Archive for August, 2008

Crying

August 29, 2008

I am crying. Why? Because Addison was crying when I dropped her off this morning. And now I can’t stop crying. I need some chocolate and a diet coke. Wait. That mean I am an emotional eater. Okay. . . that is true. Just another of my issues that I need to work through. Back to the present issue at hand.

Today is the last day to “walk” kindergartners to class. Addison decided that she wanted me to drop her off at the door like all the other kids. “Are you sure?” I asked her. “I can walk you inside and then you can go to your classroom by yourself.” “Mooommmmm – I don’t want you to go in with me. I can do it all by myself.” Okay. so, she doesn’t want me to take her in. I just wanted to be able to watch and make for sure she made it to the right classroom. For myself, of course. . . so that when I do drop her off, she knows exactly where to go. So, that was the plan. We experienced a little more of the “I don’t like school. It’s no fun there” but that was overlooked when she realized that today for lunch was the breakfast bar AND that she gets to buy her lunch today AND that Ava Jane and I are going to help in the cafeteria for lunch today! Whew! Lots to look forward too.

On the way to school I prayed, as we have been doing. As we pulled into the car rider line, I told her to unbuckle and get ready to get out because other cars would be waiting. We pulled up, we kissed and hugged and said I love you. She opened the door and started out and then just as quickly started BAWLING and crawled back in. I couldn’t even understand what she was saying because she was crying so hard. I am already almost in tears because she wants to get out by herself. . . then comes a teacher to help her get out. I tell the teacher that I will drive back around and walk her in. “Are you sure?” she asks me. Not really, but what choice do I have at this very moment. By this time Addison is pretty hysterical and is trying to say something and I cannot even understand her. I am getting stressed because she is crying, I have no clue what she is saying and she is getting ready to be late! We pull back into the car rider line and I ask her what she wants to do. “Addison, honey, do you want to go in by yourself or do you want mommy to go with you to your class?” Addison: sniff, sniff “I want to go in by myself. I want to pray.” And through her tears and barely mumbled audible words I hear, “God, please help me to be brave and to have a good day and not a bad day. In Jesus’ name amen.”

Okay, I was really fighting the tears then. Actually, I started to cry (but had on sunglasses). I told Addison how proud I was of her asking God to help her be brave and reminded her once again that she needed to get ready to get out of the car. “Never-mind mom. I want you to go in with me.” I whip into a parking place and pull everyone from the car so we don’t get in there late. We walk briskly to the classroom and then her tears begin again. Lots of them. I kissed her and literally hand her over to Mrs. Moss who whisks her inside the room talking to her about going to the library. I walk with Ava Jane to the car and leave. As I am leaving, I see Mary Day Reynolds, the assistant principal, waiting outside for any lingering children. I pull up and roll down the window to ask her what I should do if Addison does this same thing next Tuesday. And then it happened. Tears, lots of tears. Flowing freely as I am talking to the asst. principal. Nice. I’m making a great impression. For crying out loud it is the last day of the first full week of school. . . why am I crying now? (I’m just guessing that is what she was thinking.) She was so sweet and gracious as I apologized for crying and told her I just needed to know how to handle this. . .

I cried, no, I bawled all the way home.

This is Ava Jane in the backseat, “Mom, why are you crying.”

Me: sniff, sniff, sob, sob, sob

Ava Jane: “MOM! WHY ARE YOU CRYING? TELL ME WHY YOU ARE CRYING!”

Me: sob, sob, sob, sniff, sniff “I’ll tell you why when I can stop crying.”

So, here I am at home. . . I called Rick (crying of course) and now I am trying to get it together. I have prayed that Addison IS having a good day. And thanked God for her over and over. And here is the biggest thing I have realized as I have been sitting her writing and processing this morning. My heart hurts for Addison that she is scared. I hurt for her because I KNOW how she feels. I remember the exact feelings of fear that I had as a little girl when I wasn’t sure what to expect or when I was on my own. It was a yucky sick feeling. So, I can truly say that I feel her pain. And then it hit me that all those times when we try to comfort others by telling them that God understands their pain because he has experienced it himself. . . it really is true. I just had another head to heart experience. What I have known about God in my head has just found it’s way to my heart. If God hurts for me when I am hurting like I am hurting for Addison right now. . . WOW! I have always just said those words, but never really realized the TRUTH in them. . . but now I have experienced it myself. . . and it is powerful. Again, God amazes me at the things he can teach us through the most ordinary everyday experiences. We just have to be listening for Him. I hope that you are listening today. What he wants to tell you might blow you away!! Just like it did me!

