Cursed: Cain’s Tale

Here I am, kneeling in the dry, dusty soil. My head in my hands as tears turn the dirt on my cheeks to pathways of clumpy mud.

The air around me feels as dry as the soil under me and the wind burns my skin, as if it is also angry with me.

All in a matter of moments my world has been changed and I do not know if I can bare it.

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“Abel,” I whisper through the tears. “What have I done.”

A part of me still blames him. His body is still warm, lying where I left him; yet I still blame him for what has happened to me.

Abel, or “breath.” They literally named him breath. And that is always how they treated him, as if he was some breath of fresh air. I was their trial run. I was the handful, but not Abel. No, with Abel they could breathe. A sigh of relief that they finally had blessing worth celebrating after they were forced from the garden.

Not my fault they couldn’t keep the one command He had given them.

Then, just like my father, I worked the ground. I’d often hear him grumble. He’d spend time while we were in the fields talking about how much easier it had been in he garden. He didn’t have to work so hard to get the crops to do what he wanted.

I never understood. Farming came easy to me. There’s something honest about working the ground with my hands. I spent season after season in our fields making life from almost nothing. By my efforts I was able to produce a crop 100 times what any of our family could produce.

Now, He’s taken that from me. “When you work the ground, it will no longer yield to you it’s strength.” My life is gone. Perhaps that’s the point. I took my brother’s life, and now He, in a way, has taken mine. Life for life.

Then there was the sacrifice. I don’t work with the animals. I’ve never been able to care for the living, breathing, Abel side of life. There’s no joy to be had in caring for the animals, not that I found.

I thought He’d be happy that I took something I had worked so hard on and sacrificed a part of it to Him. Yes, He had mentioned to our family a sacrifice required blood. He had said to give of the firstborn, the fatty ones, the best ones.

I still brought the best of mine. I just tweaked the command a little. I thought it would be fine, but He showed no favor for me and I hated my brother, the breath of fresh air, all the more. His name tasted bitter in my mouth.

Then, I killed him. Day after day I had dreamed of draining the life from his body. A blood sacrifice is required? How about his blood? As I would work the fields my hands would tremble as the thought of putting an end to his breath played over and over in my mind. Suddenly I realized maybe that was the thrill for him in caring for the animals. Perhaps it was the excitement of the kill.

He came to the field. I don’t even remember if he came to help or to bring news. I saw him from far off and I rushed to him, and before I knew it he lay as my feet. The dust rose from the ground where his body had fallen and for the last time I took in a breath of Abel’s smell. Only now, it was even more sour.

Terror gripped me as I realized what I had done. I needed to cover this up. A wild animal had killed him obviously. Another curse from mother and father’s sin. Really it would be their fault.

I could live with that.

Until He came around asking for his favorite. He asked me about Abels whereabouts, but I now know he already knew. Just as He had when he asked mother and father about the fruit.

He always knows.

Cursed. The land will no longer produce for me as it had. My life taken, and I am to leave. I am alone.

How can I go on? This isn’t fair. If Abel had not been so…

I’m not even sure what he was. I am sorry. I’m not sure if I’m sorry for killing or for being caught, but sorrow is what I feel. I’ll travel east now.

Perhaps there I’ll find new life. Because for now I have none.

It’s Okay To Not Be Okay

There are periods in all of our lives when we face more than our share of troubles. Sometimes it’s one big event. Other times it’s a series of unfortunate events (What? I cant use the phrase too).

I believe we each have a different threshold for trials which happen along.

What may be devastating to one person may only cause another person discomfort for a couple days before being able to move on. It is easy to place our own emotions into a situation and wonder why someone has not, “gotten better,” yet.

On the other hand it can be easy to allow the judgement and perceptions of others to influence what we allow them to see of us. When a friend has said a few times, “oh, that’s still bothering you?” it can be easy to begin to pretend everything is fine while hanging around them.

But it is okay to not be okay.

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Take Your Time

There are some situations in life we are not meant to immediately get over. They take time to process.

It may take time to mourn or fight it out.

You may just be able to take small movements forward in demeanor or in the feelings of hope for the future, but the entire process can take years to really make any, “progress.”

Forward motion is forward motion.

I’m not even sure I want to refer to the process as moving forward or making progress.

