Not just the click of a button

translate-110777_1920I am horribly monolingual. 

Bob and I spent six years living in married student housing at Indiana University/Bloomington while he was working on his degree, with three little girls in tow, and thus we were surrounded by many cultures.  My dad used to say we lived in a mini-UN.  Our eldest had a map of the globe on her wall, and since our kids attended the university elementary school, we realized that she knew children from every continent save one (Antartica—does anyone actually live there?  BRRRrrrr!) Continue reading “Not just the click of a button”

No excuses this time.

IMG_20150103_172451138When Bob was in grad school at Indiana University, we lived in married-student housing.  He used to call it “the finest in institutional living”…whatever.  With three little kids in tow, I’m thankful we had good playground equipment right outside our door where, from all over the neighborhood (from all over the world, actually) children could congregate. 

My friend (from Brazil) a few doors down had noticed that the sand under the monkey bars was needing replaced, and encouraged me to add my call with our other friends, since the U. had been very slow in responding to the request.playground-648903_1920

One day, I was out with our two youngest right before taking one of them to kindergarten.  Robin has always been the climber; I should have put a football helmet on her the day she was born.  So naturally, when she called to me to watch her new stunt on the bars, her landing was not exactly a “10”, and losing her balance, she hit her forehead on some exposed concrete (that should have been covered by new sand!)

On returning home from the ER with 4-5 sutures and a pending medical bill, I made a calculated phone call to the U. that we were still waiting for the sand, and informing them of the current turn of events.

The sand was there the next day (and I think it was even a weekend!)

In my phone conversation, I never used the word “sue”.  I didn’t have to.  Plus, not being litigious, I never intended to do that anyway.  After all, Robin’s safety was primarily my responsibility.  I had been told about the sand, I should have been closer to her to catch her, I should have inspected the area more carefully, etc.  As her mother, I really had no excuse for her injury. 

The information I needed for her care was available to me.  It’s what I did with it (or didn’t do with it) that made the difference.

“For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.”star-clusters-74052_1920

No excuse!  Ouch.  No claim to victimhood.  No lawsuit again the Almighty.  No declarations of “unfair!”  Someone wrote that, although we cannot know God exhaustively, we can know Him sufficiently.  He has given us proof enough; in fact, in our day, even more proof than what Paul describes in the above passage!  It is our arrogant pride that blinds us, and our slothful distractions that prevent what is eternally important.

BTW, by God’s good grace, all three of my children and I survived their childhood, (as well as their adolescence!) 

Romans 1:20  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Who packed the pegs?

wood 2

A husband in graduate school with three small children in tow—that was life for six years at Indiana University.  We lived in married student housing—what Bob dubbed “the finest in institutional living”—he went to school and worked as a teaching assistant while I muddled through part time as a nurse, sometimes nightshift so that babysitting was minimal, which meant sometimes sleep was also.   Graduate student families are poor, by definition, but again, that depends on whose definition.  Our bedroom was so small, Bob said that if you walked in and fainted, you’d have at least 60% chance of landing on the bed. 

I somehow convinced the man that family Continue reading “Who packed the pegs?”

I’m decidedly mono-lingual

wood 2When my husband was in grad school at Indiana University, we lived in married student housing as a cost effective measure since we had three young’uns in tow.  Bob used to call it “the finest in institutional living”, and my dad got a kick out of referring to our “mini-United Nations” since we lived in a college community with other student-families from around the globe. 

It was truly a great experience, but communication could be interesting at times.  Not so much for me, since I’m from the USA and I.U. is clearly American (unless you ask someone from Purdue, like me, then you might get a decidedly different opinion.)

Because of this multi-cultural makeup, I had the crazy opportunity to learn new languages—

–and I totally blew it.  Sure, I was working different shifts to put Bob through school, tending to three growing children, Girl Scouts, you name it.  But I lost a potential gift of actually being able to converse on a different level.

Here’s an example of two wonderful ladies, one who desperately wanted to communicate, and the teacher who went to great lengths to find a way—

I’m so exquisitely glad that Helen Keller didn’t miss her opportunity.

God also has all kinds of creative ways of communicating with us.  He can find what is just the right kind of lingo/leverage to get through.  But one thing even God has difficulty with (by His own decision) is our unwillingness to believe Him, to believe what He says is actually true.  The first appointment is to accept the Doctor’s diagnosis and treatment—sinful nature, repentance, faith.

Now, Christians get that one, being as how it’s the definition of Christianity and all.  But we tend to get a little hung up on the next part of the communique:

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”

We get caught up in our mistakes, our lack of progress.  Or as my bloggish friend, Dan Ledwith, puts it in his book Rest in the Shadow of the Almighty:

 “We can stop worrying that grace is going to run out. We can admit our mistakes, failings, and shortcomings. They don’t define who we are. We can learn from the past instead of languishing in the past. We don’t have to worry about failing, and falling. We can let go of hurts that others have done to us. God paid for it at the cross. There is no debt remaining to be paid.”

God has made the (supreme) effort to get through to us on every level of existence.  It behooves us not the miss the opportunity to learn (and accept) His communication.

 

2 Corinthians 5:17  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Ledwith, Daniel (2011-01-27). Rest in the Shadow of the Almighty: Discover the Joy that Is found Living Under the Sovereignty of God (p. 167). CreateSpace. Kindle Edition.