Wicked Wednesday

August 27, 2008

I used to teach swimming lessons and the Wednesday of the first week of lessons was always called “Wicked Wednesday.” On Monday the kids thought is was GREAT and so much fun to come to swim lessons. On Tuesday they were sorta kinda okay about being there, but by Wednesday we had full out arms and legs flailing in the water, screaming, kicking fits. All because the realization had set in that these were swim LESSONS, not playtime. And that they didn’t really get to do what they wanted, they had to do what I told them to do (in the most loving, but firm way, of course).

Sweet Addison had that same realization today. After being super excited about Monday at school, and mostly excited about Tuesday at school (with the exception of the boy who keeps bothering her), today it hit! She mentioned a few times this morning that she didn’t want to go to school. “It is no fun,” she said. But I told her she got to go to computer this morning and she piped up a bit. Then again, “Mom, I don’t want to go today.” I could feel it coming. As we walked in we saw our friend, Micah, and that made that transition easier. When we got to the classroom it began. The tears were welling up for her and she kept whispering that she didn’t want to go to school. These were her profound words, “Mom, it’s just no fun here. Mrs. Moss doesn’t let me do whatever I want to ALL day. I can’t even get water to drink whenever I want it. And there isn’t anything fun to play with.”   Whoa. . . that is the harsh reality of life, my sweet Addison. She’s really been living the life for the past 5 years, huh? I tried to (in one sentence) tell her that life is hard and we don’t always get to do what we want and that we don’t get to play all day either. And also remind her that she would have a great day and God would be with her wherever she is today.  I know this routine because she is my child and I know how she operates. The longer I stand there, the worse it is for her. She wants to cling and as long as I am standing there, she has hope that I may take her away with me. So, even though I was in the middle of a conversation with Mrs. Moss I had to gently prod Addison in the door and give Mrs. Moss “the look” that said you better take her. I quickly walked away, thankful that my friend, Michelle, was right there so I could talk to someone and not cry for my sweet baby who did NOT want to go to school.

Truth be told, I would probably rather have her here at home with me. Ava Jane and I are not quite sure what to do with each other yet. She is used to Addison being here. I am used to Addison being here. But we will figure it out. And Addison will learn to LOVE school. I know it is just the “getting used to it” part that will be hard. So, I will be fervently praying for her and for me and for Ava Jane. That we will all “get used to it”! Here is a poem that Mrs. Moss gave the parents last Wednesday (Addison’s first phase in day with her teacher – only a half day of school). It made me a little sad then, but is much more real for me today.

The First Day

I gave you a little wink and a smile as you entered my room today.

For I know how hard it is to leave and know your child must stay.

You’ve been with her for five years now and have been a loving guide.

But now, alas, the time has come to leave her at my side.

Just know that as you drive away and tears down your cheeks may flow

I’ll love her as I would my own and help her learn and grow.

For as a parent, I too know how quickly the years to pass

And that one day soon it will be my turn to take my child to class.

So please put you mind at ease and cry those tears no more.

For I will love her and take her in when you leave her at my door.

So, now that you are probably crying like I am. . . say a little prayer for all the sweet kindergarten kids who are entering “Wicked Wednesday.”  Tomorrow may be worse and then by Friday things may ease up a bit.  Maybe it is for this reason right here that God had me teach swim lesson for those five years before Addison arrived.  To be able to know and be prepared for Wicked Wednesday, and the days to follow.  And to know how to encourage and love and support Addison through this season of learning and growing.  And for those of you who have not sent your baby to school yet, be sure to mark down the first Wednesday of the first FULL week of school so that you can be prepared!!

Where Have I Been?