Wrestling, or grappling may be a better picture. There are some moments when it appears you are winning.

Winning over the feelings of hopelessness, over the thoughts of regret, or the emptiness left in your heart.

You think you have mastered the situation. You know all the moves that these thoughts and feelings like to employ and you are ready. This sucker is going to be pinned.

In those moments someone mentions how great they see you have been doing. “It’s like you are back to your old self again.” And you feel it! You really are back to your old self.

Then somehow you lose the upper hand. The memories and feelings employ some sort of crafty jujitsu move and all of a sudden you are in a hold and don’t know how to get up.

It could have been a familiar sound, a location you used to frequent, an off handed comment from a friend, or even a smile that triggered a memory so painful it feels like the first pain happening all over again.

It can be so frustrating. You thought you had moved on.

But it is okay to not be okay.

Please do not feel as though you need to rush the process.

Don’t feel bad that you have to cancel plans or aren’t feeling as happy as everyone else looks.

Keep wrestling.

You Are Not Alone

Remember, there are people who are on your side. They want you to be able to get through this situation unscathed, sure. What they really want though is to let you know they care about you.

They are here for you.

Also, even when it doesn’t feel like it, even in the silence, God is there with you as well. He takes no pleasure in our pains. He is not standing on a cloud wondering why you have not moved on yet. He cares so deeply for you and desires to be there with you, even on your worst days.

So take heart. Remember that you are loved.

And remember,

Its okay to not be okay.

Lessons in Chaos

At the end of a long work day all I want to do is sit down with my family around the dinner table and have a nice quiet family dinner.

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For some reason, my four sons (currently aged 7, 5, 3 and 1) have a different idea about supper time. Everyone has stories to tell. They all want refills on drinks after only 2.5 seconds of being at the table.

We spend many suppers with children standing in their seats and making monster noises. There are a lot of quotes being thrown around. They quote the Lego Batman Movie, Teen Titans Go, Super Why, and everything else under the sun.

Honestly I’m impressed anything gets eaten at all and that my wife and I do not walk away from the table without shedding any tears.

All of that is said to point out that our lives here in the Weldy house tends to be a little bit chaotic. Sometimes it is. Or frequently. Alright, almost always.

Which is why one evening (our third child was 2 years old, we’ve become better parents since then) we did not notice that the 2 year old had shoved several pieces of corn into each ear (I have briefly mentioned this in my post Parenting Together).

My wife and I were both sitting at the table. We were engaged in what would appear like conversation with our children. Yet it was not until he got our attention to say, “corn, ear,” that we realized what was going on.

“No, no. We do not put corn in our ears,” my wife reasoned with the wild child.

“Yes! See? Corn ear.”

It was at this moment we realized the instructions had come too late.

We rushed him to the couch and shone a light into his ear canal and discovered our son had kernels deep in there (I’m not sure we ever referenced an ear of corn but apparently the kid wanted one).

We tried using different equipment to harvest the corn but unfortunately farming corn is more difficult than the fields of corn in the Midwest make it seem.

Should we use a sharpened pencil?

What about a toothpick?

Is there anything that we could possibly use to safely navigate this canal?

We were able to get a couple pieces out but there was more in there and we couldn’t get them. My wife ended up taking him to the doctor to see what they could do.

I would have gone but we were already dealing with corn in an ear, I didn’t see the point in bringing a tomato-faced father along as well.

The doctor office found the situation a little humorous and were able to get the remaining pieces out. To my knowledge they did not offer to give them back to our son.

We learned a few things in this situation.

  1. Bad things can happen, no matter what. We can’t spend time beating ourselves or each other up over it. Kids are a zoo and sometimes they legitimately act a bit like animals.
  2. My wife is way more calm than I am when a situation gets a bit stressful. If we are being honest, this is something we already knew, but it just reinforced the truth.
  3. Green beans are probably a better vegetable for our family at this time. Sure, they could break them apart for smaller pieces or could get the seeds out, but they don’t know that yet. So keep your mouth shut.

We adore our kids. It’s chaotic but I cannot properly put into words what a blessing each one of my sons is in my life.

Raising kids is crazy. It will drive a person crazy if you cannot laugh about it. Don’t beat yourself up. Enjoy the moments.

