Faces of Anxiousness and Faith

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The grandsons have left the house for their next stop and ultimately for their new home in Michigan. Sebastian and Theodore are wide eyed, energetic boys who leave a path of toys wherever they have been. During their stay with Oma and Papa, they’ve been treated to playgrounds, a tractor and combine, llamas, pigs, cows, chickens and kitties- all of which were new experiences for a couple of kids born in Houston. We miss those little dickens already- partly because it’s soooooooo quiet in the house- quiet in sound and quiet in movement and energy.

It’s been quite a year for the family. Mom and Dad had to adjust as teachers providing remote learning by a school where e-learning had been non-existent (yes, both as Lutheran school teachers). Dad not only made that adjustment but also was nearly (are you ready for this?) a full time law student. COVID19 retreated the young family into their two bedroom apartment (along with their high energy, herding Australian Shepherd). Before their own version of hunkering down occurred, it is quite possible that the whole family experienced versions of the aforementioned virus. Fevers, difficulty breathing, nausea, aches and pains- in one fashion or the other, all four experienced the symptoms....in late January and February.

That being said, there is much to be thankful. No more trips for us to Houston- 3 hours is sooooo much better than the 17 hour drive or the daylong travels of flying. Dad has taken the bar and has a strong job in place that starts in September. Mom gets to be a stay at home mom this year. No apartment life; it's now a three bedroom rental house...with a fenced in backyard.

How are the grandsons? Their actions are a good reminder of what we all are seeing in kids. As Dad had been away for a few weeks to cram for the bar, now the two little boys are keeping an eye on Dad. No leaving the house without a whimper or not expecting demands to come along. There are lots of questions about when they are heading to their “white house.” Demands for cuddling help make the mornings and evenings quiet. Sleep is done reluctantly- will Dad be around when those eyes open? Attention is demanded with excitable screams and glances of approval. A nearly three year old boy and a 16 month old are not keenly able to share their worries- with words. Their actions do speak loudly and those actions speak of anxiousness.

As the school year begins this week for at least one of our Lutheran schools (the rest will open in the following week), teachers are taking time to be reminded that in various levels of sophistication, students (and colleagues) will probably exhibit their version of anxiousness. Our worlds have been threatened and changed in the past 6 months. Those changes have had their effects- some are obvious, some not as much.

In weeks to come, we will reflect on webinars shared by Dr Kim Marxhausen (http://kim.marxhausen.net/). On Thursday, Dr Marxhausen shared “Taming the COVID19 Anxiety Monster” and “Building Emotional Muscle Through Teaching the Faith.” The content was specific for the teachers and administrators but the content speaks to parents and grandparents. Stay tuned for those insights.

Here’s my reflection- As one grandson acts like a leech with Mommy and both seem to keep their eyes on their Daddy, it’s a good lesson for us as we take on the anxiety of this life. Both Mommy and Daddy may get a bit worn from the attention of their boys- and we understand. However, those visuals remind us of how each of us should react to our own duress. Latch onto Mom? That’s exactly what we are invited to do with our Heavenly Father. The Psalmist exclaims, “My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” (Psalm 63:8) That latching on is done in confidence knowing that God holds us priceless, We are each a pearl of great price! Hebrews 12:2 encourages us to “fix our eyes on Jesus.” Our confidence is found in Him; we week His face. We seek His will.

Those are good lessons for us. Hunkering down has caused a lot of concern for self. It’s not healthy for mind, body or soul. Be sure you are seeking the Savior’s face- in prayer, in Bible reading, in worship. Be assured that while we as frail humans may get frayed by the clamoring of our kids, our Heavenly Father enjoys our attention. Be it screams of frustration, tears of sadness or running eagerly to hear His Words, our Heavenly Father loves with an unconditional, unwavering, never sleeping eye.