Monday, August 26, 2013

The Turtle

Xander at the library
"You can make a turtle now," announced the lady at the library. She had just led a lively 'toddler time' for at least twenty energetic young children. We had listened to two stories, sung three songs, jumped around with teddy bears, and had fun with a turtle finger rhyme. Now it was time for crafts.
My two and a half year old grandson eagerly grabbed two glue sticks and a pair of scissors while I searched for the other essentials- but the only supplies were a paper plate and two sheets of green and brown paper. I looked around hopefully for pre-cut shapes of a turtle's head, or tail, or feet- but there were none. So as Xander cheerfully coated the paper plate with masses of glue, I set about trying to create what might resemble a turtle.
I carefully cut out two blobs for the head and tail, and four spikey feet, all the while talking to my grandson...this is the turtle's head, here's his tail, and so on. I don't think he was listening...he was far too preoccupied with his second glue stick.
Together, we somehow managed to stick the head, tail, and feet at somewhat appropriate points around the rim of the plate. Good! But just as it was beginning to resemble something like a living creature, Xander remembered the scissors, and decided to try his cutting skills on my creation. With one swift snip, the turtle's head was gone. Oh no! I cried. With the next snip, the tail was shredded, followed rapidly by four severed feet. Then Xander started snipping around the edge of the paper plate, and looked up at me to gauge my reaction. I laughed at my preconceived idea lying in shreds on the carpet while another grandma next to me commented, It's his project, not yours.

Every year faithful Methodists around the world dutifully recite the challenging words of
John Wesley's Covenant Prayer:

I am no longer my own, but yours.
Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for you or laid aside for you,
exalted for you or brought low for you.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to your pleasure and disposal...

Wow! Do I really repeat those words every year? Do I really mean them? Because if I do, then I must surrender my life to the snipping...because after all, it's His project, not mine.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Blue Toes

As I perch on the stool with my feet wrapped in soft towels, and feel the warmth from the hot rocks underneath, I decide to be bold and go with blue nail polish. And as I step out of the spa sporting my new blue toes, I am reminded of a post called 'Beautiful Feet', that I wrote while visiting England two years ago...

I stood, riveted to the spa window and could not believe what I saw. Three people sat, dangling their feet in a fish tank, whilst hundreds of tiny fish nibbled hungrily at the dead cells between their toes. An eye catching sign on the wall above boldly declared:

Fish are good for the soles. 
Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of fish pedicures- a beauty treatment that I, for one, will not be taking advantage of.
Besides not being thrilled at the thought of fish eating my feet, I have found a far more effective way of keeping them beautiful. Whenever my feet take me into my classroom or my community; whenever I can encourage a child, or show them they are loved; whenever I can lead by example, or inspire little ones to open up a Bible....whenever I can bring the Good News of the gospel to children, I have found the perfect pedicure. Friends, if you are serving in children's ministry, then you have beautiful feet too.
And it is good for our souls.

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring Good News. Isaiah 52:7