Boys Are So Very Different From Girls.

So, I do realize that there are girls who love to get dirty and do a lot of things traditionally considered as masculine, and that there are boys who are quiet and reserved… but in the past few days, while we have been able to spend time with a family raising only girls, I have seen a startling large difference between my boys, my daughter and their girls…

My sons pick up sticks and immediately they are weapons; my daughter and her friends pick up sticks and immediately draw pictures in the sand.

My sons find bugs and want to dissect them, the girls run screaming, but then plead for the bugs’ lives.

My sons growl and throw a punch to express positive emotions, the girls whisper “I love you” and ask for a cuddle.

My daughter and her friends ask how they can help out when I am in the kitchen getting lunch; my boys grow increasingly more crabby the hungrier they become, and display it in wrestling, punching and shouting matches.

The girls want to build sand castles and have whole worlds of imagined life going on; my boys want to smash their castles and see who can drag the heaviest piece of drift wood the farthest.

My sons eat their weight in waffles at breakfast, the girls stop at one, even with the offer of more whipped cream.

The girls want to set up forts and find secret hide-outs to turn into homes; my sons turn hangers into bows and imaginary arrows and try to attack and plunder

The girls giggle after lights out, and sing songs and whisper; the boys have farting competitions and have to be asked to be quieter.

I have nodded politely when moms of only girls tell me, “oh, I understand what you mean about active and noisy, my girls are abnormally active and noisy!”  But, when my friends who are only raising girls remark on the differences between their girls and my boys, I know that the differences I see are very very real.  And, I feel extremely fortunate to be raising both!

 

 

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Growing

In the quiet hour I wait.  I see before me an unscalable mountain of living.  An exorbitant price to pay in the days ahead.  But I wait.  In quiet and in faint light I still my thoughts and calm my emotions.

From the echo within me resounds His familiar whisper;

From everlasting to everlasting I AM the shield around you; I AM your glory, the One who holds your head high.  You cry out to Me and before the words leave your lips I AM the One who hears you.  I hear you and I answer you.  I watch over you and I reign My peace around you.  You lay down and sleep in safety, and you arise renewed and with My strength.  

Pay attention and learn good judgement, for I AM giving you good guidance. Don’t turn away from My instructions.  Take My words to heart and follow my commands, get wisdom and develop good judgement.  My child, listen to me and do as I do and you will have a long good life. I will lead you in straight paths.  When you walk you won’t be held back; when you run, you won’t stumble.  

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.  Look straight ahead and fix your eyes on what lies before you. For I AM there, already breaking away the barriers and removing the enemy’s strongholds.  I AM the way, the truth and your life, I will not disappoint.  I will not let you down.  Protect the love you have for Me.  Guard it and keep it and I will keep you in My peace and I will keep you in My strength. 

Child, go where I go.  Follow where I lead.  In the moment I command, you must open your mouth and speak, and it will be so.  There will be no fear in your heart, and you will not stumble on your words.  For I AM dwells within you.  The mountains will crumble and the seas will shake at one look from your eye.  Stand firm before Me and watch.  Watch what I will do.  

And I have a picture in my mind, of a tiny child standing at her Father’s feet, with her back to his shins.  He is as large as an exaggerated shadow behind her, and Brilliant light of red and orange and yellow and purple behind him, shine around all that is before them. And as the tiny child raises her hand to command a herd of buffalo to stop, her Father’s hand raises behind her – and the herd stops.  And as she lifts her arms to tell them to go in another direction, her Father’s arms lift – and they go.  And in everything that the tiny child does or says, her Father behind her does and says – and it happens.

And when a storm rises up around them and the tiny child ducks down in fear, her Father bends himself down and surrounds her.  His whole self completely encompassing her in protection and comfort.  And when the sun shines again, and she raises up, so does her Father.

But, when a storm comes and the tiny child stands firm, her Father behind her rebukes the wind and the rain and calms the storm with one word.  In these moments I see the tiny child grow an inch or two.  I see the colors radiate vibrantly behind them, surrounding them more fully.

