Friday, September 16, 2011

Struggle for Simple - Part 3

We eat together as a family.  More often than not, it's like dining with a bunch of untrained monkeys.  Or at least a traveling circus.

This is what he calls his "farmer hat".  

Anyway, imagine trying to have a conversation with this bunch.  I actually tried to explain what it meant to have one and they tried to be obliging for one meal.  We talked about what kind of pet we'd like to have and what we'd name it.  Noah wants a frog.  Sam wants a dog.  Josiah wants a cow.  We talked about what we thought heaven would be like.  Noah told us that there would be just one tree in heaven - the tree of life.  I'm hoping that's a small sign of some spiritual awakening or at least of some paying attention from my four-year-old.

We want the boys to grow up recalling the joys of family meals.  I hope they remember more than just, "Would you please lean over??!", "You may be excused.  Right now!", or, "Please do not touch your brother with any part of your body!"  We're trying hard to make the time edifying, joyful, and enjoyable for all who take part in the meal.  Most of the time, the clown comes in telling jokes and making wild faces just as we're getting to something interesting (the clown sits two to the right of Mom at the table).  It's easy to see why this is so hard - at least, right now it is, as I'm thinking clearly and not fed up (what appropriate table-talk!)  For Satan surely wishes to thwart our efforts at family togetherness and sweet, joyful moments every chance he gets.  

Most of the time it feels like he's winning.

But then I look at that sweet face under the sombrero and I see the joy of the Lord in his eyes, I remember that salvation isn't contingent on how much food is dropped on the floor or how some people take delight in viewing the contents of another's well-chewed bite, and I'm ready to don my spiritual armour and try again.  

Only by the grace of God, He will claim the victory!

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