Thursday, August 9, 2012

Talking me Through it

I spent the morning with my mother in law, and the afternoon getting my new children's book formatted and set to go to print. It should be available in a week or so. I am really excited about this book because it is a true story about an amazing dog, born deaf and blind and any sales made through result in 100% profits to my favorite animal rescue. (They are getting set up so you can preorder books once the details are in.) Win-win situation- they get riches, I get fame, Tommy the dog gets creamsicles (his favorite treat.) I hope the reader gets something too. It is meant to be a tale about loving others for who they are, not for their perfection, but with all their imperfections. I needed the message maybe more than my readers.

I have a rising tenth grader and I am already mourning the day she will leave our home. For one thing, besides the fact that she brings me great joy, she is astonishingly good at computer graphics and design. She spent the afternoon helping me with the book formatting. Every time she walked out of the room, I ruined things. Every time she walked in the room, they were magically restored. What am I going to do without her?

"You will learn to do it yourself," she told me sternly.
"I will never learn all this!" I wailed.
"You can find instructions just by googling key words," she urged.
"It takes so long!"
"And you just fiddle around with it and try different things. That's how you learn," she told me.

Of course, I am sure this role of teaching a recalcitrant student is quite satisfying to her. I have forced her to learn to cook this summer, so she may view this as payback time. She has made many of our dinners with me standing there instructing each step of the way. I have done some instruction over the years, but not as much as I should have. So this summer she has learned most of the basics. Even made a really fabulous chocolate cheesecake. It is astonishing how much there is to cooking if you really have done very little of it. Even how to properly boil water is not a slam dunk. You have to know how long it takes, and stay near or soon you have hot water all over your stove. So much that just seems like common sense is actually learned behavior.
"How much is a pinch of salt?" she asked once.
"You know, just a bit."
"How much of a bit? I don't know since I never did this!" she wails.

And formatting books for publication is NOT common sense.

I think I know how God feels, standing near, trying to teach us and all we do is curl up in a whiney ball and cry out, "I will never learn all this! I will never be the holy image of God I am supposed to be!"
"Read the instruction manual," He encourages.
"It's so long! It takes so much time!"
"Then after that, try living it. That's how you'll learn."
"It is so hard! It is too hard! It doesn't make sense and I will never learn to do it myself."
"Well that's where book formatting, and cooking are different from walking with me," He says, "You will never have to do it yourself. I am right here, always have been, and always will be."

Psalm 73:23-26 (NIV)
Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. [24] You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. [25] Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. [26] My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

-save a dog-

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