The last couple of nights have been of the sort that leave me completely drained and exhausted. My poor little Cody-bear has had a bad case of diarrhea with a resulting horrid rash. Diaper changes are rough, but the middle-of-the-night changes are a complete nightmare, followed by 1-2 hours of struggling against sleep. I'm talking screaming and thrashing, circumstances that I hardly have the capacity to handle between the hours of midnight and 5am. So, after another extremely short and oft-interrupted night, I was rather weepy as I sat and nursed Cody at 6am today. The only good thing about his early awakening was that I got to spend some time with Jordan before he headed out the door! :) Apparently, I enjoyed this opportunity a little too much because his parting words were something along the lines of, "Maybe you should call someone this afternoon. Then maybe you can get some of the chattiness out of your system before I get home." Very funny, Mister! ;)
Today is our storytime-at-the-library day, so I have to keep everyone moving along through breakfast, dressing, potty visits, and then out the door by 9:15. I know...SO EARLY!! ;) As we pulled out of our driveway, Serena reminded me that she wants to get the "real" Little House on the Prairie books. I'd gotten her the little picture book ones, and she's totally hooked and wants more! This makes me happy happy! Also, seeing her pore over the book when we found it at the library and clutch it against her body as we walked out.... ;)
But I'm getting ahead of myself!
As we drove to the library, Serena asked me about "Laura" (from Little House on the Prairie), and I explained that Laura wrote those books a long time ago and that she is dead now. Serena has really started to ask deeper questions about any topic we happen to discuss, and showing a great ability to "think ahead" and consider hypothetical situations that she herself originates. So, I wasn't too surprised (though maybe a bit daunted) when she asked what happens to people when they die. I gave her a fairly simple answer and it seemed to satisfy her.
Later, as we drove home, Serena asked to know what would happen to her when she died. *gulp* Such deep subject matter...how to bring it down to a young 4-year-old's level? And while I'm driving with a 2-year-old and a 1-year-old constantly interrupting? God, help me to make this clear!
I started by explaining as simply as I could about our bodies and how they grow old or sick or hurt and die and are buried. But, that there is another part of us that we cannot see...our souls...the part of us that loves and thinks and feels. Our souls will live forever and will never die. I left it at that, not wanting to confuse her if she was not truly ready for this information. Since I could not see her face, I had no idea how she was processing what I'd already told her.
Still, she pushed on, "But what happens to our souls then?" The Bible says that our souls will go to one of two places. The people who have believed in God and become His children will live in Heaven with God forever and ever. But those who have not believed in God will go to a terrible place called Hell.
"What is that other place like?" The Bible says that it is very dark and sad and lonely and full of pain. It is a place where you will never ever be with God.
"Will we go to heaven when we die?" God says that He will not let any sinners come into heaven. But we have all sinned, haven't we? *glance back to see vigorous nodding in the rearview mirror, heehee!* So, God sent Jesus to make a way for us to be able to go to heaven. That is why Jesus had to die on the cross. *I know it is no coincidence that we just read this story in Serena's Bible a couple nights ago!* When Jesus did that, He made a covering for our sin. Now, when God looks at people who have believed in Him, He does not see their sin; He sees Jesus' covering. Mommy and Daddy have believed in God and asked Him to save us from our sins, but that is something that each person has to do themselves.
"I want to do that."
To which Bret immediately added, "I don't want to do that." Two-year-olds, I tell ya! ;)
When we got home, Serena put her book down and remind me right away to tell her how to pray all by herself. So, I did.
The Bible says that "Whoever believes in Him will not die but have everlasting life," and Serena is now a child of God!