Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ida B- "No quitting allowed".

"Apologizing is like spring-cleaning. First of all, you don't want to do it. But there's something inside you, or somebody outside you who's standing there with her hands on her hips saying,"It's time to make things right around here", and there's no getting out of it.
Once you get started, though, you find out that you can't just clean out one room and be done with it; you have to do the whole house or you're tracking dirt from one place to the other. Well, it starts to seem like too, too much, and you want to quit more than Christmas. But there's that somebody or something telling you again, "Keep going. You're almost done. No quitting allowed." Katherine Hannigan

It is amazing to me how perfectly timed our lives can be. I complain mostly that things come around at the wrong time, but that is because it was bad things- and really, who ever thinks there is a "good" time for bad things to happen? I was thinking about forgiveness and reconciliation again this morning, and asking God why we have to be so hurtful to one another- and it came to the point that I just decided trusting God to work things out is always the way to go. My heart has felt so much lighter the last few months, knowing that God has forgiven me and loves me- I wish I could explain it. Not that things are perfect, or even great- but I just know that I am doing all that I can, and God is with me- and will keep showing me where He wants me to "clean up". So I started my day, canceled my walk with Stef because it is too cold, and curled up with one of my kids books called, Ida B. I don't know why I decided to pick it up (hehehe- God thing yet again) but it called my name and I thought- dishes are done, animals cared for, and it's a short book. Well, thank you, Lord for the prompting, because that little book did my heart good this morning. Borrow it from me, you will love it.
It's about a little girl who's world goes upside down when her mom gets cancer and they have to sell some of their land and she has to go back to school after being homeschooled since kindergarten. Ida B. is such an imaginative little girl, you are truly entranced by her little thoughts, as she has to try and figure out how things went from "righter than right to a million miles beyond wrong". You struggle with Ida B. as she hardens her heart, and refuses to forgive her parents, and tries to block out the world. But love, kindness and forgiveness win out as the days go by, and kids, her teacher, and her parents push her to let her heart find happiness in the little things. It's like watching someone act out Matthew 6 in their life today.
After Ida B. apologizes to a girl at school, to her trees and brook- she feels the "peace that passes all understanding", and her heart that was "hardening into a sharp black stone" breaks loose from the coldness and beomes full of happiness again, in spite of the tough stuff life still contained.
"And then there was a silence between us. Now, I knew that silence needed me to cross it. But even though Mama was right there, the space between us felt awfully wide, and getting across it seemed like a dangerous venture. I was thinking that I might want to spend some time putting together a plan to cross it without getting hurt.
But my new-old-big-and-filled-up heart told me that if I'd just take a step, without considering it too much, in an instant I'd be at the other side. So I did."

What a great story, and what a great truth God had for me this morning. Things didn't get "roses and daisies" for Ida B., and they don't for us either. But when we are willing to say " I am sorry", to forgive quickly, and to love big- we can't be wrong. I agree with what Katie DiCamillo said of this book: "...there will be many, many, many readers like me; people who turn the last page of this book and feel a deep gratitude, a profound joy that both Ida B and Katherine Hannigan exist."

"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." Matthew 6:14-15
God bless you today.

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