March 5, 2009

Spiritual Birthdays and Tacos and stuff

Today is Travis's Spiritual Birthday and last thursday was Dawson's. When our kids were little there'd be God-talk-times, but there seems to be a definite time when children ask deeper questions and want to commit their life to God. Monte said he did it when he was eight, soon after realizing that his dad wasn't 'God' and in control of everything. He simply transferred that trust in his dad to trust in God.

I wrote these times on the calendar for each of our kids. Then each year we'd celebrate that birthday with a special treasure hunt meal. The meal had lots of condiments so we could hide them around the house. Since curry (which makes a great treasure hunt meal) isn't a favorite of my kids, we tended to do a taco meal. We'd make up riddles as clues to be left with each food item, guiding them to the next. Eventually everything is at the table and we can eat. There's a final note at their plate reminding them of their treasure in Heaven.

I quick fry corn tortillas so they're soft. Then there's bowls of cooked ground meat, grated cheese, chopped tomatoes, lettuce, green onions, and sour cream, and sometimes guacamole, chips and salsa, and maybe beans. It's one of my favorite childhood meals I grew up with, and my family loves it too. I prefer the soft cooked shells to the traditional crisp shells because the first bite tends to crack the shell down the middle and everything falls out! If you travel to Mexico soft corn tacos is traditional.

I still remember the first time we did this - and we usually retell the story. Heather was just learning to read. Monte was out of town and my sister Kelli was living with us (and that's a powerful story!) so I wrote out very simple clues. Travis, not able to read yet, was practically hanging on to Heather's shirt tail waiting for her to sound out the clues so they could run and find the food. Like she'd be saying, "Look in the re-frig g g g ..." with a hard 'g' sound, as she was slowly walking upstairs. Finally I said, "The refrigerator is not upstairs!" And they'd take off running and laughing.
When Deuteronomy says several times, "teach the children diligently", "tell the children" - this is kinda like another commemoration as is the Lord's Supper and Passover. I'll tell you, our kids never grew up wondering if they were a Christian or not. And what great memories we have celebrating (partying) together around God's Truth and Presence in our lives.

Yesterday at MOPS I did the devotional. It was Tea and Testimony day, so the whole time was filled with five people's stories. Lots of laughter, tears and evoked memories. I combined two things I've posted: The Jar of my life and the Spouse story.

Monte and me thought of some new connections: each of us, so not just me, but Monte, my kids, our friends ... have jars of their lives. I see the larger items as relational, long lasting, for better health and living beyond maintenance, and
maybe even eternal. When I got to the part in the story where Sarah's mom felt an urging to pray for Sarah's future mate at the same timing as Travis' horrible illness (if you're lost you need to click on the above stories and read) - I really started crying this time! Through my tears as I put my hand over my beautiful jar of fruit (I took it as a visual aid) I told of the possibilities when other persons have a grapefruit in their jar that they've named "Heart Keeping" and have that relationship with God - that there's a depth in relationships between spouses, relations, friends and community.

I was given a glimpse, tho twenty-some years later, of what the power of prayer can be. And I bet paradise is going to be full of these stories!

Another twist Monte and me are still pondering, is what if two people marry and they seem compatible and their jars are just filled with sand? What might that say? I had quickly voiced the book title "Amusing Ourselves to Death" as a possibility.
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