August 26, 2008

Where have you been, you might be asking? Well, I have been busy organizing (maybe not so much) my house, playing with my kids before school REALLY started and getting Addison all ready for kindergarten. We have had so much going on lately. And I just haven’t taken the time to sit down and blog about it all. I have had a million things in my mind that I wanted to write down, but just not the time to do it. Let me try to recap the past week or so for you.  I want to give you the highlights (which there are plenty), but there are also some pretty sad things that have occurred in the past 10 days as well.  Here is what has been going on. . .

Last weekend Addison learned to ride her little bike with no training wheels.  HUGE!!

On Sunday (8/17) Cheryl Owen passed away after a nearly year long battle with leukemia.  She is the second adult I have known in the past year to be diagnosed with what I thought was a childhood disease.  Though I didn’t even know Cheryl myself, I felt as if I did.  I prayed for her from the day I found out she was diagnosed right through the end.  My heart was sad for her husband and two grown sons.  And I have to say that I wrestled with God for a while about why she had to suffer so much near the end.  Especially when she was suppose to be getting better.  God has shown me some amazing things through her life and through praying for her.  Prayer itself, is an amazing thing.

On a lighter note. . . we finally had our blinds installed last Monday so we now have some privacy.   For two weeks we had NO coverings at all on our windows.  The best part (that I can think of) about that was that I could see the moon and stars sooo clearly outside my bedroom window at night.  And now that we are much further out of the “city” the sky is so dark and the moon and stars are so bright.  It really is majestic!

On Tuesday I had two little cavities filled.  Both on opposite sides of my mouth.  The entire upper part of my mouth was numb ALL day long.  The good part – I got gas. . . well you know. . . a little nitrous (isn’t that what it is?) since I am such a baby about my teeth being worked on.  It was nice to feel loopy for an hour.  Just being honest here.

Wednesday was a big day.  It was Addison’s second phase in day and first day in her real class with her teacher!!  Here she is with Mrs. Moss.

We are so blessed to have her for a teacher.  She has been a kindergarten teacher for several years now and I have her from so many about how wonderful she is.  And what is funny is that I actually knew her when we were little girls.  We lived down the street from each other and went to church together.  Her parents and my parents are still friends.  The sweetest part is that Mrs. Moss’ dad called my dad to tell him that Addison was in her class.  And Mr. Bearden told my dad that he prays for each of the children in her class by name.  Oh, I just love that.  A good teacher and a godly teacher with godly parents too!  Can’t ask for more than that.  Not to mention that Addison loves her and has not shed ONE tear about school. . .which is HUGE for my child!!!  Another amazing thing about prayer.

Second thing on Wednesday was that Ava Jane started her first ballet/tap lesson.  She has been wanting to take ballet FOREVER.  She was so good last year to sit and watch Addison (and their friends) every Monday in gymnastics, while never getting to do it herself.  And now it is finally her turn.  Here she is really for the first lesson.

Here she is with her new ballerina buddies.  Is it odd that she is the only child with a black leotard on?  I guess I will have to go get her a pink one so she will match the rest. . . they are sooo cute!

Thursday was another sad day for me.  Sweet Joseph went to be with Jesus.  He had just turned four on Wednesday and died on Thursday afternoon.  I have prayed with so many others for this precious boy since the days even before his diagnosis of a brain tumor only nine months ago.  I have several connections to him and his family and was heartbroken by their loss.  As a mom, I could put myself in his mom’s place and I just don’t know what I would do.  Each detail that I would hear about would send me back into sobbing tears.  I spent most of that night crying and trying to process again, why God would want Joseph with him instead of here with his mom, dad and little sister.  As always, God met me in my sadness and assured me that I could trust him.  Oh, what a hard lesson.  When that fear begins to creep in that this could happen to my child. . . but I literally said outloud many times on Thursday and Friday, “God, I trust you.  You are good.  I trust you, Lord.  You are in control and I trust you.”  My heart has remained sad, but I know that Joseph is completely healed and for that I am so grateful.

Friday night and Saturday morning I had the priviledge of participating in a conference called Going Beyond with Priscilla Shirer.  I was ready and I needed to hear a word from God.  And boy did God speak!!  Priscilla is awesome because she is in my stage of life. . . just sent one to kindergarten and has one at home (and she has one on the way, though I do not!!!)  Her message was convicting and yet made me more passionate about wanting to dig into God’s word.  I could write a whole post on what I learned, but I will just tell you that I learned a lot.  My step sister was there and she had just graduated from Mercy Ministries in St. Louis.  I am so very proud of her and praying that she continues to follow God as he shows her his amazing plans for her life.

