Monday, December 17, 2012

The sass is strong with this one

The sleeping situation in our itty bitty house has been a bit of fruit basket-upset over the last 6 months.  Currently Asher is sleeping in his crib in Sydney's room, her bed is empty, and she is sleeping on the bottom bunk in "the boys" room, which we still call Carson's room.  This leads to all kinds of confusing titles as "your room" and "your bed" are not straightforward, especially for the younger two.  But Ashman is a pretty noisy sleeper (and waker), so we need him to sleep alone, but definitely also need him confined to a lovely crib, as he's a bit of a flight risk.  The bunk bed sitch has been good for the big sibs I think.  It's some forced bonding.  Instead of a nightlight, we strung an bunch of colored Christmas lights around the room, and it gives it a very cheery glow that they both love.

For some reason, a few nights ago, Sydney was unusually teary and scared to go to sleep.  (Unrelated and prior to any national news that might make children teary and scared.)  I was trying to calm her with my wise mommy moves, telling her that a)her big brother is 2 feet away, b)her parents are in the next room and c) God will never leave her, and he is stronger than Carson AND Daddy.  I got very spiritual and told her God knows just what is scaring her and how to help her feel calm.  I told her that God knows everything about her, including how many red hairs are on that head.  I started to look around the room, and I said God knows exactly how many Christmas lights are in this room, thinking that would really impress her.

Then, from the previously silent top bunk, a deep little voice says "Uh, even I know that: two hundred.  One hundred in each box."  He didn't actually vocalize the "DUH" but it was strongly inferred by his tone of voice.  As was the eye roll.

I swear that kid sleighs me.

Also, on the night of the horrors in CT, I crawled up into the top bunk with C, loving on him and getting teary.  He didn't seem to know anything was up, so I didn't offer any information, but I just told him that if he ever had any questions about ANYTHING, that he could ask me and I would always tell him the truth.  He kind of nodded.  I told him how much I loved him.  He nodded.  I thought he was looking sad.  But then his eyes got wide and he said, "Whoa!  I just threw up in my mouth a little bit! Weird!"

So, okay.  We're good?  Mkay. 

Oh, thank you Lord for my sassy, disgusting, distractable, smarty-pants boy.

Friday, December 14, 2012


I remember watching the news about the Columbine shootings from my college dorm room.  I was so sad.  So very sad.  But hearing the news about the school shooting today--in an elementary school, many of the victims being from the same kindergarten--I felt a stabbing grief that was unlike anything I've experienced.  I can only assume it is because now I'm a mommy, I have a child who was in kindergarten last year and one next year.  Because I know the way my stomach drops when I see I'm getting a call from the school during class hours and I worry that my child has broken an arm or puked in class.  I'm sure like many of us, just as I was able to distract myself from the horror, a wave of it would wash over me.  I found myself just sobbing, SOBBING as I thought of the fear of those kids and teachers, and the parents.  OH, Lord.  The parents.  Racing through town, only to be kept away from the school while they waited the most agonizing minutes of their lives, wanting to know of their child was in the room where "the classroom is unaccounted for."  I couldn't stop crying today.

In fact, I was feeling so overwhelmed by my vicarious grief that I was reminded of a story I heard recently by Lysa Terquerst.  She said she was speaking at a women's conference and her staff came to get her back stage to comfort a woman out in the lobby who was upset.  Upset was an understatement.  This sweet grandma had just received news that her two precious grandchildren had burned to death in a fire that morning, a fire it seems was set by their mother's boyfriend.  The kids had been with her the week before, and she had wanted to keep them, but for whatever reason, could not, and had to put them on a plane back to their mother.  And now they were gone.  This women, rightfully so, was OVERCOME with grief and sorrow.  She was inconsolable, and Lysa said she had no idea how to even begin to comfort her.  Lysa, a wise author and speaker, had no words.

So she just cried with the woman and started saying the name of Jesus.  Over and over.  "Jesus.   Jesus.  Jesus.  Jesus.  Oh, Jesus." And soon the woman, through her sobs, starting saying it with her.  It did not take her grief away.  It did not make it all better.  But it gave her a life raft when she was drowning.  It gave her a glimmer of hope when she had NONE.  If it did not give her immediate peace, it pointed her in the direction of the Prince of Peace.

I will never forget this story, and I've found myself coming back to it on days like this.  I know it might sound silly if you don't know Jesus in the same way I do.  But all I can tell you is this: there is POWER in that name. When I don't know what to do.  When I don't know what to say. When my heart is overwhelmed and broken.  When I can't explain or understand this broken world.  When so much innocent blood was shed.  When evil seems to have won.  When I need a life raft because I feel like I'm drowning in the messed up place that is NOT MY HOME.





Oh, Jesus, be near.