What’s a scary parent moment that later became funny? 

Everything Changed

It’s so cold.

The sun is still shining in exactly the same place is was a moment ago, except now the warm rays must be bouncing around me. Instead of it’s warmth I only feel the judgement it’s rays carry.

Why must the sun be so bright? All it does is expose what is meant to be hidden.

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Hidden? I’ve never been worried about needing to hide before. I’ve been free to run through the garden with the animals. I’ve explored over the land and through the rivers.

We’ve shared this overbearing…no, not overbearing. It’s beautiful. We’ve shared this beautiful world together.

Eve. My wife.

She was a gift to me. We have been working together, tending to the garden. Finally an answer to the longing deep within my being. She was perfect.

Is. She is perfect.

What is happening in my mind? I feel like a battle has been waged and I already lost before I even realized it had begun.

I need to be covered. What if He comes around. What if he sees me?

Naked.

Exposed.

Why had I never realized? How is it possible we have spent all of this time exploring together and not realized how vulnerable we are? I need to be protected.

“I am your protection.” His words resound inside my mind. He had affirmed His constant watch over us during an evening walk. The sun had been enveloped by the horizon and the sky left behind had taken on breathtaking, warm colors.

All of the colors now seem dull. The lush green of the trees appear bland. The flowers which had bloomed only this morning seem to be knocking on death’s door.

The night had fallen after our walk that evening and He had left Eve and I to lay and gaze at the vibrant stars in the sky.

How I wished it was night right now. A night with no moon, no stars. I could hide in the dark easier that way.

Perhaps then He would have more trouble finding us. More trouble finding me.

And what if He did find her? She was the one who tricked me. I was just standing back, minding my own business. We had been tending to the trees in the garden. I’m not sure how we ended up so near that tree. I can’t even remember who was leading who anymore. It was probably her. Yes, I’m sure of it, almost sure.

Then she got talking to that snake. I’ve always had difficulty understanding snakes so how was I to know what it was saying? I just decided to tune it out.

Next thing I know Eve is handing me some fruit which she had already taken a bite of. Just like her to just give me the leftovers. She couldn’t even bother to pick me a fresh one.

Anyway, like I said, I had not even been paying attention and she handed me this fruit to eat. If I did not take a bite she would have been, offended. Yes, offended. It may not have ever happened before but it sounds just like the kind of thing a woman would become.

So, I took it. I felt the tingle of the fruit in my fingertips. I’m not sure how, but it even felt delicious before I took a bite. Then I carried out the action.

Now I’m here. Cold and alone.

There, now I just need to rehearse that a few more times. I’d be convinced of my innocence. I certainly hope He is.

I hear Him now. Maybe I should just hide here in this bush, just in case.

The Value of Rest

We live in a world which values work. Pushing yourself to the max is a virtue.

If a person isn’t working 50-60 hours a week they probably are just being lazy. They obviously need to be giving more to the company.

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Even in the home it can be like this. The kids need to be washed everyday, all floors swept, never dirty laundry around, not a dirty dish in the sink, and on and on.

When someone decides they do not want to take that route with their lives people often look at them as lazy. I have even caught myself thinking like this. Recently I heard a guy who owns his own company talk about how he works about 25 hours a week.

“Must be nice to be lazy,” was the thought I had to fight out of my head. I have been conditioned to value long hours because it is a value of so many around me.

Rest is not equal to lazy.

When I was at my peak running condition (I’m talking post-high school. I’ve never been able to get back down to a sub 5 minute mile) I was pushing myself to run 5 or 6 days a week. Each day I would push myself with different running workouts for conditioning.

I’d spend a day running shorter distances but at a faster pace.

One day I would run 7-9 miles.

Usually one day a week I would do a fartlek. (It’s a Swedish word which means, “speed play.” It also sounds hilarious which makes it easy to remember.)

I’d mix other workouts in there as well but every single week I would be sure to have at least one rest day.

It was not because I just wanted to sit on the couch and do nothing except eating my weight in potato chips. Can you imagine how many bags that would be?

Giving my body a day to rest was just as beneficial to my routine as the days I spent running my legs off.

Without rest I would strain my muscles and end up causing an injury. Rest is an important part of any workout routine.