Rick had what he called “The Ultimate Man Day” on Saturday.  He rode his motorcycle most of the day and then topped the day off wakeboarding on the lake.  Wow!  I should say he did have a man’s day.  The girls stayed with his parents in the morning during my conference and then we went to the pool that afternoon.  We had a good day and a relaxing Sunday afternoon after a great church service that morning.

This week is Addison’s first week to go all day long.  And boy do the days seem long for her.  Here she was yesterday.  It was raining (which we are so grateful for), so we got a little wet.

Do you like the apple dress for the first full day of school?  So cute.  And I love her pigtails.  I helped during lunch on Monday to get the kids through the line and open things in lunch boxes for them.  They seem so small to serve themselves in a lunch line.  Addison took her lunch yesterday, but plans to buy it Friday for the “Breakfast Bar” on the menu!

As you can see we have had lots going on.  Not to mention an emotional rollercoaster.  We are loving our house and can’t wait to have people come over to visit.  I gotta run. . . kindergarten car rider line starts forming soon.

Conversation with my Daughter

August 17, 2008

After I picked up the girls from class at church today, we were walking down the hallway filled with people when this quiet conversation took place between me and Addison:

Addison: “Mom, I used potty talk in my class today.”

Me: thinking. . . oh heavens. . . what could she have said. . . but very calmly and quietly saying, “What kind of potty talk honey?

Addison: “Boy parts”

Me: thinking. . . oh for the love of all that is good. . . why did I find it necessary to tell her the CORRECT names for the boys parts and the girl parts. . . and saying. . . “Did you say the P word?”

Addison: nearly in tears and knowing she shouldn’t have said what she did, “Uh huh.”

Me: about to have a heart attack said, “Oh honey. . . we only use potty talk in the bathroom and there is just no reason for you to even say the word for a boy’s privates.”

Addison: “I’m sorry mommy. I know I shouldn’t have said that.”

Me: dumb question. . . “Why did you say that?”

Addison: “I don’t know.” Tears are really ready to fall about now. . .

Me: “Who heard you say it?”

Addison: “Elizabeth and I think Lily.”

Me: panicking as I can picture the conversation of a mother calling me wanting to know why my daughter scarred her daughter by using the P word in Sunday School of all places. . . “Addison, I need to be able to trust you not to use potty talk anywhere but the bathroom and not to talk about boy parts anymore.”

Addison: “Yes ma’am.”

At this point we are outside waiting for daddy and there are still plenty of people all around. Addison apologized to me. I thanked her for telling me the truth and told her that it DOES make me trust her when she is honest about when she does wrong. (That is a quality that I hope she has FOREVER). Then I told her that she needed to ask God to forgive her. This always gets her and she started to cry. She asked me to ask God for her. I explained that I can’t ask God to forgive her. . . only she can do that. Then I asked if she wanted to repeat a prayer after me. I don’t think she quite knew what she needed to say to God (especially since she said the P word).

So, right there outside of the church building while Ava Jane is climbing all over everything. . . I prayed sentence by sentence as Addison repeated after me. She told God that she was sorry for using potty talk and asked God to help her not use potty talk anymore. . . especially at church and school (I added that for my sake). Then she thanked God for forgiving her and wrapped it up with a good ole AMEN.

Whew! It was a sweet time of bonding between us and allowing her the opportunity to talk to God and ask for forgiveness. Luckily, there have been no phone calls from upset moms! 🙂 I am hoping that I know which Elizabeth and which Lily she was talking about and that their moms know and love us enough to forgive!! I’m sure I will need to be reminded of this a few months from now when Addison comes home from Kindergarten and asks me what some horrendous word means that she heard some kid say at school. I pray that I will be forgiving too.

Oh, and can I just let you in on something. . . potty talk in our house is using words like “bottom, toot, tinkle, poo-poo, etc”. . . I figure it is safer if they only use those terms in the bathroom (great suggestion from my friend, Kim). Just wanted to make you were clear on what potty talk ACTUALLY is in our house!

