2

A Child’s Grief

Kobe is four.

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A little over two years ago, he sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star at his older sisters bedside and kissed her for the last time on earth.

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Three year olds are too young to die and two year olds are too little to understand. But spring comes. Always. And Gods grace blooms In hard places.

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The past two years have had lots of seasons in our lives. I’ve heard that when kids turn 4 years old, they seem to suddenly be little people. I wasn’t so convinced. Kobe still seemed plenty little boy to me. Not that I want him to suddenly be a little man. I just didn’t see the grownup little man slipping in like I thought I would. Until recently.

Another friend told me that four year olds start making a connection with their heart and their brain. They become more aware of what they are feeling and actually start thinking through heart issues like fear, grief, happiness, birthdays….they start connecting the dots without realizing it.

It all makes much more sense. One of Kobe’s favorite sentences right now…
“So Mom,” settling into a chair beside me, face all serious and pleasant,”what was your favorite part of this day?”
He even asked the gentleman that we do lawn care for đŸ™‚

But the other day he was really struggling. Nothing was going right for him. I was cleaning up his grand jumble of toys and treasures in his room and finding items that reminded us of Kierra. He was having meltdowns over stuff that he never even notices usually. Finally I took him to the kitchen and asked him what was wrong.

He literally was too overwhelmed to talk. He just shook his little shoulders in frustration and spread his hands out and buried his face in his hands. ” I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I…I…I…”exasperated sigh and more burrowing into hands.

I got out his big pad of paper and grabbed a pen. “Here,” I said, setting him on my lap. ” draw me a picture of your heart.” Then I waited a bit while he got his bearings. He drew hard and quickly.

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“There are tears in my heart.” He said.
“Why are there tears?”
” Because I miss God.”
So he drew a person with wings that could fly up and

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meet God.

After we talked some more I realized he also missed Kierra. He was upset that she got to be in Heaven and he wasn’t. He drew arms on his heart to reach up to heaven. Then he wrote this. ( with a bit of help with spelling:)

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We took it over to the window and held it toward the sky and asked God to let Kierra see it. Kobe was still not all sunshine but it seemed to help him to communicate what he was feeling.

I  am amazed at how much he misses Kierra right now. Its been over two years and somehow in my naive adult brain I thought he might be forgetting her. I actually feared he would.

But the heart never forgets. A mommy and daddy heart never forget and neither does a child’s.

I thank God for our beautiful complex brain. For our hearts that never forget.

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He wanted a picture of himself holding his ‘Bible’.
Oh! And one last funny four year old moment….
I was trying to teach him about personal space with ‘staying in your own bubble’. When we ride three in the front of our old GMC it can get a bit elbowy.
“But mom, ” he explained, ” I popped my bubble.”

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3

Rain and Rest

It’s raining today for the third day in a row. 

It’s a chili and coffee and blanket kind of day.

 
 
  
The sunny days of last week seem far away. The spring sun kissed glow on cheeks is fading too fast. Out my window , wild rabbits hop beneath pines while tulips pop with color along back yard fences.

Our crazy schedule of lawn care breathes and we gaze out the door at the drizzle and wonder when it will stop. I’m thankful for the rain. We need moisture in the mountains and plains to discourage the sparks that escalate wildfires. I find myself a bit stir crazy though. As if I stop too long I may think too much and if I think too much I may not be able to control myself. And if I can’t control myself I may be a mess. 

So I get a bit grouchy and think of things we should do. Crazy big things like car shopping. Crazy small things like organizing my cooking spices. Things that are waiting to be done and not going anywhere like laying our brick patio. Things like folding laundry and vacuuming the floor. Oh! And when my mind starts thinking about things it runs me down the guilt trip ally….like things  I should have done long ago-like send that encouraging card to that person, or remembered that birthday this year. I find myself wanting to panic with THINGS.

I take time to stop and look through Kierra’s last lovely photo albmn and I miss her so badly I ache. I get sad and lonely and I wish I could snuggle her again. Go back to that certain moment in time and relive it for real. 

