Something a little lighter than the last few posts. 😊 My daughter Elaina has been having a hard time sitting in her high chair. She will be two this fall and feels like she is ready for an adult chair. I am not ready for the mess though that would ensue, neither do I want meals to be full of kicks and screams. I was bearing myself for one of the two one morning when Elaina suddenly put Tigger in her chair and I had an 💡.
After some fun with Tigger and Cheerios the real test came – Tigger down and Elaina up. I waved the furry paws and said “All done!”
Would my daughter learn from her tiger friend that the chair was not too shabby of a spot to dine or would I be doomed to screams and kicks again? Dah dah dah! dramatic suspense music soundtrack.
Success! I have to say that part of the idea came from cocomelon, a ridiculously successful YouTube show with songs convincing kids to do things like brushing their teeth or eating five bowls of vegetables for lunch (as if!) There is one line where the parent or older sibling grabs a stuffed animal and says “see, see Teddy likes it too!” and “Good, good _______ is good for you”. Elaina likes singing “good, good booby…”. Her favourite food far above vegetables but we’ll get there.
Anyway, “see, see Tigger likes it too!” worked! Most of the time. We still have some high chair skirmishes but overall there is improvement.
The thought that came to my mind as Elaina sat happily eating in her chair was “sometimes we need a friend to go ahead of us.”
My sister went ahead of me in graduating from our East Van highschool. Our brother went ahead of both of us in getting married and becoming a parent. Today his son turned 13. Teen time!
My husband went ahead of me by 3 months in turning 36. 4 years till 40!
On one very early morning walk with Elaina I found great comfort in the towering ancient boulevard trees. I thought about the many years they have stood through and found serenity in the often frightening journey of being a mom.
Perhaps the most frightening thing that faces a person is death. (Oh shoot, I said I was going to keep this post light.) How mysterious and vulnerable and uncontrollable death is. It is inevitable and common to us all but we don’t know when or how or what will come after. Yes, I believe in an afterlife but I don’t know the details.
So when I start to feel scared, I flip my bible open to John 14 and remember the friend who has gone before me.
“”Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 14:1-6, 8 ESV
I don’t need to know about the details after I die. I just need to know that Jesus is there and that I am safe with Him.
In his 33 years on earth Jesus was also the friend who went ahead in being oppressed, bullied, marginalized, sentenced in a sham trial, betrayed by friends and family. grieving his cousin being murdered by the government, being misunderstood, sharing words of life and watching people walk away and so much more.
I just watched an interview with Cheryl Bear and was wrecked. All of these stories of pain and injustice in recent weeks is a lot for my heart and mind to reckon with.
As my friend said though, it is good to be wrecked and shaken. Shaken to change. Shaken to follow Jesus. The “illegitimate child”, refugee, falsely convicted criminal, the saviour and King, brother and friend who went ahead of us through life and death and life again so that we can too.
I have never said this so openly before on my blog post because fear always drew me back.
I want to offer you the gift of the gospel. In the interview Cheryl said that the gospel- story of Jesus- is meant to be offered as a gift, a seed that can grow in your culture and context.
Gospel literally means good news. Like the news we share on social media because we are so excited!!!! But somehow it has become something I am ashamed of, afraid to share. Feel like I need special training to give.
No more. Here is the gift of Jesus. He loves you. He made you. He came for you. Learn about him. Talk to him through prayer Enjoy and love the people that He made, the nature and animals. Follow the adventure that he calls you on. Live for His Kingdom and not your own. And know that when we fall he picks us up and when we die he will be there and we don’t have to be alone with darkness and regrets. This is just a tiny fragment of the gospel story. After 28 years I am still like a Kindergartener just beginning to learn. Love to you all.