Jesus is not here…

Jesus is not here…these are the words that our three years old used to cut me off while I was encouraging her to remember a comforting verse from the bible, remember whenever you are afraid…(paraphrase from psalm 56:3) then that four words came out from her mouth without warning.   I am not prepared.  How in the world I will address her innocent rebuttal?   Do I need to wake up my husband to help me explain with our daughter that Jesus is with us, and there’s nothing to be afraid of?

As of now our daughter was sharing bed with us. This is just temporary.  We are still deciding what bed we need to get for her. But she was used of sleeping by herself, she was only 8 months when we started training her to sleep on her own bed, in a separate room, and a few steps away from our own room.

Because of the transitions we had faced these past months (migrating from one country to another), she became used again of sleeping with us, and with the comfort of skin-to-skin.   So last night, after praying with her, bed stories, and with my hand wrapped around her, I was assuming she already fell asleep.  I slowly moved my hand away from her, and scoot myself down from the bed aiming to finish some online task.  But she suddenly turned to me, and said “Mama, I need you.”   As a mother, this sounded good to my ears but I also sense that our daughter was being fearful.  With her body gestures not wanting to leave any space between me and her, and wanted me to hug her so tight.

Every time we sense that she was feeling afraid, our words for her was to remember that whenever she was afraid, she can put her trust in Jesus.  And after we prayed with her, she peacefully went to bed.

But last night was different.  So, I stayed with her, hugged her tight and I decided to be quiet.  I felt like my tongue was cut short that time! ‘’Jesus is not here.’’  That was the very first time I encountered those words, and the hardest part was, it came from my daughter.  I didn’t take any apologetics class.  I wasn’t prepared to answer such statement.   I CAN just pretend that I didn’t hear it, go back to sleep and forget that online task.  It’s okay.  But in my heart, I knew the abrupt need to address Abigail’s doubt.  I silently prayed, and asked God to give me wisdom to properly address Abigail’s doubt about Jesus not being with us.  To enlightened her young and innocent mind that faith in Jesus is not measured alone by physical senses but found in spiritual senses.  

Praise God for the ability to remember things.  One morning (few days ago) when we were having breakfast, we were talking about the story of the four friends and how they intentionally brought their lamed friend to Jesus by climbing up the roof and made a hole in it, and lowered their friend in front of Jesus who was lying in a stretcher and unable to walk.  (Luke 5:17-26)   When Abi heard that story again, she said to me confidently that “Jesus like this house, (Grammy’s old house).  Jesus is coming here.”   And she even repeatedly said that Jesus was in her heart.  

 So, I told her.  “Remember, you said Jesus like this house, that Jesus is coming here.”  I told her that Jesus might not be here physically, but he is in your heart. His spirit is with us.   “Remember you said, he is in your heart?”

And one of the good example that Jesus is here is remember whenever you see daddy and mommy had some arguments, and it wasn’t good but, when we ask forgiveness and said sorry to each other and love each other, that is Jesus working in us.  Because Jesus loves our family.   And Jesus loves you, He is in your heart.   And, immediately she said, “Mom, we will wait for Jesus.”      

Years ago, when the gospel was first presented to me, and what Jesus did on the cross for my redemption my friends who shared to me the love of God didn’t use eloquent words to speak the truth to me.  But the two things that they did that up to now inculcated in my heart, my mind, soul and spirit were:  their intentional heart to pray with me and  their faith, how they claimed boldly by faith in Jesus  that I would received healing, and turned away from my sins.

The revelation of your words sheds light,
    gives understanding to the simple.

-Psalm 119:130 New American Bible (Revised Edition)

Jesus is not here_haltom family (1)Jesus is not here_haltom family (2)Jesus is not here_haltom family (3)

 

 

 

 

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No More Abi Falling off the Bed

A few hours ago my husband, Joshua called 911.  He reported the incident about our daughter Abigail fell-off from the bed approximately 2 feet above the floor of our master bedroom.  This might sound serious, but the Lord is always good, Abi is sleeping and in a good shape now.  

Before the incident happened,we had a very blessed and a productive Sunday. We were privileged to experienced a great morning service at the church, singing praises songs, worshiping the Lord and praying with the whole body of Christ.   The Lord, our God blessed each of us with a joyful spirit that beyond written words can explain.   

Right after the service our Pastor’s were able to visit us in our new place (we just recently moved from Grammy’s place).  In their kindness, they provided us a portable heater to keep us more warm and comfortable during cold and chilly weather.    Well, we have a heater installed in our new humble abode though for some reason it is not efficiently keeping our house warm.   We are truly thankful that God has placed us under the shepherding care of our spiritual Father and Mother.  They didn’t fail in modeling to us the unconditional love of God.  Through and through their support is with us. 

Abigail at 7 months

When our pastor’s headed home, we went at Grammy’s place and had our late lunch there as we originally planned.   At Grammy’s place while Abigail was having her nap, Joshua and I enjoyed our lunch together.   At this moment we were spiritually filled from the earlier worship and fellowship; and physically fulfilled because of the home-made-hamburger prepared by my mother-in-law.  After a few talks with the folks, we decided to went home and stopped by at the store and buy some food supplies.   Abi was wide  awake and silently observing while seating in the pushcart.   Food shopping is one of my favorite form of past time and relaxation.   I found myself relaxed while pushing the cart into different food aisles and comparing prices of goods.  I found this more soothing with me mostly when I am doing it with Joshua (an expert food shopper, and I myself can’t beat him)  and Abigail as our side-kick.   My mind set was,  “to enjoyed my time being with my husband and daughter.”  

