Will You Mourn With Me?

Emotions. Emotions are a difficult thing. In fact, sometimes they are an overwhelming and scary thing. When we are shaking with rage, shivering with fear, gasping with sorrow, all we want is to be calm. We want the storm to be over. We want to be safely on the other side. In those moments of intensity, emotions are the enemy that we must squash as quickly as possible. 

 

We say words like, it’s ok, it’s going to be alright, just calm down now, settle down… As the person who seeks to comfort, we seem to be allies with the notion that emotions are bad and must be disposed of as soon as possible. 

 

And so, from a young age, we start pushing those emotions down. No, I need to stop crying. I need to calm down. I need to get over this. I need to distract myself. Just don’t think about it. I’ll be over this soon. 

 

And right now, as I try to help one of the kids in my care process some real genuine pain and loss and confusion and anger, I find myself assuring him that these emotions are ok. It’s ok to be angry. You have permission to feel all these things. And I wonder, how do I teach myself this as well? How do I model this behavior when I still haven’t figured it out? 

 

I run from intense emotions. Flee. Stuff it down. Take deep breaths, blow it away. How do I undo all these habits and patterns that have shaped my life? How do I just sit and mourn? How do I allow myself to feel the anger that I have every right to? How do I just permit the sadness to wash over me? 

 

Emotions are scary. 

 

I wonder why? 

 

I think about this child in my care and wonder, what is best for him? His emotions are so overwhelming that he is struggling to function. And if I’m being completely honest, I would just like his emotions to go away. They are really messy. They are really hard to deal with. They make life complicated. 

 

In the old days, when people died, people would gather, have a time of public mourning, weeping, remembering. They would change their clothes to reflect their grief. 

 

If only we had such rituals in place to deal with other forms of grief. 

 

When I miscarried the first time, I think I would have taken great comfort to put on black clothing for a period of time. To cover my face with a black veil. To have a monument that I could visit and cover with flowers. 

 

We need these visual rituals. No. Some of the things we are mourning and grieving aren’t physical deaths. Maybe it’s a separation, maybe it is a dissolving of something that was good. Maybe it’s simply loss of innocence. 

 

I think it  would help to put on mourning clothes, pour ashes over my head, tear my clothing, hire a group of professional mourners. It would signal to the world, I am in pain. I need time to deal with this. I’m not ok. I need you to be sad with me. I need you to join me in this pain instead of trying to pull me out of it. I need you to be angry with me over an injustice served, over a wounding that was given. 

 

What we need is to be able to sit and stay with our hardest emotions, and have people come and join us. 

 

And all of this reflection tells me what I must do to help this child. I must be angry with him. I must be sad with him. I must join him. And maybe, maybe we will heal together. 

 

A Glimpse into Inner City Violence

Lately, I’ve been in a contemplative mood. My brain has been downloading stories from my past that I’ve been writing down in order to get them out of my head. I had written this story last week, wondering what to do with it. Then, today I found out two people lost their lives in a shooting last night, a couple blocks from our house. Since the stay-at-home orders began, in March, the gun activity has increased in our neighborhood. We hear gunshots several times a week. Sometimes we call it in. Sometimes we just don’t. Depends on how close it sounds. Anyway, it seemed a good time to share this story which took place in December of 2015. The end result of the events told was the death of our neighbor’s nephew who had been walking home from his night shift at McDonalds.  

 

Gunshots. Lots of Gunshots. Never-ending Gunshots.

 

I jerked awake, frozen in my bed as the gunshots went on and on and on. My body seemed to revert back to that childhood belief, if I don’t move a muscle, the monsters won’t see me. A voice was yelling in my head, GET OUT OF BED! HIDE! GET ON THE FLOOR! And I just lay there, frozen, wondering when a bullet was going to hit me. Because, surely those bullets must be aimed at my house. It was so close, my eyes were squinted shut, just waiting to feel the thud of a bullet.

 

And then…it stopped. 

 

Silence. 

 

I lay there for one more second and then my Mom Brain turned on. THE KIDS!! What if a bullet came through the walls and hit one of them??? I jumped out of bed, grabbed my phone and started dialling 911. As I dialed, phone to my ear, I ran out of my room, looked into the bedroom next to mine. Stood in the doorway, listening. Listening for awake children. Listening for signs of distress. 

 

Nothing. 

 

I ran into the room, bent over the bed. The boys were asleep. I yanked back the blankets. No blood. No wounds. The operator answered my call. 

 

Hello. My name is Esther Heneise. I live at *********** and I need to report a shooting. As I was speaking on the phone, my oldest daughter ran out of her room. 

 

MOM! What was that??

 

I motioned for her to climb into my bed. I continued to answer the questions on the phone as I paced around the upstairs, checking bedrooms. No. I didn’t know how many gunshots there were, but it went on for a really long time. No, I’m not sure where the gunshots were coming from, but it sounded like it was right outside my house in the street. 

 

Then I suddenly remembered my nine and eleven year old daughters who shared a room downstairs, what if the bullets had got to them?? I ran for the steps, phone still pressed to my ear. Just as I got to the top of the steps, both girls came running up in a mad scramble. Hanging onto me when they got to the top. WHAT WAS THAT???

 

I motioned for them to join their older sister in my bed. The three of them huddled together and watched me as I paced around my bedroom. Trying to communicate to the operator what had happened.

 

The operator asked me if I had seen anyone. Seen anyone? No. I had been in bed! But this made me run to the window. I looked out, my windows giving me a clear view of the little side street that runs past my property. Wait. There were two men outside. I could see them in the road, under the streetlight. I quickly told the operator what I was seeing. Two men, and they are starting to run. There they go! They’re running down my street….Wait, no, they are out of the street now, they’re cutting through someone’s yard, heading towards Magnolia. 

 

Suddenly, the operator stopped her questions. She said, you’re breathing really fast, are you ok?…..What? Oh. Um. Yeah. I’m just really freaked out. I’m all alone at my house. My husband is gone and it’s just me and eight children. 

 

We talked a little bit longer and then I hung up the phone. My girls were laying in my bed, the blanket pulled up almost over their heads. Their eyes stared big and round at me. 

 

I leaned over the bed. Gave them a hug. Here. Just stay here in my bed. Sleep here. I’m going to go and check on the little kids again. I’ll just sleep with the little girls. 

 

I walked out into the hall, peeked into each bedroom again. Then pulled out my phone again. I tried calling my husband. The phone rang and rang and rang. No answer. True, it was somewhere around 1am in the morning. But, he was also out on a camping trip with our oldest son and his boy scout troop. He didn’t have good reception out there anyway. 

 

I felt extreme frustration at that moment. Without fail, any time my husband was gone overnight, something momentous happened that I had to deal with by myself. I went and looked out the window of my bedroom again. There were now policemen down there. No flashing lights. No sirens. I could see several officers walking around with flashlights. Our neighbors on the other side of the side street came out of their house. Spoke to the policeman, gestured towards their house. The policeman walked around their house as well, shining their flashlights. 

 

Then, all the activity suddenly focused into one place. Now they were all there, pointing their lights at the little side road, bending down, looking at something. I stood staring out my window. I had absolutely no desire to go downstairs and look out the windows down there, I had no desire to step out on my porch to see what I could see. At that moment in time, my upstairs felt safe and everywhere else felt dangerous, scary. I continued to watch. I don’t know how long I stood there, but eventually, the policemen all piled into their cars and drove away. 

 

I wondered if I would ever find out what had happened. 

 

My big girls had fallen back to sleep and I quietly walked out of the room and headed over to my little girls room. The two and four year old shared a double bed and there was plenty of room for me to climb in. I snuggled up to their warm bodies. Pulled the blanket up high and lay there, wondering how on earth I would ever fall asleep. I prayed. Asking for God’s protection on us. And as I lay there, a surprising peace settled over me, and I fell asleep. 

 

Corona-schooling

You all might be wondering how school is going in my household of 10 students in this time of pandemic and school closures. Well, it’s interesting.

 

We’ve got all kinds of personalities going on here. The highschooler symbolically slammed her books shut and declared the year over. Even though the school has made review work available for her. I can see her point of view. They aren’t offering any new material and, in typical teenager short-sightedness, she can see no reason to review for classes that she’s just going to be handed a grade for and to which she won’t be returning. 

 

The 8th grader, the one who marches to the beat of a different drum, is attacking Khan Academy, trying to teach herself the rest of her Algebra 1 class so that she’ll be prepared for the next math class she takes in High School. She’s also looking up the state standards that weren’t covered because of school closure and researching them, trying to teach them to herself. (I told my husband this, and he expressed my thoughts, “Who does that??”) 

 

The 6th, 5th, 4th, (2) 3rdgraders, 1st grader, kindergartner, and preschooler are all under my jurisdiction. I set up a chart. Every day they have to watch two of the school videos that are available on our School District’s website, read a book for 30 mins, read one chapter of the Bible (We’re all reading Mark), and practice 1 of their times tables. If they do all of that, they can play MINECRAFT for 30 mins. Since we have never had any kind of video/online/computer games available, this has been a big motivator. I’ve got kids crashing into my room at 7:30am, when I am only slightly awake and demanding that I help them get started on school. Minecraft is apparently a powerful tool. (In the afternoons, if they clean their zone, their bedrooms, and deep clean one item on my list, they get another 30 mins. My house is looking a lot cleaner!)

 

Despite how organized this all sounds, it gets pretty chaotic. 

 

So, today I was sitting on the end of my bed (my bedroom has somehow become the school room, not sure why) helping my preschooler do his reading lesson. (I’ve got the preschooler and kindergartner doing my old homeschool curriculum for kindergarten since they need one-on-one help.) He had a short little paragraph to read and I was pointing, one word a time as he made his way through the story, stopping to ask questions after each sentence. He was reading pretty slowly, so when the nine year old popped in front of me and told me she was ready to go over her times table with me, I nodded in agreement. Sure I can listen to two kids at the same time. 

 

So, here I am, pointing at the book, Here David, what’s this word…D..O…G.. Dog, that’s right, keep going..Ok, Nomi, 7×9…No, not 62, you’re really close….yes 63. So, David, what is the dog doing? Uh huh. 7×2. Yep. 14, 7×8? Here David, you’re reading right here. Not, BBB, it’s DDDD. Ok. That’s right, DOT good job! No, 7×8 is not 63, that’s what 7×9 is. No, not 49. No. Not 52. Right here David, stop getting distracted, what’s this word? No, Nomi, it’s not 54. If 7×9 is 63 what can you do to figure out 7×8!!! That’s right, start counting backwards. Yes.56. Ok David, so The Dog did not eat a fish…What do you think he’s going to eat? Let’s keep reading and find out! YES! 56!! That is correct! 7×3? Yep, you got it, 7×7? No, not 62. THINK!! 

(Just then, the other nine year old approaches and says he’s ready for me to listen to him read, a practice I’ve had to undertake to help keep him honest.) Not now sweetie, I can’t listen to you right now. You’ll have to wait. 7×7. 49 You got it. Here David, L…O…G… Log. Yes! The dog did not eat a log! Good job. No, I’ve already told you I can’t listen to you read, dear nine year old, go do something else!! 

 

ACCK!! (At this point the 3 year old did a somersault on the bed and hit me square in the back.) I turn around. Both the three and six year olds have burrowed under my covers and are proceeding to hit both me and David in the back (remember, we’re sitting on the end of the bed) and are stripping my bed of all it’s covers. STOP STOP STOP!! OFF MY BED!!! GO PLAY SOMEWHERE ELSE!!!!

 

7×4. Yes. 28, 7×6.. David, keep reading! What did the dog eat?? No, 7×6 is not 49, that’s 7×7. Will the dog eat a pot of tar? What do you think? Yeah, I think so too. Let’s keep reading and see what he eats…7×5. No. I didn’t already ask you this. And even if I did, just answer it and keep moving.  Oh look David, the sentence says, “the dog will eat his car..” huh. Well, that’s pretty silly. I uncover the picture that is supposed to stay hidden till the end of the story. Sure enough, there is a dog eating a car. Weird. David starts laughing hysterically. Apparently this reading book understood it’s target audience. 7×6..Oh, yeah, you’re right. I already did that. Ok quick, lets go over the ones you didn’t know. David, you’re done reading. Other nine year old, I’m ready to hear you read! 

 

And that is a glimpse into what corona-schooling a whole bunch of kids at the same time kind of looks like. At least over at my house.

How to Become a Diamond

Have you all ever heard that song “He’s Making Diamonds” by Hawk Nelson? Two of the lines, 

“He’s making diamonds out of dust….He’s making diamonds out of us..”  have been running through my head. The imagery, of course, being that diamonds are made out of ordinary things that have gone through intense pressure.

 

I was thinking about how the person that I am today is a direct result of my decision to have, in the end, ten children. Difficult pregnancies, learning how to manage a lot of things all at the same time…learning how to live without sleep, learning how to give up my rights to personal space and personal time and freely give those rights to my children instead…Learning how to be consistent with discipline, learning how to be constantly thinking of others first…all these things have shaped who I have become today. Intense pressure, creating something good. 

 

And it occurred to me that having foster kids is doing the same process. I never knew what kind of intense pressure came with this job. Sure, I academically knew in my brain, this is going to be a lot of work…but really knowing? I had no idea. 

 

But there is hope. Intense pressure can create beautiful things. Diamonds. And I wonder…what kind of person is God shaping me to be? I mean, can you really improve on Esther? 🙂 (That is a joke.) Apparently, God isn’t done with me. He’s decided that he wants to take me to the next level. Maybe the next level of patience? Maybe the next level of long-suffering? Maybe the next level of compassion? Maybe the next level of wisdom? 

 

I guess I’ll have to wait and see. Right now all I can see and feel is the intense pressure. These past couple weeks, I am pretty sure that there has been a moment in each day where I think, I can’t do this anymore. I’m done. And then, lo and behold, I get up and do it again the next day. I guess I wasn’t done? 

 

I remember one time, when I was nineteen, I had my first struggles with anxiety. I spoke to a counselor only once, but I remember telling him that I felt like I was on the edge of a cliff, about to fall off. And he suggested that maybe I should get that image in my head again, and this time, in my imagination, move myself a lot farther away from the cliff, safely inland. In other words, a lot of the stress I was feeling was coming from my perception that I was about to completely lose it. And if I changed that perception and realized I was actually going to be ok, I was, surprisingly,  going to come through this fine, then some of the stress could be alleviated. 

 

And I have to remind myself of that again. I need to change my perception. Yes, I CAN do this. No, I’m NOT going to fail or give up. Not because I am superwoman, but because I have God. He has promised that his Strength is going to be made perfect in my Weakness. I also have a strong community that God has given me. I have had so many people reach out to me. Encourage me, offer me real help: babysitting, nights out with friends, electronic devices to help make school easier,  gifts of dessert (Much appreciated!!), offers to pray, encouraging scriptures. God has also sent a great team of in-home therapists, and outpatient therapists, and DCS workers, and medical facilities that have all gathered around and said, We are here to help in whatever way you need. 

 

And I find that my imagery is changing. Instead of seeing myself all alone, being trampled into the ground, I’m instead, seeing myself surrounded by friends and family and ESSENTIAL WORKERS and we are attacking this job together. And my weak flabby arms are ok, because God’s reaching over my shoulder with arms of strength, and he’s carrying that burden for me. 

 

And I know that through all of this, the end result is Diamonds. Not dust. 

 

For all you foster families who have been doing this so much longer than I, Thank you for what you are doing. I have always felt admiration for you, but now, I am in AWE of what you do. Thank you. 

 

Being Healthy Takes Energy

I have come to some conclusions. My tank is dangerously low and is about to run dry. 

 

Things that used to fill my tank up: Going to church, having all the kids in Children’s church and being able to sit with my husband quietly, enjoy worship and teaching together; going out on Wednesday night’s with my girlfriends and just talking nonstop for several hours; going on a weekly date night with my husband. 

 

The first two have been affected by the quarantine, the last by having foster kids who are a bit much for my teenagers to handle when babysitting. 

 

At the same time, the mental energy that has been required of me has quadrupled. I think what is mostly wearing me out is being the resident Psychologist of the home. 

 

I am what people call a “good listener”. Which is fine, until you are absolutely drained dry and then you just feel like plugging your ears and saying NO MORE! 

 

RIght now, I’m sure there are a lot of people thinking, well, why don’t you try this or that or what about this idea? Just get creative! You can still figure out how to get your tank filled. 

 

And here is what people don’t realize. Exhausted, worn out, anxious or depressed people, they really don’t have the energy to get creative. Getting creative requires mental energy.  

 

 I remember my momentous 6 week postpartum check up after Phoebe was born. The Dr was horrible. She came in, looked at me a little puzzled, “Were you the one that had a C-section?”

Uh no. Wrong patient. I reminded her of who I was and what my birth involved. Ah yes. 

 

Then, at the end she asked me if I was having any problems with depression. I said yes, this was something I struggled with. Her response. Well, for goodness sakes, go find some help somewhere, I don’t want to read about you in the news. 

 

Gee. Thanks. I’ll do that. Because a depressed person definitely has all the motivation and energy in the world to go figure out insurance and find a provider and wait the two months it takes to get into a first appointment. 

 

So helpful. 

 

Compare that to my yearly check up I had with my Primary Care Doctor recently. I told her about some of the things I was struggling with and she said, You know, we have a resident Psychologist here, if you’re willing to wait a little bit, she can come and talk to you right now. And then she came and we talked and then scheduled future appointments. 

 

I know that life doesn’t work that way most of the time. Usually, if you are needing something, you are really the only one that can make sure you get what you need. In the end, you are responsible for your own mental health. I think though, that people who don’t struggle in this area, don’t realize how hard it is to take of yourself. It’s really, really hard. 

 

But, understanding the problem is half the battle. And I guess, that’s partly why I blog. I start writing, and it helps me think through the problem. 

 

So, I guess that’s what I’ve got to concentrate on, getting creative, despite the exhaustion, cause it’s a matter of survival. 

 

In Memory of My Aunt

I just got news that my Aunt Rachel passed away a couple hours ago. She had been fighting a long hard battle with cancer and today was the end. 

 

And I sit here. Feeling numb. 

 

I haven’t been in touch with my aunt, besides the occasional FB message, in years. Lots of reasons. Family is complicated. My relationship with my aunt was complicated. 

 

But, there was a time when it wasn’t. 

 

When I was six and half, we moved back to Kentucky from Haiti. My mother was planning on returning to school to become a Physician’s Assistant and we were looking at being in the States for the next five years. We settled into a little trailer on my Grandparents farm in Eastern Kentucky. My grandparents were still living in Haiti as missionaries, and my Aunt Rachel and her two children and husband were living in my grandparents house. 

 

We were now neighbors. 

 

This was the mid 80s. My aunt homeschooled at a time when it wasn’t popular. She had an opinion about everything, and taught me the art of discussing a broad array of subjects. She was one of the most interesting people I have ever met. 

 

She taught me how to play piano. She would sit down and start playing something really fun, and then if we kids showed any interest at all, she was quick to sit us down and show us how to do it ourselves. She taught all of us kids (my two cousins, my brother and I, my next-door best friend and her sister) all kinds of fun duets on the piano. When I showed even more interest, she taught me about chords and inversions, and then she taught me how to play Fur Elise and how to jazz up Silent Night. She would sit and play Chopin and I would sit next to her, watching her fingers fly over the keys, mesmerized. 

 

Every summer my aunt would get on a kick. One summer it was roller skating. She made sure we all had skates and then made a big space on her porch and we would skate and skate. She taught us how to skate backwards, and do twists and turns, tricks. We would limbo with skates on. Another summer it was jump rope. She got out a big rope and attached it to a post on her porch and showed us how to swing it and then taught us how to jump in the front door, and jump in the back door. We learned how to jump with the steady beat of my aunt turning, the rope at just the right height, and then we learned how to jump to the erratic turnings of my little cousin who could barely get the rope high enough for us to get under. We knew all kinds of jump rope rhymes and had so much fun. 

 

One summer my aunt put up a volleyball net in her yard and taught us all how to play volleyball. She was an avid nature person too, and she knew the names of all the animals and plants and birds. She was a wealth of knowledge.

 

My aunt also had ponies. Ponies that she trained herself. She trained them how to respond to word commands and very gentle nudges of the reins. Heaven help the child who pulled on the bit or was rough with the ponies in any way. She taught us how to saddle them up and how to ride and we would spend hours riding through the wood trails. 

 

One summer she got a buggy and taught one of the ponies how to pull the buggy, then we would ride up and down the holler road in the buggy singing folk songs. 

 

In the winter, if we got enough snow, she would hitch up an old sleigh of sorts to the pony and would let us ride behind, whooshing through the snow. 

 

Later, she got her kids into gymnastics and she persuaded me to take gymnastic lessons with her kids for a while. My cousins far out-paced me, they had natural talent that I was lacking. But I remember her willingness to help drive me to the gym so I could learn too. 

 

She loved animals. Especially birds. She always had a pet bird of some sort perched on her shoulder or her head. At various times she had ponies, dogs, cats, snakes, pet rats, ducks, hedgehogs, frogs in aquariums, and a whole host of different kinds of birds. And there are probably some other animals that I have forgotten about. It was a child’s paradise. 

 

When I moved away at the age of eleven, back to Haiti, she was a constant correspondent. Her letters and cards were always full of stories and words of encouragement. She was convinced that all of us kids were the smartest kids in the world and was sure that we would be amazingly successful as adults. 

 

When I think of my aunt, those are the years that I remember. 

 

For various, complicated reasons, we fell out of touch, only keeping a hazy eye on each other via FB. But, when I heard that she had cancer and was not doing well, I reached out to her. Thanked her for being such a wonderful aunt to me when I was a child. Thanked her for passing on her love of music. Told her how, when I teach piano, I always think of the way she taught me, and I try to emulate her. 

 

She wrote back, kind words. 

 

I am glad that we had that moment. 

 

And my heart is numb. 

 

Thank you Aunt Rachel for being An Aunt Extraordinaire and for investing in my childhood. I pray for peace for your children and everyone else that you have left behind. 

 

Easter Evening

It’s Easter evening. It’s been a long full day. I was up at 6:30am to jump in the shower. Hoping it would be sufficient to wake me up and give me energy. My husband was still asleep and one of the kids had come down in the night and climbed into my easy chair in my room and was sleeping there. As I crept around in the rainy pre-dawn light, I kind of felt myself dreading the day. And then feeling guilty about that. Today is not only Easter but it’s also one of my kid’s birthdays. I had a long list of things to do all day. Tidy up the downstairs and make things seem a little festive for Easter, make a fancy breakfast of pancakes and bacon, read the story of the Resurrection to the kids, take our annual Easter Family Photo, sit and help the kids while they watched their 10am Children’s Service online. Then get a ham in the oven, get things laid out for communion, watch our 11 am service online,  prepare a big Easter Dinner, have a Zoom chat with our extended Heneise family, do birthday cake with birthday girl, stuff and hide easter eggs for an easter egg hunt, and then possibly supervise a visit with birth mom for our fosters. Yeah. The day was a bit overwhelming. 

 

And really, all I wanted to do was shut off the To Do list in my head and instead focus on the wonder of the Resurrection. I wanted to let myself Praise and Worship, spend time on my face in prayer, perhaps journal a bit. Just have some ME and JESUS time. 

 

This reminds me of when I was just starting out as a mom. I had two or three kids, and my second one was very clingy. Couldn’t leave him anywhere. He had to be with mom. Our church had a choir of sorts that would help lead worship on the occasional Sunday, not a regular schedule, just every once a while. I thought, I can do this. I have a musical gift. I love singing. I should be involved in the worship team at least a little bit. Use my gifts and all that. Surely my child can handle being in a nursery every once in a while. It’s not going to hurt him. 

 

So, I tried it out. Sometimes my little one would last in the nursery, and other times, they would bring him to me, screaming his head off. 

 

One early Sunday morning rehearsal, they brought him to me and I was convicted. This child needed to get first priority. Me singing needed to come second. 

 

I wasn’t very happy about it, but it just wasn’t working to leave him nursery, and I grudgingly gave up trying to do music at church for a time. 

 

Here’s the thing though. I came to realize that me using my God-given talents to serve in the choir were not nearly as important to God as me learning how to be a servant to my child. A helpless child who was completely dependent on me. 

 

Another time we were at a Christmas production with all the kids. The finale came up, they were singing the Hallelujah Chorus, hundreds of people in white robes were running across the stage towards the actor playing Jesus…my heart was pounding, I was quietly singing along, tears streaming down my face…then one of the little kids decided it was time to start screaming and fussing. I picked them up. Tried to hush them while still having my glorious spiritual moment. They kept screaming. People started looking at me. I was now going to have to exit the auditorium with this screaming child and miss the Grand Finale. Good grief. Talk about mood swings. I went from spiritual euphoria to extreme anger in about five seconds. And while I was stomping around in the hallway, quieting this child, I was a bit mad with God. Why couldn’t this child stay quiet for one more minute so I could have my amazing experience worshiping you? 

 

And again, I had to come to realize that it was more important to God that I learned how to have a servant’s heart to my children than it was for me to have this amazing spiritual moment. 

 

Today, I find myself relearning the same lesson. Yes, having a meditative time with God, praising and worshiping and leaning into him, that would have been awesome. But, that wasn’t what was on the agenda today. Today was about serving my family, enabling them to have a time of worship and praise and celebration. 

 

God is good. He does give me time and space when I can worship and praise him and lean into him. It’s just not always when I’m wanting it. 

 

Matthew 20:26-28 New International Version (NIV)

26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

 

Jesus ushered in a New Kingdom. An upside down kingdom. You want to be great? Ok, follow the example of the Master and be a servant. 

Seen through that context, I had a very good Easter day. I served my family. And God was gracious. Later on, all the activities finally ended and since then, I’ve been able to sit with a book, have a good Text/Chat conversation with a friend, get on FB. Write. Yes, God is good. 

 

Happy Easter. Jesus is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!