I would

Once a week we head over to our local home school co-op where Lilla learns with other kids her age subjects such as music, art, physical education and science. She loves to spend the time with the other children, learn some fun and new things and get to spend some time outside of these four walls.

Last week as we were headed there I had a radio station on that was playing a sermon. The sermon was about forgiveness and how it could not only change the forgiven but the forgiver. We didn’t hear the whole sermon, as the venue where we meet is not that far from our house but the one part we did hear I remember quite distinctly. It was a story about a man who used to be a mediocre performer at work, very up and down and then he became exceptional. When another employee asked why he replayed a story from his own life. When he was in college he and some friends were playing a game of chicken with themselves and their cars. When it was his turn he was going 100 miles per hour and the other guys were to jump out of the way just in time. One of them didn’t. He couldn’t get the image out of his head. He dropped out of school, was troubled and never was able to be stable at work. Then one day everything changed. He heard a knock on the door. He answered it to a somewhat familiar woman whom he could not place. She stated she was that boy’s mother. She just wanted to say she had forgiven him. It changed everything.

Of course, I started crying. Trying to control my tears I got out of the car and told Lilla we needed to go. She kind of stayed in her seat for a moment. After not moving I told her again we had to go or be late. She looked at me kind of curiously and then started to move toward the door. I hadn’t realized she was listening to the program and wanted to hear more. She then simply stated, “I would have forgiven him too.”

I was taken aback and said, “You would forgive someone for killing your son, even accidently?”

She said, “I would. That is what God tells us to do, so, I would.”

I know it seems simple and she is not a mother yet and can’t understand what that means, but it is her simple heart of obedience that really floors me. She really has a heart to obey. When I asked her why she said, “Because I love God, so I obey him.”

When I ask her why she states, “God gives us rules because He loves us and he wants to keep us safe so we should obey them.”

My prayer is that this love for God will not depart from her, she will never lose a heart that longs to serve a God that loves her. That, all of her days her heart will be moved toward a God that offers hope in despair, gives us strength when we are weak and meets all of our needs.
I hope that for you too.


As the days draw closer to my peanut turning 5, she is getting more questions concerning what she would like for her 5th birthday. I started giving the old stand-bys, Barbies, doll clothes, books, movies…the normal response you’d get.
After one of these calls for ideas though I decided to ask Lilla what she might want. Yes, novel idea you know!
I must admit, her response surprised me, “Whatever Grandma and Grandpa get me will be just fine.”

I actually had to take a moment to process. Whatever they get me. WHATEVER they get me.
No demanding. No long list. No toys r’ us catalog filled with circles and X’s.
My heart just melted as I realized what a heart of gratefulness looked like.

Isn’t that what we all want from our children, our acquaintances and ultimately ourselves? I do. And I’m so grateful for a (very) soon to be 5 year old reminding me what it looks like.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

The Death of Santa

Before Michael and I had children, we always said we wouldn’t do the “Santa thing”. Didn’t want to lie, of course. Then, after we had Lilla, and we began to remember the magic and wonder it created in our lives as children, we decided to do one present a year from Santa. We try not to make it that big of a deal, the books we read and the stories we tell around this time of year have much more to do with the actual Christmas story than the North Pole and flying deer.

Of course, Lilla is a child and children are enamored by the whole idea of this big guy in red who gives presents and slides down people’s chimneys to eat all their cookies. Most kids pretty much leave it at that though, I think. Not my Lilla though. With Lilla, things are never quite that easy.
I was cleaning out the storage room yesterday when she wandered in and starting talking about Santa. I think she had been watching Rudolph. So she starts saying things about how nice he is, what kind of things he might bring, how we need to leave cookies, you know, the usual childhood concerns.

Then, out of nowhere she asks, “Does Santa ever die?” This, of course, floored me for a second. I don’t like lying to my children, I teach them it’s a commandment and it’s pretty serious according to Revelation 21:8. So, I took a deep breath and said, “Lilla, is there anyone who never dies?” She thought for a moment and said, “God.” I responded, “Right, and is Santa God?” She said, “No.” I then asked her if Santa ever sinned. She said that he did and we discussed how our sin is what causes us to die and so Santa would have to die too.
I then talked with her about how Santa is more about showing love and kindness to others. He is just
a guy who likes to give presents to people. And, in the end, that is something we should do too, think of others. Thinking about others before ourselves is in the Christmas spirit and what God wants us to do too. So, it’s not about what Santa brings but showing others kindness. We then talked about how truly the greatest Christmas gift was not brought by Santa but by given by God in the form of a baby.
She then went back to playing and what not and I was left there to consider how my own life in this busy Christmas time was revealing this story. And it made me grateful, grateful for a child that challenges me and reminds me what Christmas, and life for that matter, is truly about.

