Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory. Deuteronomy 20:3-4

What is it about little boys and heroes?

There has been quite a lot of hero talk around our house lately. My oldest child recently celebrated his fourth birthday. As a part of that, a handful of little heroes donned their capes and equipped themselves with silly string to attack the villains. And Spiderman was everywhere: on the cake, covering the bike, in books, on a puzzle, and on a sprinkler, for goodness' sake.  It was so much fun.

During a car conversation last week, Dave and I asked Noah if Spiderman was real or fake. (We also have these discussions about Santa, the Easter Bunny...)  "Real," he said. 

I wonder if he was disappointed to discover that day that not only was Spiderman pretend, but so were Batman, Ironman and all the other superheroes he knew. I wonder what was going through his head. Was he disappointed that he would never get to see Spidey swing from building to building? Was he sad that the real world might not be as exciting as the pretend world? Was he wondering why there's so much attention and hype to things that aren't real?

And then I brought myself to sputter out the cliche: "Jesus is our real superhero."

He was kind of quiet in his usual way and then went on to another topic.

What was it in me that made saying something so real feel silly? What is it about our current day that makes Jesus as Superhero seem like a Sunday School nicety rather than the earth-shaking truth? 

Perhaps we get stuck in seeing him in his "alter ego," rather than seeing the power that lies beneath the surface.

I feel like King David had a good grip on God as his superhero:

The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?
The Lord is with me; he is my helper.
    I look in triumph on my enemies.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in humans.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in princes.
All the nations surrounded me,
    but in the name of the Lord I cut them down.
They surrounded me on every side,
    but in the name of the Lord I cut them down.
They swarmed around me like bees,
    but they were consumed as quickly as burning thorns;
    in the name of the Lord I cut them down.
I was pushed back and about to fall,
    but the Lord helped me.
The Lord is my strength and my defense;
    he has become my salvation.
Psalm 118:6-14

I have never had enemies attacking me from all sides, let alone one side. But I can think of ways that I can draw attention and hype and sing some "Superhero Praises" of God. I can think of ways that my own eyes have seen God pull out his super power. 

I want to begin to share all of those ways God has saved real people in real danger, all the ways he attacks real enemies, and all the ways that he shows his real strength, so that my boys can begin to learn that He is a real hero who can be trusted in any situation, who fights for what is right, and who has won victory for them.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

On Becoming Mommy

Four years ago, people would walk up to me, saying, "Wouldn't it be wonderful if he was born today? That would be a perfect Mother's Day gift!" I was on the cusp of becoming a new mom then, and it doesn't seem so long ago... until I look at my 3 1/2 foot-tall almost-four-year-old boy.

I think about all the lessons I have learned about myself, and how I relate to others (particularly my family). I've learned a thing or two about expectations, exhaustion, patience, endurance, and anger. I've learned a lot about service and sacrifice and love. Being a mom has without a doubt changed me, and I feel like I have become a better mom than I was four years ago.

And then I think about my good friend, who has been a mom for over nine years, and I wonder how I will grow and change and improve in the five years to come.

And then I think about my own mom, who will reach the 49-year mark very soon. I think about all the lessons that she has learned, and wonder if she still finds herself growing in her capacity to mother. I think about all of her experiences and the wisdom she has gleaned from those.

And then I think about our heavenly Father, who has been raising sons and daughters for a very, very long time. I think about his wisdom, his experience, his insight, and his qualifications. And then I think about how sometimes I respond to him with disrespect, or disregard, or distrust. And it seems quite silly to think that I act in ways that do not heed wisdom which has the experience of millennia to back it up.

And then I pray that I would grow into the type of mother who would let the wisdom of the eternal Father flow through me to reach his little royalty.