So I live in the plains. It’s super hot here in the summer. And we get these pop-up summer thunderstorms that are like cold drinks of water out of the hose after playing in the sun. Today was no exception and it stormed hard. My son and I stood out in the rain and just soaked it up – literally. I stood out there just letting the warm rain drop down on me and wet my skin and I just prayed, “Thank you Jesus,I love this. I just want to treasure this as much as possible.” And then the chance came again this evening as I snuggled up by the window, blogging and listening to the rain and thunder, sounds of thunder.
Drip down, O heavens, from above, And let the clouds pour down righteousness; let the earth open up and salvation bear fruit, and righteousness spring up with it. I, Yahweh, have created it – Isaiah 45:8
Any fellow parents will know what I mean when I say, parenting is a journey. God parents us so much as we parent our kiddos. We grow up more and more each day as our own children. It was last January, my wife and I are sitting in the restaurant in this little B&B out of town. It’s really cute, hidden back in the trees. Dinner was dress up, suit and tie and little black dress. It was 6pm and already dark outside with wisps of snowfall from last week on the ground. Snacking on our appetizers and talking about what we wanted to do this year, with God, with our family, etc…I looked at her and said, “I want to be a more patient man. In fact, this time next year I want you to look at me and say, “Joel, you are a bastion of patience!”” God heard this desire and has taken me to task on it since.
Enter interruptions. The day is winding down. In our house the distribution of parenting falls to me for bath time and Bible time; story time for mama. I come up to my little nook, sit down and starting blogging. Ready to relax. So this storm has been going on for a couple hours now and over dinner we mentioned that we hope the power doesn’t go out (it frequently does at our house when the wind blows above a whisper). Since I sat down, my little man came up the stairs twice as I was writing the third paragraph just to inform me about the power maybe going out. “Dada, I saw one light flicker a wittle and if it goes all the way out I call you, k?” (That kind of 3 year old talk makes me melt by the way) You know this moment…when you’re all set to have me time and instead it doesn’t turn out like that. It gets interrupted. My flesh immediately processes that with some mild frustration, but a parental willingness and understanding to go along with whatever is going on with my kiddos. But, I’m missing something in the moment. I’m missing a touch of joy.
Enter phase 2. I go down to read the Bible story to my fam before brush teeth time and tuck ins. I ask little man what he wants to choose for Bible story. He picks Nehemiah. So I start reading Nehemiah, stretched out and hovering over my pregnant wifey’s legs like Tom Cruise in the CIA vault in Mission Impossible so both my kiddos can see the pictures. We are caught in the epic point of Nehemiah praying to God before the powerful Artaxerxes, the balance of Jerusalem’s fate hanging in the balance, literally the eye of the spiritual hurricane…and I hear a little voice singing,
“My grandpa and your grandpa, sitting by the fire.”
Little man, who chose tonight’s story, is singing a song, totally tuned out. (btw in Grown Up English it’s sung as, “My Granma set your Grandpa’s flag on fire…”) So cute.
Holy interruptions. How do we deal with them internally? I’ve noticed that I think I have the appropriate outward response, well most of the time, to my kiddos and their interruptions, but how do I process those moments internally? And I realized as I stood under that luscious summer rain, drinking it in, that I had this blockage in my heart. I couldn’t fully enjoy it. I couldn’t because while I may be doing well on how I respond outwardly, how I process stuff internally doesn’t always match up with total exposure and release to God.
I am a work in progress for sure. I think I took a little bit of a step forward this weekend. I think God is my biggest fan. I think he believes that I can reach that mark by next January as the most patient person my wife has ever known. I think God even gave me a little nudge on that. As I was tucking my princess in for bed she said, “Daddy, will you teach me about grownup stuff?” “Okay, honey, sure, what kind of grown up stuff do you want to learn about?” “Oh you know, like parenting? Could you teach me how to be a parent?” I smile in my heart. “Sure baby, tomorrow after work I would love to teach you about that.” Yeah, my Father believes in me. He believes in you too, wherever and whatever you are working on tonight with him. He knows you can do it, as long as we love him, walk with him, and let him lead us.
God bless you from me, from the rain pouring down outside with the lightning. The wind even kicked up a little bit. The power is still on by the way. Good night 🙂