10 YEARS

August 16, 2008

Yesterday we celebrated our 10 year anniversary!  Whoo hoo!  We really didn’t do anything grand.  It was just a pretty ordinary day. . . Our big anniversary gift to one another is this awesome house that we are living in and the beautiful dining room furniture that should be delivered soon!  We did have a delicious strawberry cake from my friend, Mandy.  Our wedding cake was strawberry so we decided on that flavor to remind us of our big day.  Here is the cake.

It was unbelievable delicious!  We both wanted some for breakfast today, but decided maybe we should at least wait until after lunch!  Thanks Mandy for the Sweet Treat!

We all (girls included) went to eat at Fulin’s last night.  Not really our anniversary dinner, but some place yummy that we could all enjoy – and we did.  We plan to celebrate in a couple of weeks when things aren’t so crazy busy and when more of our unpacking is complete.  Rick wrote me the sweetest letter (and I had written him a letter too)!  I always treasure it when someone writes down anything for me.  Especially how they feel.  Addison asked if I would tell her the story of our wedding day, so as we put them to bed we told them about our wedding ceremony. . . who was there. . . that we kissed in front of EVERYONE. . . the cake at our reception. . . the little bells that everyone rang as we ran out of the church. . . and we stopped it there!  HAHAHA!  They told us “Happy Anniversary” so many times yesterday and last night.  It was so sweet.  They even told people that we saw that it was mommy and daddy’s anniversary.  I am grateful that they know how much Rick and I love each other.  And I pray that they will find great security in that always.  I have always heard that one of the best ways to love your kids is to love your spouse.  And I love Rick more than anything.  I am grateful that God allowed me to be his wife.  And I am grateful for the wonderful husband he is to me!

Oh, I almost forgot.  Here is a picture that Addison wanted to take of us before dinner.

GREAT First Day of Kindergarten

August 14, 2008

Praise the Lord!  Addison had a FABULOUS first day at kindergarten!  You don’t know how relieved this mamma’s heart is.  I have prayed for a long time about this day for her. . . specifically that she would like it and would not cry or meltdown or cling to me.  And God answered everything as specifically as I prayed for it!  I am so grateful for that today!

Here she is as we were getting ready to go.

That sweet face wasn’t one bit nervous or scared.  Hallelujah!  She prayed specifically that she would not be scared. . . and she has been praying that all week long.  She was so happy all morning and almost a little “giddy” – which isn’t really like Addison.  When we got to school and started walking up the sidewalk, she saw her friend Bradley that was in her class at preschool last year.  That was a relief for her to at least know one person.  Here she is with Bradley before they went inside.

When we got inside, we found Addison’s name on a list in the K hallway.  She was going to Mrs. Moss’ classroom.  (I know Mrs. Moss and was thrilled that she was with her in some way today.)  There were three teachers with Addison’s group of students.  Addison promptly began to kiss me and tell me goodbye at the door.  I told her that I was going to go in the classroom today.  I could hardly believe that she was ready to see me go.  But oh, so grateful that this was her reaction instead of clinging and crying.  She did not cry once.  Ms. Talbot came over and said hello and gave her a name tag.  Addison got her lunch money out of her backpack (the only thing that was in there today) and gave it to the teacher.  She was REALLY excited that she was buying her lunch.  She asked me a million questions about it last night and this morning.  It was so cute.  It was apparent that my time was done, so I hugged her, kissed her and watched her give Ava Jane a hug.  I told her I loved her and to have a great day and walked out of the room.

Oh, my heart.  I was ready to burst into tears. . . But she was so happy and that made me the happiest mommy ever!  Just what I wanted for her. . . and so I went about my morning NOT worried about her and telling God “thank you” over and over again.

I snapped this pic from the car as her class came outside.

As soon as she saw me she had a smile that could warm anyone’s heart.  Here she is just beaming as soon as she got in the car.

And finally, I decided to video her telling me about her day (for her daddy).  Here is what she told me about.

