Monday, December 17, 2012

Appreciating Children

Well, here we are. Back at Monday. Unfortunately, it's not a "normal" Monday.

Our weekend started like many others' - with heartbreak, confusion, anger, and many tears. I will admit that when I first heard news that there was a "school shooting" in Connecticut my ears perked, but I wasn't shocked. In my head another high school or college tragedy had occurred, and of course that would have been terrible enough. But when I discovered that it wasn't the typical scenario of young adults attacking their peers, but a grown person attacking children, I felt like I was going to throw up.

And then the numbers. I couldn't take the evil does someone have to be to commit the same crime over and over and over....

I cried for the children and the teachers. I cried for the ones who made it out and will live with the memories for the rest of their lives. I cried for the officers who had to come face to face with this evil and see things that they will never forget. But most of all, I cried for the families who were directly affected by this terrible tragedy. Their lives will never be the same. This Christmas will be marred with mournful memories. Parents had to come home to empty rooms. They bought gifts that will never be given. Siblings have lost playmates and best friends. It's all too much to think about.

My faith is the only thing that brings me comfort in times like these. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that all of the children who lost their lives on Friday morning are perfectly fine today. More than fine. They are in good hands, and there is no pain, no tears, and no suffering. Those precious babies are not scared or confused. They are singing, walking streets of gold, and dining in paradise. They are fine.

But I am sure their families are not feeling so fine right now. And I pray God's grace and peace for them as they try to pick up the broken peices of themselves and fit their lives back together. I cannot imagine the pain they are going through.

In times like these, all parents seem to feel the need to hug their babies a little tighter, and I am certainly no exception. I can't tell you how many times I just stared at my kids and said a silent, "Thank you, Jesus" for my children's health and safety this weekend. It makes me really stop and appreciate all of things that usually drive me nuts about my kids. The toys that need to be cleaned up, the crying that just won't stop, the sticky fingers and stained clothes...I've never been more appreciative of sticky fingers and stained clothes.

Yesterday was a wonderfully joyful and healing day for my soul. It was a needed day. A day of children and friends and family. We had a Christmas service at church yesterday morning, and seeing all of the children gathered together singing their little hearts out was just what I needed - a wonderful reminder that in the midst of tragedy, there is still something good.

The service was named "Miracle on Market Street," and the little ones were the first to share their talents. 

"My God is so big, so strong, and so mighty, there's nothing my God cannot do!"
It was really, seriously, sickeningly adorable. :)

Evelyn was, of course, in her element. Put a microphone in front of her and she'll belt it out, haha. I was also so proud of Gracie, who sang the last word of every line with gusto and was really into the motions. :) We had practiced a little at home this weekend, and Gracie girl was ALL about it. 

There were several more children all over the stage and in the arms of their mamas, too. Love the kiddos in our church family, and I'm so thankful for each one of them.

Afterwards our Pastor sat down with them to share a little message, but will be kids. And mine are often the biggest instigators of all. They're um...delightfully full of energy. :)

Things started just fine, but then my oldest decided she had to get up and change positions, and when she moves John moves and when John moves Gracie moves. 

Then...they pretty much didn't stop moving the rest of the time. Haha.

Poor Eric had to run onto the stage more than once to keep Gracie from pounding on piano keys. :)

And that would be Evelyn, in the back, with our pastor's daughter...paying no attention at all. Haha.

Thank you God for my children who have lessons yet to learn and the opportunity to teach how to sit quiet and still.

I get this sinking suspicion that I'm going to get a lot of reports sent home from school of Evelyn being a bit too chatty. Just a little feeling I have. :)

(Oh and Christine, your boys are WAY too cute with their arms around each other!)

I will be even more thankful for my babies this Christmas season, realizing how short and precious life really is. And I rejoice that the most precious baby of all time came to this world to show us love. He conquered death so that we could live eternally with him. My God is so big, so strong, and so mighty, there's nothing my God cannot do. I am so grateful for that reassurance. From the mouths of babes. 


Heather said...

I am thankful for your kids as well. They make me smile daily :)

Christine Pettijohn said...

Lol!!! Wyatt and Isaac surprise me daily. The other night Isaac laid with Wyatt in his bed and Wyatt pretended he was reading Isaac a book. Made me smile. It is so sad though that some parents will not get that joy again. My heart aches for those families. Such a sad day for so many.

Kimberly Nagel said...

Love this. It is awful but like you said, those babies are just fine. I pray for their families and anyone they knew that this affect but at least they are better now.


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