Yeah, I know, the title's not right, but it's not Monday, so it is what it is. I have the blues. Sigh.
Ya see, Gatlin has been talking a lot about going to "regular" school for high school. We've home schooled Cooper and Gatlin their entire schooling years. This has been a great joy for me - all three of us have loved it. But, Gatlin is a very creative, dramatic, social child and some time spent in a more structured environment might actually be really good for her, so when she brought up the whole "going to school" thing, I didn't say no. I agreed that we should check into it.
There's a small private Christian school very close to our house and that's the school she has been interested in. We have gone to the school and met the faculty and they have interviewed Gatlin. Both of those things we did together. Today, she is at the school all day shadowing another student. And I, the momma who has always had Gatlin here with me, is sitting in my bed listening to it rain outside and fighting the urge to bawl like a baby. Yep, I know it's silly. But, I've just never been a mom who looked forward to my kids being out the door. I love having them here - on the same side of the door as me. I LOVE it.
We're also considering this school for Bennet. Bennet is doing great in school, but I just can't imagine putting her in public middle school right now. I think middle school is a hard place, especially for girls. I'm not sure that Bennet has the discretion to pick good friends (because of a lack of maturity, not any type of rebellion). I think she'd be drawn to whomever picks her, and that's not always safe. The 5th and 6th graders are in a class together and that will be perfect for Bennet. So, we will pray for a little financial aid and send both girls to this small private school.
Speaking of Bennet and Gatlin, they are doing better. It's not perfect, but it's much better. And, of course, we're not expecting perfection....they are sisters, after all. I grew up in the middle of three girls, I know how sisters can fight. Boy, do I. LOL To be honest, Gatlin is really improving in the area of grace, so we are hearing less bickering, but Bennet is still needing to improve in the area of kindness. I am now sensing that there's definitely jealousy playing in to her behavior. For instance, last night we went to Moe's for dinner (because on Monday night kids eat free!). Walking from the car to the restaurant, I was holding hands with Gatlin. Well, we got in the door and Bennet squeezed in up next to me and basically pushed Gatlin aside. Gatlin gave me "the look" and I continued to reach out and touch Gatlin to stay connected to them both, but Bennet would pull my hand back, away from Gatlin. I had to tell Bennet that she couldn't do that and had to get stern with her when she began talking ugly to Gatlin.
Later, Gatlin let Bennet know that it was really hurting her feelings that Bennet kept being so mean to her, and then she said, "Bennet, I will always love you, I want you to know that, but when you are mean to me, I sure don't like you very much".
So, last night while I was tucking Bennet in, she said her prayers and said, "God, please help me not be mean, help me be nice to my sister, Gatlin". Progress.
And speaking of prayers....on Easter night as I was tucking the twins in, I was telling them (again) about the cross and Jesus dying for our sins and how He rose from the dead. I asked them if they understood what sin was, and we talked about that. Then I told them that one day when they were ready, they could pray a prayer asking Jesus to live in their hearts and be their Savior. Then I proceeded to say a "regular" bedtime prayer with them. But, when I finished, Kaleb said, "I want to pray the other prayer" and Kali said, "Me, too!". I said, "Well, can you tell Mommy what you know about that prayer and what Jesus did for us". Kali said, "He made my heart clean." Um, precious. I hadn't used the word, "clean", so I loved that she had that understanding. They asked me to pray for them, so I told them I would pray a line and they would repeat, and I prayed a prayer of salvation and those precious kids repeated line by line and accepted Jesus as their Savior. Hallelujah.
We believe in baptism as a symbol of our salvation so when we feel like they are ready, and can really explain and understand what they believe, they will be baptized in front of our church family.
So, HAPPY EASTER. Isn't that just AMAZING!! And I know this post is long, but let me share one more thing. I have always prayed that my kids would come to know Jesus as their Savior before they were seven years old. I have no idea why that was the age, it just always was. Cooper accepted Christ as a three year old (seriously!!). He was so smart for a little guy and his intelligence was well above his age level. Gatlin accepted Christ when she was six. Both of them were baptized when they were seven. Bennet says she already accepted Christ (and we will get more information from her about that as we continue to talk about her life experiences). And now Kaleb and Kali accepted Christ. I am BEYOND blessed!
And you know I have to end this by asking you -- can you see the eternal perspective thing going on here? I know it's not necessarily convenient to bring an orphan into your home. But my goodness, wouldn't you, couldn't you do it in order to save their life, not only physically, but spiritually? Oh, please think about it. Don't convince yourself that you're not called to it. (: Come spend some time with our twins and then think about them never having this Easter experience. Never having a Mommy or Daddy pray with them before bed and tell them about how much Jesus loves them. DYING physically from starvation or disease and DYING spiritually because nobody brought them into a loving, Christian FAMILY! Jesus DIED so that WE could be ADOPTED as the children of God. Can't you and I die a little to ourselves to save a life?