This has been a “win” week in ministry. Don’t get me wrong — every moment of serving Christ is a “win” and an immense privilege. But there are “win” weeks full of encouragement, where people are learning about Christ, life change is happening, and we see more potential for His glory in the congregation than we saw the week before. And then there are weeks when people are only concerned about things like the color of the hymnals, what we should serve at the next potluck, and how to get those unruly teenagers to stand up when we sing as a congregation. (These are just examples. The issues we’ve seen recently in ministry are even more petty and insignificant. If you can believe that!)
But this week? Has been a “win” week! We’ve been encouraged, people are seeking God, and great things are happening. We know it could change at any moment, but after a series of discouraging weeks, we’re thankful that it’s been a “win” week. I’m encouraged to remember Job’s words, as life was seemingly falling apart around him, because the Lord had allowed it to happen — “Should we accept only good from God and not adversity?” (Job 2:10, HCSB) I have to remember that as trials come, times are tough, and the people of God sometimes don’t act like they’re redeemed in any sense of the word… well, God allows it. He allows the good, He allows the bad. And we’re learning as we strive to serve Him in both situations — “win” weeks and definite “loser” weeks (ha!) — that we do what we do because we want to honor Him. And He WILL be honored.
Ana, Emma, and I have been busy bees around the house, packing away clothes that they’ve outgrown, reorganizing dresser drawers, and clearing out closet clutter. The new organization is making life a lot simpler, but it sure did take a while to get it all done.
Ana has started to express an interest in dress up clothes and shoes. She wore one of Wes’s undershirts around the other day, putting it on over her clothes while I was folding laundry. (She also put on some of my clothing, but I will refrain from telling you what the particular item was since I’m just that modest.) She has a pair of princess shoes that she walks around in, and she loves to strike a pose in them and say, “Mommy, look! Princess shoes!” Sigh. They just grow up too fast!
Emma is also growing up. I hesitate to write this, not wanting to blemish your mental image of a smiling, easygoing Emmy… but we’ve turned a corner. When Ana finished up her lunch yesterday, I gave her a ginger snap for dessert. Emma, who still had a chicken nugget to go on her own lunch plate, immediately started wanting one as well. I told her that she had to finish her nugget. And thus the waterworks began, with added audio (ie earsplitting screams). On and on she went, until I handed her the nugget, thinking that she didn’t understand. She flung the nugget across the table and screamed at me. Oh, dear. Wes was taking his lunch break at home with us, and as he did with Ana at this age, he took her out and had a little chat with her. She came back, took a bite of the chicken nugget, and exploded again when Wes told her that she had to take just one more bite. He’d hand her the nugget, she’d fling it, he’d spank her hand, she’d cry/scream as though he was breaking her heart, etc. Over and over again. He finally took her out one last time, and when he brought her back, she took the final bite, prompting cheers from everyone at the table (including Ana). She got her ginger snap… and we got a little preview of the year ahead. Ana still has her moments, but we’ve seen a big change just this past month in how she’s able to calm herself down. She starts going over the edge, looks for our reaction… and then calms herself down. Praise God! So, we’re thinking that this is normal for the age, and in another year’s time, Em will have a better sense of what’s appropriate/what’s not appropriate, how to verbalize her needs, and how to just deal with it when she doesn’t get her way. I don’t anticipate watching/helping her learn all of this in the year ahead, but I’m encouraged to know that it DOES work. Ana, even with her moments, is proof that they learn and mature and can still come out sweet and thoughtful even if they do have a nugget-flinging season in their lives.
That’s about it. Hope you’re having a great week!