Well, This is Christmas Sunday, and here I sit at my computer, typing this post, in hopes that it will bring help, understanding, joy to those who read, and Glory to the One who's Birthday we celebrate at this time of year.
(Anna is next door picking up the giant dog poop left in the neighbor's house by their dog. She is caring for their animals while they are on vacation)
We had all intended for this morning to be a special morning. It is Christmas Sunday. I love Christmas Sunday. It is a time for Celebrating our Savior and we were going to Attend the Morning Christmas Program. But..... something else happened, and plans changed.
When Mike and I got up this a.m., he told me about a funny dream he had, but I didn't tell him about mine. Mine wasn't funny. In fact, I'm not sure it was a dream at all. It was more of a "spiritual experience". The kind I don't like, but that have happened before. It was like I woke up to a bad presence, or oppression, and it was dark. I felt pressure and could barely move. I instantly began to pray, and speak out the name of the Lord, and then it came to my mind to pray for Anna. I began to pray for Anna, and then when drowsiness won, I went back to sleep peacefully.
So, while Mike and I were sitting peacefully by the fire, having our coffee, a little voice called from the room. Mommy, Daddy, can I come out and sit with you? It was Erika. She is so excited about her 3rd Christmas with us. While Anna and Sarah slept peacefully in the other room, we rested on the couch with Erika and enjoyed talking with her. She reminisced about Orphanage Christmases, and talked about identifying with the Character in the American Girl Movie "Samantha". Then she said, "May I never wake up from this dream!" :)
Anna and Sarah were sleeping so peacefully that we finally had to wake them. It was time to get ready for church and we were all excited to go and watch the Christmas program.
It had been agreed upon a few weeks ago that the girls would be wearing the same dresses that a relative had picked for them so sweetly. They are very pretty dresses, very FANCY, and we figured Christmas Sunday would be a good time to wear them before they get too small. :)
Anna isn't particularly fond of fancy dresses, nor is Erika, but Sarah is, so she was very excited to put hers on. Erika joyfully put hers on too.... but then there was our Anna. She wasn't joyful. Then, when mom said, Let's get a picture, she REALLY wasn't joyful. Soooo, I said, "common' Anna, we want to send a picture to your Aunt so she can see your pretty dress in front of the tree." Well, with that, came pouts, tears, and then anger. Real anger. She made some statements about not caring, etc. etc.
and we asked her one more time to just try. She pretty much refused.
So, then I stepped in, and said, "your behavior is inappropriate, and there is no reason to behave this way etc. etc. I shouldn't have followed the trail, but I did.
And it didn't help. It started to spiral in the wrong direction. So, I said, "Daddy, why don't you go ahead and take the girls to church and I will have to stay home with Anna. She is obviously in no condition to go to church, or out afterwards, we cannot reward this kind of behavior."
Dang.... that sealed my fate. I had to miss the Christmas program and miss eating out afterwards, because of my own words.
When we speak, we MUST keep our words, or they have no value. That is why it is also so important to not speak unless you are sure. I wasn't sure, but I spoke. I think I over reacted abit, but at the same time, felt the behavior could not be overlooked.
So sadly, Daddy, Erika and Sarah left for church and Anna and I stayed home, all dressed up with nowhere to go.
She was weeping because she really did want to go and started to say, "I said I was sorry." (she didn't)
I told her, sweety, if you had taken responsibility and said you were sorry, we wouldn't be sitting here right now.
She then became mad and started down the wrong path again. I listened to her and then I asked her to come over to the rocker with me.
So we sat at in the rocker together. Me in my Sunday dress, and her in hers, and we began to talk.
I told her about my "experience" in the middle of the night, and that I instantly knew to pray for her, and that I really felt that she was dealing with some serious anger, and I began to tell her about Anger I had as a little girl, how I didn't think my life was fair, and that I was mad about it for a long time.
For 2 hours, we were glued to the rocking chair, and as I presented the gospel to her once again, through the reason we have Christmas, and why sin exists etc.
As we sat and talked about how our loving Creator, who only wants what is best for us, came down, emptied himself of ALL HIS Glory to become a baby, child, man, and Savior, the words came to life for her. She asked lots of questions and she listened about how evil exists and sin exists in us BECAUSE of the fall. I also told her, I would rather have hardship in order to have found the Lord as my savior, than to have had an easy life, only to lose it in eternity because I never had a need for my Savior. Her final statement was, "I Never Heard the Gospel put that way"......
We talked about being thankful for hardship, and being thankful for good times. The hard times, let us know that the good times are REALLY Good! If we didn't have sin, we wouldn't understand Holiness and how Holy and Righteous God is.
It all seemed to click with her and she had a joy come over her that was so very good to see.
Then, she asked to redo that picture. She said she did care, and that even though the dress isn't her favorite, she will wear it, and she will have her picture taken in it when her sisters get back from going out with daddy.
So all in all, while our morning didn't turn out like planned, maybe it turned out as God had planned.
He is such a loving Heavenly Father. At first I wasn't glad that I had sentenced myself to stay home, but after our talk, I was glad that I did.
Here are some pictures from this a.m.
After they returned from Church:
"His Mercies Are New Every Morning"
“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis
― C. S. Lewis
I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)