Pete and Repeat

Isaiah has discovered the world of jokes and riddles and is loving it.  When Adam and I exhausted our own collections of knock-knock jokes, we searched the internet for more.  When that didn’t satisfy, we perused the library for them and then bought him his own book of jokes.  We have quite the stash now.  But there’s one joke I wouldn’t mind if he never hears.

Pete and Repeat.  Do you remember that one?

Pete and Repeat were in a boat.  Pete fell out.  Who was left?

Repeat.

Pete and Repeat were in a boat.  Pete fell out.  Who was left?

Repeat.

And so it begins…and never ends.

And some times it reminds me of life as a mom to little ones.

A friend of mine has just entered the toddler years with her sweet little boy.  She’s repeating herself.  A lot.

Don’t touch.

Don’t throw.

Please eat.

Go to sleep.

Don’t bite.

No, no.

No, no! 

No, no, no!

Ah, I remember those days.  And in a few short months I will enter them again.

Reading the same book (I still have Go Dog Go memorized.).  Singing the same songs (Why is “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” the song he wants on repeat?).  Playing the same games (If I have to pick that sippy cup off of the floor one more time…).  Sitting on the potty again (for the 3rd time in an hour).

But 4 year olds still need repetition.  In discipline.  In Scripture.  In mastering skills.  In having fun.

Some times life as a mom of young children can feel like the same day stuck on repeat.  But it’s worth it.

My friend shared this quote and I thought it was worth sharing with you…

“Don’t think that the endless trips…for correction…are just a waste of time and energy–it is a gift that you are giving to your children. They will need these life skills! You are repeating these things for them just like a teacher circling missed math problems with a red pen. They will get it eventually, they just need lots and lots of repetition.”

-Rachel Jankovic (Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches)

Of course, grown-ups still need repetition, too.  Even ones that follow Jesus…

In those days, when a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, he called his disciples to him and said to them, “I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way.  And some of them have come from far away.”  And his disciples answered him, “How can one feed these people with bread here in this desolate place?”

– Mark 8:1-4

Wait a minute.  This sounds familiar.  Haven’t we read this before?

Only 2 chapters prior, we see an extremely similar scenario.  Crowds coming to listen to Jesus.  Day growing late.  Desolate place.  Growling bellies.  Nothing to eat.  Jesus’ compassion.

Five loaves of bread and two fish in the hands of the Son of God became enough to feed over 5,000…and still have leftovers.

Had the disciples really already forgotten?  They didn’t have an eery sense of deja vu?  Their question didn’t sound familiar as it slipped off of their tongues for the second time?

But Jesus patiently repeated Himself.  Turned little into much.  Fed their hungry bellies.  Spoke into their wandering hearts.  Reminded them of His deity.

“Marvelous and blameworthy as their slowness to learn undoubtedly is, His patience never gives way. He goes on teaching them line upon line, precept upon precept.”

– J.C. Ryle

As much as I need to have patience in the repetition of life as the mother of my boys, how much more my Father shows His unfailing love and unending patience with me.  And He’s reminding me of that today.

Today is a date that I really don’t like repeating.  October 11th.

Some times I wish I could take it off of the calendar.  It’s presence hurts.  And brings pain that I don’t want to repeat.

October 11, 2010.

Routine doctor’s appointment.  17 weeks along.  No heartbeat.  Chilling ultrasounds.  Tissues boxes and broken hearts.  Induced labor.  Desperate prayers.

I can still hear the sounds.  See the faces.  Feel the emotions and hot tears.  Remember the difficult days and months that followed.

But the God that had seemed silent had proven Himself faithful.  Good, even.

October 11, 2011.

Another pregnancy.  16 weeks along.  Crippling fear.  Anxious thoughts.  Desperate prayers.

But the deja vu lowered my knees and lifted my gaze.  That same faithful God was present.  And He would repeat His goodness.

October 11, 2012.

My stomach turns.  My heart aches.  My tears easily flow.

I miss my Heaven baby.  I hold tightly to my smiley, chubby-cheeked reminder of God’s grace.

I feel heavy.  I hurt.  And I need some repetition.

I hear Jesus’ words this morning…

“Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear?  And do you not remember?

Do you not yet understand?”

– Mark 8:18, 21

As difficult as it is to repeat this day, I feel that it’s helpful.  Maybe even necessary.

Jesus, I remember.

Because without remembering the intensity of the sorrow, the penetration of the pain, the depths of the pit…

I wouldn’t remember the intensity of His faithfulness, the penetration of the healing, the depths of the grace.

Jesus, I remember.

Because I have to repeat October 11th each year, I remember that I’m not the same as the year before.  I remember how I came undone to become more whole.  How my eyes were opened to my sin and opened to His Sovereignty.  How my definition of good was shattered to be replaced with Him instead.  What I was ordained to lose, but what also, through grace, I gained.

Jesus, I remember.

Like the disciples, I need to relearn Jesus’ lesson.  My hungry soul being fed from His hand.  Hear Him speaking into my wondering heart.  Reminding me of His deity.  Of His provision.  Of His faithfulness.  Of His goodness.

Jesus, I remember.

And this morning, though I’m hurting and understand only in part, I feel safe in His arms.

Maybe I’ll teach Isaiah about Pete and Repeat after all…

In memory of our Heaven baby. Delivered October 13, 2010. Thought of and missed every day since.

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4 responses

  1. Megan, that was beautiful. Tears are pouring down my cheeks as I relive the moment I heard about the loss of your precious baby two years ago. I recently read about how our struggles and pain are often turned into our ministry. You have ministered to so many through your pain. You have no idea how many lives you have touched (mine included). Thank you for sharing your human yet God-centered heart with all of us.

  2. Megan, thank you for sharing from the bottom of your heart. I know your feelings of losing a child; but the comfort comes from knowing are children are in the arms of Jesus. Love and Prayers.

  3. Ahhhh I am SO there in the middle of that repetitive toddler season. I have been SO encouraged when I see the repetition pay off, but it is so hard at times. We had been having an ongoing issue of Charlotte throwing her sippy cup and snack up wherever, whenever, as soon as she was done with it- car, house, stroller- you name it & she was throwing them. I decided a month ago I needed to teach her to say”all done” and hand me the cup when she was finished rather than throwing them. I mean she learned not to throw from the high chair and to say “all done” when she was done forever ago, so I felt she was capable of doing this in other situations too. A month went by of me repeating what she needed to do instead of throwing. A month of trying to be patient, constant reminders, & do-overs when she made the wrong choice….again. Today of all days, Charlotte finally got it!! We were at the park running & she said “all done, mama” from the stroller & handed me her snack & drink cups. Then in the car again- “all done, mama” & handed it to me. YES! I was so encouraged at this small yet so significant to me action!

    I remember this day 2 years ago very clearly as Adam shared the news tragic about your baby with me. I remember how I felt my stomach sink and immediately how I started to worry about Charlotte, who I had just found out a few days earlier was a girl. I was so devastated for you guys. God has given you so much strength and so much grace as you’ve walked this painful journey. You are a blessing and testimony to His work in your life to so may people. I am praying for you especially today.

  4. Megan, thank you for sharing; July 22, has a place in my heart, when Jesus saw fit to call Danny home; but, always remembered, he was mommy’s boy. Love and Prayers to you and your family.

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