Rest allows healing

In the running world, healing may mean I give my legs time to recover from an injury, or allowing them to go a day without putting added strain on the muscles. In the long run it actually helps to strengthen them.

It is the same way in our everyday lives. Sometimes we need to take a step back from the business to do some healing.

I’ve seen people who are great at their jobs become burned out because of the constant emergency atmosphere found in them. They run around all day attending to one fire after another. A person can only live that way for so long before needing to step back and breath.

Resting from the business can heal a terrible attitude brought on from fatigue. It can give the body time to heal from a cold we have from not getting rest. It can give some time to allow a storm to blow over from hurt feelings.

We like to believe we can just keep going at the same pace but that is not true for anyone.

Take some time off.

We need to rest. It is a necessity. God gave us the example in the beginning, we find in Genesis that God created everything in six days and on the seventh he rested.

If anyone did not need to take some time off it was God. It’s not like He was burned out. But he was giving us an example. It is important to regularly observe rest (weekly and in seasons of our lives).

If you are hanging on to some vacation days at work, put down for some time off.

If you have been going non stop with the kids, find a trusted babysitter.

If every weekend has been booked for the last six months, schedule a weekend of rest. Let family and friends know you will not be taking part in anything.

Relax.

Sleep

Even sleeping is viewed as lazy.

“I cannot believe she took a nap today. How lazy.” Or she was up in the middle of the night. Maybe she has been working hard for a month and needed a little extra snooze.

Perhaps she has decided instead of pumping herself full of the awake drug (caffeine) she would take a more natural approach to having energy.

Get a full nights rest (unless you have small children. Then sleep whenever humanly possible). When we don’t, our bodies are more vulnerable to illness. Then your body is going to force you to rest and sleep. And when you ignore the illness it only gets worse from there.

Stop living to this society’s standard for success. Busyness and nonstop activity do not equal success. People do not always look out for others which means there are times we must look out for ourselves.

We are so conditoned to work, work, work, we downplay the importance of much needed rest.

Dont do that to yourself. Schedule some rest for yourself today.

You will thank yourself later.

“Finish” the Book Review

I don’t really like starting new things. New is scary.

It’s unknown and uncertain. Taking steps to begin often fills me with anxiety. To be honest just switching the furniture around in the living room makes me feel anxious. But my wife does it anyway.

We all start new things.

I’ve start a workout routine, or diet plan. I have started new jobs. Most recently I started this blog.

Usually I do a pretty good job working on these new aspects of my life for a while. The excitement of working towards being in better shape or a more stable financial situation keep me motivated to push forward.

Then it happens. I mess up. I miss a day running and that day turns into two, then three and before I know what has happened I have not run in several months.

It happened with a blog I maintained a few years back. I began missing days and then I felt like some sort of fraud when I would begin again. I listened to the voice which kept creeping in telling me real bloggers don’t miss days.

So I decided to just quit. If I can’t do something perfectly then there’s no point in going on right?

Jon Acuff, writer and social media guru would disagree. In fact he disagrees so strongly he wrote a book about it.

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Finish, the book.

Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done was written after Jon Acuff and a team did research to find out what kept people from reaching their goals. He dives into his discoveries and uses humor and facts to help his reader keep from falling to the traps which have hindered most people.

It was refreshing (and a bit sad) to read so many people have found themselves in the same boat as I have so many times. It is encouraging to know that I do not have to keep sailing away in that boat.

The reader learns perfectionism is the number one enemy of reaching goals we set for ourselves. Perfectionism creeps around spreading lies and uses sneaky tactics to keep us from pressing forward.

Missed a day of working out? Guess you aren’t cut out to be a runner.

Oh I see you have misspelled a word in this three page essay. A real writer never misspells anything.

Only 2 people have donated to your Patreon? What a failure. Bail ship (There are a lot of nautical references in these waters).

Ive tried reading business books before. Some have grabbed my attention, but the vast majority are hard to wade through. The way Jon mixes in humor makes this an incredibly easy read. It flows and feels like you are having a conversation with a friend.

I love being able to laugh along as I’m learning some incredible truths which will help me finish more of my goals.

I’m already putting the book into practice.

