Sunday, February 20, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up

1. I've been reading Heaven by Randy Alcorn recently. While I don't agree with everything he says, the book has given me quite a bit to think about (and hope for). If you've been reading this blog for awhile (and if so, I truly thank you!) you may remember the horrible anxiety/panic attacks that I've been dealing with in recent years. Most of it is fear of the future, but a small portion of it also dealt with that "mid-life-coming-to-grips-with-your-own-mortality" sort of thing. I knew as a Christian I had every reason to look forward to the future, but I couldn't wrap my mind around the concept of Heaven. As I mentioned before, I had -- without realizing it -- concocted this strange notion of Heaven in my head which was anything but inspiring and hopeful. It wasn't until I read the book A Travel Guide to Heaven that I finally got what the Church has been teaching all along.

We look for the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come, Amen.

If you had asked me if I believed in the resurrection of the dead, I would have said yes wholeheartedly. I've had long talks with the kids about how death isn't final, and we will get our bodies back one day. That was never in question.

What I never really focused on was the "surrounding area." As human beings, we are made to love variety, creativity, learning, adventure, etc etc etc. Why did I constantly sell eternal life short, and think that somehow it would be a step down? The first time I really thought about the concept of a New Earth, with all its glory and wonder, I cried out of sheer joy: "You mean I won't have to say goodbye to seasons? To bundling up on a cold day? To hearing leaves crunch under my feet?"

 This book takes it further, examining all sorts of "what ifs" and "maybe it'll be like this" scenarios. I found it to be very uplifting, and I'll give you just one quote from the beginning of the book:

"We do not desire to eat gravel. Why? Because God did not design us to eat gravel. Trying to develop an appetite for a disembodied existence in a non-physical Heaven is like trying to develop an appetite for gravel. No matter how sincere we are, and no matter how hard we try, it's not going to work. Nor should it.

What God made us to desire, and therefore what we do desire if we admit it, is exactly what he promises to those who follow Jesus Christ: a resurrected life in a resurrected body, with the resurrected Christ on a resurrected Earth. Our desires correspond precisely to God's plan... the reason we want it is precisely because God has planned for it."

If you get a chance, read both books!

2. On a completely different note, my daughter Grace is... well,... unlike any other child we've ever had. I think someone snuck a 12-year old brain into her 3-year old body. In just two examples:

-- I am trying to get her excited about her upcoming "potty training" which will happen as soon as she is consistently dry through the night (remember, "we teethe early and potty train late" is our family motto!). As a practice run, I took her though the various steps, including the goofy one that all my other kids did when they first started -- waving goodbye to the toilet paper. When I showed her that, she looked at me like you could imagine a teenager would look if that suggestion were made to them, and she said (with her eyebrow arched, mind you!), "Yeah... OK, I don't think I'll be doing that."

I could not stop laughing, even though I felt like a complete idiot for even suggesting it to her.

-- DH was talking to her about the toddler bed she sleeps in, called "Cozy Bed" because, well, it says "cozy bed" right on it. It's a standard white toddler bed with a relief of bears holding balloons. Grace was telling her dad that she didn't like cozy bed anymore, and wanted a different bed instead. DH was extolling the virtues of this marvelous little bed...

DH: How can you not love it? It's soft... it's just your size... and it even has bears on it!
Grace: Um, Daddy?.... Bears EAT people.

What is this child going to be like when she's a teenager?

3. I gotta admit, I love The Sticker Song. I found it after Jen from Conversion Diary pointed out one of her favorite artists, Matisyahu. I went to youtube, which shows other Jewish artists, which led to... well, The Sticker Song. I won't link to it because the video is not the greatest when small children are present, but I love the music.

4. Gotta plug one more book: The New England Soup Factory Cookbook. If you love soup, you will love this book! The Greek Lemon soup is Marie's favorite soup, and she asks for it quite frequently. This week we've also tried the Vidalia Onion soup, Vegetarian Mulligatawny soup, and Spicy Chicken Flu Chaser soup. It has all been AMAZING! If I get a chance this evening I'm going to flip through the book again and see what soup we can have this week as well.

That's my weekend in a nutshell. How was yours?


Beth said...

Grace is cracking me up!!! So glad you're finding some relief from anxiety!
whens the trip to see your parents? ;)

Ouiz said...

God bless you, Beth! Thank you for leaving a comment!

I'm not sure when we're going up. Mom and Dad are having problems with their plumbing, so having 10 extra people wouldn't be such a good idea right now.... blech. They have to wait until the ground thaws out before any work can be done.

Beth said...

Well, we'll be here for a pit stop!

Jenny said...

The book sounds interesting. There are times when I struggle with the thoughts of how can anything be better than this moment, but then the moment passes. I remind myself a glorious eternity would never pass.