Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Night and Day

My kids are as different as night and day.

I hear folks say that all the time-- mostly when their kids are in the middle of a scuffle of sharing and self-centered-ness. It really doesn't have to do with one kid being one way and another kid being "different." The natural man prefers himself over his brother from birth. He at least prefers his brother's toys, and in that respect the boys are in fact very much the same.

My sons (age 5 and 3) are in many ways different. They are in as many ways alike. They are both curious, busy and desire to be the hero of whatever scenario in which they find themselves (be it reality or fantasy). However, my first son is very compliant. He rarely needs more than, "Please stop," to actually stop. He usually need not be reminded. He then scatters with a smile. He then feels compelled to correct other children. And if they choose poorly, he carries the guilt of the burden of their trespass.

My second son is, um, yeah. Not so much. He is not mischievous, but Mr. Chievous. (Half of you got that.) He's a different kind of curious. He's contrary, determined and self-confident. He's boisterous, loud, proud and domineering. He knows his boundaries and is always playing a mind game within his own lumpy head of weighing out the desired conquest with the corresponding consequence.

Tony Evans once said, "Love is like a fire. A fire in the fireplace is a good thing. A fire in the curtains is not." Tony used this illustration to talk about the grounds for love and lust within the context of marriage and the danger outside of it. I think that the illustration can be used toward child rearing as well.

The will is given to all boys and girls. Being strong-willed is not an undesirable quality in a child. How many women's stories do we read our daughters as we brush their hair at night before bed? Laura Ingalls Wilder, Corrie Ten Boom, Clara Barton, Nellie Bly, Mother Theresa... And as we tie our sons shoes and hand them their sticks with the battle cry, "Go, fight, win!" how many men of strong will do we hold as champions to our sons because of their unwavering, iron wills? William Wallace, Patrick Henry, Todd Beamer... These heroes are rightfully exalted for their resolute and steadfast course.

The opposite of strong-willed is not compliance but being self-willed. If God calls us to practice self-control, how are we to do that if not by a strong will, fervent on an intent to accomplish His will for His kingdom and our own good? The intensity of the will is one beast: either strong or weak. But the direction of the will is another animal.

Being self-willed is never attractive. It's stingy. It's bratty. It always prefers itself over others. And even though there is a tremendous difference, the line is narrow between breaking a child's tendency toward self-willed behaviour and breaking his or her spirit.

I'm grateful for the variety in disposition among my children. My goal isn't to make them all the same. My goal is to teach them how to see their own strengths as their purpose; recognize their own weaknesses and grow; praise their brother's strengths, and not seethe; never exploit his brother's weakness in vengeance, and above all things, love and serve one another.

Night and day do not have to be opposing, they were created to be complimentary. Who doesn't like a compliment?

Friday, June 26, 2009

What is love?

Here is something that our Pastor just reminded us.

Love is:
*commanded by Jesus before he ascended to heaven john 15:12.
*meeting the needs of a person in such a manner that will require personal sacrifice.
*unconditional commitment to an imperfect individual.
*kept alive through little acts of kindness & thoughtfulness.
*giving and expecting nothing in return.
*making a true effort to embrace others who condemn us.
*costing us our leisure time & energy,but it reaps great rewards.

My actions speak louder than my words.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


In 1992 I shattered the radius, ulna and humerus in my left arm. It took 8 weeks in a cast and 2 years to heal. When my cast was removed, the doctor announced that the hardware inside my elbow could remain there for life because my growth plates showed full maturity. At 12 years old and 5'3" tall I had to face my future like a woman. A short woman. Or as I would later learn in my high school years in the ghetto, like shawty.

Yesterday I was standing on a chair.

I began standing on chairs a LONG time ago. Whose idea was it to put cabinets 9 feet in the air?! While standing on said chair, I nearly suffered an aneurysm when I discovered an entire herd of dust bunnies who'd moved in to apartment above my refrigerator called "the top of my refrigerator."

That was when it dawned on me. I don't dust on top of the fridge because I can't see up there unless I'm standing on a chair. My husband can see it every time he walks by. My father can see it. My brother in law, Wonder Woman Heather Tomberlin and other Amazon women, Paul Bunyan (if he were real) and all of the Cleveland Caveliers can see it, but not me.

Here's the point: if I'd never seen it, and never known it, it would have never bothered me. But now I know. Great. Not unlike King Solomon I lamented, "In much wisdom, is much grief."