And the child’s movements grow more daring and the Father’s display of power increases.

Rekindled

Do you remember how you first felt when you fell in love for the first time?  When romance took you away in a cloud of light and fiery passion?  I remember falling in love, and I remember the floating feeling and the safety it provided.  I remember the desire to escape the eyes of others to be alone with Him.  I remember our dates.  I remember sitting for hours in His embrase.

Then life happened.  People moved into my sphere and desired more attention, attention I was happy to give and to receive.  More of me was expected and demanded as more people entered in.  And, somehow that first love got pushed into the back corner of a closet.

Every now and then I would long for it.  I would miss it, and the ache would drive me to go digging through a pile of forgotten things to find it.  Sometimes I would see a fleeting glance of that old light, or feel a twinge of that fire.  But reality soon came calling and it’s message was that all my striving to work up enough faith to pretend it was there was only keeping me from doing what was expected to be done today.

The thing about reality and people is that they sometime ask a lot.  Sometimes the requests are cutting and deeply wounding.  Sometimes they are so consistent they become comforting in their dependability.  Reality never lets dreams soar too high, and people help us remember our reality.  Even if they don’t mean to.

But, if the chance happens that you hear a faint and familiar whisper – listen to it!

With more people in my life now then ever before, more demands and responsibilities looming high on my shoulders, more ways I disappoint rather than fulfill, I heard it.  A whisper from the back of forgotten. And a stirring, a longing and a yearning in response rose up within me.  And I found them; the old love letters.  I flipped through them, the dust rising as a reminder of how many years have passed.

And now, years apart from when I was young, free to go wherever I heard my name on His lips, I find His love once again.  Here, in this hour, when life and troubles and duties and rolls I play have stitched themselves to me like a permanent garment shown in wrinkles and stretch marks; now I find His love is as strong as it was then. His desire as passionate and consuming as then.

But, now, I feel awkward.  No longer the youth, no longer naive or innocent, I feel as if I am reaching through a fog to grasp His hand once again.  I hear His voice as if through water, I see His eyes as if in a shadow.  And then, there is the matter of my forgetting Him altogether and a wall of self-consciousness parts us further. But all He says is, remember.

When memories flick through my mind I feel that old passion tingling to life.  I feel that complete surrender and that awe and desire churning up deep inside.  And the more I remember, the more I long for Him, for that love, for that abandoned life.  I remember also, the total acceptance, the unconditional provisions of tender wooing, when flaw and inadequacies only made His love that much more precious, that much more powerful a force within me.

And in all my wondering what the many flaws acquired between then and now will mean to Him, He reaches through the water and fog and shadow, and pulls aside my wall of self-consciousness as if it were only a thin veil, uncovering me at the very core of myself.  Standing there completely exposed before His eyes, tears dripping down my cheeks as He takes me in, I am filled with wonder.  The look in His eye grows more passionate in each passing second, so passionate it stirs a twinge of fear up my spine.  Yet His touch is gentle, so gentle.

He takes me in His arms, enfolds me in His embrace, and He speaks:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as Mine.

How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful!

Like a lilly among thorns.

Show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.  You are beautiful, my darling, beautiful beyond words! You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful beyond words.

You have captured my heart, my treasure, my bride. Your love delights me, you hold me hostage with one glance from your eye.

I have examined your heart and I know you from the inside out. I know every small move you make, and every thought you think. 

I have never left your side, never have you gone anywhere that I haven’t already gone ahead and prepared for you. I have sealed up every place you have left, and kept each memory with me, next to my heart.

You have thought you were hidden, but never from My sight. 

Never were you where I was not.

My treasured friend, my love, I made all your delicate inner parts, I formed your body while you were still hidden from this world, I watched you form in perfection, I watched over all your complex and marvelous workings, watched as each of your days ahead were numbered and written in My Father’s book. 

My love for you grew with each passing moment, with each beat of your unborn heart. How precious were your thoughts to me then, as they are now!

Never will there be a day, never will there come an hour when My love for you will diminish. 

Never will there be a more lovely sight to Me then you.”