Already this summer I reached a goal of mine because of the help of Jon Acuff and the principles from Finish. I had a goal to write 34,000 words in 8 weeks. I reached and surpassed that goal. Had I not been implementing the things I was learning in this book I would have given up so many times (the first time being only 3 days into the challenge).

The word challenge turned into writing a whole book! I completed something I had only dreamed of doing before!

Of you have ever set a goal for yourself and found that you have come up short or quit, do yourself a favor and buy this book! I promise you it will help you reach more of your goals and help you deal with less regret from never trying to press forward.

This is the most helpful book I have read in quite a while (except for the Bible of course).

As they used to say on reading rainbow, “Don’t just take my word for it.”

Whats a goal you started but never finished? What kept you from the finish line?

Choose to be Better

There has been a lot of devestating news making headlines recently. Harvey and Irma have hit and left their terrible mark in the south. Those two storms dominated much of my feeds as of lately.

As they should. They were terrible storms and so many people are still feeling the hurt of them.

There was another story I happened to just hear in passing though and it broke my heart.

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There was a student in a high school in Washington who came in with a gun and killed one classmate and injured three others.

Yet another school shooting.

The child (he is only 15) says he did what he did because he was tired of being bullied and wanted to teach the school a lesson.

What the kid did was not okay. He took the life of another. There is a family out there grieving a boy they will never get to see grow up.

That’s heartbreaking.

That being said, the actions against the kid are also not okay. I’m not sure what actions or words were used but it was harsh enough for this boy to bring two guns to school in order to do some, “teaching.”

Rise up

We, as a people, need to be better than this. We need to be better than name calling and violence.

Often we aren’t though. We chastise those with whom we do not agree. We belittle the opinions of others with no reguard for how our words are packaged.

We cry out that bullying is not okay, but with those same lips we tear apart political figures, athletes, movie stars, and presidential children. We use the excuse, “well if they can’t handle it then they should get out of the spotlight.” It’s like saying that somehow makes us dehumanizing another person okay.

It’s not.

All it does is leave an example for the more impressionable people (children) to follow. Kids often do not make the same distinctions that we do. They see us acting one way towards a person and learn it may be alright to act that way towards everyone.

Christmas Trees Are Off Limits

In our home we have a strict rule about the Christmas tree. It’s off limits. After it is up and decorated there is no touching,

One reason we did this was because we knew we would be going to other people’s houses (people without small children) who may put breakable ornaments toward the bottom of their trees (how silly). We did not want our kids to be used to touching the tree and have this result in breaking the ornaments of someone else.

We heard the argument, “oh well they can touch MY tree. I won’t be mean.” But my wife and I stood our ground knowing our two year old boy would not make the distinction between one persons tree and another’s. “If I can touch this one, I can touch them all.” It was not a battle we wanted to fight.

They are watching

Kids are learning from us. Which means we need to be better. I understand that being an adult is scary and many of us have come to realize that just because we have turned a certain age does not me pan we now have the answers of life. Somewhere along the way we were convinced this would happen but it never does.

Just because many days I don’t feel, “grown up,” does not give me the excuse to not act it.

We need to be treating other people with respect. Stop picking on people. Don’t call them names.

Just because you disagree with someone’s opinion does not make them less than human and we need to stop acting like it does.

When we do, when we believe someone is less than human, bad things follow, and people die.

It starts with adults, and trickles all the way down. It is your responsibility to be a light to the following generation whether you want to be or not.

It is your responsibility to show them the best humanity has to offer whether you have kids or not.

Make the choice to treat others with respect.

Don’t we have enough to worry about with Mother Nature trying to kill us? We don’t need to be turning on each other.

Stop Settling for Lies

Every single day people share a whole slew of different things on the internet.

News Articles

Family Photos

Cat Videos (Do people still share those?)

An Annoying Amount of Person Blog Posts (I’m not even sorry)

People used to have to travel to locations of trade or commerce in order to be at the center of idea exchanges. Port towns were areas where people from all over would come together to not just exchange goods but ideas as well.

Our social media accounts and connections make a great way to share content with each other without even having to get off our couches. It’s friendly and fun. I am able to find out about people from all around the world because of the shares I see.

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Triggered

There are some posts which bother me though. I’m not talking about the posts where people share about their super special and gifted pet.

I don’t even mean the click bait posts where I have the sudden need to find out what my favorite color says about me.

