Save the Giraffes

Every other week, when we have communion at church, I retrieve Lilla from her class and take her into the service. On the walk back we begin to discuss why communion is important, why we take it so often, what the significance is in the memory and why it is important to be calm and quiet so others can repent, pray and have time with God too.
Last week, as we joined the line moving toward the altar, our conversation went something like this:
Me: Do you remember why we take communion?
Lilla: To remember Jesus died.
Me: Why did he die?
Lilla: To save us.
Me: And what does that mean for us?
Lilla: That we won’t have to kill anymore giraffes.
Me: That we won’t have to kill anymore giraffes?
Lilla: Yes, because Jesus died so no more animals would have to die. We don’t have to kill the giraffes anymore.
It took me a second to take it in, but as I did, I knew she was right, in her understanding. When Jesus died, it took away our need to have to sacrifice another animal, no more lambs or goats or doves would need to have shed blood to cover our sins.
“Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain, he washed me white as snow.”

As I knelt at the altar, tears filled my eyes as I thought “Thank God for the blood of Jesus Christ!” Because of it, the world will never be the same. And, I know Lilla and I and all the giraffes of the world are thankful for it today!
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The journey begins

There were crafts.

There were friends.

There was praise.

There were snacks.

There was teaching.

There were games.

There was water.

There were big fuzzy guys.

There was drama.

There was dancing.

And there was another year of VBS.

Good Mommy/Bad Mommy

The other day Lilla was reciting a list to me of all the things she wanted to be when she grows up. It went something like this, “A ballerina, a doctor, someone who tells people about God, a rockstar (because, you know, she totally knows what THAT means) and a mommy.”

This is what ensued next:

I asked, “You want to be a mommy?”

Lilla, “I do. I want to be a mommy when I grow up.”

Me, “Why do you want to be a mommy?”

Lilla, “Because you are a mommy.”

Me, “Oh, do you think I am a good mommy?”

Lilla, “Sometimes. Sometimes you are a bad mommy.”

Me, (crushed, mind you), “Why am I a bad mommy?”

Lilla, pausing, “Weeeeeelllll…sometimes you yell at me.”

And with that, she went back to her play kitchen and started cooking up something for me.

I, of course, had the wind knocked out of me. How much more in perspective could life be than when your four year old tells you you are a bad mommy when you yell at her?

I grew up with a mom who yelled at me. ALL.THE.TIME. It was the main method of communication in our home. Or miscommunication, if you want to get all technical. Lots of fun memories with that, as you can imagine. Now, I want to follow that up with saying, I love my mom, I think she did the best with what she could. She has many stressors and never learned to parent well. But, I also believe she would even tell you this. She was a yeller. It was a coping mechanism, I suppose.

Growing up I swore I would not do that, and I will admit it is not nearly the extent of my own formative years. However, my heart hurts to think this is the way my own daughter thinks of me. I want her to look back with fond memories of cuddles and laughs and songs, not fear or anger or tears. It breaks me that she sees me as harsh.

So, after asking my sweet baby for forgiveness, I am on my knees. That is all I can do. Beg a Saviour who sees and knows, who created me to be mommy to Lilla and Anna, who loves them and loves me. And He…He is capable of change.

Lamentations: 22It is because of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions never fail. 23They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Leaving

The other day after MOPS, I was going to meet some friends for lunch and I hopped on the interstate without thinking. I had known that morning I was seriously low on gas, but I was rushing and on the phone (I know, safety hazard) and honestly forgot all about it. While getting off the ramp on to the interstate I looked down to see the arrow on the dreaded E. I must say, I had a small anxiety attack right then and there.

I started picturing myself stranded on 70 and wondered what would happen in the freezing temperatures to my children and I. My cell phone was beeping, as per it’s usual dead self, my husband had just taken Vicodin for his back issues and my bestie was sick so I knew I wouldn’t bother her. I started praying and watching the tank and before I knew it we had gotten to the next exit 10 minutes away. Whew!

Well, I forgot about this incident until several days later when I was approaching E again. My husband was in the car this time so I started relaying the story to him. Lilla, my four year old, was in the backseat listening and started asking questions, the conversation went something like this:

Lilla: What happened?

Me: Mommy was driving the other day and we almost ran out of gas.

Lilla: But we didn’t?

Me: No, we didn’t.

Lilla: Why not?

Me: Mommy prayed and God had His hand upon us.

Lilla: God had His hand upon us?

Me: Yes, He had His hand upon us.

Lilla: Does He still have His hand on us?

Me: Yes, He still has His hand upon us, even now.

Lilla: Well…I can’t feel it.

Me: No, we can’t feel it, but we know He is there.

Lilla: How do we know He is there?

Me: Because in His word He promises us that He will never leave or forsake us.

Lilla: He promised to NEVER leave or forsake us?

Me: Never.

Lilla: Never?

Me: Never.

Lilla: Wow, that’s a long time.

It sure is!!

I will never be the same again

Today we started new members class at the church we began attending a few months back. You may remember we were up and down about switching as we really loved the people at our old church but we had become so involved in ministries at this church it just felt right. So, we did.

Well, we are all or nothing kind of people, and being part of a body of believers is important to us, so although we’ve only been here a few months, we’re joining the church.

It’s a 5 week series of classes basically explaining the church, it’s values and beliefs and how to get plugged in through small groups, activities and ministries. This first part included a video of a baptism service the church did last year. I cried, of course, just watching the video. Not only for the changed lives and washing of rebirth, but, because I so long for the day when my children will accept Christ and follow him as well.

So, during the video I began praying for my girls. I prayed for them in my usual way, that they will accept Christ at an early age and follow Him all of their days. You see, I had a lot of hurt in my life that could have been avoided if only I had chosen the path of Christ. I didn’t for a long time, and I will regret that all my days. I so want something different for my girls. So, I pray, pray and then pray some more that I will be a good mommy to them, Michael will be a good daddy and we will teach them about Jesus and they will understand it and love Him more.

Tonight as Michael was putting Lilla to bed, he asked her, “Lilla, do you know how to get to heaven, so one day you can live with Jesus?”

She replied, “Yes, you just ask Jesus to come and live in your heart.”

“Have you ever done that?”

“No.”

“Well, when you are ready, you come and tell me and we can pray together.”

“I am ready.”

And then they prayed a simple prayer. “Jesus, come and live in my heart. Amen.”

And Lilla will never be the same again.