My children and I recently started reading Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas before bed to prepare us for Christmas. Last night’s story was about the fall of mankind and it reminded me that the first question God ever asked was “Where are you?”
Genesis 3:9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
And this was in response to Adam and Eve hiding from God after eating from the tree they were told not to eat from. “Where are you?” Not “Why?” or “What did you do?” but “where are you?” This is the heart of God. God is always searching for us… while we were still sinners.
After saying good night to the kids, I thought a lot about this question. I felt like God was asking me “where are you?” Immediately, I thought, “Here I am, Lord.” Proud. Sure. Confident. Even hummed the tunes of the song “Here I Am Lord.” I attend Sunday worship and Friday night prayer meetings. I even lead bible study. But I felt God ask again “yes, but where are YOU?” Yes, where am I? If I was in the very presence of the Lord and King, would I not be on my knees? If I was in the very presence of the almighty maker of heaven and earth, would I not be in awe? If I was in the very presence of the Savior of my soul, would I not be crying with thanks?
Where am I? I am here… yes, but I am in the presence of the living GOD and my attitude, behavior, and life should reflect that.
The girls had their first swim meet today. It was cold and dreary out with a chance of rain but all the swimmers were excited about their first meet of the season. It was a beautiful sight of sea of blue and green bathing suits warming up, swimming laps and shivering as their braces clicked in the cold. You can almost feel their youthful energy between the on and off raindrops.
There were 30 events in today’s meet. Elisa and Ellen each swam in one… 25 meter freestyle.
After timing a few events, it was Ellen’s turn. U8. 25 meters. I don’t think Ellen even swam half way across the pool during the 2 weeks of training. 25 meters? As she struggled with her noodles, her coach jumped in the pool before her. She followed. My heart was beating so fast I thought it was going to jump out. The whistle blew and little Ellen swam… And swam… And swam. Even though she had her noodles, she did the whole breathing in and out of the water just as she was taught. I was sooooo proud. She made it across!
A few events later it was Elisa’s turn. Again, I wasn’t sure what was louder. My heartbeat echoing in my ears or me yelling her name. She just learned to swim the freestyle and haven’t been able to make it across the pool without stopping and standing. And sometimes the pauses were long as she tried to regain her strength but at today’s meet she was great. She stopped but floated a little before starting again. Never giving up.
Both girls came in last. But the smiles on their faces and on my face would have made anyone think we came in first. Our goal today was to make it across the pool and they did it beautifully. I couldn’t have been prouder.
I was worried that they’d get nervous being the only swimmer still swimming but Elisa said “no, it was cool. All eyes were on me. I can hear people calling my name.” Who knew joining the swim team can build confidence even when you place last?
I was a timer so couldn’t videotape their events but the girls sportsmanship, determination, and pride will forever be etched in my brain. Sometimes it’s good to not have a camera to record because you spend more time living that glorious moment. Big cheer to my girls and big cheer to coach Henry who made it happen!
At Ellen’s Girl Scout meeting, the leader talked about their final Girl Scout event of the year. A pirate adventure trip. The girls talked about it from months ago. We planned to go too since families were invited as well. But at the meeting, the leader said it’s going to be on a Sunday. Sunday? Oh man, we wouldn’t be able to go because of church. So after the meeting, in the car, I gently told Ellen that we won’t be able to participate in the trip. And she responded “I already know that.” How? I didn’t even say anything. She said she knew because it was a Sunday and we go to church on Sundays. No whining. No negotiating. Very matter of fact. Boy was I proud of her. Soooo proud. The girl is only 6 but she knew we have to keep the Sabbath holy.
Elisa went on her first overnight Girl Scout camping trip. I was surprised by how much I missed her. I mean, I didn’t sit at home and cry but I did think of her all through the day. And so did the kids. Ellen really stepped up to the plate as the next big sister in line.
Me: Ellen, since unnie is not here, you know what that means.
Ellen: Yes, I have to help Christian.
Me: That’s right.
Ellen: And, I’m the boss of Christian.
LOL. Poor Christian. But, Ellen really was a good sister to Christian and looked after him much more than usual.
When C and Ellen were getting for bed, we did our usual prayer. Shortly after, we heard thunder. C asked if he can pray for Elisa since she’s away at camp and might be scared.
C’s prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, please keep unnie (big sister) safe and alive. Please we be together for breakfast…
So funny and cute. I was really really touched by his prayer… even though he start rambling about other things toward the end.
We were getting ready for the kids’ bathtime and I said “we need to get their bban seu (panty in Korean).”
C responded with “It’s not bban seu. It’s panty. H.I.J.K.L. Panty.” Spelling bee bound he is not.” LOL.
C was peeing in the bathroom with the door wide open. Ellen walked by and when she saw that he was done, she grabbed some toilet paper and asked if he needed help wiping. My ears perked up so fast I thought they were going to shoot up to the ceiling. I yelled out “NOOOOOO”. It was a slow motion moment… with my cheeks wavering slowly in the non existing breeze. Ellen turned around looked at me like I was crazy.
C came home today and said “my friends didn’t want to play with me at the playground even though I used pleasant words. Pleasant words like honeycomb, sweet to the bone. Genesis 1:4”
He meant “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24.
He’s better than I am at applying biblical lessons to real life. I need to memorize more than John 3:16 and Jesus wept.
Edit: On our way to school this morning, Christian asked “what if C and C doesn’t want to play with me again?” I replied “you can play with your other friends.” But Christian was very adamant and said “No, just say pleasant words like honeycomb, sweet to the bone. Genesis 1:4” I just said “okay but if that doesn’t work, play with the other kids.” We practiced the correct wording of the scripture the rest of the ride there. Maybe if he got it right, they’ll play with him.
How sweet it is to see a child clinging to the word of God (the short abridged version… lol). No wavering. But at the same time, it made me sad. I know kids change friends as often as we change our socks but even still. I dropped him off and looked in. I saw him approach 2 boys with their big box of legos and he just stood there for a little bit. Then he went to the game closet and brought out another game and took it to a table and played alone. I don’t think he minded playing the game alone because when he saw me, he gave me a huge Kool Aid smile but that only made me choke up even more.
It hurts so much when you think you’re child is rejected. I can only imagine the heart of God when He saw His child being rejected by those who needed Him the most.