Wednesday, October 31, 2012

certain joy

there are certain joys about being a parent.  tonight after all the fun of halloween was over ryan and i had a few minutes to talk.  i called him to the couch i was sitting on and rested my hand on his knee as he was telling me about school.

it was so fulfilling just listening to this little man.  his long term sub is finishing this friday, she has been with them since the beginning of the year, and today she made a comment about reese's peanut butter cups so ryan wanted to be certain to bring her some.  we talked about homework and his party at school.  ryan is a great kid, and his mind is so wonderful.  we even talked about math.  ryan doesnt like it so much, but i love it.  when he told me he was struggling with crossboxing.  i dont know this term but its something to do with subtraction when you need to borrow from multiple columns.  i got all giddy and went to the table to get some paper and crayons to show him my "easy way" of doing it.  (i always looked for the easiest way to come to the correct solution)

when ryan went to bed he woke sick noah (he missed trick or treating) who came out and sat next to me.  it quickly became him leaning and laying on me.  he is warm and lethargic, but was showing some improvement from 4 hours ago when he could have passed for a zombie.  we snuggled for a while and told noah there is no school for him tomorrow unless he gets a lot better and then he trotted away and back into bed.

caring for these young men is a joy because when i sit down and savor moments like these, i am reminded that i am a son as well.  it is the best image i have for how God loves me.  perhaps the greatest of joy from these moments comes from knowing that as i target knowing God intimately and tangibly that these boys will follow me and begin to target the same.

i think it is fitting that i end with this quote i stumbled upon earlier tonight

don't fear failure, fear spending your life succeeding at things that really do not matter

Sunday, October 14, 2012

nick wagenmaker once said

lately it seems that i have often been asking questions regarding the future.

what is next.  

when is next.

who is next.

where is next.

i am in a bit of a fog and my restless heart doesnt it like it.  deep inside i long for security.  i long for safety.  i long to be known.

so just like the many sunday afternoons of the past 18 months, i find myself at work.  i am filling my time with studying new products, music videos, admiring rembrandt's artwork through a computer, watching sports scores, and tying up loose ends to customers needs.

but in all of this, i am talking with my Creator as well.  asking these same questions and hoping today is the day i am quiet and still enough to hear his answer.

there are certain things i know about my future, but there are just as many things i now about today.

scattered across my desk are little notes, definition to words, and scripture i have posted.  

"love wins" 

"die to yourself"

"you are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples" psalm 77:14

"love - unselfish, loyal, and benevolent concern for the good of another"

"cherish - 1a) to hold dear, feel or show affections for 1b) to keep or cultivate with care and affection, to nuture 2) to entertain or harbor in the mind deeply and resolutely"

"partnerships are formed when both people believe that a greater benefit lies in uniting energies, talents, and resources than in remaining separate."

there is a good many thought provoking notes i have at my desk, positioned with purpose as well.  the note that got me today though was my checklist.  the checklist with 13 words on it, positioned in 5 rows.  the checklist that when i can check all of them off, i will know the next season in life will be here.  these 13 words look like this:

personal healing
personal growth
becoming highly disciplined
learning to submit to God

several months ago, my friend nick wagenmaker spoke to my restless heart.  he didnt know about my list, but he did know i had experienced a great deal of brokenness.  he likened my life to one who had major surgery.  he told me to rest and heal.  slow down.  you dont have a major surgery and get up like nothing ever happened.  "rob, you are in recovery."  his point was taken.  

as i listened this evening, i looked over at my list, and God reminded me to stay in this moment.  He brought the surgery/recovery talk with nick back to mind, and showed me where i am now.  i am out of surgery.  i am out of critical condition, i am almost out of recovery, but i have to pass physical therapy first.  God reminded me to not worry about what is next, but to focus on today.  focus on becoming stronger.  

recovery was a season of healing.  

today is a season of growth.