Even Pharoah Doesn’t Always Get What He Wants

The audacity of some people surprise me.

Here I am Pharoah of Egypt, ruler of this great country. I have everything a man could possibly want.

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What an interesting concept: “wanting.”

Typically I am never left in that state very long. I like to think of my wants more of commands. If there is something I see and want it, that thing is then mine.

A continued state of wanting is left for those of a common birth.

All I see in the land of Egypt is mine for the taking.

Which is why I never thought anything about taking the beauty which was Sarai.

I knew nothing of her coming into my land. Many people travel to and from this beautiful land, and who can blame them. I am surprised the entire world does not move to be under my command.

The land is fertile and beautiful. It provides for my people in the way I command it.

Anyway, Sarai, Abram, and their possessions came into Egypt randomly one day. I am still unsure of their plans but my men began to praise the woman to me.

They told me of her captivating beauty and her sweet gracefulness. When she left my men’s presence they were left in wanting.

I had to have this woman as my own. She would come alongside me and if all went well she would become my favored bride.

When I first laid eyes on her I knew I would never let her go. Abram introduced her as his sister, that arrogant beast of a man. All the things my men had told me of Sarai were true so she came into my home.

It felt odd, the departure of Abram and Sarai as she grasped his hand until they reach was extended to the max. But I was too enthralled with her to be concerned with the parting of siblings.

I gave the man many gifts which would appease any man of his standing. But for the woman I granted any of the treasures of my kingdom.

It was true what my men had said. Whenever I had to leave her presence I only thought of when I could see her again.

Then the plagues began.

Sickness and death spread quickly throughout my palace. The only one not affected was Sarai. I called her to my bedside to explain what curse she had placed on us.

With tears streaming my face, I asked her why this was happening.

“Great Pharaoh, it is not of my doing, it is of God’s.” Her words caught me off guard.

Even as her voice spoke of treachery, it still sounded as music to my ears.

“Abram is my husband. He had me lie so you would spare his life.”

Even in my weakened state I felt the urge to kill the man right then and there. It was only by the sweet words of the beauty beside me and her hand on my hand that Abram’s was spared.

I made them all leave. I sent them from not only my presence but from my land.

It pained me to see Sarai go. But I would have no other great power working against me in my kingdom. There is no god but Pharaoh here and I will not have that undermined.

It was not easy sending her away, but the object of my desire would have undone all of my greatness, and I would not have that.

I hope the man Abram either dies a dishonoring death or he becomes a more dignified man for his own sake.

And for the sake of the great blessing he has in his wife.

It’s Okay to Not “Feel” the Music During Service

I’m pretty sure the love of music is universal. There may be different musical tastes but I would say there are very few people who would say they hate music in any of its forms.

I have always enjoyed listening to or playing music. One thing I have rarely enjoyed though is going to a concert. I do not really care to watch a band perform music that I can just listen to on the radio. I’m not real sure what the appeal is to actually going to a concert.

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That being said, I have enjoyed the few Relient K concerts I’ve attended. Recently, I also attended an orchestra which I thouroughly enjoyed.

I was actually moved to tears during the first song.

Music has a way of taking what we feel and expressing those feelings when we are finding it difficult to do so. Listening to the right song at the right moment can be quite liberating.

Music has become a large part of our church services as well. I believe the allure to it is it gives the congregation a way to express in words the wonders of God and to thank Him in a new way.

People often refer to how moved by God they have been during a church service. I probably hear more about how moving and powerful certain songs are than I do the preaching.

But in thinking back on my life I can only think of really being “moved by the Spirit” a couple times during a service.

Its an odd realization. During the music portions of our services I find myself trying to listen to the different parts being played.

I listen for certain beats being performed by the drums. I listen to see if I can hear the bass line or the guitar parts. I like to tune my ear to the different vocal parts.

I also find myself evaluating the words of the songs. Do they make any sense? Are they based in Scripture or are they more emotionally driven? What is the point of the song? Is the focus on God? Jesus? My own personal perceptions?

I guess some people may feel I’m over evaluating. But I have come to the conclusion over my short 29 years this may be the way God has designed me.

I tend to not get caught up emotionally in the music in our services. I break them down. I still find beauty in them, but I rarely feel extra close to God as a result.

No more than I do listening to any song on the radio which reflects my current place in life.

I used to think it was a problem. I felt like I was not as spiritual if I did not feel the Spirit moving every time a beautiful guitar solo swept through the hall where a musical worship was happening.

