Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Adventures of John

On January 17, 1995, my husband Curtis and I found out that we were going to be great-grandparents. Our only granddaughter, Angela was expecting a baby! On this same day I received a card that had a picture of a bird nest with three tiny eggs. Below was the caption, "Expect a Miracle." I claimed that message for this child, not knowing if it was a boy or girl. I wrote down the following prayer soon after.

May this baby have
A heart for God
A mind for God
Ears to hear His voice
Eyes to see His beauty
Hands and feet to obey His will.

September 14, 1995, a baby boy was born and now this baby had a face, a personality and a name! John not only had his mommy and daddy at the hospital, but two grandmothers, a great grandmother and a great, great grandmother, two grandfathers and a great grandfather to welcome him. The nurse at the hospital took note of the five generations standing there and asked if we would like our picture taken together.

One of the nurses bundled up little John and brought him out of the nursery and placed him in the arms of his great, great grandmother. What a beautiful scene. He will not remember the day that he was cradled in her arms, as she looked at him with such tenderness but the generations of Godly heritage will follow him all the days of his life.

The first time that Angela brought John to our house she came in the door holding her baby close and said, "Maw Maw you will have to wash your hands before you hold him." I had just taken a shower but never-the-less I washed my hands.

When John was two weeks old he was dedicated to the Lord at the First Methodist Church. The pastor took John in his arms and then went up and down the aisles so everyone could see this beautiful baby. Pictures were taken and two families merged together to share the happiness of this wonderful occasion.

Between the ages of two and four we kept little John while his mother worked. Keeping a daily journal I read to John some of the cute things that he had done or said. He listened very attentively and when I finished, he looked at me and said, "Are you reading about the adventures of John?" So that is the reason for the title of this post.

I am sharing with you some of the things that John said. . . this little boy that captured our hearts and touched our lives in a profound way. My goal is that what I have written will not only bring a smile to your face but will encourage parents or grandparents to write down the unique things that their children or grandchildren do and say. Every child is a special gift from God.

"For you created my inmost being,
You knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise You because I am fearfully
And wonderfully made;
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
When I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the
Depths of the earth,
Your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
Before one of them came to be."
Psalm 139:13-16

The entries that I am sharing were written during the year of 1998.

Apr 4 (Sat)
Curtis told John he was going to let him pick out some flowers to plant. John said that he wanted orange flowers. When we got to Builders Square, it didn't take him long to discover the rack of orange marigolds.

We came home and went to the back yard to began planting. Curtis got a shovel and told John that he had to make a bed for the flowers. John repeated, "Make a bed for the flowers?"

Curtis gave John a tool to "help" loosen the dirt. Finally the bed was all ready and Curtis began to plant the little orange marigolds. As Curt placed the flowers in the ground, John said, "Is the flowers going nite-nite?"

This afternoon we watched figure skating. When a skater would fall, John would run to the T.V. to give the skater a kiss and one time he put his little arms around the T.V. to give the fallen skater a hug.

Apr 9 (Thu)
John was holding a little stuffed rabbit - sitting in the familiar green rocker, and singing, "Jesus Loves Me."
Apr 10 (Fri)
To the tune of "Baa Baa Black Sheep" John was replacing the words with "gahh-gahh" all the way through the song. Then he wrinkled his nose and asked, 'What's a gahh-gahh?" followed with much laughter.

May 9 (Sat)
This morning John was playing with his train, as he does every day. The engine fell off the track and John said, "Engine had a wreck - fell in the water." He then picked up the engine, cradled it in his arms and began to sing, "Jesus Loves Me" as he gently rocked back and forth.

This afternoon Curtis and I took John to the library. It was gratifying to observe him playing with the blocks, etc. and watching his interaction with other children. A little girl about his age was a few feet away as both of them were playing and he looked at her and gave the sweetest little smile. One of those special moments I would have loved to had a camera but I will take a picture in my mind and heart.

May 10 (Sun)
Five of our family members ate at Steak & Ale. After we were seated and sitting around the table, John slammed both of his hands on the table and said, "Watcha doing, everybody?"

Of course we laughed and he repeated it. What a charmer he is!

May 14 (Thu)
Curtis drove by an auto repair shop and I told John that the car was making a funny noise. He repeated, "It's making a funny noise?" Then with laughter and a big smile, he said, "Silly car!"

When the repairman came to the car with grease on both hands. John was sitting in the back seat and looking right at the repairman, he said, "He needs to wash his hands!"

Jun 1 (Mon)
John and I were in the car and as I was driving began to sing, "If you're happy and you know it. . John stopped me with, "No, mommy sings that."

So I began to sing, "You are my sunshine. . "

"No, that's mommy's song."

