Thursday, April 16, 2009

All In the Name of Love

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Easter Sunday is my favorite religious holiday of the year because the crux of my entire belief system is built on the death and resurrection of my Saviour for the salvation of my soul from sin and death.

Every year Easter is basically the same -- the Easter basket reveal, church, the family dinner. The only thing that changes is where we eat and what is served. And every year I struggle to keep the focus on what the day is all about.

The commercialism is sickening. As hard as I try to keep the focus on what the day symbolizes, I always wonder if Bradley really gets it; if he really understands that all of humanity hangs in the balance as we pray that all will hear the message of the Easter story and will be touched by the love of God. As I prayed for God to really open Bradley's eyes up to what this day was all about in the midst of the excitement of the eggs filled with candy, the bunny, and the anticipation of what else might be in the basket, he did it in a way that only he can. Thus begins our Easter story...

This year we went to my parents' house. My Mom and Dad live across town from us, in a newer neighborhood than ours with lots of kids roaming the streets at any given hour. I'm envious of that most days because although we live within the Nashville city limits in a house with "more character" (btw that's a nice way to refer to it rather than "older." This also works for referring to your wife as the years go by, guys...that one was free, you can thank me later ;)), we can't just turn the kids loose to return when the street lights come on. Not because where we live is dangerous, but because there are no kids to speak of withing walking distance. And frankly, it can be a little eerie to watch as my son becomes Dr. Doolittle. But for as much as I like the idea of kids in the neighborhood, I was reminded on Easter of why I'm thankful to not have a kid in every house on my street...

Bradley came running into the kitchen summoning my Mother to the door and as she answered the door I heard an adult male voice. I was busy feeding the baby in the kitchen and couldn't leave so I sent my husband out to see what had happened. I knew it involved my son and I fully expected to hear that he and the neighbor boy next door whom he's been friends with since he was a year old, had gotten into a neighbors yard and broken something or some other sort of 8 year old boy mischief. But instead, I heard talk of bullying, physical and verbal abuse, and it was aimed towards my sweet boy.

Now anyone who has ever watched Animal Planet or Discovery Channel knows that the quickest way to get yourself hurt in the wild is to mess with a mother's baby. Humans, as sophisticated as we are, are no different than any other animal when it comes to this instinct. The neighbor who had watched the whole situation progress explained it all.

My son had been playing with his friend all afternoon. Things seemed to be going fine up to this point. They had played war, baseball, and hide and go seek. Then enters another boy and a cute girl and suddenly the dynamics changed. Bradley went from playing war to the charming jokester that he is, all to impress the little girl two houses down. No more was his friend the center of Bradley's attention, but this girl hadn't even noticed that he was standing there (this tends to happen when Bradley is around...I mean let's face it, the boy is cute!). Bradley had just stumbled into the dangerous territory of the bruised male ego. As this flirtatious exchange is going on between Bradley and the neighbor girl, another neighborhood boy pulls up on his bike. After a minute of observation, the two boys, both bigger and older, decide to defend their turf. They begin taunting Bradley and making fun of him. They tease him about liking the girl and they sing the k-i-s-s-i-n-g song.

When Bradley doesn't seem bothered by any of this they take it to the next level, one he can't ignore. One boy pushes Bradley down, and as he gets up rubbing his elbow they taunt him some more and ask him why he doesn't let his girlfriend kiss it. This infuriates Bradley and in an attempt to save face he punches his friend square in the nose. By this time, the neighbor is heading across the street to break it up. But not before one boy grabs my baby and the other one grabs his shoe off his foot and clocks him right across the top of the face getting his cheek and head with the sole of the shoe.

And there stood Bradley, all dressed in his Easter best not understanding where it all went wrong and there I stood, a mother with rage in her eyes and total sin in her heart. In this moment I was ready to lose my religion on a couple of eight year old boys. I envisioned myself giving these kids the beating they well deserved but knew I couldn't. I envisioned my self saying things I shouldn't even type. All in the name of a mother's love for her child, in the name of defending the innocent and defenseless...and then, a thought entered my mind. The thought of what that day was about. The thought of my Saviour enduring taunting and beatings much worse than this. The thought of how Mary must have felt to watch her son, her baby, innocent, broken in both spirit and body to the point of death. How did she feel? Did she have the urge to jump in front of him? Did she have the urge to draw a sword, and though she was no match for those who sought to end his life, die trying to save him? Or was she able to hold on, though heartbroken, to the faith that had been established in her from his conception? I imagine so...just as I was reminded in this moment of the promise that I held on to so desperately through my conception as an unwed mother -- Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

And while I'm no Mary and Bradley is no Jesus, I believe that on this day I was given the perfect teaching opportunity, the opportunity that I was praying for, an opportunity to teach Bradley, to draw a parallel from an innocent sinful human suffering injustice to an innocent sinless God suffering injustice, all in the name of Love.

