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Archive for October, 2009

Oct 31 2009

Will They See God?

Posted by Mugs @ 12:51 pm in Devotional

By Mugs Manry

“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

Mark 10:15 (NIV)

I watched my five-year old son squirm as the doctor listened to his heart. He tried to sit still, but today was his Kindergarten physical, and the stethoscope was cold. I distractedly listened to the doctor, but in the back of my mind I was rehearsing the “why we need vaccinations” speech I would soon be giving to my son. “Your son has a heart murmur,” the doctor said.  These words finally broke through my thoughts. I had heard these same words many years before concerning my eldest son, now a teenager.  At the time, those words had generated panic and fear, but now I received them calmly.

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Oct 28 2009

It’ll Dry

Posted by Mugs @ 8:32 am in Family

Periodically I reenact a scene from earlier in my life. The main difference in the scene is that I am now cast in another part.

This morning Abby picked up her school sweater (jumper) that had been hanging on the back of a chair to dry. She touched the sleeves and realized they were still damp. She informed me, “The sweater’s not dry.” Being a mom, I replied, “It’s not that wet, just put it on.”

So, she put on the sweater and stood with her arms held disgustingly away from her body and gave me the look that all thirteen year old girls give their mothers when they obey their mothers full well knowing to the very core of their being that their mother is wrong.

I replied to this look with the standard Mom phrase, “It’ll dry.” I had already said this to myself earlier that morning as I was hurriedly stuffing a running shirt into Josiah’s gear bag.The shirt was damp, “It’ll dry,” I told myself.

Because I am a mom, I  was thinking of her spending an entire rainy, foggy day at school without a sweater to keep her warm. She had just recovered from two days of illness after getting soaking wet and cold at a party. In my mind, she needed her sweater…be it wet or dry.

There are always moments in a scene when you can step back from the edge of mom thinking madness, but it is so very hard. So instead of saying “Don’t wear the sweater,” I gave her a ridiculous mom solution. “Go upstairs, get the hair dryer, set it to high and dry the sleeves.”

Oct 27 2009

The Bright Leaf

Posted by Mugs @ 8:19 am in Nature

The rain tries to wash the beauty away

The leaves of red and gold and orange

They lay upon the soggy ground

Broken, battered, torn

Yet, their beauty glowing above or beneath

Refuses to submit to the gray

They shine brightly still

On this dreary autumn day

Oct 26 2009

My Stomach Hurts

Posted by Mugs @ 9:10 am in Family

When children attend Kindergarten, they quickly learn new phrases. They hear their classmates use a particular phrase, then observe the response the child receives after it is spoken. They store up this knowledge in their little heads and soon try this new phrase out on their parents.

After attending preschool for a month, Zeke began to tell me “I have a headick.” I was a bit suspicious of this phrase since he only used it immediately after I asked him to do something he did not want to do.  Over the course of time, he came to realize that “I have a headick” was not generating the desired response.

Therefore, he was happy to arrive at Kindergarten and discover the more powerful phrase “my stomach hurts.” Parents cannot ignore this phrase as easily as “I have a headick” for fear the child may actually throw up, or as Zeke would say, “get the throats.”

Yesterday, Zeke was at the piano playing his new practice piece with his right hand only. He is supposed to play: 1. Right hand only 2. Left hand only 3. Both hands together. However, he does not like this practice order. He would prefer to play only the right hand, so he can focus on singing along with the tune, LOUDLY.

I walked into the room and told him he also needed to play the left hand and then both hands together on the song. To this statement, he replied, “my stomach hurts.” I found it remarkable that his stomach only hurt when he had to play the left hand. So, I told him he had to play it anyway.

He started his left hand practicing, but it was not going very well. Not believing this was evidence of great pain in his stomach, I went to find reinforcements. I found Josiah and told him to go and help Zeke with his practicing. Josiah looked up at me and replied, “my stomach hurts.”

Oct 22 2009

Where Do Library Books Hide?

Posted by Mugs @ 9:32 am in Family

If my life were a play, the audience would watch me reenact various scenes over and over again. One of those repetitive scenes played out again this morning. The scene could be titled “search for the missing item.” This morning, I searched in increasing irritation for a “library book about dogs,” which is due today but will not be returned, for I could not find it.

I have begun to suspect that library books hide more diligently as they sense my irritation increase. They burrow farther under the covers, improve their camouflage beneath a pile of toys, hide quietly on a random book shelf, and visit rooms they should not.

As I search, I ask myself these questions: Why is this house such a mess? Why do we have so much stuff? Why can’t anyone put anything away? Why am I the only one who can find anything? Sometimes these questions stay in my head and sometimes, I must admit, I ask them loudly.

When I begin to search, my family has learned there are two choices: Search with me or Hide yourself as diligently as the library book. Every member of our family has lost something that I must search for, but none of the others lose things as often, or with as much flare as my eldest child.

Yesterday morning, I asked him where his school binder which contained his agenda, schedule and accompanist music was. He replied,”On the bus.” Now, keep in mind, he had ridden the bus to school the  morning prior. However,  because of cross country practice, he had not ridden it home.

When questioned as to why his binder was on the bus, he relayed the following tale: His binder kept falling off his seat onto the floor and he got tired of picking it up. So, he left it on the floor and told himself he would pick it up later. The bus arrived at school, he got off the bus, and the binder (hidden from sight in imitation of a library book) stayed on the floor.

So yesterday, I watched Josiah get on the bus and ask the bus driver if she had seen the binder. She shook her head no. I watched him slump into his seat and look at the floor. I watched him sit up without a binder and avoid looking at his mom for fear of the stink eye.

I drove home with this list of instructions of how to find the binder in my head. 1. Look under every seat on the bus. 2. Ask every single kid on the bus if they had seen it. 3. Go to the office and look in every lost and found box. 4. Find a responsible kid to search for you.

The binder was not the only thing he had forgotten that day. He had been given his accompanist dress uniform by the choir director. He placed the uniform next to his back pack on the gym floor and went to cross country practice. Then, after practice, he picked up his backpack and left the uniform behind. Thankfully, a teammate ran the uniform out to the car before we drove off.

So, I prayed as I often do, “Lord, show him grace once again and let someone else find it for him.” This prayer is very effective where Josiah is concerned, for a  girl in his class had found his binder and when she got on the bus, she handed it to him.

During the marriage conference last weekend, Dale and I were told, “there are some things that your spouse or your child cannot or will not change.” Dr. Chapman says his wife can only open drawers and doors, and therefore it is his job to close them. Dale and I have finally accepted it is his job to turn on lights and my job to turn off lights. We will no longer argue about lights.

Putting this concept in to practice, I have now come to realize it is my husband and children’s job to lose things and it is my job to find things. Of course,  I could do my job more effectively, if I could just discover where library books hide.