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Monday, October 24, 2011

This Is Kingdom Living

I'm sitting here listening to Brian McLaren's book The Secret Message of Jesus, which I highly recommend. I'm sitting here trying to put the message of his book into a blog post, and was continuing to come up short. How can I possibly put into words the ache in my heart, the ache that longs for us to be living out the message of Jesus right now (versus waiting for His return to set it straight for us). Christ desires for us to leave aside consumerism, turn off the images on our computer and TVs that do not glorify him, and start tending to those in need. My heart is in pain at times longing to live it out myself; and even more, to share it with others. Kingdom living is not about "when will it happen", it is about making it happen now. Making it happen as a body, for each other, for His glory. It is possible, but it must be our focus. So how do I contain all this excitement? I was overwhelmed. I should have known.

I should have known to put my hope in Him. I finish up with Part 2 in the book, flick on my Facebook page, and there it is. Some children from Uganda, that I do not know, spelled out what Christ living is for me. I have no idea their situation, but I bet they know what pain is. I bet these children know what it means to go without. I bet they can relate in the some way to what my son will face as he grows to find out he didn't get to know his father. And so, anointed with the Holy Spirit, my sister in Christ - Roxanne, informed me that these children paused "Kung Fu Panda", prayed for us, made Isaac a 'Happy Birthday Isaac' banner, took a picture, and posted it on Facebook for us.

This Is Kingdom Living! So simple. So impactful. So amazing.

To my friends in Uganda, my love to you all. You have brought me tears of joy, and I am so thankful for that. May God bless you with grace and peace. I will look to you for hope in Christ, that someday I will be able to give back to the Kingdom the way you have done for me today!

You can find out more information about my friends here.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

You Are Not Here

Today we will be celebrating your son's first birthday
And you are not here
He will stick his chubby little fist into a giant cake and create a beautiful mess
And you are not here
He will fumble with wrapping paper as Evie sits close by doing the actual work
And you are not here

He has gotten so big, so unlike the last night you saw him. He is a chubby boy, just like you were when you were a baby. He loves to eat, and does so every chance you give him. He's barely crawling, just scooting around, and reaching out - full of curiousity. Curious and yet so content to watch life going on around with a huge smile on his face. He's just beginning to want to stand, to want to be helped walking. He laughs so much. Laughs when Evie tickles him. Laughs when you make faces at him. He is a sweet baby. He snuggles in when you hold him, and he rarley fusses. He loves the silky's you got for Evie and him, remember his was brown. Saying he loves it is putting it lightly. He gets anywhere near it and immediately curls into a type of ball, head first into the silky side of the blanket. He's whole body seems happier in those moments. Oh and he also does this thing when he gets excited, where he lifts his hands, makes fists, and revs them up (we call it the motorcyle).

I really can't describe how painful it is that you are missing this. How unfair I feel it is. How anger, long since forgotten, has reared it's ugly head once more. One of our friends reminded me this morning that, 'Matt always did love a good party.' And she was right. There will be a smile missing in the room today. A voice a little louder than the others that won't be heard. No one will probably show up in a suit, tie, and hat (and possibly sunglasses). We are having a party today that you would have loved, but you are not here.

I miss you.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Season of Painful Firsts

Emotions are running so high right now. I haven't felt this down since the first six weeks. It's the time of year. The leaves changing, the weather turning cooler. It's that feeling you get when you smell something you haven't smelled in ages, and the memories of something wonderful melt over you with such a realistic sensation; except now the wonderful is tainted with death.

Our anniversary, my birthday, Isaac's birthday, his birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Evelyn's birthday - In that order. These days are flying at me at a frightening pace, and yet time is slowing down. My hearts aches so bad to see him raking leaves, or putting up Christmas lights (this would not be too early for him to have begun working on that display). I want to celebrate Isaac's first year of life, but I also want to hide from it. I want to look forward to what life is bringing, but it's just not that easy.

I heard Evelyn crying last night after saying goodnight. I went back in to check on her, and she was clutching a photo of dad and her riding on the log chute from Nickelodeon Park at the Mall Of America. I broke down next to her. It was the first time in months we had held each like that, and audibly cried out together to God for peace. It felt good, and it felt awful.

"I just want him to come back to play with me the way he used to."

What do I say to that? Her father was a 7 year old living in the body of a 33 year old, wrapped up with so much energy at times it could be exhausting to just watch him, and topped off with more time than any father I've ever known. He didn't care how much he spent on her, or how long it would take to rig up something fun for her. All that matter was that she was happy.

How do I tell her that he wasn't "normal"? That those are the reasons I loved him so dearly, and yet the reasons we often fought so passionately. Most men grow up. Matt fought that, and I suppose in some ways he won. Evelyn was lucky to have got to experience that person. I can't say the same for Isaac, and that breaks me to the core. Matt should be here for his son's first birthday, he just should be.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The First Kiss

As Evelyn and I were getting settled into my new vehicle the other day, we decided to pack the 6 disc CD changer with some tunes we could do some car dancing to. As she is flipping through the discs she spots one with Daddy’s handwriting on it, and hands it to me. I tell her that the disc is full of techno, and I’m not sure she would like it, but she insists.

As soon as I popped in the disc I was thrown back six years into Matt’s entertainment room at the old lake house. I remember one of the first dates Matt and I had. We were spending some of our first moments together as a couple playing a little ping-pong, drinking beers, and listening to techno. Ha, perfection.

I look back at Evie and tell her, “Honey, this is the song your daddy and I first kissed to.”

She was jamming out by this point. She had one finger poking the air along to the bass, as I have taught her to do in respect of her father’s favorite (and signature) dance move. She sort of slows down, cocks her head to the side, and lowers her hand. I thought for a moment I had upset her telling her something so intimate, but then wondered if she wasn't just letting the thought sink in.

“Mom?” Because no question can be asked without assurance that I know she is talking to me . . . even if it is only us.

“Yes, honey”

This is a really weird song to kiss to.

Smile ... Deep breath .... Silent thoughts. “Well honey . . . your dad wasn’t much of a romantic, but I liked it. I asked him to find this song for me, and he did. It was nice.”

“I guess that is nice. But maybe he thought it was a different CD he was putting in, and this one just got put on by accident.”

Confused, but with a smile on her face she slowly raised her pointer finger and kept on doing the “Mattyo”. How she knows what would be a good song to kiss to or not a good song to kiss to is beyond me, but the innocence of her thought brightened my day.

Who’s to say Rock U by Laurent Konrad wasn’t a good first kiss song – It must have been a half alright first kiss song, since he managed to get himself a second.