I’ve always wanted a tattoo. Three real barriers with that desire:
- Amy does not like tattoos
- I am hairy like a gorilla and anywhere that I legitimately thought about getting a tattoo I have to ask myself how would it show through the hair.
- I can’t decide on what to get.
Now the first two barriers are hard to get around, but the third barrier there’s something that can be done about that!
At one point in my life (freshman year of college at NC State…Go Pack), I thought about getting this on my arm.
Well let’s take a moment and praise God that wisdom prevailed or truthfully celebrate that I would rather have spent the $50 my freshman year on Gumby’s Pizza Pokey Sticks instead of Wolfie on my arm.
As time passed maturity set in, I settled on two scripture references one on each wrist. I already had one picked out. I have always loved the posture of Samuel in 1 Samuel 3 as the Lord calls him. He eventually responds in the last part of 1 Samuel 3:10 “Speak Lord for your servant is listening.” So first wrist tattoo: 1 Samuel 3:10.
For the next one, I waffle back and forth, not really landing on one reference that I would desire to have forever on my arm. I couldn’t really decide on ONE and here’s the deal with a Scripture reference as a tattoo, you better KNOW that Scripture BY HEART! And I wasn’t going to commit to the full sleeve of scripture memorization.
Enter the girls, Z and L, into our house. Amy and I were talking about the last 3 weeks (yes it’s only been 3 weeks) and how “both / and” it’s been. It’s not been an either / or time; it’s been, it is a both / end time. It’s BOTH wonderful AND hard. It’s BOTH frustrating AND rewarding. It’s BOTH tiring AND life-giving. It’s BOTH confusing AND secure. This process, this time with our new daughters is a BOTH / AND time.
Amy and I looked at each other and both said “we are called to this. we will be obedient but it doesn’t mean that it will be easy.”
This along with the Easter season and messages got me thinking about Mary, Jesus’ mother. After visiting with the Angel of the Lord (which had to be TERRIFYING), Mary’s response as a teenager pregnant with The Lord is powerful
And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant[f] of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” – Luke 1:38
I imagine for Mary it wasn’t easy.
- It wasn’t easy when she told her husband Joseph about the pregnancy.
- And from what I observed about pregnancy with Amy, I KNOW it wasn’t easy being pregnant in a hot part of the world.
- It wasn’t easy giving birth IN A STABLE (without an epidural or modern medicine).
- I am sure it wasn’t easy with the pressure of parenting the Savior of the World.
- It wasn’t easy when people said terrible things about her son.
- It wasn’t easy when her son traveled for 3 years and did ministry.
- And of course it wasn’t easy as she watched her son beaten tortured and crucified.
I imagine Mary responding each time when it wasn’t easy and reminding herself that she is The Lord’s servant. And as Scripture mentions at times when it was good (people worshiping Jesus when he was young, the visit of the shepherds and wise men) that Mary stored up all these things in her heart to reflect upon. Because here’s what I know in our lives right now, obedience to the call or will of God does not equal the easy road.
The past week with Z and L have been full of ups and downs for everyone.
- We’ve had a lot of hitting.
- We’ve had biting.
- Madeline’s had tears crying at night that she wants to love Z but it’s so hard because she’s mean sometimes.
- We’ve had yelling, pouting, crying, screaming.
- We’ve had arguments over food.
- We’ve even had the “I hate it here, I’m being bad so you will send me away” talks.
In all things, Amy and I have responded that we are obedient. “We are The Lord’s servant, may it be according to His Word.”
And when we step back and realize that obedience doesn’t equal easy, we can see and cherish the good times, storing them in our heart. Things like…
- The laughter
- Z learning how to ride a bike, 1st with training wheels and now without
- Z learning her letters
- Having both girls say “mommy and daddy” to us.
- Having the opportunity to present the Gospel to Z and her hearing it for the first time ever!
- The snuggles in the morning and at night
- And the opportunities to extend grace and leading our kids in the example of giving God’s grace even when we don’t want to and it’s hard.
And Josh and Amy stored and treasured these things in their heart.
We are The Lord’s servant may it be according to His Word, His Will and His plan. And ya know I think I might just be one step closer to getting inked up…. now only if I can convince Amy to like tattoos.
Praises / Prayer Requests:
- Praise – Easter: We had a GREAT Easter service at Church! Lots of new families! But Guess What?!? Jesus is still Risen this Sunday! Pray for our church staff and volunteers that we serve with the same energy this week as last week!
- Praise – ZOO: This past week was Spring Break, so we took ALL the kids to the Zoo. It was so exciting to see Z and L see these animals for (what we think) was the first time!
- Prayer – Self-Care: Amy and I are still struggling to find margin in our lives and specifically time for just us, individually and together. Pray for wisdom, some great baby-sitters, and the discipline to get out. Pray that the update next week, we are celebrating a date night AWAY from the house without the kids!
- Praise – Hair Care – Amy successfully did BOTH Z and L’s hair and THEY LOVED IT. Unfortunately when Amy combed out L’s hair and didn’t braid it she went outside and fell into a HUGE pile of tree pollen. And if you didn’t know L’s hair is apparently magnetic to tree pollen, so Amy had to re-comb it out!
- Praise – Veggies – The girls haven’t eaten very many veggies in their lives. This week we have gotten Z to eat cucumber, sweet potato, and last night she had TWO HELPINGS of salad.
- Prayer – Financial Support – We have had some supporters jump in, A few at $100/month, some at $25, and a couple at $15/month! Right now we are still looking to meet our goal of $1200/month in new financial partners. IF you are interested in partnering with us financially, please email Amy (email@example.com) or myself (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can get you what you need to know!
- Prayer – The Gospel – Pray that the Gospel and God’s grace would penetrate every heart in our house, flood every conversation, that times when we are frustrated that we would turn FIRST to God’s Wisdom and rely on His strength instead of our own!