Not even those, although those posts are up there on the list.

The posts I’m discussing are the posts full of a blatant misrepresentation of the truth, a lie, if you will.

Real Life Example

The other day I saw a picture shared of an area recently hit by a hurricane. In the foreground of this picture we see President Trump, blazing that bright red hat and sassy smirk, wading through the water as he carries two helpless kittens to safely.

Aw, what a touching image.

Except it isn’t. The picture was photoshopped. There was a real man carrying kittens to safely recently, but it was not our president.

In a world where it is often difficult to convince anyone of any truth, posts like these just muddy the water. When we take part in spreading the lie it begins to chip away at our reliabilty.

I saw a post once daring the reader to share in support of “these brave men and women who have served our country.”

What a great idea! We should honor those who serve.

Except the image was still from a humorous movie which was set during a war!

It fills me with such anger to know there are people out there intentionally compiling pictures and articles to deliberately mislead others.

The truth should matter but we have fallen to the lie that it doesn’t. We’ve given in to the idea that whatever is true to me is true.

For instance on the fake image of the president carrying the kittens I pointed out that it was a fake. Instead of responding with, “Wow, I didn’t realize I was sharing a lie, I should probably remove this image,” the response was, “I figured it wasn’t also but good one though.”

What?

A good one? The lie is good? Sharing a falsified picture is good?

No it isn’t. It is a lie. You are participating in spreading a lie.

You know what would be good? Sharing a picture of the President doing something he actually has done. Or even giving credit to the man who was actually carrying the kittens to safety.

Share an image of men and women in the armed forces who have actually served to share support of them.

Be an Advocate of Truth

Even when a lie is shared with good intentions, it is still a lie. We need to stop settling for the lies which are thrust in our direction.

Call them out. Take a stand for the truth. The truth does exist. It really is out there.

Participate in the truth. Investigate.

Many times all it takes is a simple Google search and you can find a reliable source.

Continueing the lie is lazy. Don’t be lazy.

Dont just share information or pictures because it gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling. Share to participate in the spreading of the truth.

Truth can be funny, emotional, and it can incite anger. Truth is a wonderful motivator and freeing to take part in.

Don’t cheapen your life or the lives of others by settling for anything less than the truth.

A Walk in the Garden

Life is great.

Life. What a fantastic word! It rolls off the tongue (which is in itself a fantastic sensation. Oh, sensation. Feel those S’s slip over the tongue and through the teeth.

Ssssssenssssssation.

Splindid!

This is all brand new. I’m brand new. I’m…what did He call me?

Adam! I’m Adam.

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I cannot believe I am the first to be experiencing (oh more   S’s! Wait, maybe it only sounds and feels as an S does. Maybe it’s a different letter. I’ll figure it out later.) all of this.

The sky. Oh, the sky.

So deep. It fills me with such joy I want to leap!

(Rhymes! Wow what a word adventure I’m having.)

If I could I would leap above the trees into that beautiful sky and swim above the earth. Perhaps one day I will be able to fly up there and take in the sights from above.

For now though, I’m earth bound.

Every step is a new adventure. Moss under my feel is cool and soft. It’s a comfort to me. I enjoy standing on the moss in the shade of my favorite tree. I dig in my heals and wiggle my toes into it.

Then there are leaves. Most are still in the trees, giant, green trees, towering high into the skyline. Some leaves fall however and feel simply delightful under foot.

The older ones tend to crunch, splintering across the skin on the bottom of my feet as I make my way forward. The fresh leaves are soft though and if I pay close attention I can feel even the veins of the leaves in the low arches of my feet.

Have I mentioned the wind? There is hardly a sensation comparable. Always a gentle breeze blowing through the garden.

It rustles the trees. The smaller ones shake greatly. The mightier trees gently sway, rocking back and forth. The leaves rustle and wake as the great plants dance in the breeze.

It encompasses my body. My hair is tossed this way and that. The breeze brings smells from far off straight to my nose.

I can smell the sweet aroma of a field of flowers. It is a swirl of scents which all pair perfectly with each other.

I also smell my friends, the animals. They each have a distinct smell and I can sense where they are in relation to my position.

Closing my eyes I stand there in the clearing and let the sun warm my face as the wind greats me with the smells of the world.

