Monday, December 31, 2007

Last Day of the Year

We had an absolutely wonderful Christmas with our family in Missouri. My in-laws moved into their long-awaited new home just days before we arrived. The home is amazing and I am thrilled for my mother-in-law. There's tons of room for Jackson to run and play there. We got him a Little Tikes bounce house for Christmas and we were able to blow it up in the basement. He had the most fun! My husband has a very close, very loving family and my life has definitely been made richer by them. I kept thinking about how blessed my son is to have all these people love him. I have more to say but I will save that for later on when I am ready to post pictures.

The Jones crew rolled into town at about 10:00 last night. Our trip was ten hours from beginning to end, but we made two major stops along the way. That was huge. I've been making the drive with Curt for 7.5 years and the longest stop we've ever made was to eat Wendy's in the parking lot or for me to run in to Walmart for baby food. I've spotted interesting places along the way that I've always wanted to visit, but they've only taunted me as my back ached from being glued to a chair for unending hours.

Something must have gotten into Curt because not only did we stop at the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial, but it was his idea. It certainly wasn't a fun stop, but we felt very blessed to get to see it and to pay our respects to those who died and to those who were forever changed on that day. We were too late to visit the museum, but I hope to go back one day. The thing that moved me most at the memorial was seeing all the chairs that represent the absence of each of one the victims. It was horrible to see the small chairs that were for the children who died. Someone wrote on a card attached to a chain link fence, "Remember the babies." How unspeakably heartbreaking. One of the adult-sized chairs had a large, fresh bouquet of flowers attached to it. It was wrapped up in tulle, which made me think it would have been that particular woman's wedding anniversary. It struck me that this memorial was not old. The tragedy it represents was did not take place in another lifetime. Each one of the victims is still being missed by their families and friends. There are teenagers in Oklahoma City who lost a parent in the bombing. I loved the mournful statue of Jesus across the street from the Memorial. His hand is over his face and the inscription says, "Jesus wept." I imagine it has ministered to many hearts through the years. It certainly did mine.

Things like the Oklahoma City Bombing, like the recent assassination of the first female prime minister of a Muslim country, like devastating natural disasters, like the war in Iraq, like just about everything profiled on all the year-end recap programs make me think one thing. How could anyone take a good look at this place and not say, "This world needs a Savior!"? Here's to the hope that one year in our lifetime our Savior will come get us before we have to watch or read another depressing "Year in Review." Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, "He who is coming will come and will not delay." (Hebrews 10:35-37)

28 comments:

Rose said...

Well said beloved Amanda!!! Can't wait for you to post pictures!
Happy New Year!

The Preacher's Wife said...

To which I can only say 'Amen'..

Glad you had a wonderful trip. My husband travels much like yours - I accuse him of being born with a firecracker in his pocket. :)

Much love to you, Amanda. Hope you have a blast this New Year's Eve. We are having friends over for football and Bunco..I can not wait!

Lisa

CrownLaidDown said...

Amen! Even so, come soon, LORD Jesus!

I still have that verse on my white board on the fridge from your Mom's post a while back. My son keeps saying, "Mom, isn't it time to change the verse?" To which I reply, "No, Son, this one's still speaking to me."

'Glad you made it home safely! Thankful for the goodness of God over your family!
Praying for many blessings in 2008,
Holly

Erin said...

Amen sister

jennyhope said...

I love this post and I look at all of the devastation and wonder when He will come for us.
I was watching the documentary "Born into Brothels" that Debra wrote about on her blog. I only made it through like 15 minuts it broke my heart and I wished that I could go and scoop those children up and take them.

Glad you had a great Christmas!! =)

Sharon said...

Thank you for the tour--even though it was a sad one.
I have never been but I do have strong memories of the event.

And I think it would be fantastic if this was the year of our Lords coming!
Come Lord COME!
Thank you for sharing your life with us this year.

Them Chandlers said...

Thank you for reminding me of the hope we have. Glad you made it back from Missouri :)

Fran said...

Welcome Home Amanda and family! I cannot wait to see those pictures of your wonderful Christmas together! I bet that darling Jackson had the time of his life.

May 2008 be a year that is like no other with Jesus! May your hearts greatest desire be to seek Him.

I'm so glad I found you and your blog. Your writings bless me each and every time I stop by. Keep on Amanda. We are all forever grateful for what you do for us!

Blessings~
Fran

Janelle & Ella said...

This is a good word, Amanda! The OKC Memorial is a terribly heartbreaking thing to see and remember. How much more can we handle?

Lynn said...

Thank Amanda, that was just the word I needed. Tonight as always, rather than partying. The rest of the sisters and I will gather in our chapel to prayer for exactly the intention you voiced in your post. That all the world will know the One who came to save.

May 2008 be blessed in every way.
Sister Lynn

Katie said...

Amen!

Kelly said...

Happy New Year Amanda! I have enjoyed your blog SO much this year! You are such a sweet and pretty girl and a Godly example!