I said, "What do you want me to sing?" He answered, 'Little Birdie in the Tree." So I sung "Little Birdie in the Tree" and then started singing, "Oh, where, oh where has my little dog gone." Immediately John said, "No, that's what Me Maw sings."

I then sung, "How Much is that doggie in the Window" and then "Jesus Loves Me." I knew those two would pass.
John was playing and putting something together and I said, You are so smart! He continued his project and without looking up said, "Thank you!"

Jun 18 (Thu)
John attended a day care part time, and when I went to pick him up he had one shoe on. His teacher said, "Let me put your other shoe on." He said, "No! No! It's not a shoe, it's a sandal!

I told his teacher that we were going to the zoo and as we were walking out he said, "I'm going to see the animals." And he looked so happy. As we walked along he said, "Bye-bye desk, bye-bye-door, etc."

At the Zoo, John picked out the stroller he wanted to ride in. We first looked at the fish, which was in an air-conditioned building. John wanted to look at every aquarium. He would get out of the stroller and stand as close to the glass as he could get. In one of the aquariums was a large turtle resting at the bottom - the turtle began making its way to the top and when John saw this, he laughed with delight and said, "Silly turtle!"

Next we looked at birds and at every cage, John would stand up to look. Every bird that he didn't recognize, he would say, "What's it called?"

Jul 15 (Wed)
It is touching to see how John perceives the things that Curtis can do. When picking him up at the day care, some wood rafters had been placed on the cement steps coming out from the front door. When John saw them, he said, "Look what Paw Paw did!"

John was getting ready to go out of town with his grandmother, Darlene and his mommy. Just before leaving, Curtis said, "Let's have a word of prayer before you go." We gathered around in the family room but John was anxious to get on the road. As Curtis started to pray, John said, "No way, Hosea! I don't want to pray with my eyes closed!"

Sep 28 (Mon)
I gave John some rice that had bits of carrot and peas in it. He said he didn't like the rice because it had "stuff" in it. He said, "That's for bigger boys."

Sep 29 (Tue)
John has reached the age of "pretend." Today he pretended that he was the Thomas engine and I was the James engine. Going up the stairs was going up a hill. After we got upstairs, he looked around and said, "I like your room, James."

It is such fun to watch him playing with his trains. He talks for them, using two voices. One voice is high pitched and the other one very low. Sometimes he will run through the house, as he pretends he is going up hills, mountains, tunnels, and says things like, "I'm taking toys to the
boys and girls over the mountain.

Nov 11 (Wed)
I was writing and John asked, "Whatcha doing?" I answered, "I'm writing down stuff." He said, "Why don't you write up?"
John was standing on a stool in the kitchen, where I was working, and I told him that Jesus loved him and had a plan for his life. He said, "I want to be an engine. I want Jesus to come here and He will say, "Wow! Engines are nice!"

He plays "engine" all through the house - chug, chug, with his right arm going up and down while he rolls his eyes like Thomas.

Dec 16 (Wed)
We have the Christmas decorations up and John stops to look at the manger scene and enjoys my reciting scripture while he looks at the different figures on display. I recited, "And he shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger." He looked at me and asked, "Babe, the talking pig?"

This was a reminder to me that John is at the age that the secular and spiritual have no distinct difference and how important training is. I breathed a prayer, Heavenly Father, the hours that little John is in our home, may we instill Godly principles by example. . . day by day, by day.
John is now a teenager. . . starting another chapter in his young life. May it's pages be filled with beautiful things and most of all, I pray that he will walk the pathway that God designed for him. . . even before he was born!

John, may you always be "the sweetest boy in the whole wide world!"

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Finding Peace on the Journey

by Catherine Marshall

My friend Marge had an experience aboard a plane bound for Cleveland, waiting for takeoff. As she settled into her seat, Marge noticed a strange phenomenon. On one side of the airplane a sunset suffused the entire sky with glorious color. But out of the window next to her seat, all Marge could see was a sky dark and threatening, with no sign of the sunset.

As the plane's engines began to roar, a gentle voice spoke within her:

You have noticed the windows, He murmured beneath the roar and the thrust of takeoff. Your life, too, will contain some happy, beautiful times, but also some dark shadows. Here's a lesson I want to teach you to save you much heartache and allow you to abide in me with continual peace and joy.

You see, it doesn't matter which window you look through; this plane is still going to Cleveland. So it is in your life. You have a choice. You can dwell on the gloomy picture. Or you can focus on the bright things and leave the dark, ominous situations to Me. I alone can handle them anyway. And the final destination is not influenced by what you see or feel along the way.

Learn this, act on it and you will be released, able to experience the peace that passes understanding.