WHO LOVES YOU?

It’s my birthday and I’m having the time of my life.

Woke up about 9a. Cup of coffee brought to me by my favorite man. A “not until I wanted it” breakfast of toasted apple cinnamon bagels from Carolina Cafe, where I saw paintings by the lovely Bonnie Goldberg displayed on the walls while I waited. The thought of her always makes me smile.

Especially in the Food Lion strip mall.

Yep, I’m right here. Home in West Columbia, SC.

Where hugs from a certain nine year old abound. Dinner can be purchased for me at Palmetto Seafood, fried Lenten allowed delight. And artvarkcreative will bring me Trader Joe’s macarons for dessert – not because I can’t afford them any day of the year, but because I never do treat myself – and somehow, they say YUM to me. PURE YUM.

I’m lounging on this really long couch, that I vowed would never make it into our marriage home because its print said “Big Lots bachelor purchase” to me, but here it is still, some almost twelve years later, not even slip covered.

And yes, I’m checking facebook.

Because – IT’S MY BIRTHDAY. AND EVERYONE LOVES ME ON FACEBOOK. ON MY BIRTHDAY.

I know, seriously, it takes little effort. I’m convinced that some people have some sort of automated app that sends it without them even having to lift a finger and tap. And I say that I don’t care about all that stuff.

BUT REALLY, I probably will compare how many facebook birthday wishes I get to how many someone else gets on their birthday. 

DOESN’T EVERYONE?

DOESN’T EVERYONE AT SOME POINT TAKE A TALLY OF HOW MANY PEOPLE LOVE THEM?

Enough confessions. Let me get to the point of this post.

As we’re (well, some of us,) looking at the story of JESUS AND THE CHILDREN this week, I wanted to look at that concept of love. Yeah, I think that those who brought the children to Jesus loved them. And, I think Jesus loved them. And I think that knowing that we are loved is important.

And fun.

I set out to suggest a great at-home craft idea for folks to do with their children this week. I remembered this idea of a simple scrapbook with photos of family and friends. One photo per page. Each page with the child’s name and the lover’s name inserted.

_________ loves ____________ .

This was not an original idea. So I went searching for a great link with directions and photos to show you. I googled. I pinterest’ed. Nothing.

What? The simple scrapbook’s so old of an idea that whatever link I might have seen one day is now relegated to screen page who knows what of search engine…

I. AM. SO OLD.

Nevertheless. I’m going to tell you right now how and why I think this is an absolute wonderful idea for a child’s treasure.

  • Children love photos of people that they recognize.
  • Children love to hear their name.
  • Children cannot see God and need a way to qualify who and what he is.
  • God is love.
  • Gather photos of friends and family that love your child.
  • Insert them on a page in some computer program. One per page. Microsoft Word works fine.
  • Along with the photo, add the caption (words) that say _______ loves _______ .
  • On the last page write “God loves ______.”
  • Print out the pages.
  • Staple them together.
  • Read them over and over to your child who cannot yet read.
  • Save the “book.”
  • When your child hits the yucky years – adolescent years, teen years, college years, post graduation years, heck: third grade? – and feels they have no friends one day – LEAVE THE BOOK ON THE NIGHTSTAND.

I’ve gone through a few mentoring sessions with high school kids in the last few years. A few times when the young man or young woman have seemed particularly down, I’ve asked them –

“Tell me someone who loves you”

I’ve experienced a bit of depression every now and then. Knowing the truth is grounding when you don’t feel the truth. Ground that truth into them. It matters.

And if the above instructions sound too simple. Too mundane. Too ugly. Congrats! You’re craftier than me. And your scrapbook will look SO MUCH BETTER.

And if you’re a new mom and even those simple insert, type, print, and staple instructions sound too difficult – then you’re in luck.

IT’S MY BIRTHDAY. IT’S MY TREAT. COMMENT BELOW TO BE ENTERED FOR A CHANCE TO HAVE ME MAKE YOUR OWN who loves you? SCRAPBOOK. Comment must say “I want one for —–” and include your contact info!

WINNER ANNOUNCED ON TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24TH! 

At 9a!

Good luck!

And blessings to all.

OH HOW HE LOVES YOU AND ME

Jesus and the NICE KIDS

So a few weeks ago I had this thank you party and I received this pile of thank you cards. cardsIt was pretty obvious which cards had been made before hand and which cards had been done that morning as a Sunday School assignment. two There was also an entire group of cards that contained the exact same handwriting. I love preschoolers – and their teachers!

But it was this card that got me to thinking. nice kids

Thank you for being nice to all the nice kids.

Had I? Had I been nice to the nice kids? Had I been nice to all the nice kids? Had I only been nice to the nice kids? Was this author a nice kid? Or not? ‘Cause let’s face it, this card can be taken a multitude of ways.

Wow. I’m thinking of this card today when I’m thinking over the story of Jesus and the Children.

And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them. Mark 10:13

Do you think that they were just bringing nice children?

Or, do you think that maybe some of them were bringing strong-willed children? Angry children? Sad children? Sick, snotty nosed children? Skinned knees, bleeding children?

Do you think that they were all bringing children small enough to be carried or do you think that some of them were pulling a few along? Do you think that all the children were coming joyfully? Or, do you think that just maybe some of those children – like the ones in the infamous Santa photos that you love – were being a bit uncooperative?

Heck, do you think Jesus was even seated like Santa usually is?

Our visions of these well known beloved Bible stories are often corrupted by common images.

You know the one I’m talking about here. I’m thinking of the one where clean shaven, very white Jesus is seated on a stump – the only stump sticking up from the ground in that field – and children are on his lap and by his side – all smiling, well dressed white children.

Say it wasn’t so.

No, it wasn’t so.

And I think in more ways than one. Because I think that some of the children brought to Jesus were not just browner and dirtier than typically pictured, I think that some of the children were of the not “nice kid” kind.

It does, you know, say that those bringing them were rebuked.

But there are a few things that we can be sure of when we read the account.

  • Someone thought that each one of those children would benefit from a touch from Jesus.
  • And Jesus did not disappoint.

I wonder if the blessing was immediately obvious or if it was only evident inside or over time?

I must confess to sometimes having crossed myself at the communion rail because I, too, wanted the blessing of a touched head and audible voice.

As you share this story of Jesus and the Children this week, I wonder if these things might be true for you –

  • Do you believe that a touch from Jesus blesses?
  • Are you brave enough to bring both the nice and the not nice children to him?

HE DOES NOT DISAPPOINT.