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.
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Answers to Big Questions

Joplin, Missouri. In case you live under a rock, you know they had a terrible tornado rip through the town on Sunday. The death toll is rising past 100 now. Horrible.
As we watched in horror at CNN Lilla began to ask what happened. I started to explain it to her. Our conversation when something like this:
Lilla: Why is that lady on TV crying?
Me: Her house was actually picked up and moved off the ground in a tornado.
Lilla: Did God know that would happen?
Me: He did.
Lilla: Why would God let that lady’s house get picked up?
Me: I don’t know. I don’t know, but God does. You see, we don’t see the big picture, but God does. What we do know is that God’s word tells us that through all things God is working to bring us all into a saving knowledge of Him. Like when somebody dies. It’s very sad, but God can even use that to bring others to know Him.
Lilla: So maybe where that lady’s house is they can build a church instead?
Me: Maybe. 🙂
Have I told you how much I love this child?

1 Corinthians 13:12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

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!

Here

Tonight as I was getting Lilla out of the bath I heard a “ting, ting, ting”, I looked down and to my horror was one of those brand new pink and white sparklers from her ears. A normal person would just say, “Huh..”, pick them up and put them back in, but remember, they are literally, one week old today. What does that mean? Not only are the holes new, those earrings are pointy. Like little bitty daggers, sharp enough to easily shoot a teeny, tiny hole through an unsuspecting person’s ear. Eeek!

So, not wanting to rattle Lilla, I picked it up and tried, very unsuccessfully, to put that baby back in. I tried through the front, I tried through the back, I tried wiggling it in, I tried shoving it through, I tried any way of manipulating that stubborn thing that I could think of.
Nothing worked. Lilla was crying in pain, begging me to stop. Under normal circumstances, I would have, unfortunately, these circumstances are not normal.
First of all, I paid an ungodly amount of money to get these earrings in last week. I had no idea of that amount until it was all said and done and the lady told me the price. I had a mini stroke. If my husband had been home and realized that might be the only way, he may have said she’s going one earring until her next birthday. The other thing, is I live in the country, I had to drive 45 minutes to get this done, I didn’t want to go back. Selfish, yes, but I’m just keeping it real people.
For 10 minutes this went on until Lilla had just had enough and practically sprinted from the bathroom. I grabbed her little duck towel covered body, hugged her tight and asked her if we could pray about it. She said she would like that. We bowed our heads, prayed a simple, “Please help us do this Jesus.” and went at it one last time.
The earring immediately went through.
Lilla looked at me and said, “See, Jesus can do anything.”
ANYTHING.
James 5:13 “Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.”

Chuting down the ladder

Today, after we were done with school, Lilla asked me to play Chutes and Ladders with her.

I said, “No, I need to start dinner now. Maybe daddy will play with you when he gets home.”
Her eyes welled up with tears and her lips starting quivering as she said, “I don’t want to play with Daddy, I want you to play Chutes and Ladders with me now.”

In that instant my heart broke.
And I broke out Chutes and Ladders.

Dinner, I knew, could wait a little longer…Lilla wanting to play games with me, well it just won’t.

Wordless Wednesday – Walking Aids

Needed just a few words…
I messed my hip up pretty good last week. Been using these to stay off it. The girls thought they were hilarious to try out. Lilla said, “Look mom, I look like an old lady!”
Thanks, Lil.
To join in the wordless fun, go to http://www.5minutesformom.com
or
http://www.wordlesswednesday.com

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.

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