In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Friday, December 14, 2012

Maci, Hope, and Holding our Kids So Tightly Tonight

Today, I just can't seem to get a grip on my tears. I am probably in good company.  There have been 20 children and 7 adults killed by a gunmen and again our world feels so unsafe, so unprotected, so out of control, so wrong.  I turn off the TV and throw on a little Christmas music, after being instructed by the Today Show psychologist to not watch the media with kids around, but I continue to waver between tears and pulling it together.  I think of bringing Maci here to America, where she is supposed to have a safe, middle American life with clean water, nutritious food, lots of love, but it all of the sudden feels so glaringly apparent that no matter where she lives in this world, there is really no "safe" place.  Not for her, not for Spence and Leah, and not for me or my husband.

And it brings me back to the one and only hope.  There is only one hope in this world, and that is in Jesus Christ.  This world is beyond broken and our hope can not be put in this world.  Not in America, not in healthy food, not in a quiet suburb, not in a stable job, but only in Jesus.  I feel so relieved to know Him and believe in Him, because I still have hope.  Not only in this life, but mostly the life to come.  I feel like this is the freedom that I have in Christ: while my heart is broken for the events of today, and for friends who have kids with cancer, for Negusu still in Ethiopia, and for all the hard stuff that we all go through, I know there is hope for the future.  

My awareness to appreciate the little things that my kids do feels heightened.  I've spent some of the day, going back and reading some of the the funny things they have said in the recent past, as a desperate attempt to keep their preciousness close to me.

Even right at this moment, Leah is pretending to be a sick patient and Maci is taking sweet care of her and kissing her hand and wrapping her up in blankets.  Mark my words, Maci will be a nurse or a doctor.  She is so concerned for the hurting and takes such gentle care of every doll, animal, and sibling, when they are hurting.

Maci is not only a care giver, but a comedian.  Sometimes her humor is intentional, and sometimes it is not.

-Her most famous quote is, "I'm going to wear my Maci-tard," which was said right after Leah said that she was going to wear her "Leah-tard." That's just pure preciousness.  Even last week, before ballet, I told her to put on her leotard and she said, "No, I'm Maci, not Leah."

-She always says, "Chuck-Fil-A" instead of Chick-Fil-A.

-She sings,"Rudolph with your nose so HOT, won't you guide my sleigh tonight."

-She treats the praise music at church like Dance Revolution. We could use a little more color in our Presbyterian rows, if you ask me.  She belts out those praise songs, whether she knows the words or not.  I love it!

-She sings, "Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin egged a leg."

-She always curls one side of her mouth, just to get a laugh.

-She knows everybody's name that she has ever come across.  When I pick her up from her class, she'll say, me and Rachel (the teacher) just sang together.  And she says hi to kids all over the church who she met in class, but I have to idea who they are.  It cracks me up.

-She has a laughable (and impressive) vocabulary, because she learned English so fast.  About 5 months after she was home, I saw the dentist and he put on those special looking dentist glasses and she goes,  "He has two binoculars on his lenses."  I mean really???  That is just ridiculous.

She is truly amazing to me.  How does a child who has lost so much, have so much to give?  We feel beyond lucky to be her family.

I know we will all be hugging our children a little tighter tonight, we will be missing babies that for one reason or another are not in our lives, we will be reluctant to send them to school on Monday, we will appreciate their little moments a little more, we will be giving a little more grace to the not so special moments they inevitably have, we will be praying for the families in CT, we will be putting our hope in the only sure thing that we can have hope in, Jesus Christ.  Thank you Jesus for coming to this earth to give us hope.

Psalms 62:5-8
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.  My salvation and my honor depend on God; hi is my mighty rock, my refuge.  Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

Those words were written so long ago, but feel like maybe they were written for a heartbreaking and confusing day like today.