Wednesday morning, our family headed to Norfolk to say goodbye to Matt. He is now officially on active duty again. We are all very proud of him and of being a Navy family, but it would be great if this were the final deployment.
We started the trip on a happy note: a night at Great Wolf Lodge. We checked in and hit the indoor waterpark from 2pm-9pm. The Panda surprised us all. He was not overstimulated and he was very relaxed and happy in the water. He floated around the lazy river about 100 times on his back with a huge smile. He bobbed in the wave pool. We got out of the water with a few minutes to spare so we could buy the kids' Magiquest wands. We spent Thursday playing Magiquest at Great Wolf Lodge, which all three big kids enjoyed very much. It was pretty fun for the grownups and the Panda too, plenty of walking and exercise... I was glad to have my stroller.
Then we enjoyed a wonderful weekend with our dear friends in VA Beach. They even sent us on a date- our first date without the Panda. We visited and enjoyed good company. The Panda was convinced to put a Fruit Loop into his mouth. This is a huge milestone. We aren't seeing miraculous progress with food, but these little baby steps keep my hope alive.
Sunday came, and we attended our old church in VA Beach and enjoyed a too-short chat with old friends. Matt and I took the kids to lunch. The goodbye time had arrived. I tried to find a way to delay, so I said, "I'm going to go to the zoo today, either figuratively or literally. Let's make it literally." So we went. Our membership was still valid, so it was free! We had such a fun afternoon and it made the parting easier.
We got home really late Sunday night because of the unplanned zoo trip. The kids were really good about school work on Monday and we all headed out to take the Bunny to youth group and run some errands. We picked her up and completed some unfinished errands. I was starting to think that my week of fun and emotion had not included grading my stack of papers for the next day as we were paying at the final store.
that moment when God has plans that you didn't plan on.....
The Puppy did something really bad at the end of that last errand. We went to the car and everyone buckled in. We talked. We sat. I was feeling so emotionally spent from saying goodbye to Matt the day before. God was so merciful, and gave me patience and the right words, even though I felt pretty empty inside, not particularly eager to deal with this really bad thing.
I gave the Puppy the bad news. He's a sinner, and he'd done something vile. Regardless of my numerous prompts, he had no apology. He was determined to stay on the wrong path.
There's another road.... and the Lord brought this to my lips....
Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.
Did you know that only one sin is enough to separate us from God forever? Suddenly, I had a crumpled Puppy. He was sorry for his sin.
2 Corinthians 5:21
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
The Puppy asked Jesus to take his sin and give him His righteousness. Praise God!
We went home and got ready for bed. The Penguin was quiet.
"Mom, I've never repented either...."
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.
Praise the Lord for changing the hearts of these two little ones and adopting them as His own. We've all seen the miracle of adoption this year three wonderful times. Is there a word that is beyond thankfulness to describe how I feel?
I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.
My heart still needs to be made soft, to be changed by the Lord Who Heals. How easy it would have been to chew the Puppy out and miss out on allowing the Lord to work through mercy and kindness. Scares me a
Now I cling to this promise for them and for me:
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Oh, and I almost forgot! The Panda is getting so close to walking!