I also remember. I remember the feeling of dispair and not being in control. I remember thinking I should plan fundraiser walks or sell t-shirts or wrist bands or DO SOMETHING to raise money for research for the clinic on NCS. I remember thinking if I could only do a little something to make all this pain and suffering mean more. As if I could bring value to it by planning a 5K or having her name on a foundation. It’s true. It would have meant so much to me to do something like that. There’s nothing wrong with that and so many wonderful, amazing foundations and fundraisers and awareness have been raised by people who took action and honored their pain and their children in this way. I am so thankful for that. But in that stage of my life, just keeping us all decent was about all I could handle.

I see a pattern here though, a desperate drive to do more, be more, mean more, busy myself more when life hurts. There is a balance somewhere and I don’t know that I’ve found it exactly. I’m thinking and praying about it. One of my passions of this year is to REST in God, like I blogged a few months ago.

In my restlessness today, I opened my Bible to Numbers. I’m working on reading the Bible through from cover to cover. The New Testament is delightful reading. The Old Testsament has me groping for meaning sometimes. Numbers 7 is like that. A lot of repetition and exact identical offerings that 12 men brought to the Temple. But at the end of the chapter was this verse and it blew me away.

“Whenever Moses went into the Tabernacle to speak with The Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubims above the ark’s cover-

  the place of atonement-that rests on the Ark of the Covenant. The Lord spoke to him from there. (Italics mine)  

There is my word…rest. Atonement rests. 

Perhaps it is a default mode I tend to go into…making atonement for my imperfections and weaknesses by being busy. By planning more and becoming impatient with myself thinking of  the stuff that hasn’t gotten done and that should get done and that could get done. In a mixed up way I’m trying to make amends (if only in my mind). 

The amazing thing is that the place of atonement rests on the Ark of the Covenant. 

Covenant means the agreement in which God promised to protect Israel ( I put my name in there) if they keep His Law and are faithful. 

So while I am not  a Bible scholar, I am a Child of God, and I get this beautiful picture that I can scarcely wrap my mind around. 

The Good News or the Gospel of Christ is all about Christ.

It is the power of God at work….. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in His sight…..this is accomplished from start to finish by faith. Romans 1:16-17

I hear Gods voice-sense His presence in the place of REST, because everything about Jesus and salvation is believed by faith and faith takes trust and trust takes rest! He has made the atonement. He has promised to protect me with His Covenant. 

I just get a thrill when I think of it! 

Now I will go fold my laundry and yes, do the next pressing thing which includes helping set up for a Taco Supper at the local college, but I won’t allow my mind to go into a frenzy of stuff and default into trying to do and be more. Because In quietness and confidence is my strength….and that’s because the joy of the Lord is my strength!

Reign in me, Lord. I Rest.


1

Bend 

I have driven past these amazing trees so often and am always amazed at their fortitude and strength. The wind in North Western Montana can be truly brutal, but that hasn’t stopped these them from growing. They have leaned with the blasts and defied my image of a tree. I have this crazy urge to salute when I pass them. Deep in my heart it’s the amazing Creator that formed their tiny seeds and sent rain and sun and wind that I am in awe of. They have learned to grow exactly where He allowed their seedlings to sprout and they are beautiful!   
We Bend but Do Not Break

The wind is constant.

A whisper, a croon or a roar.

Master of the open floor.

And we grow.

With the flow.

Of current airstreams through our boughs. 

We bend.

But do not break.
Stripped to the bare bones of our souls in winter.

We are OK with that.

The root of who we are, 

Anchored securely in the level earth.
For always. 

Always spring breathes gentle green and we awake. 

We bend

But do not break.
While seasons come and go 

Our beauty skewed and crooked. 

But still we reach toward Light 

And freckle shade on man and beast 

And point toward stars at night. 

  

Who says a tree is straight? 

When trunk and branch and root are one,

We reach deep down and stretch high up. 

And do not fret about our shape.
Our focus set on nobler things.

Like strength and fortitude and grace.

And  robins resting tired wings. 

Of children larking in our shade 

And strong men mopping sweat from brows 

While thanking God who made us.
We are a tree. 

The wind scars cannot rob our name.

Nor shake our core identity.

We are a tree.

We bend. 

But do not break.