Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Daddy Reads From James

How long does it take to read James 3:13-18? It depends. If you're reading quietly to yourself, it probably only takes a minute, maybe two. When you're reading to five children between the ages of eleven and 2 years (and one nursing infant), it's a whole other ball game.

Dinner is finally consumed. Pleas to be excused from the table have been denied so that Daddy can read and discuss the Bible. After several minutes of beseeching the children to quiet down, calm down, sit down, and stop all the sillies, the Bible is placed on the table and opened to the book of James - the book the big kids have been studying this school year.

Tom reads the first part of the first verse,"Who is wise and understanding among you?" Immediately the two year-old pops up on his chair, thrusts his pudgy hands in the air, revealing his outie belly button and the top flap of his diaper, and screams, "I am!" 

The dining room erupts with giggles and uncontrollable laughter. The parents, I of course being one of them, desperately tries to not join in the ruckus, knowing that the ground just gained in quieting this motley crew will be utterly lost. But, alas, the pull is too strong, and both Tom and I give in. Our stern looks break into wide smiles and then laughter.

Once that episode passes, the two year-old seated once again in his chair, Tom begins to read again. He gets a little further in his reading, asks a question regarding "self-seeking" behavior when the two year-old interrupts again, this time with the passing of gas. His chubby cheeks spread wide from ear to ear with a mischievous grin and declares, "I toot!"

Explosive laughter bursts from all those seated around the table for the second time. It rolls from one person to the next and back again. Just when it seems control and quiet can be gained again, someone starts to giggle and then the whole thing starts over again. One child buries his head in his arms, while another bites himself in order to stop laughing...anything to stop laughing. The parents aren't laughing anymore. They're using those firm words again.

It's almost too much for us to handle. Do we just give up, close the book and save the rest for another day? We have fought the good fight. The battle feels hopeless.

The room settles and Tom quickly seizes his opportunity. "Let me just finish this section." He dives right in to verse 15 and continues reading all the way to verse 18. Whew! He made it! The last few verses are promptly discussed, camping briefly on what "willing to yield" means before dismissing the children from the table to do their "table chores" and then go get ready for bed.

Tom and I exchange a quick knowing look and smile. Despite it all, we love this crazy life! And...

the apples don't fall far from the tree:


Just an fyi - the mustache is gone. Yeah!

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