Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What will stop a mother's heart.

My sweet little Anna Bell has done a few things over the past couple of days to nearly make my heart stop:
*On Saturday, Fred was able to go fishing with a friend from church, so the kids and I were having a very lazy, quiet morning. ...That is, until Anna Bell snuck off and climbed up our dresser and got a hold of the bottle of infant's Tylenol. When I found her, she had the bottle open and was drinking the Tylenol out of the dropper! I first called the after hours and left a message and when they didn't call back in the 2 minutes that I waited, I called poison control. Thankfully, the amount that she could have possibly gotten out of the bottle was not enough to be toxic for her size/age. Our pediatrician called back as I was talking to poison control and they said the same thing. Whew. We keep all medicines on a high shelf in the closet, but I had just gotten careless and left it on our dresser. I will NOT be doing that again!
*The weather has been absolutely perfect lately. I cannot stay inside! The kids have so much fun and get so dirty exploring and playing hard. It's been so fun to sit and soak up the sun or explore along with them. But I've also enjoyed being productive: organizing the garage, pulling weeds, watering new grass, and planting flowers while listening to their little voices. However, yesterday I got a little over-zealous. Caleb was down for a nap and J & AB were doing a great job playing together, so I decided to mow the lawn. I knew that it would bless Fred to not have to worry about it over the weekend. So I started out mowing the front yard. I kept an eye on the kids the whole time- making sure that they didn't come near the mower and weren't pulling each others' arms off or anything. As I got close to finishing the front, I turned the mower off and told the kids to head to the back. Joshua went one way around and Anna Bell ran the other way. I had about 2 more strips to do and then headed around. I saw Joshua playing at the sandbox, but did not see Anna Bell. Like most 3 year olds, she is easily distracted, so I figured she found something that interested her on the side of the house. I continued mowing for probably only 2 more minutes. Still no Anna Bell. So I turned the mower off and asked Joshua if he'd seen her. Nope. I walked around to the side that she had run to while calling her name. Not there. Garage- no. Neighbor's yard- nothing. By this time, I was jogging and calling her name a little louder. I checked both neighbors' yards, back by the creek and woods- all the while yelling her name. The garage was open, but I didn't think that she could reach the door to inside and I thought that even if she did, she probably wouldn't shut it behind her, but I checked anyway. I ran (while yelling) all through the house. Knowing her tendency to hide and ability to be very quiet when she is doing something she's not supposed to, I even yelled "Anna Bell, do you want a piece of candy?!!?" - not a sound. Okay, by this time I was fully panicked. As I ran back outside, a neighbor drove by and I flagged her down. She jumped out and started helping. She ran back to the creek to check there while I kept calling around back in the woods. The only thing that I could pray was over and over "Please Lord, please Lord." After what seemed like forever (probably not even 10 minutes) Joshua said that he heard her voice. Sure enough, there she was, coming out of the house saying "what mommy?".... Oh praise Jesus. I scooped her up and just kissed her and held her tight. (Even though her pants were completely wet from peeing all over herself...a topic for another post:)) ... I was so terrified in those moments. I know that it wasn't really that long and the likelihood of something happening probably wasn't that great, but in that moment all I could think of was the worst. That someone had snatched her or that she had fallen in some water and I wasn't there to protect her. How would you ever begin to heal from something like that?!? ...And as I laid in bed last night, recalling the emotion of it, I thought upon the Lord's goodness. He is good. I have watched dear brothers and sisters in Christ lose their babies to sickness or other tragedies-- watched them Bless the name of the LORD in the midst of the heaviest grief. And I was greatly challenged-- to trust the LORD and His provision. To bless His Name regardless of the circumstance. ...And to thank Him for such sweet blessings (even on the days when they completely exhaust me!)
Dearest Anna Bell,
I love you. You are a challenge and exhaust me most days, but gracious, do I love you. Your overflowing personality is such a joy to me and daddy and so many others. ...So PLEASE stop doing things to scare your momma to death.
Love, Mommy

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Determined Passion & Faith-filled Humility

A couple of weekends ago, Fred and I got to get away for nearly 24 hours. His dad and Terry came down to take care of the kids and we headed up to Atlanta for the night. A sweet and dear family at church gave us this special gift for Christmas and we were so excited for the chance to use it!!! This is only the third time that Fred and I have done this since having Joshua...and the other two times I was 7-8+ months pregnant...so needless to say, we were pretty excited! We got to stay in an amazing hotel in Buckhead. We ordered room service (We had a credit that the couple gave us that was non-refundable-- fun!)...watched a movie in the middle of the day...we ate constantly...shopped at Lenox (and didn't buy one stinkin thing-- I didn't even know what 90% of the stores were!)...we ate a late breakfast...after sleeping in as late as we wanted (which...um...was like 8:15...lame, right?!?)...we sat in the hot tub by the pool sometime mid-morning...and just all-around had probably the most restful day we've had in the past 5 years! But, without question, my absolute favorite part of our getaway was when Fred and I sat next to each other in the plush comfy chairs in our room and read the WORD. It was great to have that uninterrupted time together. We rarely have our devotion time at the same time and to be able to sit and talk about what the LORD taught us was so refreshing. We are reading together through the Bible using the Life Journal and our passage for that day was Judges 1-3 and I Corinthians 12. After reading and journaling, we talked about what stuck out to us. And, wouldn't you know, that God used the exact same verses and we were both challenged with the same thing! Here's what I wrote in my journal:

Scripture: Judges 2:10b "And there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD or the work that He had done for Israel." (...this being said right after what occurred in Joshua 24:31 "Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua and had known all the work that the LORD did for Israel."

Observation: when Joshua and the elders serving with him were alive, the people served the LORD. After that, when the next generation came along, they forsook/forgot the LORD and did what they wanted.

Application: How does this happen?!? How did this next generation become so far from God? How did Joshua's generation (who WAS THERE when Deut. 6 was spoken by Moses!) fail to pass the baton of faith? Joshua knew the words spoken in Deuteronomy. He understood the importance of passing on the Truth and love for God to the next generation. I am humbled and burdened when I read these verses. We have a great responsibility to teach our children and and even greater challenge I think-- to trust the LORD to draw them near to Himself!

Prayer: LORD, please give me and Fred wisdom and endurance to teach and train our children. I pray by name for our Joshua, Anna Bell, Caleb, (and children to come) that they would never forget the works of Your hands. That they would never forsake Your Name. You are worthy. You are worth it. You are Life and what our children need for life and godliness.

***So, thus the title for this post: LORD, You alone can draw these children to Yourself. That spurs in me a faith-filled humility to trust them to You. But I will run hard as I live to use every opportunity with determined passion-- to train them, teach them, and model to them what it means to love You with all that they are. AMEN!