The boxes are loaded, the U Haul is parked in the rear. I put Audrey and Reecey down for an early nap so they would be precious at Caleb's farewell party at work. McClaine and Avery are watching the last of their cartoon marathon and I have a second to jump in the shower. As I get out there is a loud knock on the door, Salvation Army to pick up a load of furniture and treasures 30 minutes before I have to load all the kids in the car to go to the farewell party. The ninety degree swamp outside does a number on my hair and makeup as I throw the final couch cushion into the Salvation Army truck and McClaine gives the two men a hearty goodbye and a "thank you Sir!"
The party is lovely, I weep twice, catch spoonfuls of frijoles on my lap from Audrey and eat too many bites of Milky Way cake. On the way home I make a stop at Salvation Army to give them two pillows they forgot. I stop at a local coffee shop, call them on my cell phone from the parking lot and beg them to bring out two gift certificates, for a birthday party that I am going to tonight, so I don't have to unload my four children from car seats (I am very aware this is a run on sentence, it fits with the way the day is going). I pull out of the parking lot, gift certificates in hand and hit the curb. Flat tire. Perfect. Call Caleb and beg him to come and change my tire so I can nurse Reece and keep the other three from forming a riot. Home. Four children napping. Wild day. But it is swelling in my heart and I must write it down.
This is one thing I never want to forget.
On Sunday night, as Caleb was putting the children to bed, he read for a fifth time the three books that are not in cardboard boxes, snuggled close and enjoyed the lingering scent of freshly bathed kids. He felt led to share the Good News with the children, as he often does. He felt a tug in his heart that Avery's heart was ripe.
"Did you know that God loves us so very much? Our disobedience (this is NOT an unfamiliar word in our house) or sin, separates us from God. He doesn't like disobedience, but He loves us. So He sent His Son, Jesus, to take our punishment for us. Jesus died on the cross and then came back to life so that if we believe that, we can have a relationship with God and He forgives us for all of our disobedience."
Avery knew it and understood and believed with childlike faith. That night they prayed and told God they believed and thanked Him.
Last night (Tuesday), as Avery and I were driving to Grace's ballet recital, we passed this place, with a large cross lofted high above the expressway.
Avery said, "Hey, there's a cross. Hi Jesus. I just want you to know that you are soooo cool."
I replied, "He is awesome, isn't He?"
"Yeah. But where does He get His power?" she asked.
"Well, Jesus is God. And God is all powerful. He didn't get his power from anywhere, or anyone. He invented power."
"Did he have power when he was just a baby?" she asked, her little mind trying to grasp big theological thoughts, like kenosis. :)
"He did, because He was God, in the form of a person, but sometimes He didn't use His power. Like the time that the Devil told Him to turn rocks into bread because He was really hungry. He could have, but He didn't, because it wouldn't please God for him to do what the Devil said. But sometimes He did use His power, like to heal a blind man, or the man who couldn't walk. He even used His power to bring a man named Lazarus back from the dead."
"No, mom, it's death."
"No, honey, it is dead."
"Well I say death. To bring him back from the death."
"Could He bring a little puppy who died back from the death? Like if a little boy's puppy died, could He?"
"Well, He could, because He can do anything. But He only brings people back from the dead. He came back from the dead after He died on the cross for us."
"Mom, I believe that!!!" she exclaimed.
The gears shifted in her little brain after that... "Mom, I am going to be death if this drive is sooo long. Are we almost there?"
Today, in the midst of all the busyness and a flat tire and overtired children, I give thanks to the Lord for my sweet daughter believing the Good News.