My hubbie thinks I am nuts, not because I like fresh clean sheets but because I don't like wrinkles in my bed... at all... so when the sheets get out of place, when I am re-tucking too much the new sheets go on. My mom is and was always really good at hospital corners, I am okay at it - I give it a good try. Clean, crisp sheets... that is a good nights rest and this week I needed it.
Work has been rough, too much to do and so little time and home; home stuff just piles up... laundry, dishes, dusting, vacuuming... My elderly dog, she might be on her way out soon too... this week has really been busy. To top all of that off, I volunteered at my church for Vacation Bible School, if you don't know what that is - check out your local church, I bet they have one and if they don't, find one.... My kids loved every minute of it and so did I.
This year I asked to teach older kids since normally I am in a room with 2's, 3's and 4 year olds... I wanted to get into the meat of the stories, learn how God is our Creator, Provider, Protector, Savior and King right along with 1st and 2nd graders. I also wanted to teach with a seasoned Godly women and I got just that...
Anyway, 1st and 2nd graders really are no different than teaching the wee ones, their attention spans are a little longer but they still want to move on quickly... they also want to talk, a lot --- and be heard.... The difference is in the planting, you plant the seeds of God's word and you hope they hear it, the wee ones hear Jesus loves you... the older ones hear the message more and some grasp onto it, others the seed is down but might not be completely covered ready for watering.
I met some great kids... Kids who told me they'd use their talents to teach other kids to play sports, boys who treasured their mommas and wanted to give back someway because their momma's loved them right. Girls who want to go and tell their friends about the stories they heard this week.
One of my favorite sounds is children worshiping... their sweet voices, drifting in the air... dancing, clapping, signing the words that God is King. I close my eyes and listen and think - this is what heaven must be like! Revelation says they worship day and night. Such a sweet sound...
Then to hear the lead teacher in my room tell the story of salvation... the story of Jesus dying on the cross and then rising on the third day... she is sitting on the floor with these 15 wonderful kids, resting on her knees and she's reading verse after verse.
11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?" “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him. 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. 15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?" Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
And my friend, she is on her knees remember, she's speaking softly; she is reading the words to these kids like she is the one who has lost her friend. She rounds herself up, on her knees and draws closer to The Book in her lap, reading she says, "Where have you put my Jesus", there is a hint of sadness in her quite whisper. "Where have you put my Jesus? My Friend, he is gone".
The kids have drawn into her... I, myself, have been pulled in by her... My Jesus, where did he go... he is missing.... but he wasn't, He was there... risen... behind her and he called her by name.
Wow... called her by name... MARY... He calls me by name too... even writing these words to you, the tears have welled up... He.Calls.ME.By.MY.Name! My heart breaks for that kind of love... My God - Alive and Risen... The tomb empty, his burial cloths folded on the stone...
So this night... I changed my sheets...and I am tucking and folding. I am tightening the sheets, preparing to go to bed. Thinking about my quiet time with God, thinking of the stories I have heard.... allowing them to settle on my heart... humbled. I am loved by a risen God... and I think - what would I be doing now if I didn't know Him? How would my life be different if I didn't believe? What would that look like? Last week when things got tough and the rug looked like it had been pulled away, when I was able to pray and give my worries over to The One who protects and saves... what if I couldn't? What if when I was waiting to get pregnant, I didn't recognize The One who gives life and heart break after heart break left me in a pit of despair... and I couldn't call on Him, where would I be? What if, this girl who cried on the floor of her shower, the morning of her surgery to take away the baby that died before the end of the first trimester... what if in those tears, in that moment, in the silence and sadness her questions hadn't been answered with the truth of "My daughter you will have three children?"
I cannot even fathom... I cannot even fathom... I cannot - fathom!
So, heart broken open... for those who don't know... There is a God who loves you. He wants to know you... He knows your name, even though you might not know his, want to know his... or knew his but have forgotten it for a time... He calls you by name... he knit you together in your mother womb... and he wants to call you his.
It is my prayer tonight... that the 1900 people who have read a portion of this blog... at anytime... if you never read again... 1900 people... this week... read... this...
There is a God who loves you, He wants to know you, He knows your name and He calls you by it. He knit you together in your mother's womb and he wants to call you His... He died so that we might live!