Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Finding Joy in the Unexpected

We just finished our history from 1st grade about a month ago and we ended with Ancient Rome. How great it was, then, when my husband heard and advertisement for an exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art for "From the Ashes of Vesuvius". We thought it would be great to take the boys and let them see the artifacts that were uncovered in the ruins. What a perfect way to end our year and to usher in our study of the Middle Ages.

So, today was the day and we arrived at the museum around 11:15 ready to see the exhibit. Each boy was armed with a notecard with approx. 6 words that I thought would be easily found in the signage and pamphlets about the exhibit. They were told that upon finding all of the words, they would be able to get a dessert at the end of the trip. How cool for them!! (I was patting myself on the back for the idea)

We entered the exhibit with each of them feeling a little antsy (not a good thing for an exhibit displaying ancient antiquities) We looked for words and were finding them and moving along. We came upon some urns that would have been in existence around the time of Christ. What an amazing thing to ponder!!! The boys weren't that impressed (they feigned a little interest) and we moved on.

We then happened upon a small room where a video was being shown. I smelled trouble but apparently the video was a simulated walk through towns surrounding Vesuvius before the eruption. It had captured their attention and they were sitting nicely.

After the movie and awhile later my husband shared with me that my oldest son was very impressed that the Roman Villas had pools in them. Here we were looking at pieces in existence from first century AD, some from around the time of Paul and even Jesus and my son was impressed with the pools in the villas. Perspective is everything!!

Here's hoping you find your joy in unexpected places!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Here I am to Worship...

My youngest son at 4.5 yrs old has the most wonderful desire to sing. He hums to himself throughout the day and love to sing songs he hears on cd's in the car and that he learns via Sesame Street and such. My favorite singing though, comes at night after we've prayed and I'm laying in his bed and he's trying to prolong my leaving his room. It is then that he asks me to sing praise songs with him. His favorite song, by far, is "Lord I Lift Your Name on High". He has been singing that earnestly for many months and is happy to burst into song for others and share is rendition. It is wonderful!!

Tonite, he was pulling out more songs than usual because we have been listening to some of our kids praise cd's in the car. He asked me to sing, "You are Holy". We started the song together and he was singing clearly and sincerely. It was so sweet. Here I was laying in bed with my 4yr old singing praise to God and my heart was melting and the special moment that we were experiencing.

Then it happened. One of those moments that as a mom you love and dread at the same time. Your child is being very sincere and they say something but don't use the exact words that should be used and you find yourself trying to maintain your composure.

The words go like this:

"You are Holy"
(You are Holy)
"You are Mighty"
(You are Mighty)
"You are Worthy"
(You are Worthy)
"Worthy of Praise"
(Worthy of Praise)

We were singing our voices rising together and then we got to the line about being worthy. Well, at 4 my sweet son isn't capable of the "th" sound in words and so it becomes, "You are Wormie". What makes that so sweet and funny is that not only was it not the right word, but "Wormie" is a character, specifically a caterpillar, in a childrens video by Max Lucado. My boys love them and to add to that, #3 has a stuffed "wormie" on his bed each night. So as my son told the Lord of the universe that He is "wormie", I smiled and kept right on singing.

I'm a little envious of my children. Not for anything that they have done but for the pure joy and innocence and clean slate they have right now. They worship without preconceived ideas about how it should be done, what they should sing or worries about singing the wrong words or the wrong notes. Their focus is on singing to God. That's it. I wonder how different things would be in our churches and our lives if we lived more like that. What if, we forgot all of our preconceived ideas and just focused on God. I cannot begin to imagine the changes in the world, but I certainly can see what it does for my boys. Pure Joy!!