One of my most favorite things to do at the beach is READ. Because Steve is such a big kid, he has always wanted to be right where the boys are so I get to sit on the beach and read to my heart’s content. I’ve read nearly every Nicholas Sparks’ book written (thanks to my buddy, Amy Woods) and, if you’re familiar with his writings, you’ll understand why at some point, I’m grabbing the beach towel to wipe tears from my eyes. It is kind of awkward to be sitting on the beach all by yourself crying…but it’s so worth it.
This past weekend at the beach, I read a book called “The Vow”. Yes, it’s the true account that the movie of the same name portrays; however, if you’re familiar with Hollywood remakes, you’ll understand that the story reflected on film was somewhat different than the true accounts. The book from beginning to end gives all glory and honor to Jesus Christ. Before Kimmer and Krickett Carpenter were even married, they were in love with Jesus and they know that it’s the miracle working power and love of God that brought them through the tragedies their lives faced. If you haven’t read the book, read it. And be prepared to cry…a lot. But don’t worry; there’s a happy ending.
Towards the end of the book, Kimmer (husband and father) stated that in his family, they “all have gaps“; things they’re not so good at. And by working together and encouraging each other, they can fill those gaps.
This spoke to me. Do I work to fill the gaps around me?
Certainly I don’t like it when my gaps are exposed showing weak areas in my life. But of all people who see and know what my “gaps” are, my family would know. My family is in the same position. Individually they have gaps, too, but am I doing all I can to help fill those gaps or am I simply exposing them?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned and am still learning, it’s there’s no understanding teenagers. Isn’t that weird, because I once was a teenager and I struggled to be understood. But once I became a parent, I zoned in on what “should be done” sometimes with unreasonable expectations (even if they seem completely reasonable to me).
Here’s a prime example. Our 15 year old, Caleb, wears braces. He’s SUPPOSED to be wearing rubber bands to assist in moving his teeth, but does he? No. I told him it’s like putting braces on dentures…does no good if you’re not following the doctor’s directions. Caleb also is supposed to be doing a series of daily exercises and taking meds for an ankle that has been causing him problems. Does he do this? No. Yet, he wants to continue going to his physical therapy appointments.
I just exposed some of Caleb’s gaps. Gaps that I don’t presently have myself, but at 15 I definitely had my gaps. As a girl, I was a “pleaser”; I wanted to be sure all homework and projects were done and turned in early if possible. I wanted to highlight things I did at home so that I would receive praise (namely from my father…my mother praised us all the time :)). A big gap for me as a 15 year old…I was HOMELY at best with absolutely no sense of fashion. I felt like the only thing going for me was that I could sing (that was actually pretty accurate).
Having 2 brothers didn’t really fill those gaps, either. Sorry Rob & Chris, but you two just didn’t tell me enough how pretty I was. How could you not when taking pictures of me like this one?
Remember “Mud”? It was supposed to remove ALL blackheads
leaving your skin glowing, fresh, and clean.
Not so much…(thanks for this pic, Rob…really…)
Yesterday, after Caleb’s orthodontist appointment, I read on his form “patient is not wearing his rubber bands as directed. Teeth will not move if rubber bands are not worn”. I read this part to Caleb and said, “Are you going to wear your rubber bands?” Caleb – “Yes ma’am.” Me – “Do I need to remind you?” Caleb – “Yes ma’am.”
Gap exposed and filled. Unless he’s removed them since I dropped him off at school, he has his rubber bands on because we now keep a package of them in our car.
Filling gaps is part of my responsibility as a parent. It’s my responsibility as a Christian, too. I see gaps all around me. I can talk about them and expose them, but leaving them that way provides the potential for hurt and dissension. God really uses us when we’re willing to fill the gaps we see in others. It’s part of being a family. And if you’ve been adopted by God’s grace, we’re family.
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Speaking of The Vow…check out my Facebook page for the link to wedding pictures made by our photographer, Will Page.
Enjoy and work to fill those gaps!