After the non-tiring food shopping, we went straight to our home.  While Joshua and I fixed the groceries in the fridge and cabinets, Abi was busy playing in the living room with her toys.   Gladly our kitchen is just adjacent towards the living room so whenever we need to be at the kitchen we just placed Abi in the living room and allowed her to play, crawl and standing by herself either in the rag-covered-floor or bouncing while in her saucer while constantly checking her.   With this we can also include her in our conversation and sure of her safety.  

Since we still have plenty of time before dinner, we rested in our bed and played with Abi.   In my conversation with Joshua, we were talking about the unspeakable joy each in Living Waters received that day.   It was a soul spa everyone experienced.  

After a while Joshua scanned his Facebook’s news feed while seating in the corner of our bed.  While me was with Abi in the bed being laid back.  I looked at Abigail’s pure and innocent face and had a breath prayer for her.  “I asked the Lord to not let anyone or anything steal the joy he has given with Abigail.”  People that surrounded our daughter can attest that she’s full of pure joy.  Some people called her bright eyes.  I believe its not just the physical eyes but the brightness of her spirit.   

Then I decided to start preparing our dinner, and left our room confidently knowing that Joshua was with our daughter in the bed.  I actually got his attention saying, “Babs, I need to prepare our dinner please look at Abi.”  and him responded with yes, turned his face from the computer and grabbed Abigail by his side and played with her.  

Food preparation is one of the most favorite household duties.   Actually anything that has something to do with the kitchen, name it and I will be glad do it, including washing dishes. So after I washed the dishes and was engrossed chopping the chicken, I heard a heavy noise that sounded like something was fell into the ground.   It was so loud that I automatically stopped what I was doing hoping that it was not Abigail.  I was like, ” Oh goodness, please I don’t want to hear any cry”.  Seconds had past then suddenly I heard Joshua’s terrified voice calling our daughter’s name followed by wailing cry of Abigail…  it happened!  

My heart beat so fast, in my mind, I uttered a not pleasing word in my own Filipino language.  I crossed the gap between our kitchen and our room as fast as I can.  I know in my mind, in my heart, and in my spirit that Abigail needed me.  I know she needs my comfort.  As her mom I know what she needs.  Joshua came out from our room with a reddish face and was trying to comfort Abigail’s who was non-stop crying in his arms.  Her tears were rushing fast from her eyes.  She was in pain.  I uttered in a devastated voice many times to my husband. “What happened?”  I was trying to control my emotions and my tongue but deep within I was disappointed mostly when I heard from Joshua’s mouth that Abigail fell from the bed without him noticing that she was already in the danger side of the bed.   I asked him, “what are you doing”?  he responded saying, “I was scanning my Facebook”.  My speculation was  confirmed!  It was like a nuclear bomb dropped in front of my face!  I just wished he didn’t said anything but by God’s grace I kept my cool.   I don’t want to blame my husband but I need the holy spirit to convict his heart mostly after he said, ” I forgot I need to be with Abigail 24/7″.  Our daughter heard what he said, and as a mom it upset me.  What more Abigail’s fragile heart and the one who was physically in pain?

Yes, Abigail was only 7 months old but it doesn’t omit the fact that she has the ability to sense what’s going on in her surroundings mostly the things that she can received from us, her parents.   I desire that Joshua’s 100% assurance to Abigail as her father will always be there no matter what.  That she is protected within his care.  Re-affirming her that no matter what, he will stand by her side continuously showing his unfailing love towards her without being sidetrack by any obstructions or much important than Facebook scanning.   

In my mind, if Joshua fails to portrays and modeled the securing and comforting love of God to Abigail as her earthly father it might distort her sense of God’s love to her.   But I also thought that I myself was not there with her side when it happened.  As her mother I also shared the same responsibility God has given to my husband towards our daughter, and that is being a good shepherd of God’s love, protection and care to her.    No one is to blame but to practice safety precautions.  The fact that if I throw blame to my husband after it happened, the possibility is us arguing over something that is not even benefiting to our marriage.  As the health adage states, prevention is better than a cure. 

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Abi showed that she wanted me to get her from her dad whose arms were wrapped around her trying to console her.  She extended her small arms to me and when I got her, she laid her head over my shoulder and whimpered.   We went to her room and breast-fed her while stroking her hair.   Automatically she stopped crying.  Since she had two knots on her forehead, we treated it with an icepack.   

Joshua
apologized to Abigail for what had happened and told her that he didn’t
mean for her to bumped her head.  Apologizing openly  to each other is
one of the core practice in our family to prevent the spring of
bitterness by humbly admitting the fault committed and giving high
importance to forgiveness. 

Ephesians 4:32 ESV 
Be kind to one
another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

I was also convicted about the way I allowed my mind reacted after I heard Abigail’s cry, and immediately asked forgiveness to God. 

Just for the assurance that she was okay, I urged Joshua to called 911 and after 5 minutes three Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) arrived in our place.   I laid Abigail down to her bed whose at that time was already calmed.   The three EM T’s had basically just played with her, and one even consoled us first time parents that her child was 7 months old when they had first fallen off of the bed.

In this incident, it was instilled in our minds that we have a growing infant who is always curious of anything around her and as a parents we need to make sure about the safety of her environment by practicing safety precautions.  Paraphrasing what my husband said, “Giving her a constant supervision time to time is a must.”