It Happened Easter Monday…

 

Then I heard a knock on the door…

My little ones were more than curious as I opened the door to a female officer.  There were several other officers standing behind her on my front porch and in the weed covered patch of grass we called a front yard.

“Ma’am,” she said.  “They’ve found the guy they’re looking for.  He’s under your back porch.”

I’m not sure what my expression was at that moment.  Maybe it was somewhere in between “dazed and confused” and “shock and awe”–I’m sure it was priceless!

“We’re going to need you to take your children to another room,” she continued.  “They need to go in and get him.”

As I stumbled over my words in an affirmative response, thanked her and secured the door, I gathered all my children together.  They were excessively compliant to be torn away from their school books!

“Everyone, grab a library book and go sit on mommy and daddy’s bed.”

The children scrambled for their favorite volume of kiddy lit and ran to my room while I closed the back curtains and followed them.  As they all assembled (read:  jumped and tumbled) on my comforter, I got their attention.

“Listen, guys.  The person the police officers were looking for…well, it turns out he was hiding under the deck.”

“AAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhh”

(Ok, there are 4 of them–you know what I’m talking about.)

I decided to take this moment…to pray!

We prayed for the officers and we prayed against fear.  We thanked God for protecting us, and we thanked Him for sending all those police officers to catch the bad guy.  Under our deck.

It was about that time that I heard another knock on the door.

“Ma’am, they’ve got him.”

I thanked the officers and thanked God!  The children cheered when I went to tell them.  They then proceeded to snatch my phone and call everyone they knew…Daddy, Nana, and Mamaw.

After all the crazy died down, it gave me time to think.  Time to think is truly overrated.  It was in these little moments that I began to feel afraid.  After the police caught “the criminal”, as my children had told everyone in their little world.

I realized that on a normal day I would have given each kid a granola bar or some fruit snacks and water and let them run out to play at that exact time.  I thought how all morning we had been doing our work in that kitchen with the door unlocked, and we were oblivious.  I pondered the fact that I had stepped out on that same deck to speak to those police officers while some guy was under my feet.  Talk about a case of the chills!

The next few days were weird for me.  I’m not going to lie!  Stuff happens in life that shakes our little world sometimes.  We know there are things in the news and on the radio.  There are horrifying events halfway around the world, but what about when something dark comes near our door…or our porch?  I wasn’t ready to deal with that!

I guess it’s like my mother-in-law said,

“Crime is everywhere–but so is GOD.”

And when that truth settled in, GOD is Everywhere, I started to be Thankful.

I was thankful for the chores and the dishes and the laundry that kept us inside that day.  I was thankful for my home and family and my daily job of homeschooling.  I was thankful for the members of our police department that had come out of the woodwork to keep us safe.  Not one or two–three or four patrol cars full!  I was so thankful for the little moments that God had kept me tied to my work for the day, and I didn’t know what was going on.  I didn’t have time to be scared when it was happening.  I didn’t have time to worry.

Thankful.

Thankful that He knows us.

Thankful that He is Faithful.

In the midst of our trials in life–the yuck we didn’t expect–God has a way of speaking into our darkest areas and shining His light.  He knows where to find us.  He knows how to carry us.  He knows how to bring us to that place.

Thankful.

What are you thankful for today in your journey?  I would love to hear from you.  Leave a comment to let me know how God is faithful in your life right now.

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One Year Ago This Week…

 

Sometimes the little things you take for granted are the things God uses to keep you safe and protected.  That’s what God did for my family.

It was Easter Monday.  We were a little slow to get our homeschool act together that morning.  I have to confess, there were dishes in the sink, laundry from every corner of the house ready to be washed and piled to sort in my kitchen, the lawn was overgrown because of rain the previous week (and because we had catered a wedding the previous Saturday instead of staying home to mow and weed eat).  We had served.  We had eaten.  We had celebrated.  There’s no better combination in my book than food and family getting together because of Jesus!

Now, however, it was time to work!  With all of my kids gathered at the kitchen table, we started our homeschool day.  I worked with each child, made sure my tiny tot was occupied, and tried to get to a chore or two as I could.  After a while, I brought my kindergartener to the living room for some one on one time with Mom.  (It’s much easier to practice your reading away from everyone else while you snuggle on the couch.)  We spent some time working on her blends and her phonics, and then I headed back to the kitchen to check on the big girls.

At that time in the morning, I probably would have given the kids a break and turned them out to play on the swing set for 15 minutes for recess.  The yard was full of weeds–seriously overgrown!  There was still laundry to deal with.  Our late start meant we weren’t done with very many subjects.  I decided to just give the kids a snack and go on to our next subject.  And THAT was when I saw it.

There were men running down the line of trees toward the back of our property!  Then they came to our yard.  Men that I did not know were running through my backyard!!  I quickly locked my back and front doors and just observed quietly while my kids wrote in their workbooks.  The way these men moved, I quickly figured out that they were, in fact, plain clothes police officers.  For the next several minutes I saw them edge around all the neighboring yards.  Police cars patrolled down our street.  Individual officers with radio in hand walked around the block.  Finally it seemed like the action was over.  What had started with many officers and several cars had turned into just two police, and they were walking towards the back of my house, all the way to the deck.

I opened up the door and stepped outside.

“Can I help you?” I said.  What do you say to police officers in your unkempt back yard on the Monday after Easter?!

“We’re looking for a white male wearing a blue t-shirt.  Have you seen him?”

“No.  You’re welcome to look anywhere you need to though.”

I walked back inside the house and locked the door!  Trying to explain to the kids that we were going to keep the door locked right now and try to finish our work wasn’t so bad…

until I heard a knock at the front door.
“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”–Isaiah 41:10
Where has your story reached it’s middle?  You’re not quite sure what’s going to happen next?  God is big enough to handle whatever you are facing today.  Let him have your situation, and receive His strength today.