But I’ve met others who “feel” the same way I do. There are others who evaluate and come from more logic and less feeling.

Its cool to know there are others in life who may not leap for joy at the idea of an all music worship service.

You know what I would leap at? An all sermon service. Or a sixty minute lecture. How cool would that be?

It’s alright if you absolutely love music and feel the presence of God at every Christ centered song.

It’s also okay if you just aren’t feeling it ever.

Just know God is present and working. Keep following him. One day we will be standing in His presence and then we will all be swept away,

What is your favorite part of a worship service? What do you look forward to the most?

Steps to Having a Successful Date Night

There we were after another night out.

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By night, I clearly mean evening, because we were pulling back up to the house at 9pm.

Again.

Jenny and I usually make some joke about how different our lives are now that we have four kids at home.

The boys are usually in bed between 7-8 which gives Jenny and I time in the evening to wind down without looking after children.

Nine at night feels like a late night out.

We laugh as we think about when we had started dating. There were times we were rushing back to the dorms to make it back by the 1am weekend curfew.

I can barely make it to the 11oclock hour these days. Part of my inability to stay up late is a result of having to get up so early. I’m heading across the room to shut off my alarm at 5am most weekdays. If I stay up late it makes getting up that early pretty difficult.

Anyway, our dates typically do not last far into the night but we always have a good time. We utilize our time away from the kids to just relax and have some away from the hous married people time.

Here are a few steps we take to ensure we have a successful date night.

It starts with a plan.

I am not talking about a step by step plan of each destination with bulleted points and times.

I just mean in order to have a date night, a day has to be planned. Before we had kids we could just go out whenever we wanted. If we felt like heading out to eat we just did it and called it a date.

Now, more planning is necessary. We need to find a day when we know I won’t be working too late. Is there an evening not taken up by a Bible study, homeschool event, or any number of other activities?

Then when a day is found we have to make sure we have someone available to watch our kids. Our oldest is only seven, so not quite old enough for them to be left home alone (at least that’s what other people tell me).

We also have to make sure we have it in the budget to have the money to go out as well as pay a babysitter, unless the babysitter is a grandparent. They do it for free).

What are we going to do?

Life with kids can basically take up all of your thinking if you let it.

It can feel a bit odd leaving the house without any children. You may find yourself driving down the road when all of a sudden you look in the back seat to find your kids have vanished.

It can be scary until you realize you left them on purpose.

If you leave the house without a plan of what to do (see a movie, go out to eat, hit up some stores your kids would tear apart if they went into, go to a park, etc) you may find yours of driving around in circles or wandering aimlessly around Walmart.

Actually many of our dates end with us roaming around Walmart, so that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Remember to be present with each other

Whether your date nights are once a year, once a month, or once a week, it does not leave much time for just the two of you.

Try not to worry about what is happening wherever the children are. Be present with each other. Talk about your lives with each other.

Laugh.

Flirt.

Hold Hands.

Plan to spend your time focusing on one another and this time you are having alone. Marriage is a wonderful institution, especially when it is being spent with a friend.

Those are just a few things we do to make sure our date nights are successful. No matter the actual activity we know it has been a success if we do these things.

What are steps you take to have a successful date night.

Abraham’s Hauty Calling: Lot’s Account

Uncle Abraham has always thought highly of himself.

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I think it comes with being a firstborn son. As the firstborn you get a higher portion of the inheritance. You receive a higher blessing. Plus, you get to practice being more important on your younger siblings.

He’s had a lot pushing him in the direction of feeling a little too high and mighty; not that he has put up a fight.

See, I do not have any younger siblings. I, Lot, am an only child. Being an only child is way different than being the oldest child.

So don’t go trying to pin any of this, “thinks highly of himself,” stuff back on me.

This is about my uncle, not me.

My grandfather, Terah, was always treating Abraham like the favorite. Even after I came along, Abraham was still the favored one.

Maybe that’s what finally killed father, a broken heart.

So I moved in and traveled with grandfather and my uncle. We had a good thing going.

Then grandfather died as well.

This is when my uncle got really high and mighty. He hid it for a little while and then, one day, it all came crashing down.

Abraham came rushing home and started rattling on to my Aunt about how God had spoken to him. God had called him and was going to lead him to a new land and make him into a great nation.

I am not sure if I was meant to hear all of this but I listened in anyway. Hey, this “call” of his was going to be affecting my life too.

Seriously though, how full of himself is this guy? Grandfather had plenty of gods he sold in his shop. He even had a household god in the home. But Abraham started claiming this God was different than all the rest.

