Kalkidan turned 13 last October. This was a much anticipated birthday, so much so that she began talking about the day she turned twelve. She couldn’t wait to be a teenager and loved to remind me that it wouldn’t be long before she could take driver’s ed.
In recent years we’ve encouraged our kids to ask for experiences rather than “things” for gifts. As we talked about what she wanted for her birthday, Kalkidan realized there really wasn’t much she needed to own. Keeping her room organized and somewhat tidy was a challenge, and adding more “stuff” wasn’t going to make it any easier.
She decided what she most wanted was to go to the Winter Jam concert in Spokane. I was speaking at a retreat that weekend, so I asked Mimi to take the girls. It was a night they will never forget – including the fact that I didn’t realize you had to pay with cash, and only sent them with my credit card, which necessitated Mimi making a panicked run to an ATM while the girls waited in line.
The concert closed with “Oceans” sung by Hillsong United; two months later we sang it at Kalkidan’s memorial service. Lord have mercy – just typing those words…
The girls made sweet memories and we have this precious picture to remember that night. When I saw it today, my heart squeezed in my chest. I’m sure that’s not anatomically what happened, but I’m telling you, that is just what it feels like when a wave of sadness rolls over me.
I cannot express how thankful I am that Kalkidan chose an experience with her sisters over one more thing to own. While I am sorely tempted to regret that I was not with them, I’m trying hard not to do that to myself. There is really nothing at all to be gained.
Seven weeks, friends. It’s been seven weeks and I’m glad that God is loving and patient because, to be perfectly honest, my heart has not caught up with the truth of what I believe. So I just keep reminding myself of the truth of scripture and my decades of walking with Jesus. Over and over I’ve seen that God’s plans are better than mine and he is loving and good to us.
Thank you for the Bible verses you are sending my way – keep them coming. Every verse will go in my journal and be a comfort to me in the coming days and months.
Well, friends, it’s Monday. Hannah is making cinnamon rolls with help from the boys. Friends are coming to visit and bringing their sweet little guy. Russ is at physical therapy – I’ll go in a few hours. The day is rolling along.
I would love to hear if you have given experiences for gifts, or what you might like to give in the future.
Have a great Presidents Day, friends.