Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Celebrated 8 years of marriage

J again wanted to start off the morning with the elephants of the Jungle Book. It's a funny new phase he's in, marching around the room while it plays. I had to do some work on the computer so I also let him watch the Veggie Tale Pistachio which is like Pinocchio. It had a good lesson about listening to your parents so I have been able to remind him of that when he's needed it. I ordered some flash cards in the mail; one for numbers 1-25 and the other for colors and shapes. He really liked playing with these. He wanted me to play cars with him so I did a little of that and then he asked to do some painting. He did two different paintings with his finger paints with me putting the blobs of paint on the page and he'd swirl it around. We also spent some time with his new mini jars of Playdoh in a variety of colors.

After lunch, I thought we'd go outside and feed the birds. It turned into a learning exercise as J wanted to get involved. I had him use the scoop and transfer the seed from the container into a small bucket. Then he followed me to the backyard and I filled up the feeders.

In my time with the Lord, I read Matthew 27:62-64 (reading To Live is Christ by Beth Moore). In our study, says Beth, there are 3 groups within the Judaism of Saul's time. The Herodians, the Sadducees and the Pharisees. John 12:42 tells us "Many even among the leaders believed in him (Christ). But because of the Pharisees and those against him, they hid their belief. (Verse 43) They loved praise from men more than praise from God. At times we too are silent about our belief because we want others' approval. God help my weakness! I know I fall into this too. Beth reflects on how the Jewish leaders among those responsible for Jesus' death were so blinded by self interest that they were willing to betray and murder him, simply because he was a threat to their power. She says to think of a time when because of your own self interest you rejected God's purposes for your life. I took some time to think about this and one did hit me. I thought about the times that J comes up to me and I say "I'm busy" but yet sometimes I really could stop. I can see how this can be one of God's purposes, sending an opportunity where I can nurture and encourage J in those times instead of putting him off. Truly there are times that won't really work, but I'm glad this came to light. I also have this realization about my prayer life with my husband. It had been a daily occurrence, sharing a bit about what's going on and then praying together before he left for work. Ever since he went to summer hours, that hasn't been happening. We haven't made it a priority to carve out a new time for prayer together. Beth shares that as we seek to understand the heart of this Jewish Pharisee Saul, we know he too was with the Pharisees in their desire to see Jesus killed. In the chapters to come, we'll see God's power at work moving Saul from enemy to servant of the Lord.

After dinner, I had a get together with my friend Cecile from life group. L offered to watch J so that we could meet. She's desired for a long time to get into a deeper relationship with other women in the church body, but it hasn't happened. We think this may be a good opportunity for us getting together regularly on that level, for accountability in our spiritual growth. We met tonight to talk about our expectations, what we'd like to focus on and what we desire from it. Then we used the rest of our time to start sharing and then taking time to pray for one another. It has been so long since I've had this type of relationship that I forgot how refreshing it is. I was driving home just really encouraged and with a lighter feeling in my heart.

In the morning, J was playing with his flash cards again and wanting the elephants from the Jungle Book. After menu planning, I took J to get the week's groceries. We also stopped at Walgreens to buy some things for kids that need school supplies, a way we're serving through our church. I have to say J was so good and so patient while I hunted things down from a long list of supplies. He started a whispering game where he's see something on the shelf and whisper its name and I'd repeat it. Then we'd have a good laugh about it. I loved it. Finally, we got home and had lunch and then J spent time coloring, playing with his little people and lining up his firetrucks. Later, we went to the library and picked up a few more things. He started having a huge melt down as we were checking out so he went right down for his nap once home.

In my devotional time, I read Acts 7:1-8:1 a chapter Beth entitles Finding the Way. She says god's word does not tell us what we want to hear, but what we need to hear. In this chapter, we're looking at Stephen, a passionate follower of Jesus being falsely accused by the Jewish leaders. Saul listened to his speech and then gave his approval of his death as Stephen was stoned; the first Christian martyr. Stephen says in verse 7:60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." This reminds me of Jesus on the cross, as he asked his Father to forgive his killers. This is so powerful.

Today, my husband and I celebrated 8 years of marriage. Our friends kindly offered to take J while we went out together. We dropped him off and my heart was wrenched as his little face fell when we were saying goodbye and he got teary. On a recommendation, we went to Madison's Shish Cafe, a Mediterranean restaurant that is way too good for the dull shopping mall it's squeezed into. The food was just incredible as we ordered the sampler plate for two. Things like hummus, tahini, grape leaves, chicken and lamb kabobs. Mmmmm...we'll definitely be going there again. We had some fun recalling some of the highlights of the last year of marriage. Then we went to State Street and took a nice walk. Stopped for some cheesecake ice cream with fresh blueberries and then walked down to the lake to finish our stroll. J ended up having a great time and was in such a happy mood when we got there. He continued to play and grabbed my hand so I'd join him. Playing chase in and out of the kitchen, stacking pillows that he'd fall into and then Cecile played the accordion for us. A very enjoyable evening.


tea said...

That picture of your little boy is so cute! :)

Happy Anniversary!! I get so excited hearing other people talk about their anniversaries. It's just such a special thing!

Tracey Monroe said...

Thanks, Tea! Yes, it is special.
It's so rare to catch him laughing like that. Our friends who watched him for us took it with my camera that was in my diaper bag. I found it once I got home!

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