So, thanks to those of you who have been praying for my sweet girl and for me.  We have felt the prayers.  I think the best part has been that Addison is beginning to understand the concept of trusting God.  She wants to pray all the time and she tells God how she feels and prays for such specific things.  And it is so amazing when God answers her so specifically and we can help her tie it all together.  It is a totally different ballgame when our kids start understanding at a deeper level about who God is. . . what he has done. . . and what he can do in their lives.  I love it.

I’m sure we will need continued prayers. . . Addison goes back next Thursday and then everyday starting on the 25th.  That will be when this mommy needs LOTS OF PRAYER.

If you know me, you will LOVE this

August 13, 2008

Sorry about the glare.  I took a picture of a picture.  WHO IS THAT GORGEOUS COUPLE????

It’s me and Rick at my senior prom in 1992.  Seriously, I would give my right arm to look like that again.  And look at my Rick.  Uni-brow and all!  Thankfully that is gone. . . but he still has those good looks.  DO NOT post a comment about how skinny I was then. . .it will just depress me more.  But dang, I looked good!  And that was my favorite dress of ALL time.  Very cool in the early 90’s!

Speaking of the early 90’s. . . I found this box of cassette tapes that I have been keeping.  Rick just about died when he pulled it out of the POD.  “Why would you keep cassette tapes, Ame?  You don’t even have a way to play them anymore.”  I had no answer except that I am a pack rat.  And very sentimental.  I even found a “mixed tape” from a fiend in college. . . why would I want that?  Basically I just want my kids to know what a mixed tape is and what a GREAT gift it was in the day because it took FOREVER to make.  Do you still have some of these?

As an act of love for my hubby, I threw them in the dumpster.  Agghh!  It hurt me a little. . . kinda like I was throwing away part of myself in all those tapes.  He thinks I am crazy. . . and I would probably have kept them forever, but he was stressing out over all my “junk.”  Purge, Amy, purge.

Okay. . . here is the BEST item I have possibly EVER OWNED. . . and if you knew me when I carried this, I want you to leave a comment for me (Christy and Susan)!!  Are you ready??

Are you seeing this?  I think I had this in middle school.  It is a black patton telephone purse.  That is an actual telephone.  The handle was the phone receiver and inside the purse was a little box and cord that you plugged into a telephone jack.  SERIOUSLY. . . I was THE COOLEST person EVER with this thing.  And remember that this was WAAAAYYYY before cell phones.  I want to carry it NOW.  I might just bring it to church on Sunday.  Do you think I might be able to bring something back kinda cool, like Katie Holmes and her tight rolled jeans??  Did you ever have a purse like this?  I have never seen any other, than mine.

Okay. . . enough of memory lane.  I love going through my old stuff and reminiscing.  Sometimes I think I am getting Alzheimer’s in my mid-30’s because I cannot remember anything.  Until I dig out something from the good ole days and then I am back in that moment in no time.  Do you keep things from your past growing up?  Do you like to look back at them?  I will have more pics to post as soon as I figure out how to scan them in my computer.  Thanks for walking with me down memory lane. . .

Randomness with Pictures

August 13, 2008

This will be all over the place. . . but I had lots of pictures of random things that I intended to write entire posts about. . . lucky for you, I am reducing it to the pic and a short thought!

Today the girls and I had haircuts.  Our fabulous hair dresser, Julie, came to our house to cut, color (me only, of course) and style our hair.  Here are the new looks (Addison just got a trim.  She wants to let her hair grow.  Oh, and she got a hold of the water bottle and doused herself just before the picture. . . her hair really isn’t greasy!)

The girls found this enormous American flag in our POD and decided to have their own little patriotic parade down the sidewalk.  It was too cute.

Do you like Addison’s headband that she is wearing?  All her own style!  Nice.

Here is Addison in her new chair that Mimi gave her for her new room.  She looks like a mini teenager to me in this picture.  I can just envision her 10 years from now and it makes me want to cry.  I think she is beautiful!  Inside and out!

Last but not least. . . here are my two cutie pies all dressed up for a birthday party a couple of weeks ago before we moved.  Absolutely adorable!

That’s all the randomness for now. . . stay tuned for more!

Questions

August 11, 2008

Here are some of the questions Ava Jane asked me over the course of the day today:

When Aunt Kate’s dog had it’s puppies, where did they cut her tummy open? What, they didn’t cut open her tummy? Then how did the puppies get out of there?