Bev Brandon said...

I have a "Let's See How Far We Can Get Without Stopping" husband....a little empathy over here. The OKC memorial is so sacred, so silent, so surreal. When I stood there and turned around and saw that statue of Jesus, I melted over the thought of Jesus weeping for those families. Stopped by to wish you a Happy New Year and say that the LPM blog you created has provided such a safe place for so many of us where acceptance and love reigns. A trusting community of wandering pilgrims---no tourists. These bloggers, like you, were made for another world and they know it because of the beautiful God in you and your mom. It's His Beauty that pours out. II Cor 2:14 Happy New Year Amanda!

Lisa Pierre said...

Amanda, I love that memorial, inside and out. The very first time I got to visit was after a late evening pick-up at the OKC airport by the driver who proceeded to drive me around, describing the site and then moving to the walls where I stepped out and stood in the night's and the scene's silence. Another day was when I experienced the Jesus statue as I walked around and through the memorial with a tour guide. An Okie reminded me then to always look and pray for planes in the sky as she remembered 9/11.

Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

We visited the OKC Memorial several years ago, and I was deeply upset & moved by it. It is an important place for everyone to stop and see.

I'm just glad I'm entering 2008 with our Savior in my life...if not, it would get really hopeless.

(I'm feeling like Debby Downer, so I'll finish this off with...)
HAPPY NEW YEAR!

The Bargain Shopper Lady said...

Wow! Dave is a history buff and would have loved the memorial. That is very sad. Happy New Year!

Kathleen in TX said...

We usually travel like that too. Only we stop for bathroom breaks then go through the drive through to grab something to eat. I've been through Oklahoma City a few times but we've never stopped there. I remember when it happened though, how completely shocking it was to see (of course we've had more since then).

connorcolesmom said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
I am so glad you had a great time at your in-laws.
May God continue to greatly bless you and your family this year.
In Christ,
Kim

Katie said...

I went to the memorial about 3 years ago when I was on a clinical for school. My best friend and I spent over 3 hours in the museum. It was heart-breaking and moving...definately worth stopping by.

Happy New Year to you and your family.

Vickie said...

Amanda,
The Memorial is powerful. I live just 15 miles north of OKC. We lost seven church members in the bombing. I will never forget where I was that day or what it felt like when it happened. We could feel the power of the bomb fifteen miles away. Those are days that I never want to relive. For days most did not sleep in our city. Everyone went around in a daze. My oldest son's birthday is April 19th. He was in the second grade at the time. His friend in the fourth grade at his school lost his Daddy. That night we took our son to eat and try to celebrate his birthday and not a soul was talking in the entire establishment.

Thank you for writing such a beautiful piece. Next time you will need to go through the museum if you did not take time to do that this trip. You talk about powerful....mercy....it is unbelievable.

I pray you have a Happy and blessed 2008!

Ang baylis said...

AMEN!
I've never seen the Memorial but you painted a picture so clearly. Curt had a great idea! Thank you for blessing me through this blog in 2007!
Much love,
Angie xoxo

Allison said...

Thank you for paying trubute to the OKC Bombing. Having gone to OU for college, I have many friends that were deeply impacted by this tragedy.

willblogforshoes said...

Amen!

So glad you had a good trip!

Darlene R. said...

My parents are on vacation in OK and they went to the memorial on Sunday. She said it is truly a somber place, but she was glad that they did that.

I'm looking forward to seeing pictures!

Thanks for the verse, I love it.

Anonymous said...

I've read your blog for months and thoroughly enjoy your writings. You have such a precious heart for Christ and for your family. Yes, Lord, come quickly! My mom was in the Murrah building at 8:30 that morning doing her personal banking, left that building to go to her own, and was in a meeting in the conference room of her office downtown when they felt the impact of the bomb's blast. Oh, that we are reminded that every second we have breathe is by His grace and mercy! To shine light into this darkened world. I most often have to turn off the TV so that the darkness doesn't become so overwhelming. But we are to remember we serve a God that is "above all that we can ask or think" compared to this world we live in. And the statue of Jesus is a demonstration of His perfect love for us-that He would feel just as we feel when we lose loved ones to horrific acts. Thank you for reminding us of the terrible loss suffered that day, but that glory can and will be given to our Lord and Savior for rescuing us from this.

MamaCass said...

Yes amen for all the people that love my little boy. He and we are so blessed and Amen to Jesus coming to get us soon. I am so glad ya'll had a great time in Missouri.

Amy T said...

Great post, Amanda. I went to the OKC memorial after your mom's event there in '06. It was very powerful. We went at night after the Friday night session and the chairs were lit up and it was breathtaking and heartbreaking at the same time. I too want to go back and go to the museum sometime. Happy New Year and glad you made the trip safely.

Deborah said...

I'm glad your trip went so well... :)

*amen*amen*and*amen* to your post...