Happy New Year! I’m sending New Year wishes even though we’re already 18
days into 2011. How can that be??? Where does the time go? I’ve taken the last month off from teaching, writing, and radio-ing (is that a word?) to be totally occupied with family.
Our family has been through an almost family-wide sweep of the flu (praise the Lord, I didn’t get it, so was able to help all the others). Then we had an amazingly fun Christmas celebration (ranks among our top five of great family gatherings) followed by a disappointing after-Christmas-cancelation of an eagerly awaited girl trip to New York. BUT after spending two days rescheduling, we left on Jan. 1 for a very fun week in New York. Back home, my husband spent some time in the emergency room and a short hospital stay, but is all better now. We followed that with a whirlwind weekend in Huntsville to see the grandkids play basketball and NOW, I am at home with two other grandkids that are sick and staying with me while their parents are out of town (never fails!). But, I am ready to resume my activities including my It’s a Mom Thing Monday hugs (sorry, this one is going out on Tuesday because of sick kids), It’s a Mom Thing facebook page and our Mom Thing radio show. We’re still seeking God’s guidance on the radio show, so I’ll keep you posted.
Today I want to share a little about our trip to New York. Actually, it’s just one incident, but it’s a powerful one. First of all, we had four generations on this trip, which is amazing. My mom, my sister and I, my daughter, and her three daughters came together for some incredible generational fun. I love watching my grandchildren interact with my mom, their great-grandmother, while shopping, going to Broadway plays, and traveling. We have so much to learn from each generation and I’m so thankful to have opportunities like this to laugh and learn from each other.
As usual, the streets of New York City were very crowded. We had kept a diligent watch on Sadie, who is thirteen and Bella, who is eight. But, on one of the days, Bella and her oldest sister, Rebecca had ventured off to another store. At one point, Bella thought she saw Rebecca leave the store so she followed her out. What Bella didn’t know was there are hundreds of young girls shopping daily in NYC who have long brown hair like Rebecca does. Consequently, the girl she followed was NOT her older sister. Once Bella realized this, she stopped walking and started crying. We are so thankful a kind man stopped and asked her if she was lost. He ultimately found a policeman to talk to Bella until Rebecca came frantically running down the street to claim our sweet little girl.
There are few things more frightening for a parent than losing a child on a crowded street, busy playground, large department store or ANYWHERE. And there are few things more frightening for a child than to look up and not recognize anyone around them. We have all tried to not go to that place in our head that lets us dwell on what could have happened to Bella and on how she must felt when she discovered her situation. It’s too painful for us to think about and after Bella told us what had happened, she told us not to ask her about it again. You see, it’s too painful for her to remember as well.
This is a new year. Thank you, God that we don’t have to live in the past, but can use it to lead us into a better future. You see, our past, while sometimes unpleasant, is the thing that connects us to our future. Our past tells us where we don’t want to go again, what we don’t want to say again, how we don’t want to feel again, things we don’t want to do again. In turn, it helps us know, with certainly, what we want to say, do, think, feel, act and be again.
You may have lost your way in 2010 and are ready to tell someone you’re lost and need to find your heavenly Father. If so, this is the day. Then, when you do, don’t ever forget what it feels like to not be able to see His face and don’t forget what it feels like to reconnect with someone who loves you very much. I have no doubt that Bella will remember this event for many years. My hope is her remembrance includes how grateful she was to see the face of someone who loves her and was searching for her. God is always searching for those who are lost and always has His arms wide open to welcome them home.
Have a great week knowing you serve a God who patiently keeps the door to His heart and love open.