Monday, June 19, 2017

When an umbrella brings joy in the storms.......

Sometimes you just need an umbrella to dance in the rain.  With rain threatening before Anna's first dance class last week, she was very upset that she did not have an umbrella.  Unfortunately, her Dora umbrella (that she had "inherited") had gotten broken.   Anna was so concerned that her ballet outfit would get wet walking into ballet.  I found an umbrella in my car that we were able to use for the storms which did happen to arrive during ballet.  But I promised Anna a trip to a store to buy her a new umbrella.  Of course Zeke and Ellie both needed new umbrellas as well.  I had to laugh at the clerk as we were checking out at Walmart the next day.  The kids were very excited telling her about their week with Grandma Lyn.  She looked at the items we were purchasing and nodded her head saying "Yep, I can tell that this is a Grandma shopping trip!"  I have to confess that I am kind of a sucker for these kids.  Our purchases included this Frozen umbrella for Anna, a Spiderman umbrella for Zeke, a pink push button umbrella for Ellie, candy, cookies and donuts, as well as the chocolate syrup (that was the real reason for our visit to the store)!

But look at those wonderful smiles on Zeke and Anna with there umbrellas (or "brellas" as Anna calls them!)  They had so much fun going outside to play in the light rain that was happening that day.  If a silly little umbrella makes the rain less scary and brings joy to them, then it is so worth it.

One of the days the present from mommy and daddy were some card games.  We had hours of fun playing "Old Maid" and I was the old maid more often than not.  Even Anna joined in the fun.  It is really amazing how much these kids play together and how well they play together.  I think that it is another win for homeschooling.   The week went by really fast.  I took so many pictures of all the fun things that we did and most days, I dropped into bed at the same time as the kids.  It was busy!

Ballet night was really something,  Anna's first ever class was from four to five and then there is an hour before Lia has her three classes.  Anna did wonderfully.  There were 20 three year olds in her class!  Yes 20!
The amazing teacher is so good with these kids.  I don't know how she does it.  There were many of the kids who wandered around during the class and several who never followed the instructions.  I was very proud of Anna for paying attention and so happy that she fun.  Although hesitant at first, she was smiling by the end!  We had hoped to be able to walk through the farmers market which is right by ballet, but there were storms.  So we opted to go to a restaurant for some dinner.  We dropped Lia off for her classes and drove home in a big storm.  I was thankful that a family friend was bringing Lia home at 9:30pm so I didn't have to go back out to get her.   

When Lia got home, she was pretty upset.  Somewhere in the day she had misplaced her phone.  We talked about taking all of our cares and concerns to Jesus and praying about the location of her phone.  She asked me to have my small group pray that it would be found.  Gwen texted the ballet studio to have them look for the phone and I assured Lia that we would follow up the next day.  When we heard that the phone was not at ballet, Lia was sure that it had been stolen and was gone forever.  We made another trip to the ballet studio to look for ourselves and then to the diner we had visited.  As soon as we walked in the door of the diner, Ellie spotted the phone laying by the cash register.  Needless to say, we were a very happy and thankful group!

I was so thankful for the umbrella covering of prayer that we had during the "storm" of that misplaced phone.  Lia was remarkably calm the entire day.  We talked about the possible locations to look for the phone.  And we prayed!!  She never gave up hope that we would find that phone.  
It was a great lesson for her - and me - to remember that the umbrella of prayer does work.  I was so thankful that Jesus cares about even these kinds of things and helps us in every storm that we face.  While this might seem like a small thing to some, for Lia this was a really big deal.  There were many grateful prayers said that night at bedtime.

Being with these kids for a week was physically taxing for me. I walked and ran and played more than I usually do.  I certainly did more dishes and more laundry than I have for a very long time.  I played more games and read countless books.  I also had books read to me!  There were songs sung and hugs and kisses given.  I applied more sunscreen in one week than I think I have in the last year!
  My time with the kids is my mission trip.  While it is a service for Gwen and Tim and allows them to go and serve, I am truly the one who benefits.  I came away filled up with all the love I received from Lia, Ellie, Zeke and Anna.  My heart is filled with joy. I can't wait till the next time.

Jesus, thank you for pouring out your love on even the littlest children.  Holy Spirit, remind us all to stay childlike in our faith.  Thank you Jesus for answered prayers and all those who help us hold up umbrellas of prayer during the storms of life.  Amen  

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