Thursday, March 12, 2009

Refined in the Furance of Affliction

As I've said before, I am not a morning person. Not even a little. And this morning was extra rough, trying to find clothes for Mia and I, she didn't want to get out of bed, Jesse couldn't find his cellphone, and I had to go in to work. As usual, Mia started up her running commentary in the van once we were on the road. She starts talking as soon as she wakes up and talks steady as she gets dressed, as we walk out the door, I even have to shut the van door on her talking as I walk around to the driver's side to get in, and she's still talking when I get in, and she will talk all the way to school. I would love a little peace and quiet on my ride into work, but I love this little girl with all of my heart, so I try to listen and respond. But this morning, Mia was a little cranky too and she was whining. Apparently bringing your lunch to school has a certain cachet over hot lunch (I'm sure kids who bring cold lunch every day would like hot lunch occasionally), and she was upset because I never let her have cold lunch at school.

When we got to school, I helped her out of the van and as she put on her backpack, she said, "Mommy, are there no's on Third Earth." (That's her term for Heaven) I thought for a moment and replied that there will be no tears and no pain in Heaven. She said, "That's not what I mean Mommy. I mean the bad no's like 'Can I have a cookie?' 'No'." I couldn't help but smile at her little girl logic. I assured her that in Heaven there will be no no's like that. Then as we said good-bye, I promised her that the next time I go grocery shopping, I'll pick up something she can bring to school for cold lunch as a special treat. If that's all it takes to give her a little piece of Heaven on earth, I'll gladly do it.

Refined in the Furnace of Affliction by John McCulloch is the story of the McCulloch family's rising above adversity and tragedy in their lives. John McCulloch fell in love with a nurse and the two married while he was still in the Navy. Upon the birth of their first child Johnny, John received a telegram where he was stationed in Guam with word that the baby had been injured during the delivery and might not survive. This is just the first of many troubles the McCulloch family faces. John works as a forest ranger in different areas throughout the West as they raise their four children, and faith is the foundation of every aspect of their lives, giving them the strength to face whatever came their way. McCulloch is not a professional writer, so it's not fair to judge his writing style the way I would other authors, but his writing is very conversational and his faith overflows on every page. This is the kind of book that everyone wishes that their grandfather would write. It's the story of his life, how he fell in love with his wife, funny stories about friends and family, the life-changing events that make up the history of the McCulloch family. I'm sure it will be treasured by his friends and family, but it also has a message of hope and trusting in God for everyone.

I'm off to put our laundry in order so hopefully tomorrow morning won't be as stressful as this one! Today's pic is from last summer in the woods on my mom's property. She planted some seeds out there a couple of years ago and called it Mia's Path. I needed a touch of spring today to counter the cold temperatures outside!