Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Faith of A Child

Life with Rachael has been very exciting.

Life with Rachael has been filled with adventure.

Life with Rachael has been filled with many incidents that are considerably funnier now than what they were when they happened.

While I try to be patient, I'd be giving Pinocchio a run for his money to say I'd never been seething in anger. I think I only actually seethed once, but I have been rather upset at times.

My love for Rachael has always been infinitely more powerful and deeper than any superficial frustration or even anger I may have had over some of the things that have happened.

There are many, many reasons to love Rachael. Tonight, I am going to tell you about at least one.

She is a great mother.

She has taught our children many wonderful things. She has taught them through her actions as well as her words. I believe she has demonstrated an incredibly deep faith in God that has been noticed by our children and manifested in their actions and attitudes.

She has also taught me. She has taught me how to love better and deeper than I ever could have without her. She has taught me how to better live out my Christianity. I think she's better at that than I am, but I'm working on it and I am eternally grateful to live with such a great embodiment of God's love.

We have been living in the same house in Salinas, CA for almost 6 years now. Up until recently, Hannah and Benjamin had shared a room. In addition to this, all three kids shared what we called our toy room. The toy room was a great idea in theory. The theory was that the kids could all go into a common area that would always be nice, clean, and orderly. They would play calmly, quietly, and considerately while listening to Mozart playing in the background. Their multiple intelligences would be stimulated and enhanced.

In practice, it turned out to be a catch-all for junk and toys from all three kids. It turned out to be a fight-magnet. It turned out to be just one and a half steps away from being classified as a junk yard. I am still looking for the ornery kids from the neighborhood that incessantly brought all of their trash and toys over to our house, snuck in the window in the middle of the night, and used our toy room as their own local refuse pit. At least, I'm sure that must have been what was going on, because a typical conversation went something like this:

"Rebecca, there's trash all over the floor. Can you please pick it up?"

"Umm, Dad, that's not mine. I think it's Hannah's."

"Hannah, there's trash all over the floor. Can you please pick it up?"

"Dad, that's Ben's, not mine."

"Ben, there's trash all over the floor. Can you please pick it up?"

"But, D-a-a-a-a-a-d. It's NOT mine!"

This same conversation was repeated when it came time to put the toys away as well. Except for one slight variation.

"Ok, if no one wants to pick up the toys, I'm going to just throw them away."

You could see the looks cross their faces. Each one trying to decide if they really cared about the toys in question. If no, they were more than happy to let me clean up the room for them. Even if they DID care about the toys, you could still see the hesitation, as they thought amongst themselves, "I wonder if _________ likes these toys too. If so, I can maybe wait awhile and they will take care of them for me."

The entire time, I'm staring at blank faces, wondering if I should have me kids checked for possible amnesia.

Most of the time, the amnesia seemed to clear right before the toys were thrown away. One of them would suddenly remember that the toys did belong to them and they'd rush to clean them up.

The plan had always been that when Hannah and Ben got older, we'd separate them, one would stay in the bedroom they currently shared, and the other would move into their own bedroom, and we'd no longer have a toy room.

That was a plan that came to fruition a few weeks ago. Hannah came to us to let us know that she was ready for the big move.

After a lot of hard work, mostly by Rachael, we were almost set.

That's when we discovered that Hannah would no longer have a dresser. She and Ben had always shared a dresser, but now they would be on opposite sides of the house. Ben would keep the dresser they had formerly shared, and now Hannah did not have one. We did not have the extra money to buy a new dresser and had not had time to go to yard sales that day, as our primary focus was on the big move.

The big move took place on a Saturday, not long ago. That night, we said prayers with Hannah. She prayed her normal sweet, innocent, regular prayer that she says every night. But, in addition, she said, "Dear God, can you please send me a dresser for me to use in my new room?"

She said this so sweetly, so innocently, with the absolute pure and beautiful faith that we as grown ups seem to somehow forget, or at least have a really hard time finding after a busy day of dodging bombardments from the devil. She prayed with total faith, total confidence in her God. Rachael was the one that actually prayed with her, but she told me about the prayer.

Now, me being the adult that I am, I knew there was no way God was going to magically reach down and place a dresser in Hannah's bedroom. When I went to sleep that night, I did not expect to wake up in the morning and find a dresser in her bedroom. I figured that God would probably only answer that prayer if I decided to take some money and use it to purchase a dresser for Hannah. In fact, I was mildly concerned that Hannah's faith might be challenged a bit if and when God did not answer her prayer. I did not want her to wake up, go though the day, and be surprised to find out she still did not have a dresser.

The next day did turn out to be quite a surprise. Come back tomorrow to find out what happened.

Click here for part 2!

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