This God was above all the other gods. He was so far above in fact, that He was considered the only real God.

Really? There is only one God and He chose to talk to you? Out of everyone on earth, he found favor with you and decided to reveal himself to you?

How conceited! How arrogant!

What is so special about him? He doesn’t even have any kids! How is this guy going to be a great nation? If he thinks he can count my future kids in on this inheritance he has another thing coming.

So, it looks like he will be heading off soon to follow his great and important calling. I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

But I am definitely going with him.

I just have to see how all this plays out. I know it may not be proper but I want to be there when the realization kicks in that it was not the call of this God that sent him on his way but just some bad meat he ate or something.

Plus, when Abraham dies with no children of his own, he will bless me for being such a loyal follower.

“Lot, you’ve been just like the son I’ve never had.” I can just see it now.

He can forget me calling him “Father Abraham” though.

All of grandfather’s stuff, along with all of my uncle’s stuff will be mine.

I have a feeling I know who is going to be the blessed one in all this.

Blessed will be Lot. And it will all be thanks to Uncle Abrahams hallucinations and dreams of grandeur.

A Humbling Lesson I Learned From Some Geese

“Who knew watching gesse could bring so much joy.” Once those words left the preacher’s lips I was immediately hit with guilt.

That statement may take a little bit of explaining.

At the church we attend in Hannibal, Missouri there is a pond out front. It is pretty well maintained and has inspired a few sunrise photos taken from my phone.

(I think they pictures are pretty inspiringanyway, although a bit grainy.)

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Earlier this year a mother goose came on by and decided this little pond was a great location to have some babies. She probably got a decent deal on the location.

Actually it turns out she did because she and her family were getting a free contenintal breakfast with their stay. Thethe goose family started to be fed by the church and they decided to stick around all summer up until a few weeks ago.

(At the time this was written they had gone. They have since returned.)

People seemed to love these geese and for the life of me I could not (cannot) understand why. I have come to the conclusion I seem to have an unhealthy hatred for geese.

They started leaving their droppings all over the parking lot. It is difficult enough to keep my sons from jumping in puddles on a rainy day. Now I have to actively tell each one to keep out of the poop as well (you’d think I would only have to say it once since they were all standing together but apparently the instruction only applies to one child at a time).

Other than the droppings I’m not sure why I find geese to be so appalling, but I do. They are disgusting and ugly birds. They can be aggressive and downright mean.

Perhaps it traces back to my grandmother telling me a story about how she once was bitten by a goose.

Whatever the reason I was genuinely put off by the presence of the geese around and nothing was changing my mind.

That is, nothing was changing it until our preacher spoke those words at the end of his sermon.

“Who knew watching geese could bring so much joy.”

Our preacher was recounting a day when he and his wife were sitting in the church parking lot watching the geese going about their business. They sat there for almost an hour watching and finding joy in the moments while they watched.

It hit me, could it be they needed this little bit of extra joy in their lives and God knew just the way to do it?

Could it be that the stresses of ministry mounted up? Perhaps there have been difficult moments within the family.

I was once in full time ministry and I remember what a burden it can be while dealing with struggles or personal issues and having to pretend with most people that everything is fine.

I do not know if any of these were currently taking place in our preacher’s life, but it is not outside the realm of possibility.

If that was the case maybe God provided these disgusting birds to bring joy to people who would appreciate them.

Maybe they were meant to be a gift and a blessing in the lives of someone who needed to see the beauty of them (something I still cannot see).

We do not know what objects or situations may bring joy to to the lives of others, even if they don’t to ours.

We do not always know what is going on in someone’s life. Everything can seem perfect while they are battling inner demons. Or maybe they are just having a down day.

How many times do we look at the interests of others and think, how can they like that? But we were all created as individuals and God provides for us in our times of need.

And for some what they need is joy.

And joy can come in gross, waddling, dirty birds.

Instead of spending our time ccomplaining about the geese in the lives of others, maybe we should be rejoicing with them in the little gifts God has provided.

You don’t always have to like the geese, but try to appreciate and encourage the joy of others.

Children: Sweet and Unpredictable

 

It is amazing to think about the power in an infant’s hand. We are enamoured by this tiny human from the first time we meet. We almost instinctively begin trying to get his hand wrapped around our finger.

Such a small hand, and that tiny grasp can leave us feeling so loved.

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One of the most heart-warming moments of being a parent is cuddling with your child as he reaches up to place his hand on your cheek.

I remember several moments like this with each of my four sons.

