Friday, October 14, 2011

Sometimes The Heart Hurts

That's the tricky thing about hearts.  We could just lock them up, never to break, never to shatter, never to mourn.  But then we would never feel, never love, never live.

It's a dilemma.  A great risk we take every single day.

Sometimes, many times, it pays off.

But sometimes, the heart must endure the most unfathomable of pain, as a result of it's love.

This gorgeous, beautiful family is walking that road of sorrow this very day.  Today, they will say goodbye to their sweet 3 year old Marley, taken too soon by every parents' nightmare, brain cancer.  After a brave battle that began before she blew out two candles on her cake, Marley met Jesus on Tuesday.

As I write these words my stomach constricts and tears well up in my eyes.  For a mother, any mother, the pain is so palatable.  It does not matter if you've known them your whole life or only just looked upon Marley's face for the first time.  We all know what a risk it is to love.  We all know what is at stake.    As the quote says:

"Making the decision to have a child is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." ~Elizabeth Stone

And yet, even in the face of such great risks, the reality that your heart may actually shatter into a million pieces, we still persist in love.  Because we know that locking the heart away, safe from pain, is not really living.  The beauty in loving is doing so in spite of the sorrow that may wait around the corner.

I know Nikki and Brent never dreamed that they would bury their child at the age of 3.  Please lift them up in your thoughts and prayers today.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Conversation Over Dinner

So last night the whole family trekked out to Schlotzsky's for dinner, and while on the way, Princess #2 got my attention:

Princess #2:  Mommy, today a girl in my class said that the Devil is God's son.


Me:  That's a good conversation to bring up with your daddy.

(Way to pass the buck.  Good save mom)

Fastforward to our meal, after Hubs successfully navigated the whole devil/God's son issue (is he, isn't he?  Does anyone really know?  Does it really matter?), and I sighed in relief at not having to answer that questions myself, we naturally launched into a very nice spiritual conversation with our girls, asking them questions about what they learn in children's church, what's the big deal about Jesus and God, etc.

***just a side note, I make fun of myself for shying away from answering hard questions, but I truly believe it is essential for parents to seize those natural opportunities to discuss this sort of thing with your kids.  Hopefully it occurs easily (like in our situation, with a honest question) and doesn't feel forced.  But please, don't leave these conversations for someone else.  Because your kids will have them (regardless of your spiritual stance) with someone.  It should be with you, their parents.  Ok, that's all.  Side note over.***

So the real high moment of our conversation was when Hubs was in the middle of an illustration trying to describe the massive sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the cross.  He used an example that went something like this:

Hubs (to Princess #2): So, suppose that you broke a lamp.  And we told you that you had to get a spanking as your punishment.  But before we could spank you, Princess #3 stepped in and said, "No, don't spank her.  I'll take her spanking in her place."

I was all caught up in what I thought was a very applicable illustration, when Princess #1 broke through my reverie with a very dry, sarcastic "Yeah, like that will ever happen."

Ah.  Sometimes timing is just everything.

My friends, I love moments with my family where I learn that not only are my kids listening and learning, but also that they are stinkin' funny.  Embrace those teaching moments, and don't forget to laugh and have fun.

***Completely unrelated, if you have kids, run yourself over to your nearest Starbucks and grab their free download card of the week.  It is for an interactive iBook version of The Monster At The End Of This Book.  One of my childhood favorites.  You don't want to miss it!

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