Thanks to those of you who have called, texted (is that a word?), or e-mailed to make sure we are all ok. We are and we don't know any of the victims. Sam's parents have a friend who was working on the third floor at the time of the shooting but she is ok, although I can't imagine the horrific scene she witnessed. I do shop at Von Maur occasionally and when I go there I am always on the third floor because that is where the kids clothes are. They have a nice little kiddie area set up with a tv and a thomas train table. Many times I have let the kids play there while I look around (I am always within yelling distance). They also have the best bathrooms in the mall. I know all of you with little ones will understand why that is so important. I'm so thankful that I was not there yesterday. I can only imagine how scary that would have been to have something like that happen while I am over looking at clothes and my kids are over playing. I don't think I will do that anymore.
I have just been thinking so much about the families that lost loved ones and just how shocking this must be for them. Holidays are so hard when you have an empty place at the table but losing someone this close to Christmas will probably be almost unbearable for them. I don't know how you get through something like this without faith and hope. This verse kept coming to mind all day as I was thinking about everything. "We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed." II Cor. 4:8-9. We live in a world that has a lot of evil in it and it is easy to get to worrying about everything that can go wrong. I'm so glad that I can turn everything over to the One who gives me peace even when everything around is so tumultuous.
When something happens, such as the shooting in Omaha yesterday, it really brings into focus the small things in life and makes them much sweeter. It shouldn't take a tragedy to do that but for some reason it does sometimes. Today I just cherished a couple moments I had with Camden and Claremarie. Camden and I were walking down the staircase at our church (it is a pretty tall staircase) and he said to me, "Mommy, be really careful when you are walking down the stairs in your high heel boots. I don't want you to fall." Some of you probably won't find that all too interesting but to hear my three year old son, with his sensitive heart, say those words to me just really touched me. Also this morning, before Claremarie left for school, she gave me the longest, tightest hug. I just really tried to soak it all in, her little arms around my neck and her soft cheek pressed against mine, and be thankful that she still wants to hug her mommy.
Thanks for letting me ramble on and on. So many thoughts running through my head, it is good to get some of them down...............