Thursday, February 19, 2015

Chimp-Level Christianity

Philip and I take martial art classes together.  It's one of the things that we can learn and do together, plus it gives us some physical exercise aside from toddler-chasing.  Let me qualify: we take Krav Maga (pro. krahv mah-GAH').  For those of you that aren't familiar with this Israeli self-defense training, it's rather abrupt, brutal, basic, and has very little "art" to it.  Here's a YouTube video of some gorgeous stuff.  It's essentially the opposite of the popular Tae Kwon Do, which is technical, graceful, and sporty.  The concept behind Krav is to neutralize the threat of attack as quickly and efficiently as possible, using the most basic techniques in hand-to-hand combat.  There are very few (if any) technicalities and absolutes.  For this reasons, we joke that it's a "chimp-level" martial art.  It's unsophisticated, straightforward, and doesn't require someone to be much smarter than a monkey.  Chimp-level.

My two good-looking guys

With that concept in mind, shift gears with me for a moment.  All my life, I've been learning about God and His Word.  I feel as though much of my learning has been technical, deep, and sometimes complicated, like Tae Kwon Do.  My walk with God has been (mostly) consistent, (usually) rich, and (reasonably) deep.  However, alllllll of that has changed now that I have children.  Seriously.  All of a sudden I understand more about what God says in Isaiah 40:11 (emphasis mine):

He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.

I've always enjoyed that verse-- the idea of God leading His children with compassion and kindness. However, until I had kiddos of my own, I was not able to understand the "gently lead those that are with young" part.  He indeed gently leads mamas.

Now that I have kiddos, I feel as though 2/3 of my previous study and learning has been placed in a closed, locked, and inaccessible file drawer.  The remaining 1/3 of the files have been effectively scrambled (by a toddler, no doubt), so that accessing them requires time and focus to sort through the jumble of mismatched information.  Not only do I not have the same mental capacity that I did before I have children (remember the Mama-brain??), but I almost have to start over in my examination of Scripture and my relationship with God.  

Here's what I mean: as I interact with my kids and begin to teach them about Jesus, I have to start at ground-zero with the basics, similar to Krav Maga.  "Jesus loves me" is a common phrase in our home, and a regularly sung song (it makes a great teeth-brushing timer).  Suddenly, I need to reevaluate what that means for me, and for my kids.  How do I communicate Jesus' love to a two-year-old?  Suddenly, I'm smiling as I talk about Jesus, and think more about His simple love.

My kiddos love their kiddo-Bible.  Actually, I love it, too.  It's fairly thorough, with simple language and lovely illustrations.  It's basic, as it should be.  Through the Gospels, each page emphasizes an amazing thing that Jesus did: healing a lame man, giving sight to the blind, raising a girl from the dead, healing the sick, being compassionate, loving on children, etc etc.  The details of the story are left out, so as I read, I'm only focusing on the basics of what wonderful things Jesus did, and how amazing He is.  I'm not able to get "stuck" on the complex ideas behind it all.

Teaching a kiddo about Jesus feels like chimp-level Christianity.  There is nothing fancy, but only the basics.  It focuses on the most important, most relevant aspects of Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  Oddly enough, it's so, so refreshing.  When my brain just is too scrambled to hold any deep truth, the concept that "Jesus cares about a worried mother" can speak volumes to my heart and soul.  The stories about how Jesus reached out and valued children is enough to bring me to tears.  It shows me how much He loves my kiddos.  The story of the boys that dissembled a roof to get their lame friend to Jesus tells me that crazy people have been around for a long time.  Sometimes we need to be that unconventional to pursue Christ.

Little Man eating his breakfast and "reading" the newspaper
He's 2 going on 30

Again, chimp-level.  It's basic.  Right now, though, it's how God is gently leading this Mama-with-young.  He is showing me His love through His Word, and it's a simple love.  I'm at a point where I need things spelled out slowly, using small words.  Please, nothing complex.  It's too overwhelming.

Now, my kiddos are about up from nap.  They mercifully slept long.  I'll go get them up and tell them how much they are loved by Jesus, how precious they are to Him and to their daddy and me.  -Tchau


In other news, my kiddos made bread with me before dinner, and decided that the bread was "napping" with a "blanket" because it was rising covered with a towel.  Never thought of the bread as napping.  Huh.  Now I'll never think of it any other way.

This past weekend my mom and I took the kids to the beach so Philip could get some work done.  Here's a few pics from that trip (and the past few weeks) that you might enjoy.

Fashionista at Claire's

Trying on glasses at Claire's

Again, 2 going on 30.  #oldsoul #justlikedaddy

Anya sporting mama's glasses, and some nutty braids

GrandmaBee wearing Anya in a wrap

One of my favorites right now

Anya was not pleased with the scuba-divers
cleaning the fish tanks.  It was safer on
GrandmaBee's lap.

Happy GrandmaBee

Coming through the tall grass with GrandmaBee

A stranger was kind enough to take our picture
Anya is doing fantastic with pronunciation, and is beginning to put together 4-word sentences, such as "Where did Jayce go?" She also pooped through 4 pairs of pants today.

Jayce saw my bare feet today and located "mama socks" for me.   I felt rather obligated to wear socks for the rest of the day.  He's such a sweetheart.  If crumbs stick to his hand, the world stops spinning and he needs a "nakkin" (napkin) to be clean again.

I have a cold, and am praying I don't transfer it to my children.  Apart from a miracle, I think it's a hopeless case though.

Ok, goodnight.