When You Cry Out

I read a book on Birth Order Theory. If  I said this aloud while Thomas was in the room, you would immediately hear him sigh, roll his eyes, and emit a small chuckle.  I have been applying what I learned all too frequently, not so much as as statement of fact but more as a mode of analysis or conversation filler.

I found out much, and I frequently laughed at how I, along with others, fit the characteristics. One thing I discovered about my position as the baby of a family (I also fit into some first born characteristics thanks to being the first girl in my family) is that a baby can be on top of the world one day and at the bottom of the ladder the next. It is just in our genes. We go from Happy-Go-Lucky to Debbie Downer at the drop of a hat. So, when I was studying up for the Sunday School lesson I was teaching, I identified with the Israelites.

The Israelites had been rescued from Egyptian slavery thanks to the Lord. They were on top of the world, free from what once enslaved, yet they soon met a new obstacle when the Egyptian army began to pursue. At the formidable sight, the people of Israel “…were terrified and cried out to the Lord” (Exodus 14:10b)  Next, they began hurling complaints toward their scapegoat Moses, asking him if he only brought them out of Egypt to be ensnared again unto death:

Exodus 14:11 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”

From Cloud 9 of freedom to a pit of expected death in an instant. The Isralites must have been last borns, a big bunch of babies.

Moses quickly, and perhaps uncharacteristically, responded with the following:

“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Go back and read that one again, folks. I’ll wait.

I especially love this line: “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Isn’t that an encouraging bit of news? The Lord is fighting this fight, just trust and be still.

After a solid and encouraging response to the people, Moses seems to rethink this burst of confidence. He begins to talk this over with God, as he feels an army breathing down his neck. Again, we see a movement from the top, full of fortitude, to the dumps, full of doubt. Then, Moses cries out to the Lord, receiving in verse 15 this response:

“Why are you crying out to me?…”

(insert sound of tires screeching to a halt here) What?? God said that when His chosen servant cried out to Him? Well, yes, He did, and He added a few more lines as well:

“…Tell the Israelites to move on. 16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.”

Now, don’t take this Godly response wrong, my friends. It is not a retort of unconcern. In fact, the Lord is beyond concerned with this situation. These are His people; He does not wish them harm……He just spent a lot of time and energy trying to get them free. Instead, this reply is one that simply says “You know what to do. I have called you by name, you are mine. I am fighting this fight and I do not intend to lose. You are safe. You’ve been equipped for this seemingly insurmountable task. Get out of the pit; recover that top of the world feeling. Just do it my child, claim it. No need to cry, just claim it.”

When you cry out, God hears. He may answer you with a verbal word of encouragement from a friend or He may be that still small voice in your heart. But please know He heard. And upon hearing, He smiles, knowing He has it all planned out. It may look scary and it may be painful, but He’s got an answer to your cry. Actually, it is more than an answer, it is a way of dry land, just like He gave the Israelites. Even after pulling back the waters so that the people could pass through to safety from Pharaoh’s Army,  He didn’t make them trudge through mud. Alternatively, He gave them dry land. What a way to travel!

Remember though, after the cries, the moment of rescue did not happen immediately. Truthfully, it had been a long preparation, for they had been enslaved for some time. Upon the journey after Passover, after the slurs toward Moses and the pleas to God, the waters did recede enough for Israelite passage…..but it took all night:

21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.

Not so much like the Charleston Heston version is it? They had to do exactly what Moses advised, standing firm, being still, and accepting the Lord’s deliverance as He fought the fight. Imagine the emotions that night as the people waited for those waters to peel back enough. Do you think they were on a high or a low? I’m not sure what place on the last born quick shift of emotion spectrum they might have been on that night, but I do know that when they passed through on that dry land and saw the enemy consumed and conquered, they knew their cries were heard and they walk on in high spirits thanks to what the Lord had done.

If you feel in a pit, cry out and recall Israel….and while you at it, take a listen to an amazing song that just says all of the above in an inspirational mode:

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What Will He Say Next?

Man, oh man, Daniel has been saying some hilarious things lately. It is just amazing to see how little minds work. I have a little journal for each of my boys where I write some of the cute life moments, but I figured it might be nice to log them here as well.

**Daniel has a toy with pictures of some silly characters on it. When you push them, they each sing a song or make a sound. After he names them off by their attributes, he pushes each one and dances accordingly:

D: “Clown” (pushes button and dances a jig)

D: “Dog” (pushes button bobs head back and forth)

D: “Grandpa Mouth” (pushes button, shakes hips)

S: What did he say, Thomas?

T: He said Grandpa Mouth.

S: What in the world is that?

T: It is the character with a mustache.

Guess we are not around enough people with facial hair!

**We were all riding in the car the other day, jamming out to some music. That is not totally true. Yes, we were all in the car but I think I was the only one “jamming out.” As I rocked on in my own little world, I tapped my own leg to the beat. From the back seat I hear Daniel, with urgency:
D: Momma! Please be careful!! You will hurt your leg!
S: Daniel, I will not hurt my leg; I am fine.
D: Momma, you will hurt your leg!
S: Son, Momma is just listening to the music. I will be ok.
D: Momma, I am still talking to you. I need you to listen…..You will hurt your leg. And you will get a boo-boo. And it will hurt. And then your leg will break. You need to stop.

Guess I need to restrain myself more when listening to Lady Antebellum!

