Washington and an Eventful Week

Wow, there’s too much to talk about today. I’m mentally overwhelmed. So…I’ll just tell you a little about the Washington DC fifth grade field trip I just got home from. First of all, every child had to have an adult with them and the adults had to sit on the aisle side of the bus and the kids sat by the window. Can I just say that’s the way to have a quiet trip with fifth graders! I’m not kidding, there was virtually no talking. After all, who wants to talk to their mom, dad, or grandparents for ten hours!

We left bright and early last Monday morning from Madison, Alabama where my grandchild, Macy, lives. She attends Madison Academy where she is in the fifth grade. The first day was just traveling, but on the second day we were at Monticello, the beautiful home of Thomas Jefferson. We continued on to Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg, then to Mount Vernon, home to George Washington, and finished up with two days in Washington DC. The DC part included the Capitol, the Supreme Court, the Holocaust museum, the many monuments, the Smithsonian, and the Cheesecake Factory :) . I couldn’t leave that visit off! It was a fantastic trip, full of the historical happenings of our early formative years as a nation.

What was very clear from every angle is our country was founded on a stong belief in God. From early documents, it’s evident that a belief in God and a desire to live according to His principles shaped our foundational laws. It’s sad to see how far we have strayed from what was once held in high esteem. I know there are still many of us who hold God’s values close to our hearts and are doing all that we can to keep them alive in America. It remains our job to elect men and women to represent us in Washington who also represent God, just as our forefathers did.

On our last night, we learned of the death of one of the most evil men this world has ever known. Since it was late at night, each mom, dad, or grandparent was alone with their own child. How do you rejoice in the death of anyone and explain to a child that it was okay to kill him? As a mom and grandmother, I was concerned that this be handled in the best way possible. First I realized the twin tower incident seemed just as far away to my fifth grader as the Holocaust did. I had to explain to her what happened on a date that for the rest of us only needs to be referred to as 9/11 and the scenes of the incident begin to play in our head as if it were yesterday. We talked briefly about that incident and how evil exists in our world and how people who do evil things have to pay for their crimes. I told her that this man had been hiding from us for nearly ten years. Since that was really all we knew at that point, I left it at that, and we went to sleep.

We went to sleep. How does that happen? The news of Bin Laden’s death wasn’t the only thing these children had to handle the week we were gone. The second day of our adventure, we learned of the tornado that was tearing through Alabama, their home state and, in fact, it was heading right for their homes. We stopped what we were doing and prayed for God’s hand to keep their loved ones out of harm’s way, and spent the day with one ear listening to the tour guide and another listening for news from home. That night, we had heard from every family on the trip and there were no deaths or injuries among them. We went to bed thanking God for His protection.

Psalm 4:8 says, “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.” I have to think that verse was quoted by men, women and children during such trying times as the Revolutionary War and the French and Indian War and the Civil War and the Vietnam War and certainly during the Holocaust—right up to today where we live in such uncertain times: where the price of gas threatened our budgets, where our young men and women are sent to defend other countries where people the freedoms we have, where natural disasters leave loved ones homeless, where politicians want more from themselves than they do for their country, and the list goes on and on.

Thank you, God, that in You and You alone we can find safety and rest. Just as our children will climb in bed with us when a storm is raging outside and quickly fall asleep, all we have to do is climb in bed with the one who loves us the most–our Heavenly father–and we will also find rest.

Have a blessed day.

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