It has happened while holding them as tears have streamed down their faces.

Perhaps a stomach ache was plaguing this tiny human and he could not wrap his mind around why his body hated him (much the same feeling any of us gets after eating mcdonalds).

We sway and bounce together as I whisper in his ear things like,

I love you so much buddy.

Daddy is here. It’s all going to be okay.

Please stop screaming. I have a headache.

It’s a good thing we have DVR so I’m not missing How I Met Your Mother.

You know, sweet words of encouragement.

Anyway, as he calms down and begins to open his eyes again, realizing there is a world around him outside of his upset stomach he looks into my eyes with the most precious eyes I have ever met.

Out of those eyes pour love and trust. In them I can see this boy has no desire stronger than to be laying in my arms as the moments tick by. Then, he reaches up with his precious little hand and rests it on my cheek.

The moment is now complete.

In that moment it no longer matters what has happened during the day. All that matters is the love I have for my family and this little boy and his love for me, his father.

One day, my oldest son and I were having one of these moments.

It was nap time and he had recently moved from his crib to a toddler bed. My wife and I would spend time laying down in bed with him to help him to fall asleep (aka to keep him from getting up and running around the room).

So he and I were laying there, almost forehead to forehead and he was looking at me with his blue eyes and long lashes (the kid has crazy long lashes).

I needed to head back to work but at the time I didn’t care. I was going to lay there until he fell asleep.

Then he placed his hand on my cheek as he looked into my eyes and rubbed his hand along my cheek bone.

It was one of the cutest things ever and easily a top memory I have with my oldest son.

He ran his tiny fingers along my nose, up into my hair and down to my cheek again.

Then, out of nowhere, he shoved his pointer finger straight up my nose.

I do not mean he did it slowly.

One moment he seemed to be nodding off, running his fingers along my face, and the next his finger was two knuckles deep in my nose. I yanked my head back and pulled his finger from my nostril.

In that moment I felt something else…blood.

My son, my eldest boy, had just given my a bloddy nose.

It all happened so fast I couldn’t believe what had happened. After I stopped the bleeding and my wife stopped laughing at the story I went back to work.

Children can be incredibly sweet, and those moments are precious.That being said, they are also surprisingly unpredictable.

Watch yourselves.

What surprising or unexpected thing has your child done? What’s a sweet moment you have shared?

The Makings of a Tower: Leaving God Down in the Dust

The story has been passed down from father to son since the very beginning. It is the story of how the world came into being.

It is a wonderful tale full of beauty and hope. It tells of a Being beyond our world who stepped down and made all we can see out of nothing.

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Here’s the thing though, I’m not really sure how much of it I can believe.

I was not there.

I didn’t get to see the creation with my own eyes. How do I know if that is the way it all happened?

Then there’s the tale of how Cain killed his brother. We have heard the stories of how this Being flooded the entire world and only spared eight people.

Eight? Out of everybody?

A flood of the whole world? How do we know it was not localized? Seems a bit of a stretch for me.

If it were true, what would that say about this Being? He couldn’t handle that some people just wanted to live a little?

How petty is that?

So, like I said, I’m not even sure the stories are true. It seems like they were made up along the way to keep us in check. Somebody wanted to reign us in to keep the population from being too wild.

“Don’t go killing anyone. Remember what happened to Cain?”

“Make sure you wait for marriage for sex. Do not steal or lie. Remember how God flooded the world? Don’t want that on your shoulders do you?”

“Hey, He made the world and everything in it, probably should do what He says right?”

Pathetic really.

I think I’m going to be the master of my own destiny and do what I want.

There are a whole lot of us who feel this way. We think old great-grandpa Noah was a little bit off his rocker and he convinced his boys to keep the crazy story going.

Which is why we decided to build a tower. Not just any tower. We want it to be so tall you can see it from hundreds of miles away. It will scrape the sky.

Some of these pathetic sheeple (what a great term) want to keep looking to the heavens for guidance. Well, we will give them something to look to.

It will be a monument to how great the human race is. We will be held as our own gods in each other’s eyes. It may take a while for the idea to spread but within a generation I hope to see this idea of a greater being out of our regular conversations.

I hope to see everyone looking to the power within themselves for guidance.

Humans are cabable of love, comfort, justice, and we are a fine source of ever changing morality.

We don’t need a God.

Thats what this tower represents.

It’s already so beautiful!

As the tower raises higher into the sky, so does my hope for a better world. A world where we are gods of our own destinies. A world where we can choose what’s right and wrong, not having to follow the old stories.

