Well, except, maybe, hot, fresh, coffee and a Snuggie.
Or public speaking.
Or having bamboo shoots driven under my fingernails.
Ok, those last two...exaggerations.
Actually, I do like exercising in the morning but not nearly as much as Scout or Hannah and they both get all grouchy and malcontent if we don't go walking in the wee hours of the a.m.
And, because it's been 8 billion degrees outside, we kind of sweat. What's even more pathetic is that, more often than not, I'll come home, throw my workout clothes on the floor (deep breath all you type A characters, deep breath) so the next morning, when I'm fumbling around in the dark trying to get dressed, I can just put the same clothes back on.
Gross, yes? I know - but isn't it this kind of honesty that makes you thankful you don't live next door. I know - silver lining. You're welcome.
Anyway, I spent last week preparing for a talk I was giving to a MOPS group on Friday. Although I was a communications major - at an Agricultural and Mechanical School - I haven't spoken publicly in years and the whole process made me really nervous.
I needed double-extra-strength antiperspirant. Have you ever tried to spell that word? I had to look it up because I kept getting the red, squiggle, underline thingie.
The group was so sweet and welcoming and didn't hold it against me that I probably missed their annual topic by a mile and forgot the age of my youngest child. Six. She's six. Six.
I remember what it was like being in their shoes - having all my chicks underfoot all day long and what a fun break it was to spend some time with other mom's who were equally as covered in spit-up as I was.
I prayed a lot about what I should say and what I remembered, or wished, someone had shared with me.
Sadie is six.
I really believe the Scriptures are clear on three things in relation to raising kids.
1. Become a lover of God's Word. It is this primary means the Lord has used to reveal himself and there is not a word of advice or counsel or exhortation, inside or outside the four walls of a church, that should not be sifted through the sieve of the Word of God. Love His word and great wisdom is needed so that we don't fall into the trap of thinking there is anything else of significance besides Christ alone.
I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
2. Learn to love what God loves. The world launches grenades at us insisting that our End Game is a child who is bright, well-socialized, active in various sports – even great at sports, who performs increasingly well in a rigorous education process so he or she can graduate from high-school, go to the college of their choosing, land a well-paying job and become leaders in their industry – or at least marry one who is. And as for us, our homes are clean and perfectly decorated. We throw fabulous birthday parties with homemade invitations, and still find time to cook all our organic meals from scratch.
In Christ, we have been freed from these all these ridiculous expectations but, unfortunately, like dogs returning to their vomit (sorry, that's gross but I love that illustration from Prov. 26:11), we often handcuff ourselves back to the things we've been liberated from. As we learn to love the Lord, we learn to love the things that He loved. They define our End Game and give us a hope beyond this vapor that is our present life.
For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
1 Peter 1:23
1 Peter 1:23
And 3. We need to know that Life in the son has always been a corporate affair. His word knows nothing of an independent, individualistic, insulated disciple (Jesus Manifesto, Sweet and Viola). You have been given to one another as a gift – to love, encourage, and exhort one another in the things of the Lord.
Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.
Perhaps they would have rather had George Clooney just stand in front of them for 45 minutes but I couldn't get a hold of him so that's all I could come up with.
I sweated a lot, more than when Hannah and Scout make me walk, but it was so fun being with young women who are just on the precipice of life with kids. I was way blessed.
And I put my clothes in the laundry basket. And washed them. In case you were wondering.