When your daily activities are in concert with your highest priorities, you have a credible claim to inner peace. – Hyrum Smith


My Sweetie

My Maddie girl just captures my heart...

All Better
I have been pre-training for my marathon training.  I am wayyy out of shape.  Even when I'm in shape, I have a very high heart rate when I run.  It's usually around 180.  I have a healthy glow long after I've stepped off the treadmill [read: I look like I'm about to die for a good half hour].  The other day, I finished my run and rushed home from the gym so Aaron could leave for an appointment.  I had no time during which to cool down.  When I arrived, the kids looked up, alarmed.  "Mommy!  What's wrong?" Maddie demanded, concern furrowing her little brow.  I smiled and huff and puffed, "Mommy's okay.  I just went for a run.  I just need to cool down."  As I sat to stretch on the floor, Maddie walked over and took my face in her tiny hands.  With eyes halfway shut, she gently kissed my cheek, forehead, other cheek and lips.  "All better?" she asked.  More than better.  Perfect!

Forever and Good
The kids love absolutes.  I think it helps them make sense of the world.  No, the ladybug will not come back to life; she is dead forever.  Permanent marker on clothes will be there for good.  Daddy will always come home from work. 
The kids like to combine phrases at times, and when they want to emphasize the finality of something, they will often say "forever and good."  For example, today Maddie told Parker he could have her Barbie doll "forever and good."  Parker declined.  Then Maddie extended the ultimate olive branch: "I want to watch whatever Buddy wants to watch for my show [cartoon]."  What a sweetie!

Awesome Christmas
We made iced sugar cookies today.  I allowed the kids to choose their own and decorate them.  What masterpieces they created!  Icing, sprinkles, chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, sprees, you name it.  As Maddie sat, happily licking her fingers, she sighed contentedly, "This is a great Cwismas, is it Buddy?"  Parker responded, "It's awesome." 
"Yeah, this is an awthum Cwismas."


All for me

I totally had an epiphany tonight!  I was driving in the rain and listening to the radio when a beautiful song came on.  It's called How Many Kings by Downhere.  I've heard it many times before and been moved by the beauty of the singing and the lyrics.  I was singing along and came to the part where they sing about how Christ died "all for me [and] all for you." 

I caught myself thinking, 'Wouldn't it be nice if that that were true.'  I have always struggled with the concept that Christ died for me.  I've always been more comfortable with the idea that he died for us [the whole world].  I mean, why on earth would he be willing to endure such torture and ultimately sacrifice Himself if it were simply to save little old me?  Sure, I've read the parable of the lost sheep.  I have the head knowledge that he'd leave the other 99 to come save me, but in my heart, I've always doubted.  It just didn't make sense to me. 

As the song played on, a story I'd seen on TV popped into my head.  It was about a mother who used her body to shield her two children when a tornado ripped through their home.  The ceiling was literally falling on her and breaking her back (leading to permanent paralysis in her legs) as she selflessly covered her children.  I am sure the thought ran through her head that she might die.  I mentally put myself in her shoes and knew in an instant I would not have hesitated to shield my children, even if it meant I had to bear excruciating pain and possible death.

Then my thoughts drifted a bit further.  What if I only had one child to shield?  Would I make the same sacrifice?  What a no-brainer!  Of course I would.  Each of my children is equally precious to me.  I would die for one or all, it wouldn't matter. 

I finally got it!  Christ died just for me...and just for you.  I am so excited that it finally makes sense to both my head and my heart!  I love how the gift of parenthood keeps on giving and giving.  I'm not sure I would have grasped this concept without it (though many Christians obviously can and do).

I am especially excited because now I can explain it to my kids with confidence.  It is my sincere hope that one day they, too, will understand this truth and positively revel in Christ's amazing love!

P.S.  Here is a link to the show about the mom who saved her kids...