30Oct

Soldier On, Weary Parent

image

 

You know those times where you just feel like your kids aren’t hearing you? Like maybe you aren’t really cut out for this job? You wonder how they will ever want to trust Christ when their parents are such wretched reflections? We’ve been having that sort of season. A lot of late night talking, praying, and chocolate snarfing (that last one is mostly me).

Last night, after the kids were already supposed to be in bed, one of the boys appeared at the bottom of the stairs. “I can’t sleep. I’m just… unsettled.”

It took a few questions, but Andrew managed to connect this emotional indigestion to a book the child was reading. He said there was a little boy in it who was lonely and bullied and it made him sad. He felt wholly uncomfortable that someone could hurt in that way.

Andrew tucked him under his arm and sighed. “Yes, Buddy. As Mommy and I get older, the more aware we are of the hurts in the world. The more we see the results of living in a fallen world. It makes us see our need for Jesus and long for Him to come back.”

My boy-child turning man-child hung his head. They talked a few minutes more until the child felt better and began to smile. “Thanks for talking to me, Daddy. It helps. I know that if I come downstairs, I’m guaranteed we’ll end up talking about¬†Jesus.”

Andrew teared up and hugged him. “I hope so, Buddy. I hope so.”

There are days where we throw up our hands and despair that our kids will ever see their need for Christ. There are moments when we feel we are absolutely the wrong choice for discipling these people. But we fall on our knees and keep plugging away… and our kids are watching.

They roll their eyes or pick their toes while we talk, but they hear us. It helps me to know that when I get all tongue-tied, it’s not my magical vocabulary doing the work anyway. We aren’t the ones who change our kids’ hearts. All we can do is point to the One who does.

I tell you this so that we remember not to give up in preaching Christ, in gospel training, in living out our faith in front of our kids. ¬†We’re aren’t perfect and never will be. But we keep marching. We try to stay consistent. Some days, it feels like there isn’t any progress at all.

But like that bed-headed kid reminded us last night: Keep putting one foot in front of the other, weary soldiers. This battle isn’t ours to fight.

Just be faithful, be steady. And keep praying…

 

Share

Movie Magic At Hollywood Studios

Day Two: Hollywood Studios

The equivalent of our Vacation Slide Show continues with a day where we all got to live out some of our favorite movie fantasies…

image

Handy tip: Google “things to ask Disney characters” and keep the resulting list up on your phone for easy access. Marching with the toy soldiers was a huge highlight for us.

image

See? A genuine smile from my non-poser. Big fun!

image

The longest line we stood in was for the Toy Story ride. It was fun, shooting targets AND some quick spins. Plus 3D. Not sure it was worth 80 minutes of in line time, but we all got competitive with it. Andrew proved that sometimes old guys win and pulled out the top score.

image

Mira and I were just in it for the fashionable eyewear. I barely beat her score. And I was trying…

image

A sweet friend got us VIP seats for the Lights, Motor, Action show. Seriously fantastic seats IN THE SHADE for a thrilling show. My boys declared it “Awesome!!” Thanks, DeeDee! (Willa cried at the big explosion at the end, but she got over it quickly. Reassuring her that nobody was maimed and promising her ice cream did the trick.)

 

image

Before the Frozen Sing Along – the event Mira and Willa were most excited about. Willa informed us she’d been practicing for weeks. Mira was happy but did that thing where she’s totally overwhelmed and ceases to emote. I cried, because I’m ridiculous. P.S. A fantastic show and re-telling of the movie, complete with snow. Do. Not. Miss. It.

image

It’s SNOWING!!!

image

The four older kids signed up for Jedi Training. They got to wear capes and practice swinging light sabers before they fought a real life Darth Vader.

image

This is Adam swinging at Vader. My camera died during Ellen’s turn, but as she took the final swing to finish off her foe, she pointed her toe and made a perfect Arabesque. Her ballet teacher would be proud.

image

This little Singing in the Rain tribute with my favorite guy made my whole day.

image

Aunt Abbi and I snuck off to ride the Rockin’ Roller Coaster together. I didn’t realize until we’d been in line for 15 minutes that it went upside down. I tried to pull the “I’m too old for this” card but Abbi wouldn’t let me back out of experiencing her FIRST upside down ride. We had a ball. Smoothest roller coaster ever. I forgot to take into account that nothing at Disney is ever really that scary. Magic…

image

We sent Aunt Abbi off to ride the Tower of Terror and we took a family drawing class. My little artists hard at work on Piglet’s face…

image

This kid followed directions exceptionally well and turned out a pretty decent likeness of my favorite pig.

image

Our crew, minus the thrill-seeking Aunt Abbi, right before we used our fast passes for a rather terrifying evening of lights and fireworks. Note: the Fantasmic light show at Hollywood Studios is probably too intense for the younger set. They focus a bit much on the evil, bad guys. Sure, Mickey wins in the end, but I didn’t need to relive every scary moment in every Disney movie ever before we got to the happy ending. But throw Tinker Bell off Cinderella’s Castle and I’m all over it…

And because I’m all about keeping it real, here’s a video of the smiles (and me blinking furiously) while my sweet baby’s favorite song gets lived out in front of her. She was taking it all in and didn’t react much, but this mama heart did plenty of emoting…

Share