Monthly Archives: February 2012

The Great Apple Battle.

It was the Fall of 2010. My firstborn child Ian excitedly set foot inside his preschool classroom. Ian was excited for snack-time (as always) and looking forward to the comfort of his cousin Lucy in class with him.

As a baby, Ian was social and goofy, but as he developed into a toddler, his demeanor gradually shifted to timid and introverted. I was quietly nervous for him, but as we approached the building and entered, I was all smiles and excitement, hoping to encourage him.

As we stood in line, his spirits dropped. Other kids were bouncing off the walls, talking, excited… and Ian just absorbed and watched. As we approached check-in, we were told to look on the wall chart, find his name on a small laminated apple, and move the apple to the top of the chart to show he had checked in. The kids were expected to move the apple by themselves, which would help them learn to recognize their name eventually.

Ian didn’t budge. I did my best to encourage him, but there would be no moving the apple by his will that day. I gladly moved the apple so he could attend class, and we sat down in the circle. He proceeded to have a wonderful time, and got to tell Daddy and Ana all about his day when he got home.

The next day would be the first day to drop kids off to attend class on their own. Seems pretty simple: walk in door, move apple in pocket, mommy signs kid in, and *poof* its class-time, and mommy can go drink coffee.

Instead, here’s what commenced (oh and to preface what’s ahead, Aaron and I were learning a parenting technique called “Love & Logic” at the time. We were very much beginners, especially me):

“Ian, its time to move the apple.”

“Nooooo…”

“Here, can I show you where your name is?”

“Uh uh”

“How about I put it in your hand?”

“Noooooo….”

“Ok let’s have a chat…” (as I proceeded to attempt hugs, bribes, and anything else under the sun)

“Noooo…..”

“Ok you have a decision. Either you move your apple, or we’ll just have to go home.” (wait, did I just say that?!?!?!)

“I wanna go home.”

“Eh… hem. Uh… okay. Sorry teacher, we’ll be back tomorrow.”

First rule of “Love and Logic Parenting” by the way, is to give two choices YOU CAN HANDLE. What can I say, I was just learning the method!!

No need to go into the gory details, but I continued to spend the rest of the school year battling this apple-in-the-pocket thorn in our side. Thank the Lord we had teachers who had the patience to deal with our shy boy with stubborn undertones. His performance and behavior in class steadily improved. Ian continued into his second year of preschool int he Fall of 2011, and made amazing improvements on so many levels.

Yet, the Battle of the Apple remained. Until last Friday.

The morning started out like any other morning: Ian said hi to Daddy in our cafe, he had some cheese, and told Daddy he would move the apple if no one looked at him, and if no one made a big deal out of it. I walked him up to the chart. At first, he refused. I simply said, “Oh buddy, I really need to get going. I’m turning around now, no one is watching, please take care of it.”

Within no time at all, I felt a gentle tap on my leg, turned around, and I almost had a heart attack. IAN MOVED HIS APPLE. I wanted to jump and scream and kiss him all over, but instead I casually kissed his forehead, gave him a squeeze, and sat him down with his classmates. End of story.

I love my boy, and all his quirks. But the Apple Battle is OVER and I mark Friday, February 24th, 2012 the most glorious day in history.

Conquering.

Its interesting how one simple life experience in childhood can affect the rest of your life if you let it. No need to go into detail on a public blog, but I had to share the result of this realization now that I’ve had time to digest all my emotions and thoughts revolving around my experience.

I was actually sitting in church listening to a great sermon a few weeks ago, and the phrase that stuck out most to me was this: “What bitter root are you allowing to grow and produce bitter fruit?” Yikes, loaded question. That question could give way to so many completely different answers for all of us.

For me, it was friendships. You can care for your friends so deeply, and in an instant, everything changes. This obviously didn’t happen in an instant, but for me it felt that way.

A few hours after the sermon a few weeks ago, I realized I hadn’t moved on. My subconscious was holding firmly to the bitterness that came from simply feeling ditched. If any of you have held grudges, you know for some reason its hard to let go, and give up the control. The pain almost becomes a source of COMFORT. So instead of moving on, you let it grow and produce bitter fruit that affects your relationships, your job, your daily reactions to life… for me, it produced the FEAR of loss and rejection.

There’s no need to go into the specifics of what happened in my childhood, because almost instantly, I was able to let it go. I found comfort I hadn’t known before, knowing I didn’t need to hold on to it, and that God would take over control. I silently forgave the people who hurt me, and asked God to forgive me for being subconsciously focused on my fears, instead of my hopes.

It allowed me to see the world around me in a different way. I’m always going to have things I’m holding onto, hoping I can just freeze life where it is forever. But… its okay for change to happen, and we all have to know there’s a bigger picture, and God sees the end result. We don’t know how all this life stuff works into the bigger picture, but God DOES. Hmm. ūüôā

Valentine.

ImageHappy Valentine’s Day to the love of my life. I fell in love with you the day we met, and my love for you grows every day we experience life together. I am so thankful for the patient, forgiving, humble, intelligent man I am spending the rest of my life with! ūüôā

I seriously belly laughed.

Hey everyone, I didn’t write this… but wish I had.

Church Ladies With typewriters.

They’re back!¬† Those wonderful Church Bulletins! Thank God for church ladies with¬†typewriters. These sentences (with all theBLOOPERS) actually appeared in¬†church bulletins or were announcedin church services:

The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.

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The¬†sermon this morning: ‘Jesus Walks on the Water.’ The sermontonight:¬† ¬†¬† ‘Searching for Jesus.’

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Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale. It’s a chance to get rid of those things notworth keeping around the house. Bring your
husbands.

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Remember¬†in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who ishard to love. Say ‘Hell’ to someone who doesn’t care
much about you.

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Don’t¬†let worry kill you off – let the Church help.

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Miss¬†Charlene Mason sang ‘I will not pass this way again,’ giving obvious¬†pleasure to the congregation.

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For¬†those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery¬†downstairs.

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Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help theycan get.

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Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.

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A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.

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At¬†the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be ‘What Is Hell?’ Come¬†early and listen to our choir practice.

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Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.

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Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.

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Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.

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The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.

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Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM Рprayer and medication to follow.

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The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.

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This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.

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Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B. S. is done.

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The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.

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Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.

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The¬†eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the Church¬†basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend this¬†tragedy.

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Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.

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The¬†Associate Minister unveiled the church’s new campaign slogan last Sunday: ‘I¬†Upped My Pledge – Up Yours.‚Äô

Writer’s Block.

No really, there’s a block here. You don’t have to keep reading, its so not important. Kind of like those movies where you can completely predict the ending and the expected outcome isn’t even all that enticing, but you keep watching anyway.

I once wrote something sort of funny about writer’s block. I can’t even remember what I wrote, or why that’s even significant.

Now that you’ve read all that, do you wonder what you could have done if you hadn’t read this?!