Saturday, July 15, 2006

Lessons from Mia Part 2

The second lesson I learned from Mia this week was about relationships. She came into the bedroom the other night and asked if she could sleep with me. She was so tired, she couldn't even keep her head upright. I tucked her in between Jess and I, and as she snuggled up close under my chin, I was swept by an overwhelming wave of love for this little girl. Not because of anything she had said or done, but because she was my child. Her fly-away hair tickled my nose and I could smell her banana bubble bath, and I realized that this is how God feels about us. He loves us not because of anything we've done or ever could do, but because we're His. And just like I crave the feeling of Mia's little body tucked next to mine, God wants us close to him too. He wants to have a relationship with us, just like we want with our kids. I don't know why He would want to have a relationship like that with me or why He loves me like he does, but lying next to Mia, I felt just a small taste of what He feels for me, and it was beautiful.

Sisterchicks in Sombreros by Robin Jones Gunn is the 3rd installment in this series. One of the great things about this series is that the stories really aren't related so you can read them in any order and not miss anything, but I enjoyed the reference to book #2 in this one. Melanie and Joanne are sisters who have lost touch with each other and in some ways themselves until their uncle leaves them beachfront property in Mexico that they must visit in order to inherit. The trip takes them on a cruise ship, driving across Baja, and into more scrapes than they ever thought they could handle. The message of the book is surrender. Surrender to God, surrender control, and surrender our expectations in order to really fully experience life. The message is powerful, and I really enjoyed the read, but I felt this book was more chick-lit (no pun intended) than the previous two which had deeper themes. It's still a winner!

The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary D. Chapman & Ross Campbell is another installment in Chapman's excellent Love Languages series. I've read the book for couples and the one for teens, and both helped me understand my family much better. The premise is that each person has a primary love language (the five being: physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, and gifts) and to fully fill somone's love tank, we need to speak their language. Unfortunately, we all too often speak our own language fluently, but if that's not the language of the child, they don't feel loved and it leads to resentment on both sides. Chapman does a wonderful job of giving examples of how to figure out your child's love language as well as ideas for learning to speak it. There's also information on discipline and handling anger. There is so much good parenting packed into this slim book! Since reading the book, I've been able to understand my own children better, and I've seen changes in them. These are lessons to be learned and clung to.

Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters is an outstanding example of how great mysteries are done. Amelia Peabody inherits a large sum of money and with it independence from her father. She decides to take a trip to Africa and after her first traveling companion becomes ill, hires Evelyn, a beautiful, penniless young woman to accompany her. The two women soon end up at an archaeological dig on the Nile and then the fun really begins. Amelia's narration is a hoot to read with her dry, British wit and colorful descriptions. The mystery zigs then zags, and while the conclusion isn't a real surprise the trip there was so much fun, I can't wait to go for another journey with Amelia.

It's in the 90s here today, but we had a glorious time swimming at the beach. Sometimes it really is all about surrendering to the day and allowing God to take you where He wills.