped sense of how loud they are and they were set at 11 for this mid-service pew conversation despite warnings otherwise.  Second, I'm getting weary of the over the top experience & bossing from Broo; that's my job and she's getting too good at it.  Third, they are talking about communion and it is due some reverence.  I finally shut this pew chat down by threatening removal of all gifts and we can discuss this at home.

So the discussion.
With Broo within earshot because she needed to understand it more, I dove into the meaning of the bread and the juice as the body and the blood.  It was in remembrance of Jesus and the last supper and some people believe it magically does turn into body & blood.  It is a very special thing and should be treated that way.  So loud talking or "yummy-ness" conversation is rude & unacceptable.  (There, that sounded firm enough).  Whether done to remember Jesus or to magically take in Jesus it is special and is not a time to joke around.

Side note #2 - I have no problem telling my kids some things are magic.  I want them to believe in magic.  If miracles aren't magic then they are science (and therefore not miracles) or lies.

Cabu pondered all of this with puzzled eyes and then said "so we have to take in Jesus' broken body so that ours can be fixed."  I think he understood it better than I explained it, and Side Note 1 has been voided.

Side note #3 - I think I have about 2 more years of pretending I know & understand things better than my kids.  Not just somethings, anything at all.