December 14, 2012

I was cleaning up the house tonight and found a bunch of papers that Rachel, my little artist, had drawn on. There were probably 20 pieces; some had notes, some had pictures and some were tracings that she did.
I grabbed a bunch of them up in my hand and walked toward the garbage, ready to dump them in the recycling bin. I know this makes me sound horrible, but let me explain - Rachel draws, colors and writes pretty much all day long. She breaks to do school and breaks to occasionally go play something different, but you can pretty much always find her drawing or writing something. We have lots and lots of her papers taped on walls, pinned to the fridge, on our nightstands, etc...

As I went to dump these particular ones, I caught myself. I froze over the recycle bin and as I stood there I felt a tear slide down my cheek.
I stared down at those pictures and couldn't help but wonder how precious these would be to me if I lost her tomorrow. How I'd probably run out to the garbage and dig them out, just to have the drawings and creations my big girl created.
I suddenly wouldn't mind that she went through so much computer and tracing paper in one day.

... so I picked four of her best ones and saved them :)

I know we can't always live like today could be our last day, but sometimes I think we should try.
Imagine how quickly you'd say you were sorry.
How easily you'd reach out to give a hug.
How the little, annoying things would suddenly become sweet, precious moments in time.
I'm not saying we'd cherish the sinful moments... but I think we'd remember more often how children are just that, children. They're not little adults.

I cannot imagine losing any of my kids. I really can't. When my mind tries to go there, it stops. Its similar to what happens when I think too much of eternity or what Heaven will be like. Its like my brain goes so far and then is incapable of going further.
I can't imagine the gaping hole our family would feel. The sorrow, pain and anguish. To me those words help describe what I think I'd feel... but they don't do the emotions justice.

I find myself praying for the Sandy Hook victim's families throughout the day and just begging God to comfort them. To show Himself to them, to help them cope by remembering He remains in control, sovereign above all, gracious, just and mighty.
To remember that God knows their sorrow. He's felt it. When He sent His Son to die; to give His life for people who hated Him, spit on Him and broke His body apart. God meets us in our most horrible moments and offers true, lasting peace. Hope, even when the future looks so bleak and miserable. Reminding us that even our deepest griefs are not the end.

My thoughts have been all over the place the past few days. I've gone from feeling so angry at the killer. So mad at the senseless evil of it all.
Feeling mad at his Mom, but then feeling sorry for feeling mad, since she was murdered too.
I don't know why more safety and precautions weren't taken with her son.
I've felt mad at our country for the outpouring of anguish, grief and terrifying sadness over these 20 children's deaths {rightly so}, but then turning their face at the thousands and thousands of children who are murdered in the womb every day.

A man on the news tonight said, "I cannot imagine the horror of being such a small, innocent child - finding yourself trapped in a room you can't get out of, realizing you have no choice and no voice, but to let this mad person kill you." I started crying when I heard his words because to me, that sums up ALL abortion. Even the kind when you kill a baby that's just been formed.
Why do we put a limit on when a life is worth something?
I've had 3 miscarriages and its been over a year since my last one - I'm still amazed at how much those unborn babies affected my life and touched my heart. They left their mark on our family and that, to me, is amazing. Such proof that all life is sacred.

I'm not gonna start suddenly hugging and squeezing my kids all day long. Mostly because even that will taper down and my kids will probably wonder why the crazy, incessant hugging got so sparse ;-)

But I do hope to appreciate and enjoy even the 20+ drawings and notes I find all around the house.
The messes I have to clean at the end of the day.
The peanut butter I have to clean off the door knobs.
The seemingly constant arguments between siblings I have to referee.
The questions that keep coming without end.

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the Kingdom of Heaven." Matthew 19:14

John Piper said, "We're raising our children to be burden lifters and not burdens on society." 

These children are precious. They're each created in God's image and I've been given the gift of raising them, loving them, training them, serving them. Showing God's love to them.

I want to start each day feeling and knowing the honor I've been given in my role as Mother.

As I've been struck with the horror and sadness over the killings in Newtown, Connecticut, I can't help but feel anticipation and wonder at how God will use these 27 lives in ways only He can.
How He can take such a tragedy and use it for good.
Remembering that His ways and purposes are always good.
Their deaths will not be in vain and its exciting to know that even when the media goes away and the news stories stop pouring in, God will still be at work.

I'm so sorry for the families who've lost children, a sibling, a mother, a daughter, a teacher, a wife.
My prayers will not stop next week. I hope to still be remembering them next December 14th and the one after that.
When their names and faces were released I sat and read them out loud to my two oldest kids.
We're doing our best to remember them and to honor their families.

We remember you, sweet children and ladies.
I pray the families will cry out to Jesus and find hope and peace in Him.

9 {comments}:

Tara said...

sobbing at the end of this post. :(

Emily said...

YES! *Sniff*

Liz said...

Well written my friend. It is so sad!

Nicola said...

Perfectly stated Stef. Tears in my eyes as I look at these precious children created in the image of our God.

Kiara Buechler said...

Crying here too. I just can't handle it.

Sunny said...

Beautifully said, Steph. :_(

Erin said...

Beautiful tribute & excellent pondering on this tragedy. Thank you, Stef!

"God knows their sorrow. He's felt it. When He sent His Son to die; to give His life for people who hated Him, spit on Him and broke His body apart. God meets us in our most horrible moments and offers true, lasting peace. Hope, even when the future looks so bleak and miserable. Reminding us that even our deepest griefs are not the end."

Yes and amen!

Stef said...

Ladies, thank you so much! You're all very kind.

W and J said...

:( so so sad! you gave me chills with the connection to abortion. SO VERY TRUE! And how can those have such a disconnect with how sacred ALL life is?! Goodness. Thank you for the wise words, sweet friend!


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