Wait, there seems to be some confusion at the worksite. What’s going on? Whole groups of people are running around screaming at each other.

I don’t understand. This has never happened before.

This is no time for games! Why are they yelling rubbish words at each other?

This doesn’t make any sense! You there, stop! Stop! Don’t yell gibberish at me!

STOP!

3 Things We Need to do When Working Toward our Goals

Writing does not come natural to me.

I wish that it did. I wish that I could be sitting down just about anywhere jotting away every thought that pops into my mind. I imagine if that were the case I’d complete my writing sessions (which would last for hours) to find pages of complete and perfect thoughts.

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Unfortunately, it does not work the way I’d like.

For me, in order to write, I need to be fairly free of distractions. Currently I’m typing on an electronic devise which brings plenty of distraction of its own:

Facebook

Twitter

Vidoes of Kids wrecking skateboards.

I know I may not always be able to remove all time wasters or attention stealers, but I need to set myself up for success.

This means I cannot sit down to write in a room where the TV is on. My wife can be watching a show in which I have completely no interest (examples: Hoarders, Intervention, Leah Remini’s show Scientology and the Aftermath, or Fuller House. At least one of those is a lie), but if I’m trying to write these shows become the most interesting shows in the world.

Remove Distractions

I have to remove myself from the room where the distractions are. Writing is important to me and I want to invest time and energy into it. This means I sacrifice TV time and finding out which crazy thing Kimmy and Fernando are up to now (not that I care).

It means I write when the kids are laying down for nap or at bedtime. It’s frustrating being in the middle of a thought only to be bombarded with questions about snack time. I love my kids and I want to answer their questions, so I wait to write when they are not around.

For you it may be something different. Whatever your goal may be you need to set yourself up to success.

Sacrifice

When talking about giving up TV time it sounds silly to even call it a sacrifice when I realize the momentum I have in working toward my goal, but it is a sacrifice. When I mention choosing to write when the kids are not around it is a sacrifice. It means I am not writing for a couple hours in the middle of the day.

In order to invest time into one thing, we must take time away from something else. Just because we have chosen a new goal to add to our lives does not make more than 24 hours pop up in the day.

Choose what it is you want to sacrifice. Then stick to it.

In another post I mentioned I do not really like change. So when I’m trying to gain momentum in a goal it is not easy to make the adjustment but I have decided the payoff will be worth it.

Remember

Write down your goal. Then write down why it is you want to meet that goal. It will help in the middle of the process when the goal suddenly seems silly or you begin to question its worth.

Having your why written is essential to help you pushing forward. It will help push out the dostractions that try to creep in and keep you from pushing forward.

The process is never easy. Sometimes we get the idea in our heads that if there is resistance then the goal must not be what we are meant to do.

That is down right not true.

Often goals which are worth it are very difficult. Push the distractions away. Be willing to keep making the sacrifice. And remember your why.

 

What goals have you set for yourself? What sacrifices are you making to reach your goals?

When Our Kids Are Different Than We Planned

When preparing for the birth of our first child my wife and I (just like all parents) were filled with wild anticipation.

We could not wait for the little bundle of joy to be placed in our arms.

We waited anxiously for him to arrive so we could begin to raise this little gift from God. We went through that book, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” We read lots of articles online and heard many stories from parents who have gone on before us.

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As a father-in-waiting I had all kinds of ideas for what I wanted to begin teaching my son once he was delivered into my life.

He would need to know the excitement of superheroes.

I needed to share he wonder of books like the Lord of the Rings.

I just knew we would sit and experience the adventure of movies like The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

You know, man stuff.

I could not wait to begin quoting our favorite lines from all our favorite medias back and forth.

I was excited to take him fishing and camping. I wanted to impart knowledge onto him.

I wanted to spend time teaching him about God and His love for us.

But do you know what that tiny human wanted to do all day from the moment we saw him?

Sleep.

He was actually a fantastic sleeer. He’d sleep for about four hours, eat, be up for a bit and then sleep again.

Even when he was not sleeping he would keep his eyes closed, especially if there was anyone around who wanted to see his blue eyes.

For a while he would scream every night between 7-8, but other than that he was fairly calm.

He did not show any interest in any of the things I wanted to share with him.  He would just lay there. I’d try to get his attention but he wouldn’t even turn his head to look.

Lazy.

When he did start noticing things he was more interested in brightly colored, crinkle toys than he was anything actually cool. It was frustrating that my kid was interested in all these lame toys.

