I was wandering in the library a few weeks ago in the 1's section of the Dewey decimal system and stumbled across a book about books (LOVE) and picked it up to glance through. It is called The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma.
I'm only about halfway through it, but it inspired me.
And I told my boys and it inspired them.
The story is about a father and his daughter and about the promise they made to have the father read aloud to his daughter EVERY evening for at least 10 min without missing an evening.
Overwhelming to think about...
but they did it.
And then they continued on... eventually reading every evening, without fail for over 3,000 evenings!
Impressive... and, I thought, impossible in our crazy busy lives.
But, the boys wanted to try it... and deep inside, I wanted to try it too.
So we set a goal to read together for 101 consecutive nights
("Because, mom, we have to do MORE than they did or it wouldn't be worth it.").
Currently we are almost finished with this weird little book... by the author of
The Series of Unfortunate Events books, which we all enjoyed (and it has a great character to do a semi-angry British sounding accent for, a fun diversion for me).
And last night was night fourteen.
And last night was probably the hardest night.
Harder than the nights we get home from our crazy busy Wednesday nights of AWANA and we are so tired we want to just collapse into bed... but we read.
Harder than the nights I forget we're doing this and I'm all cozy in my bed, with my book, and my son reminds me of the goal, and I set aside my book to read for ten minutes with them when I really just want peace and quiet, but we read.
Last night was harder, because right before I stepped into the shower, one of my sons accidentally (but thoughtlessly and carelessly) broke the ceiling fan/light fixture in the living room.
And Mr. Measure is gone for the week.
And we don't have money to replace it.
And I WAS MAD.
And I YELLED because
I sent him to his room and spent my shower time in prayer and tears and anger.
And knew there was NO WAY I could go read to the three of them tonight with all this emotion and anger.
I prayed for God to change me, because it is definitely not within myself to do it.
And He reminded me that
the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.
And I want righteousness for me, and for my boys, more than anything...
and He calmed me.
And He reminded me of another mom who promised to quote verses in the present tense when she is angered and frustrated.
And He was faithful, yet again, to this sinful, easily angered, just-leave-me-alone mom.
And because of His unending grace, and His example,
I was able to call my wild, angry-tearful boy into my room,
calm my voice,
lower my eyebrows,
hold my pointing finger in check,
and tell him I was wrong.
My anger does not teach him, or help him figure out what he is going to do about the light.
And could he forgive me?
And he said yes.
And he was sorry.
This full of life, active, testosterone filled man-boy forgave his sin filled mother.
And we we able to complete night 14 of our 101 nights,
all because of the wild, unrestrained grace of a God who unconditionally loves His daughter.