6 Year old Mercies

Call it fun-sized or vertically challenged or petite, at 5’1 (and a half, that half is very important when you are 5’1!), I have always been the smallest one in any group. Not only was I always, and I’m not using always lightly here, the smallest, I was always the slowest too. The term, “Wait up!”, was probably the most overused in my small childhood vocabulary. You can imagine this made for a great time in gym class, particularly when teams were being chosen. Yep, ALWAYS, the last one chosen. Always.

(Just to give you a point of reference, this pic was taken at MOPS a couple years
ago. I’m the one in the black dress down front. It was a few days before I gave
birth to Anna, so don’t judge too hard on how I puffy I look! 🙂

All that to say, I now have a 4 year old in the same predicament. She is nearing 5 and her cousin, who just turned 3, has passed her in height. Yep, pint sized peanut sure seems to sum it up here. She is also the slowest. She took soccer this past summer and the younger kids were just flying by her as she struggled to juggle the ball down the field.

Halloween this year was much of the same. She just couldn’t keep up with the kids running from house to house. She went with a large group and when they went to the door and were crowded around it, she was usually right in the middle of the kids and they all were reaching over her head and around her to get candy. She was often the last one getting it and, even when she wasn’t, the last one off the stoop and down the walkway.
(Lilla is the one running down the driveway,
the other kids already on the sidewalk,
running to their next stop)

I could see her getting more and more frustrated and doing the old familiar, “Wait up everybody!” When it comes to buckets of free candy though, as anyone with kids knows, it’s every man for himself. So, she tried to rush more and she began getting worn down and tripping. Tears starting flowing, it wasn’t pretty. My heart ached for that of my own childhood, left out and alone. I just so get those feelings.

Suddenly though, the mercy of a 6 year old was given to her. One little girl said, “I’ll walk with Lilla.” It was one of the loveliest things I’ve ever seen a child do and I’m just overwhelmed with a sense of humility and gratefulness to her for it. She knew she was giving up running with the other kids, giving up getting as much candy, sacrificing her own desires for that of a friend.

I can’t help but think of what the Bible says in John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” It may seem like, come on now, it’s just candy, it’s not really laying down your life, no, it’s not physical dying, but it is dying to self. This sweet 6 year old gave up her own desires, to show a friend love and compassion.

Mercy, plain and simple. And I will always be grateful to the compassion and generousity of a 6 year old for teaching it to me, and to Lilla.

Oh…and just because Anna was so cute, I gotta give you a peek…baaaaaa….


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!!


Today, on the way to the children’s museum, I was having a conversation with Lilla. It went something like this…

Lilla, “Look, there’s the big dragon (dinosaur) coming out of the building!”

Me, “Yep, there’s the dinosaur.”

Lilla, “The people built him and put him there.”

Me, “They sure did.”

Lilla, “But they didn’t make everything.”

Me, “No, they really didn’t. Do you know who did?”

Lilla, “God did. And he made people too. And he made their hair too.”

Me, “Yes, he did make people, and their hair too.”

Lilla, “God even knows how many hairs we have.”

Take. My. Breath. Away!!!

And with that, I sat in worship to a God who loves me that much, that He would remind me through my 3 year old that He even has the hairs on my head counted. Thank you Jesus.

Song of Solomon 6:3, “I am my beloved’s and He is mine.”


The peanut has now been potty trained for a couple of glorious months. It’s so great, and, quite nice on the wallet too, to not have to do the diaper thing anymore. I don’t think anyone is really a fan, and I’m right there with those anybodies.

Part of the whole potty process though is helping the wiping of the tushky and the helping in public bathrooms. In and out, out and in. That can become a little bothersome and often is a rushed time where I’m just going, “OK, let’s just move…come on…”

Therefore, a few days ago when I was relegated to the task again, I was just trying to push through when I looked down at the biggest blue eyes I’ve ever seen staring up at me so sweetly. I had to catch my breath at her beauty, even in this cramped and dirty bathroom stall. The kindest little voice said, “Mommy, can you help me wipe my butt.”

I, of course, replied, “Yes, mommy will be happy to help you.”

She then looked so seriously at me and said, “Yes, you need to help me ’cause you my mommy.”

And I can only say, I truely am blessed to be! Wiping behinds and all.

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