The air is always clear which allows sounds to travel miles upon miles. Howls, chirps, and squeals are always present and it makes me feel at home.

Home. What a comfort to be home.

Yet, there is something missing. I’ve never brought it up to Him because I don’t want to seem ungrateful. This world He has made is perfect.

I just wish, I wish…

I want someone to share in all these experiences. I can’t believe I allow myself to even think this way.

Each animal has its wonders. I enjoy sharing in different parts of the world with each of them. But none of them are really like me.

And He is great. I literally get to be in His presence and it is absolutely perfect.

I’m not sure why I’m left feeling in want, yet here I am, wishing for one more thing. I desire a companion, one who is like me.

Someone to talk with, someone to walk through the fields and forest with. I want to laugh with someone and share in the wonders of S’s!

In my beautiful and perfect existence, I’d say that is my only desire left unfulfilled. It’s alright though. I’ll be fine…*yawn*…without it.

I think I’ll head on…*yawn*…over to see what the lions are down.

*YAWN*

Goodness, it’s he middle of the day. Why am I so tired? Maybe I’ll just lay here in this cool, soft moss and rest awhile.

I’m sure…I’ll feel…better when I…wake….

 

I hope you enjoyed another fun fiction Friday! Feel free to like and share!

Parenting Together

I have four sons all age seven and under. Last weekend I was left alone with them.

You read that correctly. My wife left first thing on Saturday morning and did not return until Sunday evening.

(She went to a wedding in Indiana. She didn’t just get fed up with us all…at least, that’s what she told us.)

Before you go feeling sorry for me or the kids, let me remind you of something:

I Am Their Father.

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I am no stranger to feeding children, bathing them, or playing with them. I know the basic human needs: food, water, shelter, and love. Lucky for these hoodlums of mine, I am capable of giving all of these.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner were provided. I changed 5 poopy diapers on Saturday morning. They had drinks throughout the day. Naps were taken. We had a whole lot of fun. And everyone fell asleep (eventually) Saturday night.

On Sunday morning they were all bathed and clothed and we got to church 20 minutes before service started. Achievement unlocked.

Each Person Parents Differently

It is important to communicate with your spouse about the way the two of you will parent your children. The techniques and principles should align pretty tightly on what you would consider, “the big stuff.”

There’s a whole lot in the middle which can vary quite a bit. Your spouse may decide to parent a little differently but it isn’t putting the child in danger, physically or emotionally. It may be best to let those situations slide.

My wife and I have an understanding. We understand each of us takes a slightly different approach to parenting in certain situations.

When I am not around I know she may choose to discipline or reward in a different way than I do, and vice versa. We have chosen to be okay with this truth.

So when my wife needs to leave for a few hours, or even a weekend, she can feel free to do that, knowing although I may approach the weekend with out kids differently than she would, they are going to remain safe in my care.

Accidents Happen

I’ve seen a parent jump down the others throat because a child got hurt while one was away. “This would have never happened if I had been here!”

Which may or may not be true. We had to take one of our kids to the clinic because he shoved about six corn kernels in his ear and we couldn’t get them out. When did it happen? While my wife and I were sitting at the dinner table with him!

We can’t even blame it on being distracted by the tv (there isn’t one in the kitchen) or by our phones (we don’t have them out at the table).

Sometimes kids do crazy things and even the best of parents miss stopping bad from happening.

Extend Grace

Forgive the blunders of your spouse when it comes to parenting, because a mistake of yours is right around the corner.

Choose to let go in the small areas and trust each other.

The two of you are in this journey together so it’s best to be encouraging and uplifting.

And offer to watch the kids. If one parent is at home with the kids most of the time, and that parent isn’t you, offer to give your spouse a break. Whether that’s for a couple hours of needed quiet time or a weekend away.

If you are the parent alone with the kids most often, trust your spouse to provide care.

Plus, it helps grow appreciation for the one who usually does most of the heavy lifting.

“Wow, I understand why our kids being alive is such a victory some days. Great job!” Simple phrases like that can be a great encouragement to you both.

So work together and encourage each other in this wild ride of parenting. Even more, believe in each other that you are both wonderfully capable.

Then show and over show appreciation for what each of you does, because parenting is hard you guys.