hi. yes we are still alive!
fourth trimester is officially over.
sweet boy is three months old!

i will start posting regularly...
you know, every couple of days.
i really want to make this place my thoughts, my dreams, my letters...
:: and a new series on thursdays i will be doing : SO EXCITING!! ::

but to welcome everyone back...
you know i have a story...
and lots, and i mean LOTS of photos of our littles!!!

we will start with Easter.

Easter proved to be eventful, but beautiful.
i will let you in on what happened,
then you can obsess over the cuteness overload...

we live in a wonderful community.
our neighbors look out for one another.
we can go outside and talk for hours.
they know our names, spoil our littles,
and its like a family.

so the saturday before Easter, our family celebrated together.
Ryan's family was here from TX and my mom came over.
we planned a cook-out and an Easter egg hunt for Eden and her cousin Dallas.
This was the first Easter that Eden really understood what was going on.
Ryan and I hid sixteen eggs in our yard,
one was a golden egg with a special treat inside.
foil wrapped chocolates that looked like ladybugs and beetles.
Eden loves bugs.
Ryan and I were giddy and couldn't wait to see her face.

After the eggs were hidden,
we sat down for lunch.
it was absolutely beautiful outside.
we were all enjoying our fajitas and just being together.
while we were eating, my mother-in-law saw five older girls walking behind our house. she asked them if they had taken any eggs...
these girls promptly said no and hurried along.

Ryan and I, knowing our little community, thought nothing of it,
until the Easter egg hunt began.
we walked around to the back of the house and there was no golden egg.
i looked at Ryan and my heart sunk.
i didn't want to believe that those girls had stolen from us,
from our daughter. and the only thing they took was that golden egg.
eden's special egg.

i walked up the street. two houses down...
the golden egg opened and empty.
the anger bubbled up inside. i was enraged.
how. why? how could they?! they lied?
they stole from my daughter.

we all were mad. irritated.
of course the littles were clueless.
eden was just happy to find bright colored eggs and place them in her bucket.
she had no idea of what special surprise we had for her.

i wanted to know where these girls were.
talk to their parents. i even thought about calling the police!
[to be fair, our police borough where we live know everyone in our little area. they patrol multiple times a day, stop and talk with us, know our children's names. one of the officers even got worried when he hadn't seen Eden and me outside for a few days and asked our neighbors if everything was ok... i was fine, just laboring!! ha!]

a few hours went by and i was still thinking about that egg.
every time ryan and i caught each other's eyes our hearts just sank.
after the anger calmed down, i was just plain hurt. sad.
i kept mulling over in my head what i would say to these girls if i saw them.
i prayed about it. asked for wisdom and guidance.
while changing solomon's diaper, the holy spirit pricked my heart.
reminded me that i might not know all the facts, to be tender-hearted...
to be christ-like.
an idea formed.
i knew what needed to happen,
but didn't think i would have to do it just 15 min later.

ryan's brother and his wife were leaving to go back to their hotel.
we got a phone call that they saw the girls up the street
and that the girls denied everything...
my heart sank.
ryan had eden in just her diaper,
and he called from downstairs that we were going over.
i left solly with his gammie, aunts and grandpa...
i ran down the stairs walked outside and remembered what i knew i had to do.

i turned around and walked back up our stairs,
grabbed eden's easter bucket and five eggs.
still filled with candy.

we walked the two blocks up the street and saw these girls and a few younger children outside their homes... this was not the cleanest area, nor the most inviting.
no parents. no adults. just ten children.
three of the five girls we saw earlier that day were huddled together,
once they saw us walking towards them,
one of the girls ran.

i was shaking. i was so ridden with emotions.
i know that i am a mama. a wife. an adult,
but this was one of those moments that made me truly FEEL like a grown-up.

we walked up the side-walk.
i looked at the girls and asked if their parents were home.
their answer :
"no." and just stares.

"well girls. you just saw my brother-in-law and his wife,
i know that she told you that we knew you took a golden egg from our home earlier today. i know that you denied it to her. but i also know that you stole from us.
you can deny it to me, and to my husband and daughter. your not in trouble, but i want you all to know that this is eden. this was her first easter egg hunt. that golden egg. that was her special egg with special candy inside. just for her. if you wanted candy, all you had to do was ask. im going to give you the opportunity to look eden in the eyes apologize to her."
before i could get one more word out,
both of the girls looked immediately at eden and said, "im sorry"
one of the girls had tears in her eyes.
my heart softened and gone was anger.
i just wanted to wrap them in my arms.
ryan said, "we had more than enough candy. again, all you had to do was ask."
i looked at eden, "eden, would you like to share your candy?"
eden, without any hesitation..."YEAH!!"
i looked at the girls, "you girls are an example to these little ones (there were younger kids next to them) and im sure that stealing is not something that you want to teach them. remember that they look up to you. there are no hard feelings, we are not mad. if you ever want to come over and play, just knock on the door."
one of the littler girls immediately said, "where do you live?!"
i couldn't help but smile. i let them know where we lived and that again, they could come over anytime. we would love to have more friends.

my heart warmed and broke for these girls at the same time.
i knew in that moment,
they probably don't have anyone. anyone that would give them a chance.
that would love them... unconditionally.
we said good-bye and walked back home.

i was so proud of eden.
she handed out her candy, one by one and said thank you to all of them.
ryan had his hand around mine the walk home,
we were so impressed at the quickness of their apology.
and the sincerity.

about thirty minutes later,
we had four girls at our front door.
three of which were the ones who stole from us.
they asked to see eden.
they had a stuffed blue dog, a pudding cup, a flower and two plastic eggs.
items i know came from their bedrooms at home.
maybe even their own easter treats.
one of the girls was the one who ran when she saw us coming up the street.
she promptly apologized to eden.
they all apologized to eden, again.

i started to cry, willing myself to not burst into tears.
with smiles on their faces,
they let us know that there were special treats inside the eggs.
eden thanked them again and we let them know we needed to get eden to bed.

when we walked upstairs we opened the eggs...
one reese's peanut butter cup,
two dollar bills and some change.
truthfully, i believe the only money these girls had.
my heart burst and i knew we had done the right thing.
that we had set an example for eden, for those children...
an example that im proud of.

this is not a pat on our backs,
but a lesson in life.
a test of character, to be Jesus with skin on.

it wasn't about the egg,
it was about the heart.
the mercy and grace Jesus extends to us.
the unconditional love.
the sacrifice he made. for all of us.
that he willingly made.

i hope that when we re-tell this story,
maybe even read it here,
that you will see beyond the surface.
that you will be reminded of the lesson your daddy and mama learned that day.
that it takes courage to do the right thing.
to place your anger and hurt aside,
to give someone a chance to do the right thing, even if they might not deserve it.
to love, unconditionally.
to reach out and open your arms, even to those who hurt you.
to be the light in someone's darkness.
you, my little girl, you are a light.
let it shine.
your mama

and now...
the cuteness overload!!

1 comment:

  1. Tears! What a beautiful Easter gift for those girls. It will be a story of redemption they won't soon forget.