Have you ever been so incited with rage that you act or envision yourself acting in ways that you never thought you could?

Here's a video of Bon Qui this incident happened I almost took on her persona..."I will cut you!". Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Pink Prayer Answered

Today is a special day in the Luca house. As I reflect back on where we were a year ago today, I couldn't have imagined the impact this day would have on our family -- the birth of our precious Chloe Grace -- our special pink answer to prayer. This time last year there was anxious anticipation as we awaited the day when she would decide she was ready to enter life in the outside world.

Joby and I had dreamed of her long before we were even pregnant. We prayed and hoped for a little girl being that we already had a sweet boy. And well, let's face it, if you know know that I'm as girly as it gets. And frankly, I think Bradley appreciated the Lord obliging us with a girl as much as more accompanying Mom on boring shopping trips for him. So upon receiving the news that we were indeed pregnant, we immediately began discussing names for her even before knowing if she was a her.

I loved the name Chloe from the start as did my husband but he also loved the name Lilly. And while I liked Lilly a lot, I just really wanted to name her Chloe. Due to our stalemate, we agreed not to use either name and began discussing other possibilities. We considered Whitney, Whitley and Addison. We discussed Hadley but then decided that it would just be too weird to call Hadley and Bradley to dinner at night. We seriously considered Piper and thought we had pretty much settled on Arden. Then one day Joby came home and said Chloe -- I want to name her Chloe. I was elated...then came the waiting for the arrival of ultrasound day... Was she even going to be a Chloe?

November 19th came and after much anticipation -- the reveal. She was indeed the little girl we had hoped and prayed for.

As the months went by and I planned every detail of her room from the PB kids bedding (just an FYI, I bought the bedding on clearance) to the "Holy Pink" paint on the walls (Joby’s first words when he saw the wall color), our dreams and wonder of her grew.

Would she look like him or me? Would she even like the sickening amount of pink I bought for her? Would she be a fun seeking, outgoing, creative dreamer like me? Or would she be a melancholy, analytical, order seeker like her dad? Both qualities needed for balance in the world I might add. J Would she be a rule follower or a rule breaker? Would she grow to love me or would we spend our lives at odds as some mothers and daughters do? And Lord, oh Lord, let her be healthy.

Flash forward to April 14, 2008 – D-Day. She was here and she was more beautiful than we could have imagined. Big Blue eyes and dimples to die for, and most importantly, she was healthy too. A total answer to prayer!

The past year has flown by and while the full revelation of who this baby girl is that we affectionately call Chlo Belle is yet to be discovered, the Lord has given us wonderful glimpses of who He has uniquely designed her to be. She has brought such joy to this house and I will forever remember my blessing on this day.

My Prayer for Chloe:

I pray salvation for your soul. That you will walk closely with the Lord, know him intimately, walk in his ways and in his will always while on this earth and to eternity.

I pray blessings upon your life. Ten fold for the blessings you give.

I pray favor upon your life. That you will be shown favor by both Man and God.

I pray wisdom for you. That you will examine your life carefully and the lives of those around you, learn from both your mistakes and the mistakes of others, and seek the Lord with every decision.

I pray direction for you. That you will know the Lord’s path for you and pursue the dreams he puts in your heart.

I pray for compassion and grace in your life. That you will extend these to others and that they will know Him because of you.

And lastly (much to your father's dismay J -- just joking) I pray for your future husband. That he be a godly man worthy of your love. That he would love and cherish you like the jewel you are, a daughter of the King and that you will be a wife that will make him a better man in the eyes of the Lord.

All these things in the name of our Mighty Savior, Christ Jesus, Amen.

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!


Ma Ma

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I finally gave in...

Well, here I am blogging at last. I set this up in May of last year and have just sat on it. I've resisted for a long time because, well, frankly...I didn't want to jump on the band wagon and do it because everyone else was. I also guess I wondered if I really had anything to say that was worth writing about. But at the urging of my husband and the Holy I go! I don't know how often I'll post because I have a hard enough time trying to balance things in my life off of the computer but maybe if I set up some sort of system and get up earlier in the morning I can make it happen...we'll see. I'm open to suggestions and comments on how to make my blog better with the exception of grammer and punctuation. The reason I don't want help in those areas is because I believe you'll be able to follow my writing fine without perfection in these areas. It'll be more like we're having a cup of coffee or two and a conversation. Hope you enjoy!