Friday, 27 May 2011
Author Spotlight Week - Thoughts from JoAnn's Journal
Children... I don't know if you have any children of your own or not, but it never ceases to amaze me how much I can learn from them. Today, I hope you don't mind, but I'd like to share with you some thoughts I pulled from my journal last year.
Last week I was caring for a boy who has seveer disabilities. This fellow only has one arm, his vocabulary consists of about four words, he has health issues and... he has the most beautiful smile in the whole world. The look on his face when you play "peek-a-boo" with him--well, the only equivalent I can think of would be like me being offered a million dollar contract for a book. Such joy!
On the 4th of July, we headed over to a friends house for a BBQ. All the children we're splish-splashing in the pool. A mother came up to where I was standing and asked if the water was cold. She went on to explain that she won't get near a pool unless it's bath temperature. The kids however, didn't worry about the temperature, they are so resilient. When and why did we lose that?
Then this morning, my husband, one of my sons, and I went jogging. Now you need to understand, here in Vermont, our summers are very short and heat is not something we need to deal with on a regular basis. But...yesterday my husband dug out our window unit air conditioner to deal with this "heat wave." Need I say more? OK...so back to today. I stepped one foot out of the house and saw the haze across the sky and thought to myself, This is NOT going to be fun. Off we go-- down around the bend, up a hill and wham... I felt like I was trying to stuff a brick wall into my lungs. The humidity was just too much! That's when I looked at my son next to me who turned and gave me a bright grin. "It's a little hot today, huh?"
I groaned, "I little?!"
Kids don't let things zap their energy. There are so many other great lessons to learn as we watch the children around us, but even just these few made me stop and think of the passages in the Bible where it says how we need to embrace the simplicity of life to understand it. Matthew 18:2-6; Mark 10:15; Luke 18:17
(The Message) Matthew 18:2-6 "For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, "I'm telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you're not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God's kingdom. What's more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it's the same as receiving me. But if you give them a hard time, bullying or taking advantage of their simple trust, you'll soon wish you hadn't. You'd be better off dropped in the middle of the lake with a millstone around your neck. Doom to the world for giving these God-believing children a hard time! Hard times are inevitable, but you don't have to make it worse and it's doomsday to you if you do."
Mark 10:15 "The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: "Don't push these children away. Don't ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God's kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you'll never get in." Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them.
Luke 18:15-17 People brought babies to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. When the disciples saw it, they shooed them off. Jesus called them back. "Let these children alone. Don't get between them and me. These children are the kingdom's pride and joy. Mark this: Unless you accept God's kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you'll never get in."
Perhaps today you're feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders. I'd like to encourage you to remember the beauty in simple pleasures and joys that the Lord surrounds us with everyday. Today, lets look at things with the wonder, joy, energy, and of a child--a child of God.
Question of the day: What have you learned from children?
JoAnn Carter lives in Vermont with her wonderful husband of 18 years, four children and Ginger, the best dog in the world. She enjoys being with her family & friends, writing, reading, and cooking.
In the past JoAnn has worked as a Licensed Practical Nurse, an apple orchard guide and as a substitute teacher. She is available for speaking engagements to book clubs, reader groups, library groups, women's ministry events, school events and church retreats.
You can find her at: http://home.comcast.net/~jo.glenncarter/site