Today as I wash wet sheets, I'm thankful for the boy that slept there. Today as I do the mountain of laundry, I'm thankful for the family that fills them. Today as I put away baskets of toys so that I can find the floor, I'm thankful for the children that play with them. Today as I vacuum the leaves, grass and dirt off the living room floor, I'm thankful for the delicious mud pie I was served and the caterpillar habitat that was carefully constructed to be a loving home. Today as I go about my "work", I'm so thankful I have the thankless job of mothering.
On Sunday night, as Keith and I sat eating at Jason's Deli, I got the call. Daniel Heinrich, on his way to do street evangelism in downtown Fort Worth with the other youth, had been hit head-on by a drunk driver and was killed instantly. His only sibling, Emily, is a dear friend to me and is our main babysitter. Their family has been friends with us for about 4 or 5 years. After the news began to sink in, I told Keith that I wanted to go be with Emily. He wholeheartedly agreed. When I called my to find out where she was, I was told that she was in a meeting at Denton Bible Church...almost an hour away...she did not know yet. I offered to go get her and bring her home. So mom, Melinda Spray (another friend from church) and I set out for Denton. We got their in just over 35 minutes. News had started spreading fast and we were afraid she would get the news by a text message before someone could be with her.
When her meeting concluded, I grabbed her before she could get to the phone. Her parents wanted us to go ahead and tell her. We quietly pulled her aside into a women's restroom and mom stood guard at the door to keep people from coming in. There, standing by the tile walls, I delivered the news. She stood there stunned, just staring at me. Then the tears began to flow, her shoulders began to shake with the sobs, but she didn't make any sounds. I felt as if I had just stabbed my friend.
The ride home was quiet. At one point, she turned on her phone and played a song about being safe in the arms of Jesus. Her first impluse was to run to the arms of the Savior and be held by Him. After arriving at her house, I watched from a far as she literally ran into her parents arms as her mom ran to her. I will never forget that sight or those sounds. A small group from church had gathered and we gathered around them for a time of prayer. What a bittersweet time. There was gut wrenching grief, and glorious celebration at the same time. Only in the life of a Believer...
Daniel, only 18 years old, was already a man of God. When I think of him, there are only 2 expressions I can see...one is smiling and laughing, the other is eyes closed and face earnestly lifted toward heaven with hands raised in worship. There was an earnestness to his spiritual life. He had become burdened for the lost and for sharing God's Light with those in darkness. That was his mission at the very time of his death...to find those downtown that needed to hear the Truth. He was a young man who was running hard after Him. What a testimony for us to leave behind. May it be said of me. Daniel, you were an example to those much older than you, as well as those who will hopefully follow in your footsteps.
"To know and follow hard after You. To grow as Your disciple in the Truth. This world is empty, pale and poor, Compared to knowing You, my Lord, Lead me on and I will run after You."
For two days, Katie has been asking to hear the "many mittens" song in the car. Of course, I have no idea what she is talking about. I've suggested several others, but it just makes her more mad. So today I asked her if she could sing a little bit of it for me. She thought for a minute and then started singing, "In my Father's house are many mittens..." After I stopped laughing I said, "Oh, you mean 'in my Father's house are many MANSIONS!" (From Steve Green's Hide them in Your Heart, Vol. 2)
I wanted to let you know about an amazing product I just found. (This is not a paid endorsement, just something I thought might be useful to you.) Someday, you may have to teach your child how to swallow a pill. It is no easy task...enter ORALFLO. It is a pill swallowing cup. After weeks of trying to swallow pills, having to crush them and put them in pudding, dealing with bitter after-taste, this morning my 6 year old swallowed a pill in literally less than 2 secs. I was amazed! No gagging, choking, nothing. And this is my child who has sensory integration issues and is VERY sensitive to textures and has a STRONG gag reflex. He was thrilled!
Two years ago today I held in arms a surprise gift from God. Our little Jack entered the world at 12:49 pm and my life has never been the same. He brought completeness to our home and is continually a breath of fresh air. From day 1, he has been relaxed and happy, two wonderful traits...especially for a 4th child! His smile lights up a room and his laugh is contagious. We love to hear him talk, which he does very well and very often. He loves trains and can be found most times with at least 2 in his hands. He loves his siblings and tries his hardest to do anything they are doing. He is by far our most cuddly child and still loves to put his head on your shoulder or sit in your lap. Jack, you are a blessing to me and to our family. Although you were a surprise to us, the Lord had you planned from before the foundations of the earth. I pray that someday you will know this Great and Awesome God who brought you into being. You are a gift and we give you back to Him, thankful to be entrusted with parenting you.
Last night Charlie lost his first tooth. He's been working on it for a while. It still wasn't REALLY wiggly, so I had just told him that it needed more time and not to just yank on it. Less than a minute later, he had it out. Guess he couldn't stand it any more. He didn't cry, but started gagging when he realized it was bleeding a little. After biting a piece of gauze, he was ready for the tooth fairy! He's growing up.
I am blessed to be married to my best friend, who daily makes marriage so easy. I have 4 amazing, healthy and totally different children. I love being home with my kids and serving my family in ways that only a wife and mom can. However, my first love is my Savior Jesus Christ and my aim in life is to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever.