Monday, December 17, 2012

Insta-Week Two

Week two of the Christmas season in our home. . .

December 9th: Color in Christmas coloring books 

December 10th:  Sing a Christmas song

December 11th:  Tell someone that you love them

December 12th:  Drive around and look at Christmas lights

December 13th:  Read a Christmas book

December 14th:  Camp out around the Christmas tree

This was the evening of that horrible day when we all received the devastating news out of Newtown, Connecticut.  I planned this camp-out over a month ago, but it felt so right to be nestled together as a family that night.  More of my thoughts on that day below.

December 15th:  Watch "A Charlie Brown Christmas"

Our church had its Christmas program this past Sunday.  Bella and Graydon had been practicing their lines and songs for weeks.

Here's a little video from that morning.

Bella was an angel for the nativity portion and Graydon was a cow.  They both did excellent and it filled my heart with joy to watch them.

A couple of randoms from the week:

One minor blooper on the morning of our Christmas program.  Our refrigerator door fell off!  Thankfully nobody was hurt as Graydon was standing in front of the refrigerator when it happened.  I called Andy home right away to get this door back on. 

Graydon discovered the fun of cup stacking at our VBS this past summer.  Months later, it is still one of his favorite activities. 

The Christmas season is always filled with so much joy.  This is my favorite time of year.  But after Friday's events, joy is something that we've had to choose.  I found out about the shooting when I went onto Facebook on Friday afternoon.  I quickly found an article to give me a few more details.  And as I read, I found myself gasping and weeping.  My heart and emotions understood before my mind even did.

I immediately thought about Bella in her first grade class at school.  I replayed our morning - sending her off to school in her pajamas (her class won the prize for most box-tops collected and so they got to have a special pajama day).  I envisioned waving goodbye to her as the bus drove away.  For many parents, that is the last memory that they have of their little ones - kids who are Bella's age.

I woke up the other day and for a brief moment thought that it was all a bad dream.  My mind keeps thinking of the families, what they might be doing at that very moment - planning their child's funeral, choosing which outfit they should be buried in.  Decisions they should not have to make.  I waited in Bella's room one evening while she was brushing her teeth.  Moments later, I knew that she would join me, we'd ready a story and pray together, and then I would kiss her goodnight.  But I thought, what if she didn't come.  What if she was gone.  Too painful to imagine and I had to stop.  But there are so many families who can't just stop the thoughts.  It's their reality.

I think of the first responders - the images that they saw.  Horrifying.  I think about the kids who survived, but who have memories of such a traumatic experience.  If not properly dealt with, this experience can breed anxiety disorders and a life shadowed by fear.  I've been praying desperately that this is not the case and that everyone involved will get all the physical and emotional care they need in order to heal from this awful day.

Philippians 3:20 says that "our citizenship is in heaven".  That is our true home.  Events like these make me homesick for heaven and for the time when "the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. . . He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Revelation 21: 3,4).  Thankfully, that day is coming.  And events like this will be a distant memory.  God will make all things new and right.

This is what gives me hope.

In the mean time,  God promises to be with us.  And this is the very thing we celebrate during this Christmas season - that God became one of us.  

"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, 'God with us.'”  Matthew 1:23

Jesus came then, He continues to be with us (Matthew 28:20), and He will come again (Acts 1:11).

I'm so thankful for these promises. 


Kreuser Family said...

The incident sure does stay in the back of my mind now. Ugh...words can't even describe it. I still haven't been able to get myself to read all of the articles about that day or the victims...I try but I just can't! I will though...I just need to make sure my paranoia doesn't start getting the best of me...otherwise my poor kids will never be able to go anywhere.

On a brighter note, your kiddos look so happy :-D can't wait to see you guys soon!!!

Lori Benetti said...

Bella is becoming such a good reader and gets prettier everyday! I'm so proud of her!! As for graydon, he looks so cute singing, I think he knew the words the best!

mcbenetti said... does the refridgerator door fall off?? Im sorry I started laughing soo hard.
I can view the video on my phone but will when I get to work. Bella is beginning to look a lot like you. Sir was such a cute cow. Was Curtis MIA this past week??

See you guys in a week!!!