Can you take the heat?

It is hot here.  Really hot.

I’m a Canadian.  I’m used to cold.  Really cold.  And kind-of-hot in the summer time.  I am not used to the intense kind of heat that teams up with humidity.  This dynamic duo does strange things to me and to my house.

Did you know Kraft Dinner can mold?  Yes.  My mother in law brought a few boxes in for Lucas when she came to visit.  Three weeks later I went to open the box and it was a big, green, hard lump.  Nice.

Clothespins melt.  Rubber gloves melt.  The roof top tanks are like giant crock pots.  Last week, I got sun burnt hanging up the laundry.  That is either too much laundry or too much sun.  Or both.

Maybe I’m a little extra sensitive right now about my appearance with a 2 month old baby but I’m pretty sure the heat makes me ugly.   I am forever washing my hair and pulling it back into a knot of frizz and curls at the back of my sweaty head.  I’ve stopped trying with makeup since it slides right off.  Wardrobe choices waffle between a “less is best” sports shorts and tank tops philosophy and the “out of sight, out of mind” maxi dress approach.  The common denominator between both is that my usual capris don’t fit.  Still.

That said, I’m trying to get back into an exercise routine.  In the heat.  Good luck.

Another thing I’ve discovered about all this heat and humidity is that I tend to get a little cranky.  By the middle of the afternoon, I’m toast.  Let’s just say that it’s been good that both boys nap, since Mommy’s patience turns to steam at about 40 degrees.

I hear myself apologizing, saying, “Maybe it is just the heat getting to me.”  But what excuse is that?  Lucas doesn’t get a carte blanch to disobey or throw fits because it is hot.  He’s only 4.  I’m the adult here.

Yet, I like to look for excuses to reason away irritability or impatience, my disobedience or laziness or any other score of things that I am not proud of.

Recently I was discussing a work situation with a colleague.  A couple we are working with, having just come out of a rough patch in their marriage, are frustrated that God would allow a family problem on the heels of such a big challenge.  It doesn’t seem fair to them.  They were doing great and are now at each other’s throats again, questioning each other’s loyalty and commitment.  I found myself thinking, “Maybe this is what they need to reveal the truth of their hearts to each other.  If they only live on the surface with easy situations, they never have to deal with the real issues.”

Instead of shrugging things off and making excuses, I want to push in and ask what is being revealed to me about my character?   What needs to change?  Then, heat or no heat, I want to start to change it.

So, what about you?  Does turning up the heat make you ugly?

Flowers for Mom

My son loves me.  I mean, he really loves me.  There will come a day when I am neither cool nor knowledgeable but for now, I rank up there pretty high, close to his precious stuffed koala.  He loves to spent time with me; he loves it if I lay down to snuggle with him before his nap.  He loves if I tell him stories; he is ecstatic when we do crafts together.  Whether we are playing ball or playing in the dirt or hanging laundry on the roof, remarkably he doesn’t tire of being with me.  I can con him into doing most anything if I say the word “together” with a big smile.  The other day, he told me sweetly, “Mommy, I love you even when you are grumpy.”  How’s that for unconditional love?

 

Though he is often busy and crazy, he is a thoughtful little boy.  Shortly after the baby was born, he wanted to buy me flowers.  (His Daddy has taught him well.)  It had been one of those postpartum days where anything, good or bad, makes you cry.  Of course, when he walked in with flowers for me, I started to cry.  And cry.  His brow furrowed in confusion and concern.  I explained to him that the reason I was crying was because the flowers made me so happy.

 

Recently, we found a market close by that sells flowers in the national currency.  You can get a bunch of locally grown flowers like sunflowers or wild roses for the equivalent of $1.  This appears to be an important discovery to Lucas since having living flowers in the house is a tangible sign of his utmost affection for “little Mommy”.

 

The boys bought me flowers last week.   Every day he’d check on them and say, “Mommy, maybe we should change the water.  Mommy, aren’t they bea-uuu-tiful?  Don’t you just love them?  I got them for you to say I love you!” He would wrap his skinny, tanned little arms around my neck in a big hug.  Then, invariably, he would say, “When these flowers die Mommy, we need to get you new ones.  Then you will know that I love you.”  I kept them in the vase water jug until they were undeniably withered.  Even Lucas could see that they had died.

Today the boys went to the grocery store on the far side of town and Lucas spotted flowers.  Knowing that the roses from last week were really, really dead, he declared that I needed new flowers.  He burst through the door at a full tilt run calling me to tell me the grand news that he bought me brand new flowers.  To say he loves me.  Insert multiple hugs here.  And, did you know Mommy, these ones don’t even have “spines” so you can hold anywhere on the stem you want to.

 

And then, came the inevitable question:  “Mommy, why aren’t you crying?  Aren’t you happy?”

His pure delight is what gives me joy.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love flowers.  Somehow though, I can walk by the jug and not pay attention but every time I think of his upturned shining face, I have to smile.  It has reminded me afresh of how I want to bring a fragrant offering to my Father.  I suspect He too is more interested in my delight in giving it than in what I actually give.  And I find that thought rather liberating indeed.