Tag Archives: God

Musical Monday: February Seven by The Avett Brothers

I love this song by The Avett Brothers. I’m especially fond of the lyrics. I’ve read that  the writer, Scott Avett, was vague about the meaning and would only say it referred to a lesson he learned on February 7th. As a result, there has been much speculation about the meaning of the song and many believe it refers to addiction or infidelity.

That may be so, but for me, the lyrics refer to something much broader in scope: the search for meaning in life (I went on the search for something true), and how we can be blinded to it by chasing the things we think we desire, but only end up harming us (a perfect blade it slit my throat). These things will not bring us happiness. Chasing them is pointless (there’s no fortune at the end of the road that has no end). Once we’ve uncovered that illusion (there’s no falling back to sleep once you’ve awakened from the dream) we realize that throughout our struggles there has been a constant in our lives (but I awoke and you were standing there) waiting patiently as we discover why we are here. That’s when life really begins.

February Seven

by The Avett Brothers

I went on the search for something true.
I was almost there when I found you.
Sooner then my fate was wrote
A perfect blade it slit my throat
And beads of lust released into the air.
When I awoke you were standing there.

I was on the mend when I fell through.
The sky around was anything but blue.
I found as I regained my feet
A wound across my memory
That no amount of stitches would repair.
But I awoke and you were standing there.

There’s no fortune at the end of the road that has no end.
There’s no returning to the spoils
Once you’ve spoiled the thought of them.
There’s no falling back asleep
Once you’ve wakened from the dream
Now I’m rested and I’m ready,
I’m rested and I’m ready to begin.
I’m ready to begin.

I went on the search for something real.
Traded what I know for how I feel.
But the ceiling and the walls collapsed
Upon the darkness I was trapped
And as the last of breath was drawn from me
The light broke in and brought me to my feet.

There’s no fortune at the end of the road that has no end.
There’s no returning to the spoils
Once you’ve spoiled the thought of them.
There’s no falling back asleep
Once you’ve wakened from the dream.
Now I’m rested and I’m ready
I’m rested and I’m ready
Yeah I’m rested and I’m ready
I’m rested and I’m ready
Yeah I’m rested and I’m ready
I’m rested and I’m ready
To begin
I’m ready to begin

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Conversations with My Kids: The Connection between God and E.T.

E_t_the_extra_terrestrialWhen my son was about four I caught him staring out the window one day, seemingly lost in thought.

Me: Whatcha doing buddy?

KJ: Just thinking.

Me: About what?

KJ: [glances at me] What does God look like?

Me: I don’t know. We can’t see him, but he’s always with us.

KJ: [considered my words and then looked out the window again] I think God looks like E.T.

Initially I fought the urge to laugh, but then I reflected on the movie we had recently watched.

E.T. the Extraterrestrial is a science fiction movie that was released in 1982. According to Wikipedia it was the highest grossing film of all time until the release of Jurassic Park in 1993. The main character is a little boy named Elliott. He and his family are trying to cope with the breakup of the parent’s marriage and an absentee father. It was a particularly difficult time in Elliott’s young life and he really needed a friend.

One night Elliott discovers an alien in his backyard. He fears the alien at first, but he’s still curious enough to get to know him. Elliott sneaks him into his home and they become friends. They develop a unique connection where they can communicate telepathically. They share thoughts, experiences and emotions. Elliott grows to understand E.T. through this metaphysical connection. He knows E.T. is kind and good, and that he misses his home.

E.T. soon occupies a special place in Elliott’s heart. He is protective of E.T. because he knows that many people won’t understand him. He knows they would want to keep him and study him as proof of the existence of life beyond our world. He knows that our world will kill him eventually, so he fights to get E.T. home. He is sad to lose his friend, but before E.T. leaves on his spaceship he reassures Elliot that he will be with him always. Here is a clip of that scene:

Apparently, my son got more out of the movie than I had expected.

Me: [hugging my sweet little boy] You just might be right, buddy. I think God is a lot like E.T.

Okay, I’ve watched that scene about a zillion times and it still gets me teary-eyed, especially when I think of this special moment with my sweet boy. {sniff}

A Longing Fulfilled Is the Tree of Life

PraiseGod-300x225I read a poem titled Dreaming by Barbara Crowe on a blog I discovered today. I had to share because it reminded me of the hope my husband and I felt as we were planning our little family. We would talk late into the night about the children we would have someday. What would we name them? What would they look like? What traits would they have? It was our favorite topic of conversation.

We were so full of hope only to be continually let down. After a year of trying on our own we sought help. We went through dozens of unsuccessful fertility treatments and were finally left with the diagnosis of “unexplained infertility.” There was no medical reason we could not have children. We were heartbroken.

There were so many people in this world that didn’t want to be parents and yet had no difficulty conceiving. There were also many who didn’t deserve to be parents, neglecting, abusing, or even worse, killing the sweet little life that was entrusted to them. We wanted children. We would be loving parents. We would never harm them. We would give them a wonderful life. Why couldn’t God see that?

Despondent, we gave up and resigned ourselves to a life without children. Six months later I became pregnant without the assistance of fertility medicine. We had a little boy and I will never forget the moment they placed him on my chest. His lips were so red they appeared to be stained with lipstick. A milky white substance covered his body and his dark hair was matted against his head. He was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

“If only I had a child as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as the wood in this frame.”

He was a fairy tale come true. He was, and still is, my perfect little boy.

The words written on a card from a friend summed up my feelings perfectly. I believe it’s a Japanese proverb and the words have stayed with me since:

“Hope deferred makes the heart grow sick, but a longing fulfilled is the tree of life.”

A year later, we wanted to give him a sibling but suffered the same agonizing process as we had before. Years of fertility treatments with no results. Presented with the option of more aggressive treatments, we opted instead to be thankful for the blessing of the one child we had. Nine months later my daughter was born.

She wasn’t the little “Snow White” I expected. She was a bluish-grey and my heart hammered in my chest as I said, “Something’s wrong with her!”

I held my breath and prayed for her life as they whisked her to a table and cleared her lungs. When she was able to breathe on her own I finally exhaled.

The extended family in the waiting room was anxious to hear the gender of the baby, but my husband just shook his head and brought my son in the room instead. He was four and a half years old at the time. We had talked about giving him a baby brother or sister since he was old enough to understand the words. It hit me then, that he’d waited most of his life for this moment. He had spent the last nine months watching my belly grow with amazement, talking to it, singing to it, and rubbing it affectionately. He had wanted a baby brother…until just two weeks before. He changed his mind. He wanted a baby sister instead.

He stood next to her bed and my husband said, “Meet your baby sister.” He looked up at my husband and grinned. Then he hesitantly put his hand toward her to touch her. In that instant she reached up and grabbed his little finger. Newborn babies aren’t supposed to be able to do that are they? It was a sign that this moment was extraordinary. My son caught his breath, turned to look at me and said, “Oh Mama, I love our little baby so much!”

I was overwhelmed with emotion, as I am now, retelling this story. I was a witness as my son experienced love at first sight and I said, “I know exactly how you feel, Buddy.”

Both times my husband and I tried to take matters into our own hands, to control the creation of life, only to be thwarted again and again and again. It turns out that some things cannot be planned or rushed. They happen in their own time and only with hindsight will you understand why. It took over three years of trying for both of my children to be born and it turns out that God needed all that time just to make them. They are that special. They love to hear that, by the way 🙂