Fast forward to today. My now seven year old is a completely different person. We just built an X-wing Lego model together. It was awesome and he was so excited.

The boy will fish for hours. We go out to my grandparents and he will sit or stand quietly with me and fish until we say it is time to go.

He quotes his favorite lines from movies and tv shows, and he gets excited when a new Star Wars trailer drops.

It can be frustrating as parents when we have an idea in our head of the person we have imagined our children to be and it does not match with who they really are. As people, though, they are constantly changing.

We need to remember that even our past selves are only shadows of who we are today.

Our interests change. Our attitudes change.

It is no different with our children.

And it is good.

This may mean that my oldest son may lose interest in some of the things he loves right now. The thought of that makes me sad, and a bit anxious.

But if my wife and I keep instilling in him the things in life which are really important then he will continue to grow into a man we will be proud of.

This means I need to be living my life in a way I want my son to be living. The principles I pass on through my consistent words and actions will be passed on to him, even if the carrying out of those principles looks a little different.

Don’t beat yourself up too much if your child is not who you think they should be right now or who you imagined they would be.

Love them. Show them the love of God. Teach them to pursue Him in your words and actions.

Do that faithfully day after day.

Their interests may not mirror yours.

But their attitudes and actions are much more likely to fall in line with yours.

Don’t forget to pray.

This parenting thing is a scary big responsibility and we can use all the help we can get.

Noah’s Wife Tells of Life on the Boat

Dry land.

You cannot possibly know the level of my excitement when we were finally told to exit the boat onto dry land.

We were no longer afloat.

We were not exiting the boat to wade.

All of the rain which had flooded our world was gone.

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Life on the boat had as many highs and lows as the wakes we hit along the way. At first we were devastated. All that we had ever known was now gone.

Everything green was quickly washed away by the rolling and crashing waves. No more grass. No more trees.

No more people.

We had never been close with anyone else. Nobody understood our devotion to do what pleases God instead of just what pleases ourselves. Still, it was heart wrenching to think nobody we had ever known had survived.

Some of those people were my children’s ages. I still cannot imagine what their final moments were like. It still  sends a cold chill down my spine.

After a while, though, excitement set in. We were the only ones alive and we were living on a boat!

We each had daily chores, tending to the animals and making sure there were no leaks in the boat. It kept everyone really busy and occupied. Or, at least at first it did.

It is true that sons will always hold a special place in their mother’s heart. It has always warmed my heart to have my boys running back for my help or advice even after they had grown.

My boys.

It is also true that brothers will torment each other no matter their age.

Can you imagine, having three men, who are now one hundred years old, bickering while doing chores.

“Mom, Shem won’t let me feed the lions the way I know how. He says I’m doing it wrong.”

“Why does Japheth follow me around? Mom he’s driving me crazy.”

“Mother, Ham is threatening to throw the monkeys overboard!”

JUST STOP!

One hundred years old and still fighting like they would as they ran around my ankles….over and over again.

But then, in other moments I would see them tend to their wives. They would jump at the call of their names when assistance was needed. Never questioning or grumbling. That’s their father in them. They would stroll hand in hand with their wives as they walked down the line of wild beasts, talking about their futures off the boat.

My boys.

They are still so young. I pray everyday they keep seeking God even as we start over. Far be it from us to start the world down a path leading to another moment like this.

Another world destroyed.

The hardships and wonders of life on the boat were in the past. The sun was shining, and it really felt like it was the start of a brand new era.

Noah and I stepped off the boat side by side. I had squeezed his hand tightly as we descended into what felt like a brand new world. I had butterflies in my stomach. It almost felt like our very first date all those years ago.

I felt my cheeks warm as I blushed at such childish feelings. But I could not hide my giddiness as my family made their way onto the ground below.

We were followed closely by all of the animals.

Even after the struggle and stress it was to care for them it warmed my heart to see them just as excited as we were to be landlocked again.

They frolicked and bounded. They howled with joy and rolled around on the soft earth.

Noah led us in worship of our Almighty God and created an altar and made the proper sacrifices. It was good to be able to do this again.

It was a perfect start to our new life.

Then God spoke, promising never to destroy the world by flood again and He placed what He called a rainbow in the sky.

Words cannot express how beautiful it was. The colors were so vibrant, and the light danced around the bow in ways I had never seen colors move.

I’ve seen other rainbows since, but each seems only a shadow of the first.

God is good. I continue to thank Him for my family. My sweet, boys and godly husband. I just pray we do not mess up this new chance.

Now I wonder where Noah has gone with that wine.