Why do those boys only have on panties when they swim? (asked about the divers on the Olympics tonight)

Does God drink out of a plastic cup?

Oh, do you think God has a water maker in heaven?

Does God have 10 hands? How does he do all that stuff?

Can I just eat yogrut (yogurt) for dinner tonight?

Can I pleeeaaassseeee have a chocolate chip cookie?  (even though all she had for dinner was yogurt)

If you know Ava Jane, you know how cute she looked when she asked each and every one of these questions. And she was dead serious about each one.

Head or Heart?

August 11, 2008

Ah!  I just enjoyed a great walk in the cool of the morning, then having a cup of coffee and reading God’s word ALL before my kids got up.  I need to start every day like this one.  I have lots to catch you up on since I have not blogged in some time (packing, moving, unpacking, and being without the internet for a few days can make ya miss out).  But I wanted to first share some reflections from God’s word.

I have been reading through my chronological Bible, obviously starting in the Old Testament.  I am just in Exodus.  But I am continually amazed at how everything in the Bible is relevant.  “Of course it is” you may say.  But haven’t you mostly studied the New Testament, or at least some of the more interesting books of the OT, like Psalms, Proverbs, Ruth, and Daniel?  Who would think Exodus would be exciting.  Yes, I know all of the Bible stories from my childhood days. . . but my relationship with God is so much better than it used to be. . . and especially since last June (’07).  And I have learned so much and become so much more  hungry for his word in the past 15 months.  Now, you probably know what I am about to tell you, but since this fact has been brought to my attention, I have found it to be very true:  Everything in the Bible points to Jesus. Yes, EVERYTHING. . . in some way points to our need for a Saviour.  I never read the OT that way. . . and now that I am, I can see it everywhere. . . even in Exodus. . . especially in Exodus. . . I mean, it is one of the five books of the Law for goodness sake.

Here is what I discovered today.  God has totally lead the Israelites out of Egypt. . . through the desert and has already performed countless miracles.  He parted the Red Sea and then closed it again killing the Egyptians.  He gave them a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night to lead them.  He provided manna and quail to satisfy their hunger.  Then Moses disappears for a while (to meet with God on a mountaintop) and the people completely disregard what God has done for them and make a golden calf and begin to worship it.  All the while complaining that Moses has been gone too long. . . where is God anyway. . . (can I get a little cheese with that WHINE please??)  Enough already. . . and then it hit me –

I DO THE SAME THING!  I get stuck in a bad place and think God has left me for good.  Whining and complaining that God must not care enough for me.  Blah, blah blah!  And I totally disregard that I am where I am because HE LEAD ME HERE.  And I forget the countless ways that he has provided for me and met me and walked with me.  And I forget that he really does love me. . . so much that he sent Jesus to die on the cross for my sins.  So, this morning at my kitchen table in my new house, I confessed to God and told him how sorry I was for acting like the Israelites acted.  What a disgrace.  And then I continued to read in my Bible about the repercussions for their sin.  And the sacrifices they had to make for atonement.  And all the “hoops they had to jump through” so as not to be destroyed by God for their disobedience.  And then I saw it so clearly. . . the need for Jesus.  I don’t have to do all that.  Jesus did it for me.  And as I read several chapters full of specific directions for the sacrifices they had to make, I became even more thankful for the sacrifice of Jesus.

Now, I know that seems so elementary.  And it really is something I have known all my life.  But it has always been head knowledge.  Today I felt like that small lesson from Exodus became heart knowledge.  And how grateful I am for heart knowledge. . . that is what changes us. . . and makes us more like Jesus.  As my dad always says, “The 12 inches between your head and your heart is a long way.”  So many people just have a head knowledge of God and what is in the Bible, but not a real heart knowledge.  Until we KNOW him in our heart and have that personal relationship with him, it doesn’t mean anything.  Knowing about God doesn’t do so much for you.  Knowing God makes all the difference in the world.

Do you KNOW God?  Or is he someone you just know about?  He can change your life. . . but that change takes place in your heart. . . not your head.  If you know him, tell me your favorite story from the Bible that point to the need for Jesus.  I just love reading God’s word with a new hunger.