What shortcomings and faults in your own life are visible to other people but not so much to you? You know, the hard issues in life don't just go away if you avoid them. They tend to multiply, well, like bunnies.

Why Silly Beautiful?

In fourth grade my homeroom teacher was Mrs. Rhyne. On the first day of school, she made very clear to the room full of 9 year-olds that her name was, "Rhyne like a watermelon rhine and not Ryan like a lion." The pencil sharpener was next to the door in that class. If you sharpened your pencil at 8:24 am you could see the sixth graders walking to band class.

You know how when you're in school there are the pretty girls? Not just pretty girls, but THE pretty girls? The ones whose hair was always silky, whose nails were half polished from sleepovers they were still sending notes about? Even though your parents spent half of your adolesence assuring you that'd you'd never remember elementary school, you probably remember the pretty girls. If you were her: you knew it. If you were not her: you knew that, too. Pretty girls can't help being pretty, it just kind of descends on them like dew kissing strawberry leaves in early April fields. Come to think of it, pretty girls usually have names like April Fields.

In fourth grade we wrote an awful lot. Once we had to write an essay about what we would do if we were left alone in a shopping mall overnight. Having grown up on a tobacco farm in rural North Carolina, I'd only ever been to a shopping mall for two reasons. It was either September, school was about to begin and that meant it was time for a new pair of white leather keds, or I was going to eat dinner at the K&W restaurant with my Mom and Nana.

In class that day we all stood and read aloud. Lisa Cendoma stood and read that she would go to a store called Sam Goody and buy all of the Paula Abdul tapes and all of the New Kids on the Block tapes and bring them back home to share with her friends. That was the moment that I knew I was not cool. I don't remember what I wrote in that essay, but I was the only kid in the class who had never heard of Sam or Paula... and I was also the only girl who wasn't wearing a New Kids on the Block button the size of her own head on her New Kids on the Block t-shirt (which was tucked in to her tight rolled jeans, and secured with her brown leather braided belt that went under and back through to face down.)

I'm a huge fan of the band Waterdeep. Their first song from the Everyone's Beautiful album is called "He will come." It begins:

Soon it will be hammered into what she calls her silly head
That she really isn't silly but she's beautiful instead

The rest of the lyrics are at the bottom of the page. Hope I don't get in trouble for printing those.

I was 21 and in college before I heard these lyrics. Standing on the cold linoleum floor tiles in the girl's dormitory, brushng my still wet hair and getting ready for psych class, I couldn't believe what she had sang. I had thought about what it meant to be beautiful for a long time. Years later those were the lyrics that I sang over my son, just moments after Pete and I welcomed our first born child into the world and stared into his warm pink cone head.

I had always been quick witted, eager to joke and laugh... optimistic and just naturally silly. Finding the silver lining comes as naturally to me as being cool comes to the pretty girls in life. But when I became a mom I felt beautiful. I felt feminine and purposed and intentional. Being a mommy is my greatest earthly joy.

So many young girls, grown women and old ladies are searching to find fulfillment. There is a God shaped void in us all that brings fulfillment and joy when it is filled with His love, in His Spirit by His Son, Jesus Christ. I hope that this blog will help every silly woman, every nerdy woman, every sporty woman... every literate woman feel beautiful in the Lord for who she is just how He made her to be.

(The illiterate women should feel special too, they just, you know, can't read this...)

--sadie s.h.

He Will Come

Soon it will be hammered into what she calls her silly head
That she really isn't silly but she's beautiful instead
But every time she gets a hold of something pretty, it slips away
So she keeps hoping that someday soon


He will come. He will come
He will comfort all that's hardened
change the deserts into gardens
and we all will see His face.
He will come. He will come.
He will soften all the starkness
Break the chambers of our darkness
and we'll all be overwhelmed
She spilled her coffee in her Chevy on the way to work at 8:05
She always thought that she was clumsy and she hated it and wondered why
She can handle any tragedy that happens but not little things like this
So she keeps hoping that someday soon


Within the world of a girl, the words she hears they mean an awful lot

And the music in her mind when she gets older has the lyrics she was taught
and when she gets to heaven all the right things will be said
And He will look on her with favor


All my scars will turn to fountains

All my valleys into mountains
And we all will see His face
All you watchmen lift your voices
Then every boy and girl rejoices
when we'll all be overwhelmed