And He Clothed Them

Have I told you about the time Wesley had woken up from nap and Daniel asked if he could go and play with Wesley, which meant throw stuffed animals into the crib so that Wesley could throw them back out, only to repeat time and time again with large amounts of laughter? No? Well, that is how it started……..and then I realized how much laughing was going on and how long it had actually been, so I went upstairs to check on them. Turns out, the copious laughter was nothing when in comparison to the amount of baby powder sprinkled all over the room, along with every item of clothing taken out of Wesley’s dresser and all toys from the book shelves thrown on the floor. Oh, and diaper rash cream was rubbed all over the carpet.

All this with giggles galore emitting from the room. Let me just tell you though, when Momma walked into the room, she was not laughing. Did I yell? No. Did I want to yell? Yes. But I managed control this time and sent Daniel to sit in his room on his bed while I calmed down……and called Daddy so I could complain. Next, we began the cleaning process.

How about the time Daniel decided to wake up early, come downstairs, and sneak around the house, getting into items he knew he shouldn’t? Usurping my makeup bag off the bathroom counter, he took out the mascara and artistically painted his foot. He also grabbed my lipstick and covered his mouth. For a nice morning meal, he stole cookies out of the pantry and quietly nibbled on them while I continued to snooze in the bed.

I scolded him for doing what he knew was wrong. I sat in the floor next to him,on the verge of tears, flabbergasted from the scene that I woke to that morning. Together, we began to scrub his foot in attempts to wipe away the ebony streaks.

I’ve mentioned his thievery. I’ve cried because he pulled all the petals off of my houseplant while I thought he was napping. I yelled at him the morning I took a shower and he and his brother made that a prime opportunity to push the water dispenser on the fridge until there was 2 inches of crisp, cold water all over my kitchen floor, not to mention soaking wet kids and toys swimming in a new aquatic environment. Together with my husband, I have stood astounded when we discovered Daniel in the midst of a “game” that involved his own feces, wondering what in the world might have possessed him to think, even for a single solitary moment, that it was a good idea. I have certainly sighed at the messes my boys have made and the trouble they have caused, knowing a lot of work and effort would be involved in cleaning.

And you know what happened every single time? I still loved them. I may have gotten angry, my blood pressure might have risen, time was certainly lost, products were wasted, plants killed, and tears shed but the love was always there.

Why does the love always remain? Because He, Christ, first did that very thing for me.

When Adam and Eve messed up royally, changing the course for all man kind by their actions, God got angry and he punished them for their actions. The ground was cursed for every man because of Adam. Every woman was doled a punishment because of Eve.
God was upset. He observed the mess, and while completely exasperated by their actions, asked “What is this you have done?”

He scolded and sighed, and I am going to bet he cried.

Then, after His children did something bad, God did the following:

“The Lord God made garments for Adam and his wife, and He clothed them.” Genesis 3:21

Now that is love.

So, even when the mess is great, the trouble is large, and stress over the situation is ripping us apart at the seams, we clothe our dear children.

They will still be punished, and things may never return back to the way they were 5 minutes before the event.

Regardless, we parents are called to clothe them, because He first clothed us.

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The Story of A, B, and C

We met in city A, a college town with a perfect blend of business and pleasure. After we married, we lived a year in city A so I could finish my bachelor’s degree while Thomas had his first professional job. We had a nice town home rental and plenty of space for just the two of us. Our home soon became the place for all our college friends still crammed in dorm rooms to come and stretch. When my student teaching was done and my diploma was in hand, the resumes went out, and I took a job in city B.

City B just happened to be the big city that Thomas’s country hometown bled into after you crossed the river. I took on the role of high school teacher at the mere age of 21, barely older than the Freshmen and Juniors I taught. We lived in an apartment that had a swimming pool and tennis courts, which were perfect for the summer’s off from teaching. Thomas had a job with a company he loved and he was swiftly being promoted up the career ladder. After a year and a half in the complex, we wanted some grass to rub out feet in, not to mention a washer and dryer under our roof, so we looked for a rental home. After living in the cute home for 6 months, the length of our initial lease, Thomas had already been promoted to be the supervisor of the entire region in which city A happened to be. Recently pregnant and excited about the future, we loaded up everything and took off.

Back in city A, I enrolled in grad school while Thomas did about everything under the sun with his new job. He loved it, and it was certainly prestigious,  but it was exhausting in some ways we had never experienced. We welcomed our little one into our life and he fit in perfectly within our nice rental home. Life was good. After earning my grad degree, I taught part-time at the local college while Daniel was loved and cared for in our home by a sweet friend, eventually ending up in 2 day a week care one building up from where I taught on campus. A few tough experiences later, Thomas became disappointed by the company he once loved, so he set his eyes out to look for something better, more consistent for family life. We had lived a good 2 1/2 years but knew it was time for change. It was then that we moved to city C.

City C happened to be my hometown, that had changed much but still had enough country charm, along with prime access to other cities. We found a place to rent and began to settle into home. I continued to commute two days a week to teach at the college while Thomas began to immediately find favor in his new job. With a long term focus, we began to look for a house. 6 months into our 6 month lease, we found a home, put in an offer, and bought ourselves our first place. Thomas was promoted shortly after we moved, becoming a team director with his company, and we discovered baby #2 was on the way. Even before we had lived there a year, the economy began to dip even lower and Thomas’s company asked him to fire 7 people on his team and also included a request for him to take a lower position (due to him having just fired his entire team). Seeing it as a sinking ship, Thomas took the offer that was being presented to him daily by a colleague outside his company. We did, after all, have a baby on the way virtually any day, so a more secure job sounded wise. It paid more, had better benefits, and was more Thomas’s style. The rub: It was just over 1 1/2 hours away. Selling our home and/or moving was not on the radar at first, for we had just had a baby, so we just lived life and Thomas commuted. Almost year into the new gig, Thomas’s car pool buddy decided she was crazy for not moving closer to the job, so he was left to drive daily, alone. We decided that perhaps making our own move was a good thing to explore. We put out a sign and waited. 2 1/2 years after buying our first home, we have boxed up 4 people’s belongings and moved back to city B.

Here, back in city B, we have a nice rental (guess we should take the house buying thing easy for now, after looking at our track record–ha!). We’ve been here just over a week and will at least live in this home at least a year, thanks to the lease. Thomas still loves his job but he is now in the car 17 minutes one-way to work as opposed to the hour and a half one-way before. I already love that the text saying he is on his way home means I see his face in under 20 minutes! We still have some connections here and we are enjoying acquainting ourselves again with old friends, as well as looking forward to making more.

Almost all the boxes are tucked away and so much has been purged from our lives (one awesome benefit of moving!). We are excited about what God has in store for us.

So, when you see some new pictures and the environment looks different, you will know why :O)

(And I think we hold the record for number of moves for our amount of time being married. 7 years of marriage and 7 moves. At least in May we will celebrate 8 years and the numbers will not be equal :O)

Holiday Fun

Our Christmas holiday passed much similarly to many of yours, I am sure: Presents, Food, Snow, Family, Bounce Houses, Friends, Candy, Faith, and Firearms. You know, the basics. Check it out: