“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”
~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Framed picture of Katelyn, 7 months old
Last weekend I enjoyed babysitting our granddaughter Katelyn while Josh and Lisa traveled to Wichita to look into a residency program. Oh, how I enjoyed spending one-on-one time with their precious angel, Katelyn Seraphina.
Katelyn smiling at her Grandma Kaus . . .
...and Grandpa Kaus...
. . . and Gram-E Umbehr . . .
. . . and Elmo
Katelyn's locks and blocks
Josh, Lisa & Katelyn, Christmas, 2006
Next week, I'll be in Mississippi visiting our other three grandchildren, Asher, Gabe, and Emma Eileen (and their parents, Jared and Erin, of course!). I’m really looking forward to it.
(Here are some pictures taken during my last visit in October.)
So, with grandchildren on my mind, and Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought I would share the following collection of stories about the love and laughter children bring into our lives.
LOVE IN THE HOME
If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place,
But have not love, I am a housekeeper – not a homemaker.
If I have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements,
But have not love, my children learn cleanliness – not godliness.
Love leaves the dust in search of a child's laugh.
Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window.
Love wipes away the tears before it wipes up the spilled milk.
Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys.
Love is present through the trials.
Love reprimands, reproves, and is responsive.
Love crawls with the baby, walks with the toddler, runs with the child,
then stands aside to let the youth walk into adulthood.
Love is the key that opens salvation's message to a child's heart.
Before I became a mother I took glory in my house of perfection.
Now I glory in God's perfection of my child.
As a mother, there is much I must teach my child,
but the greatest of all is love.
Song for a Fifth Child
by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton
(first appeared, Ladies Home Journal, October 1958)
Mother, oh mother, come shake out your cloth!
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking!
Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Oh, cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
But children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby. Babies don't keep.
(This is a sampling of answers from children who were asked some questions about love and marriage.)
HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHO TO MARRY?
You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.
Alan, age 10
No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with.
Kirsten, age 10
WHAT IS THE RIGHT AGE TO GET MARRIED?
Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.
Camille, age 10
HOW CAN A STRANGER TELL IF TWO PEOPLE ARE MARRIED?
You might have to guess, based on whether they’re yelling at the same kids.
Derrick, age 8
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR MOM AND DAD HAVE IN COMMON?
Both don't want any more kids.
Lori, age 8
WHAT DO MOST PEOPLE DO ON A DATE?
Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.
Lynnette, age 8
On the first day, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.
Martin, age 10
WHEN IS IT OKAY TO KISS SOMEONE?
When they're rich.
Pam, age 7
The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that.
Curt, age 7
The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do.
Howard, age 8
HOW WOULD YOU MAKE A MARRIAGE WORK?
Tell your wife that she looks pretty even if she looks like a truck.
Ricky, age 10
When my niece Chloe Eileen (my sister Mary's daughter)was about eight years old, she recited this list of negative attributes describing the kind of man she did NOT want to marry when she grew up! (Sort of an anti-wish list.)
1. Does drugs
2. A gang person
4. Cheating on real games
5. Don't take turns
6. Too much alcohol
8. Hits girls
9. Doesn't take care of the children
10. Pulls hairs
11. Someone who’s not clean
12. Someone who doesn't make food
13. Someone who doesn't have a job
14. Someone who doesn't snuggle our children in
15. Someone who doesn't play with the children
16. Someone who doesn't take care of the Mommy when the Mommy is sick
17. Someone who steals
18. Someone who breaks windows that are glass and makes us cold
19. Someone who shoots people
20. Someone who isn't kind
And last, but not least . . . Someone who doesn’t love Jesus.
Out of the mouths of Babes.
“Do not be unequally yoked together . . . . [For] what communion has light with darkness?” ~II Corinthians 6:14
Chloe with twin brother, Gus
Chloe on far left with siblings Mimi, Jessica, and Gus