We're in the midst of some serious wedding insanity -- three out-of-state weddings in three weekends, and this weekend's is MY BROTHER'S -- and Darwin is gone this week at a conference. There is advanced chaos at the house. Everything I do is done in the least efficient way possible. People have fevers. Single parenthood has worn me down to the extent that I'm ordering pizza and picking up burgers rather than face my kitchen. In marriage, the two become one flesh, but right now I feel like Darwin took my mind. I left my brain in San Francisco.
As Darwin was getting out the door to the airport, the girls were in tears, sobbing goodbye and clinging. This surprised me, as in the past I've tended to think myself as the one mainly inconvenienced by Daddy being gone. The ladies are becoming more aware, and it's touching. I found Julia's welcome-home card, written on pretty craft paper:
I'm so glad you're back home. Please don't ever go away again. I missed you verry verry verry much.
Later the card was cut up so the paper could be used for some project, but the sentiment stands, I'm sure.
In these few days without Darwin, as I've melted into a lame puddle of goo trying to wash all the laundry in the house and change the hotel reservations and see which orthodontist is covered by insurance (I am not ready to enter the world of children with orthodontic devices), the importance of a good father has been brought home to me again and again. My children are blessed to descend from several generations of good fathers on both sides of the family, and the legacy of those holy, vigilant men is seen in the way my husband and father and brothers interact with my children, an example of God "bestowing mercy down to the thousandth generation, on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments" (Ex. 20:6).
But then I read about the epidemic of teens viewing porn, and my heart aches, not just for my own innocent children but for all those they will encounter in life who will be in thrall to this crushing sin. I know that all I can do for my children is to provide them with a good strong foundation to be able to avoid and withstand these sorts of assaults. Perhaps God's mercy to the thousandth generation is the gift to each generation to be able to confront the choices of adulthood with a self already oriented to what is good. That doesn't mean that every choice my girls (and my boy) make will be good -- God doesn't co-opt their free will, so neither can I -- but at least their wills will not be unduly warped or misaligned by the sins of previous generations.
I'm thrilled to think that in nine months my brother could be holding a child of his own. Then we'll get to see what the next generation of my family's fathers will be like. I think he could be a contender to start his own thousand-generation holiness dynasty.
Please pray for John and Gail this weekend, and for all family members discerning marriage.
Recipe time: Sloppy Joes
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