Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Lesson from Ruby Bridges

We journeyed on a field trip to the Children's Museum yesterday. We hadn't been there in probably 3-4 years...I'm loving getting to revisit all of my favorite places for toddlers again:) Anyway...the museum has a powerful exhibit called the Power of Children that focuses on Anne Frank, Ruby Bridges and Ryan White. We were able to sit in a replica of Ruby's 1st grade classroom at William Franz Elementary School and hear a dramatic monologue by one of the Federal Marshalls that accompanied Ruby through the hostile crowd outside of the school. Ruby was six at the time and was the first African-American student admitted to the school. There were huge protests in New Orleans against her admittance. Many people were screaming horrible things at Ruby. The museum had a photo of some of the protesters...some of them had taken a black baby doll and put it in a coffin. In the same picture there is a smiling, little white girl holding up a cross. A cross?! Their hatred was a very ugly thing. After a few days of this same thing, one of the federal marshalls saw that Ruby was saying something as she walked by the angry mob. She was praying. She wasn't praying for herself, but she was praying for God to forgive those who were cursing her. This is part of her prayer: "Please, God, try to forgive those people. Because even if they say those bad things, they don't know what they're doing. So you could forgive them, just like you did those folks a long time ago when they said terrible things about you." I want to be more like Ruby Bridges and I pray I can teach my children how to forgive those who hurt them, like Ruby's Mom must have taught her.

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Colossians 3:12-14

Friday, May 15, 2009

Reflections on Mother's Day

Last Sunday was Mother's Day and D. decided that he'd treat me to a family bike ride! I have always loved biking with D and the kids. When we were first married and living out in VA, D surprised me one day when I came home from teaching to say, "Let's go buy some bikes." My response was, "Why do I need a bike?" I'm so glad he persuaded me to follow his lead! We still have those same bikes after almost 20 years:) Anyway, back to Mother's Day...we took the kids to a bike trail that we haven't ridden on for about 6 years, so the kids have grown since then (and we've added the African princess!). The whole time I was just filled with a sense of awe and joy that God has given us these precious kids to care for. I kept looking at Bub's back as he rode next to D. and thinking, "He's looks almost like a man! Last time we were here he was 7!" We rode the bikes on the trail to this special park we used to visit...the Princess had fun on the was surreal seeing her enjoying the same things Sis and Buddy enjoyed so long the playground seemed tiny to them! The day just reminded me of all the good things and simple joys that God brings into our life daily. One of my prayers as I'm parenting has been from Psalm 90:12, that God would teach me to number my days aright, so that I could gain a heart of wisdom...that I would enjoy each "stage" of their childhood. He has been faithful to answer that prayer!

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Funny Conversation

I have always loved the nighttime routine with our kids, the time when everyone gets ready for bed and D. and I go into each of their rooms to pray with them and talk about whatever they want (sometimes this is shorter if we're all exhausted!). Last night, I had fun getting the little princess ready for bed...bathtime, new kitty pajamas, sweet arms wrapped around my neck, reading the "Spot" books together, then we had this conversation.

Me: Tomorrow morning you can have some oatmeal:)
Princess: Oatmeal.
Me: Yes, oatmeal.
Princess: Cheerios.
Me: Cheerios.
Princess: Banana.
Me: Banana.
...a slight hesitation and a little smile...Princess: M&Ms!

Yes, Princess, you might get some M&Ms:)