While I haven’t been writing much about our Snowglobe life lately … God sure has been writing in my heart. He reveals good, good lessons in simple, simple ways.
A Really Good Walk
As Roman and I were walking home from the bus stop, he said, “I can’t wait to die.”
You can imagine how my heart stopped and my voice cracked when I asked, “why, Roman?”
“So I can see if I get to go to Heaven or you know … ‘down there.”
“Well Roman, we get to know that before we die.” I replied.
We paused at the intersection and I explained how the other side is heaven and how wonderful it was, how much we want to be there and how much more God wants us to be there with Him. Roman agreed and smiled as he looked across the street at our imaginary heaven.
I went on to tell him that there was no way we could jump from this curb to that curb. And what is worse, is that the street between us and the other side was really a HUGE HUGE pit that we couldn’t see the bottom or the end.
“That’s the bad stuff we do. The sin, right?” Roman added. My heart sighed. He is getting it.
“What if I told you that God thought it was so important to Him that we get to the other side that He built a bridge for us.”
“Is that when Jesus died? Is He like the bridge?” YES!
We paused to wave at the bus and say hi to the UPS delivery man and kept walking and talking.
“It’s easy to walk across a bridge, Roman. We don’t have to do anything but trust. Just put one foot in front of the other.” I continued.
So we did, we kept walking hand in hand as he repeated the prayer that confirmed his salvation.
In a ten minute walk, the mundane turned to miraculous … the simple turned to spectacular … a small jaunt turned to an eternal walk.
I don’t mind walks from the bus stop so much anymore.
Aladdin and Communion
As I was sitting in church explaining to Roman about communion that we were about to take and how important it is and how we need to be thoughtful and thankful and how it is special and how we will do this and take this and then we will come back together as a family and pray and it is so special and …
Um. Oops. I think our unknowing five year old, Mark, just snuck in with another family and grabbed some bread and chugged some juice.
Parent. fail. In my mind. But not in Jesus’ mind or the folks I sit next to during communion. I am ever so grateful for the grace giving, arm lifting, cheer giving people that we walk alongside of when our Aladdin character shows up to the communion table to steal some bread. They reflect Jesus well and simply smile with grace our way.
I imagine Jesus would smile with grace when things like this happen. And I hope and pray I would turn and do the exact same thing.
They Surprise You
It was Allison’s turn. Her turn for the TALK. You know … the s_x talk. I was headed up to my parent’s to visit, so I asked Allison to go … quality “one on one” time and yes … time for the TALK.
I assumed she would want to get it over with, so as we were pulling out of town I began to have the TALK. It didn’t last long. Her hand went up. Her voice was stern as she laid out some rules.
“Oh, not yet. There will be some boundaries and some rules.” she said.
” #1. Do not look at me while we have this talk.
#2. Do not use names.
#3. You have five minutes, that is all it will take.
#4. We will begin this talk five minutes before we arrive home … Wednesday.”
Silence. Silence while I tried to control the laughter that was welling up in me. Whoa.
It sounded like she had done some thinking about this little talk we were going to have. Come to find out she had been coached by her sister. Discussions have been had, confiding had occurred, a club had been formed. (I can’t tell you the name or what was discussed … I spit swore that it would remain a secret)
You know what? I was so very grateful. I tend to only hear the fighting that occurs in the girls part of the house, but their seems to be more going on. They are talking. Older sister is leading and mentoring and investing. Younger sister is listening and asking. And my heart is full.
We remind them that they are best friends … and somewhere in all the fighting, they are getting it.
Thank. You. Lord.
It has occurred to me that I haven’t had many people in my life move away. This, I have come to find out, is a tremendous blessing … until it happens. Twice. In one month.
This sudden shock to my system has caused me to vow in my heart to never get close to anyone in the military. I promised to begin distancing my heart from anyone loosely looking for a new job. It is safer that way. It will protect me from the ugliest, snottiest, loudest of cries you have ever seen.
But it also will keep me from blessings deeper than I can ever fathom. By stepping into relationships, you step into adventures and lessons that you simply cannot replicate. You walk with friends through heartbreak of infertility and hope and joy of adoption. You cry and you laugh together. You encourage and admonish. You agree and you disagree. You learn unimaginable things by watching them and heart changing things by listening to them. Heck, you sign papers that if you die … these people get your kids. Because you trust them. You treasure them. You love them.
And when they move, you miss them.
I know this to be truer than true … it is worth it … so worth it to know and to be known by people that make you better … whether it is for three years or forty three years.
I suppose I won’t actually distant myself from people that bring me closer to Jesus … I’ll just slit their tires.
Quite unexpectedly we received the news that Robert’s Aunt Marsha’s cancer had returned and it was not good. Within hours, family made plans to gather in Northern California. It was important for us all to be together this particular Mother’s Day weekend, there were gifts to be given. Gifts that could never be wrapped.
Northern California is a LONG way from Texas … and an impossible last minute trip for a family of seven … until a gift was given. A gift that was entirely from the overflow of a heart. Before we knew it, tickets were bought for us and our tribe of seven was on a plane to join the family. It is humbling to receive such generosity, yet it is precious to see that graciousness given so freely.
When we arrived, the gifts continued to overflow. Hospitality the size of Texas was wrapped up and given. Hands worked together to prepare and clean up meals. The gift of listening to the words that will forever be gifts in our hearts was present. Silent prayers were lifted up as gifts and hugs enveloped the hearts that were hurting.
All of these gifts were not given by one person. Each person that walked through the door had a different gift to bring. It was a sweet celebration as we saw each package unwrapped … each with different wrapping, each gift a different size, each gift thoughtful and intentional. We all bring a gift to the party. And they all look different.
While it is very hard and humbling for me to receive such a generous gift of travel to California … I found myself inspired by the heart that gave the gift. It was natural, it was freely given, it was the overflow of their heart … it was a gift they had been given to give away.
I found myself praying and searching my own heart as we traveled that weekend … what gift do I have to bring?
The list of gifts can be long … washing dishes, smiling, financial support, listening, praying, the Message of Eternal Life, laughing, playing cards, cooking a meal, truth, grace, encouragement. The gifts that God gives us to give away is endless when they are given in love. It makes sense … His love is endless.
No matter the situation … what is the gift you have been given to bring to the party? It is needed. It is important. God has given it to you to give away.