Friday, April 17, 2009

The In-MOM-erator 3000

Do you have one of these under your sink? As a child we always had a garbage disposal. When we moved my dad would uninstall it and our beloved in-sink-erator would move with us.

After we were first married and I would be peeling carrots and potatoes for stew, I always got frustrated at not being able to peel right into the sink, turn on the water and flip a switch..and POOF! like magic have my mess would disappear. Needless to say the good old garbage disposal was high on my home reno list. Bruce had never had a disposal, so he didn't see the need, but he wanted to eat, so he humored me. After some help from my father, Bruce was able to...okay, so it didn't quite go that way...after Bruce stood around watching my father install my special purchase from Sears, I looked down into my drain and saw the familiar, comforting sight. AHHHHH! Less environmentally friendly than compost (although we do try to do that too), but so much easier. All the less desirable parts of produce disappearing with the flip of a switch. The only down side is the grinding, grating, rumbling beneath the sink.

I want my children to grow up eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, so I buy fresh produce even when it's not all that cheap. But I want my children to enjoy eating fruits and vegetables and develop a life-long habit of healthy eating, so I try to keep the house fairly well-stocked. I often find myself walking over to the fruit bowl and seeing a pristine pear, but I leave it because one of my kids may want it. Fast-forward a few days, when the pear is not so pristine, a little bruised from being shoved around the bowl and bashed against the bananas. Many snack times that pear has been offered and refused. It is now looking tired, beaten and a little mushy. Since we live in Winnipeg and local produce amounts to mushrooms and onions this time of year, the pear wasn't cheap. How I wish I could rewind back to when that pear looked edible, and I actually felt like eating it, but I can't, so I turn on the water, rinse off the pear and toss it into the in-mom-erator 3000 (aka me). The kids didn't want the pear, they've been inhaling strawberries for the last few days at $4.99 a pound. I finally broke and bought the big pack and somehow they don't feel like strawberries anymore. As the days pass and some of the strawberries start to get the deep pink of upcoming fermentation, I convince Luke to have a bowl. I'm dropping the hulls and leaves into the sink (because even I have limits), and as Luke comments that he doesn't want any mushy ones I start popping every other strawberry into my mouth. Only the non-mushy get the privilege of making it into the bowl, all else goes into the trusty in-mom-erator, unless I can convince the boys to have a smoothie. Last Christmas the mandarins were a hot commodity in my house. I bought box after box. At first the boys ate and ate them. Then the boys kept asking for them, peeling them and then I'd find them sitting around, sometimes without a single segment missing. Have no fear in-mom-erator 3000 can make that unwanted orange disappear.

Yes, the in-mom-erator 3000 is unparalleled at handling unwanted fruit, but that isn't all it can do...see how it quickly consumes the chicken left untouched on plate. Crusts a problem? Not only can the in-mom-erator 3000 take care of those unsightly pieces of sandwich but it provides an exchange service, trading crusts for a piece of her own sandwich with nary a crust in sight. All that unwanted food quickly disappears and the only down side is the grumbling sound...something about "fussy, ungrateful children"

Friday, April 10, 2009

What's so Good about Friday?

Before I was a parent, I thought I knew how much God loved me. I had loved my family, I had loved my friends, and I knew it was kinda like that. I love my husband absolutely, utterly, completely...but there is still the give and take of a marriage and its love relationship. I’d sacrifice for my husband without question, and I figured that was a lot like God’s Love...

That was before I glimpsed what His Love was like from God’s point of view. That all happened when I had children. I love my children dearly. It doesn’t matter if they’re constantly doing things I’ve told them not to do. It doesn’t matter if they refuse to give me a hug, or continually forget to say “thank-you”. Although I can’t say I have God’s patience with them when they are whining on and on about something insignificant, I can tell you that I still love them as much as when they are happy and smiling and behaving. I may be angry at their bad behaviour when they act like monsters, but I love them even in that anger.
Young children are incredibly self-centered. But I dare say that as “adults”, many of us are only a little better. While we wander around this planet doing things we know we shouldn’t do, whining about our lives instead of being thankful that we have been blessed with so much, thinking our life is all about us, there’s God watching, (sometimes shaking his head I’m sure), and loving us. We may love God, but truthfully our love with God is more one-sided than reciprocal. It’s like our love for Him is small, compact, pea-sized, and His for us is enormously mountainous.
I like to believe that I would be willing to give up my life to save another. But then, I think about Abraham being willing to kill his son for God. I can’t say that my faith would be strong enough to be willing to give up my child’s life. At work, I see worst case scenarios some days. Parents faced with a terrifying diagnosis, watching their child suffering, or dealing with a dying child. So often I see that same look on the mother or father’s face and I know that they are wishing that they could do something, anything to put themselves into their child’s place, to sacrifice themselves instead of having their child go through the pain. I don’t think I recognized this before I had my own children, and I hope that I never have to experience it first-hand as a parent.
But I am that child. My Father sacrificed His son, a part of Himself, to save me when I certainly didn’t deserve it. I know I still can’t fathom the immense depth of God’s love, but I now understand the nature of the sacrifice that was made for me.