Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Letter For E

In a little over 36 hours you’ll get to meet your little brother, Samuel.  We are excited to meet him, but for me, as your mommy, things are a little bittersweet. 

For the last 5 years its been just me and you.  Because we’ve known for sometime now when Sam will make his debut I’ve been treasuring some moments in my heart, taking note of the couple of “lasts” we’ve shared.  I don’t do it to be depressing, I do it because I know if I’m not intentional about it I won’t remember. 

Today you and I went driving and sang Taylor Swift songs.  It will be the last time we can blast the radio, just you and me.  Last Sunday you and I snuggled in for the last of our afternoon naps without Sam joining us.  On Thursday, I let you sleep downstairs with me while your daddy went out with the boys to see a movie.  That was probably a last, too.

All these lasts though, well, they are happy, because we have many more firsts to look forward to!  As I write this there are some mommies who can’t say this. 

You’re too little to know what is going on around you, but yesterday something happened in our world that one day you’ll hear about and understand.  Some kiddos went to school yesterday and a man with a gun came in and hurt them.  He sent them to Heaven, and now their mommies and daddies are remembering their lasts with tears and sadness.  They have no firsts to really look forward to, at least not this side of Heaven. 

Some of the kids that were killed aren’t much older than you, so when I heard about things I immediately ran to you and made you hug me.  You were not amused, but I didn’t care.  You fought for me to let you go, and I did, but I watched you play a little longer than I normally would.  I watched you fight bad guys, save princesses, and make up songs with your lion, Andeclease.   I watched, and I cried, and you looked at me funny. 

One day though, you’ll understand.  That’s why I am writing you this letter. 

One day you’ll know what goes on around you and you’ll start asking questions.  They’ll be questions that I will want to dodge and be tempted to put band aids on to placate you, fending off difficult conversations for a later time. 

You’ll ask why people die.

You’ll ask why people get sick.

You’ll ask why bad things happen. 

You’ll ask if they will happen to you. 

You’ll ask why God lets it happen. 

I might be tempted to answer the way the world will.  People die because we can’t live forever.  People get sick from disease.  Bad things happen because some people are bad.  Things won’t happen to you if you’re good and do things like you should.  I don’t know why God lets it happen. 

All these answers sweetie, as well meaning as they are, only tell a portion of the truth, and because of that, they aren’t the truth at all. 

The answer to all of these questions is one simple little word we are already teaching you: SIN.

Long ago, in the Garden of Eden, Eve believed a lie.  She believed that somehow, God was holding out on her, and that she wasn’t getting a fair shake, and a snake, an EVIL thing called Satan, told her that lie.  From the moment she believed that lie everything that was good and perfect ended.  She chose to believe the lie rather than believe God, and just like that, SIN BROKE EVERYTHING.

People die because of sin.  People get sick because of sin.  Bad things happen because of sin.  They will happen to you because of sin.  God lets it happen because from the beginning, when given a choice, WE CHOSE SIN.  All the way back in the garden when Eve was tempted and ate of that tree, we CHOSE SIN.

The thing is, we still choose sin, and God knows that and it breaks His heart.  He doesn’t want it that way, and He sent His son, Jesus, to fix it.  One day, we know He will fix it, FOREVER.  God doesn’t let anything happen to us that He won’t one day use for our good and His glory.  ALL THINGS WORK FOR THE GOOD OF THOSE WHO LOVE HIM, and since we LOVE HIM, we have that HOPE. 

There are going to be times when things seem quite hopeless, and when it looks like no good is in a situation.  Right now for the mommies and daddies in Connecticut I know that there is no good visible, and honestly, I can’t see any either.  But we have a Big God, and sin never gets the last word, and Satan knows that.  Its for that very reason he fights so hard to make things miserable.   Satan knows Evil never wins.  Satan knows Christ does win, and that in truth, HE ALREADY HAS. 

I want you to know that too.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Sightreading

I am a former band geek.  Years ago, in the glory days of my high school band career, our band would participate in our state music festival.  The whole purpose was to attain the coveted “Superior Rating”, but nothing really came from the festival save for a piece of paper and a couple of ‘atta boys. 

Part of each schools performance score was a session of what musicians know as “sightreading”.  Essentially your band files into a room and on each stand is a piece of music you have never seen before. Your band director has a few precious minutes to look over the piece and give you some brief instructions before you play it in its entirety. 

The result is normally pretty rough.  Often you attempt to get out of sightreading as quick as possible and forget about the whole horrible process.

The key to sightreading is ultimately in the hands of your director.  You must as a band listen to his instruction and keep your eyes on him, keeping in mind that he is the one leading you.     

I thought of sightreading tonight.  As my previous posts have indicated my little family is going through a bit of trial right now.  My husband and I are facing challenges spiritually that neither of us feel prepared for. 

In many ways we are sightreading.  Nothing we have played before compares to what we are seeing now.   

Every thing is happening for the first time and its not delightful. We are making some mistakes, and honestly, we are trying to get through it as quickly as possible and forget about the whole process.    

Tonight though it occurred to me that maybe I am looking at things the wrong way.  Why?

Because we walk by FAITH, not by sight. 

I don’t know what piece of music we are playing right now, I have never seen anything like it, but I do know who the conductor is.  I know that no matter how horribly I mess this piece up in the here and now, there will be a time in the future when we may play this tune again, only next time we will have seen it before.  There may be mistakes made then, but they will be fewer and farther between.

The key, as I stated before, is ultimately in the hands of our Director.  He will instruct us and we must keep our eyes on Him.  After all, in the midst of the unseen He is the one leading us.