spoiled, part 1

My sister and her husband have been taking each of my kids out for a birthday celebration each year since they turned four. The lucky birthday child gets to decide the activity and the food and all the everything. Each kid, every birthday, every year starting at age four. That’s a lot of spoiling for each of my kids. I’m so happy my sister is creating those memories with them.

Since we’d finally ended the cruelty of making Baby Chickadee wait an entire year to turn four and gave in on her birthday in June, this was the first year that she got to be spoiled by Todd and Hayley for an entire day.

And now pictures! That I stole from my sister’s Facebook page, as well as the captions she had with them.

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Birthday day is off to a darker blue start.

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Imagine she’s singing “We Are the World.”

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[Baby Chickadee] hanging out with Mary, Jesus’ mom (Barbie), and Jesus (the dinosaur). They’re in heaven.

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These two said I need to stay in the tent for my safety. I think they’re conspiring against me.

i want to be like Joseph

[Still reading.]

Because when he’s in prison for a crime he did not commit, in a foreign land because his own brothers sold him into slavery, he is worried about the other prisoners. “Why are your faces so sad today?

I want to be concerned about others, even when I’m dealing with my own stuff. But I’m not like that. I know I’m not. When I’m dealing with my own junk my mind is so clouded with my own thoughts and worries that I barely see others around me; I’m certainly not seeing their troubled faces. But Joseph is wrongly imprisoned and still has a heart for others. I want to be like that.

Then he is is imprisoned for at least two years¬†before he is brought before Pharaoh and still he honors the Lord. “‘I cannot do it,’ Joseph replied to Pharaoh, ‘but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.’” Two years of being wrongfully imprisoned and he has not turned his back on the Lord. I want to be like that.

Years later, when God has blessed Joseph in Egypt, Joseph does not turn his back on the Lord in his prosperity. He praises the Lord for the blessings of his sons. Joseph stands strong in the Lord in his suffering and praises God in his prosperity. You guys, I want to be like that. I believe there is suffering ahead for Christians, and not the “suffering” of being laughed at or ridiculed. I pray that the Lord make me as strong as Joseph to stand strong in Him no matter what comes.

Some other things that stuck out to me about Joseph’s story: it was the Midianites and Ishmaelites who bought and sold Joseph into slavery in Egypt. First of all, the Midianites and Ishmaelites were both descendants of Abraham, as was Joseph. Midian was the son of Abraham and Keturah (Genesis 25:2); Ishmael was the son of Abraham and Hagar (Genesis 16:15); Joseph was the son of Jacob, who was the son of Isaac, who was the son of Abraham. All relatives of one another, albeit extended relatives.

Second of all: the Midianites played a part in bringing the Israelites to Egypt (they sold Joseph to Potiphar in Egypt, Joseph later brought his entire family to Egypt [Genesis 46:5-7]) and then the man who brought the Israelites out of Egypt married a Midianite woman (Exodus 2:15-21). Interesting, yes?

maybe don’t quote me on that

Sunday afternoon the five of us were pulling into One Kellogg Place so that we could eat some delish Chinese food at Panda Express when Little Missy saw just what I did not want her to see: the waving pet store employee on the corner with a sign that said, “Free Puppy Kisses Inside.” Immediately the requests of, “Oooh can we go there?” shot from the backseat.

Here’s my problem with pet stores and my children: they always want a pet. Of course they do, they are children with holes in their lives that can only be filled by beings that pee and poop in places other than the toilet. I don’t want any more animals living in my house.

At lunch, Little Missy asked again. Then Baby Chickadee jumped on the request train. So I laid down the law. “We can go in but you guys are not to ask us for anything. No whining, no bargaining to come back with your own money. We are not bringing any more animals into our house, not even with your money. We are not putting a single penny into that store.”

Hubby looked at me. “I think you’ve made it pretty clear.”

But they are smart little kids, you know? They always find a technicality and I was trying to close any and every loophole that may have been hanging out there, just waiting to be exploited by a cute little kid with big eyes.

Then Hubby whispered only to me and pointed out, “We need cat collars.”

WHICH WE TOTALLY NEED CAT COLLARS so that our new little kitties will not be catnapped AGAIN (Story later? Maybe?) for the third time.

Oh crud.

I shook my head and waved dismissively. “We can get them at Walmart.”

The three Fox children did really well inside the pet store. They looked at the fish and the birds and the lizards with nary a request to bring one home, either that day or a day in the future.

But I did find some cat collars on clearance, cheaper than Walmart’s selection. So I picked three out and showed them to Hubby. “I am going to buy these.”

And my sweet husband, wanting me to save face with my children, nodded and turned to find the kids. “I’ll distract them.”

I paid for my purchases, threw in a toy for our dog Molly, and stuffed the contraband in my purse.

Later that afternoon we gave the kids the collars for their kitties and SO FAR they still have not called me out on the fact that I totally went against my word of not spending a single penny in that store. Which they totally could bust me for this. Maybe their kitties in cute collars made them forget the law I laid down and quickly broke.

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this is when a commentary would come in handy

I’m still reading, and this morning I read more of Jacob’s story in Genesis. Every time I read about Jacob I’m uncomfortable; he is repeatedly deceitful–taking advantage of his brother and stealing his birthright, pretending to be Esau to his dying father so that he could get the blessing, lying to his brother after a sweet reunion after 20 years apart.

But then I ponder this for a while and am glad for God’s mercy, that He named His people after a faithful man who was also sinful. If He does that with Jacob, what can He do with me? Immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine, I say.

ALSO, Sarah has been on my mind for a while. I’d always thought her silly to not trust in God for the son that He had promised her husband, but she (patiently?) waited for 11 years before taking matters into her own hands. When God first promised a son to Abram, he and Sarai were already old. And she didn’t scoff at His promise then. So she must have trusted in the Lord as her husband did.

Maybe after 11 years she started questioning things? Thinking, maybe I missed a step I was supposed to follow and so have ruined this whole blessing? Or maybe thinking, the son is to come from my husband but maybe not from me? But then she took matters into her own hands and there is still fighting between her offspring and her maidservant’s.

Lesson for me: settle yourself down and wait on the Lord, because His timing is not the same as mine.