Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sunday Dinner

I don't know if it is a common phenomena among 2-and-a-half-year-olds (I suspect it is, particularly the female variety) but there are suddenly not enough hours in the day for Audrey to convey her copious and elaborate thoughts. In the words of Nie, "That chickie's got a mouth on her."

Last night on our way home from Grandpa and Beppe's, Dutch asked how she was feeling (she had a diaper rash which was causing her discomfort). She said, “I alright, Dad. Just give me some space, o-kay?”

Her favorite declarative statement of late is: “It’s your choice!” (I often use this phrase when disciplining Audrey, saying it is "her choice" whether to obey and avoid a consequence or disobey and receive one.) During Sunday dinner she leaned over my plate and asked if she could sample my chicken. I told her yes and she loudly proclaimed, "Oh, thank you, Mom! It's your choice!" Yes, it is my choice, I told her. "May I have some of your chicken, Dad?" she shouted across the table. "You may if you finish what's on your own plate," Dutch said. "Oh, thank you, Dad! It's your choice!"

She guzzled the remainder of her water and frowned. "Oh, I need some more water, Mom. You get me some more water, please?"

As I refilled her glass, she said, "Oh, thank you, Mom! It's your choice!"

When she refused to eat her chicken and asked for a popsicle instead, I finally got my turn. "If you eat your chicken you can have a popsicle."

"Oh, I not want to eat my chicken!"

"Well, don't eat it. But then no popsicle. It's your choice."

Silence while Audrey resumed eating.

I began telling Dutch how moved I was by the day’s Scripture reading … I had read about how the boy Christ went missing for three days and when his parents finally found him he was sitting in the temple listening and answering questions.

When his mother asked him how he could do such a thing he said, ‘Didn’t you know I would be in my Father’s house?’

Tears filled my eyes just thinking about it.

Audrey looked up from her plate. “Oh,” she said, “you sad, Mom?”

I shook my head.

“Be happy, Mom!”

“I am happy, sweet. I just want to be God’s daughter.”

Audrey waved her hand dismissively and went back to her food.“You – you talking to Daddy and you okay.”

I looked back at Dutch and smiled ruefully. “That’s what I want if I go missing… for people to know to look for me in my father’s house instead of the magazine aisle at the grocery store.’

Dutch smiled.

“I realize, I want simplicity to mean that my life is simple. That I have no obligations except to sit all day at the feet of Jesus. But instead my life is full, and filled with complexity. The trick is, to abide in Him amidst the turbulence of
life and not just in moments of calm.”

“It isn’t easy,” Dutch said. “But it is pretty simple. We are His sheep and all we have to do is listen for His voice.”

In her book, Becoming a Woman of Simplicity, Cynthia Heald writes, “My concern is that we live in a world where doing, communicating, and possessing so rule our lives that we have allowed even good things to overtake our time and distract from the best.” I read the quote aloud to Dutch and expressed my deep desire to orient our lives in such a way that we are making time for the best things.

Dutch looked around at the empty dishes, the chirping two-year-old, and the candle with its flames flickering in the darkness ... "I think this is one of the best things," he said. "Thank you."


Lindsay said...

I think we need to get our 2 yr. olds together!! What a riot it would be to listen to them communicate! Brody's new favorite thing to declare when he doesn't want to do something is "No, that's bored!"

rebekah said...

hi heather! it's rebekah, kathy's friend in TN. i check the blog occasionally but she sent this specific post to me. it brought tears to my eyes as God has been speaking similarly to me. That sitting with Him is much more pleasing to Him than what i do for Him! we're reading a great book by swindoll, so you want to be like Christ? it nails me as i've been in a hard season but now a season hungrier than ever to be like Jesus! thank you for sharing your heart; it's a treasure!