**When it is bedtime at our house, I usually tackle the little one while Thomas tackles the big one. Daniel has completely absorbed this routine and to navigate away from it can be a bit of a disaster at times. He just loves that one-on-one time with his Daddy. Usually I finish nursing Wesley before Thomas is finished with Daniel’s routine and I get to hear their conversations:
T: Son, I love you, you know?
D: Yes Daddy, I know. You are the best friend that a boy has ever sawed. I love you, too.

Melts my heart, it does!

**Sometimes, when we are going someplace familiar, Daniel and I play a little game. We will act like the location is hiding and we are having to hunt for it. We will call out “Momma’s House, where are you?” Often Daniel flips the words and says “where you are?” Then, as we approach the place, he gets awfully excited and proclaims “There it is, Momma’s House!” (side note: It is always Momma’s House as well as everything in it, sans Thomas’s computer. He never says Daddy’s. I sometimes get embarrassed when he does it out in public because the way he words it makes us sound divorced.) So, on our way to the library the other day, he begins the game:
D: Library…….where are you?
S: I don’t see it Daniel. Where is it?
D: I don’t know. Let’s look more, Momma. Library…….I can’t see you!
S: Liiiibbbbrrrary
D: Momma, this will not work. The library can not talk. We will just have to—–Oh! There it is!!

Sweet moment from such a cute little man. What will he say next?

i ♥ faces- angles

This is a picture of Daniel playing in his crib when he was about the same age Wesley is now. Ironically, before I knew the theme this week, I was in Wesley’s room today thinking about these pictures of Daniel and how I needed to get some shots of Wesley just being silly in his crib as well. While looking at the photos, I realized how differently my two boys look. Right now, Wesley has two teeth on the bottom, just peeking out from the gum. Little Daniel had not a single one at this point, which some of the photos prove. Anyway, this shot works because it is at a different angle :O). I never do anything with the color of photos other than convert to black and white, mainly because I do not know how. This time, however, I managed to figure something out and altered the colors some, just for the heck of it. In the original it is very vibrant. I am not sure if I like it muted this much, but I still love it because it has my son in it.

Enjoy my not so little any more first born son when he actually was still little. My, my it all goes so quickly. I am glad to have so photos to remember it all by!

See what other angles people have captured

This Much, Always

(<—-Side note: Check out those cuties in my new double running stroller. I traded a neighbor friend my single for her double. FYI: Running with two kiddos in tow=hard)

Man, my kids love me! And the great part about it is that they just do. Wesley can simply hear my voice and want to jump into my arms. He grins from ear to ear when he catches a glimpse of me from across the room. Daniel is constantly hugging me, telling me “I luv you momma,” completely unprompted. I am so very blessed, for they even love me when I do not deserve it. Recently, Daniel has begun to parrot the phrases he hears us say to him. He says them in such a genuine tone too, which is so sweet. For instance, he saw me addressing some cards in our bedroom. I had them spread all over our bed. Daniel comes in and says, “Oh momma! You are so, so smart. Good job!” Smart for addressing envelopes? Ok, I’ll take that. He also told me the other day, when I decided to wash the car by driving through a car wash that he was “So proud. You did good on the car, Momma.” Really? I mean, all I did was push a button to bring down then window, stick my hand out into the cold air, and then swipe my debit card. You’re proud of that? Awesome! I truly pray they love me this much, always……or even more one day!

I also take great comfort in the fact the Lord is as good and as kind. He just loves me. Even when a skeleton may be in my closet, God loves me for me, and he is proud, even in the simple. Unconditional love, even if I do not reciprocate. How amazing is that? And I know He will love me this much, always.

Hi to HI

Thomas had a business trip last week. Darn business trips, right? Well, normally I would concur, but this business trip was in Hawaii!!!

And I went with him!

We spent a whole week together, without kids, on the island of Oahu. Being that he had business to attend to during much of the day (8-3 or so), I had alone time. If you know me, you know I am not much of a loner. The peace and serenity in the beauty of the island, however, was magnificent.

I spent much of my days walking the beach, people watching, listening to music on my iPod, soaking up rays, shopping, and offering to take pictures of others together in a shot so that everyone could be in the photo. I also took time to run, kayak on the Pacific, and snorkel. Once Thomas joined me after work, we ate nice meals, had conversations without interference, visited Pearl Harbor and toured a battleship, hiked Diamond head, rode around in a Mustang convertible, participated in a luau, and rode ATVs in one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen in my life.  During those times it was like we were on our honeymoon, but with more life and couple experience to make it sweeter.

And, yes, I said it—we did it all without the kids. I’ll tell you, I was nervous about this venture, but the allure of a paid for trip (excluding my plane ticket) was just too much to pass up without major consideration. I consulted more seasoned moms to see what they thought about leaving my babies with my mom, who volunteered to take a week off work to watch them. Their verdict: do it, and do it guilt free. I can’t say I didn’t battle some mommy guilt but I did overcome most it once the perfect 80 degree temps met my skin and a rainbow outside my hotel room met my eyesDid we miss them? Of course! Did we have fun? What do you think? Did they survive? Absolutely! Would we go again? It it was free again, you bet!

So, after a week in paradise, we said Aloha and came home to our babies, who never missed a beat.

We brought back lots of wonderful memories, fun souvenirs—and over 100 ounces of breast milk :O)