I had a little Christmas reminder this morning. I woke up in the middle of the night to feed the baby. During the day, I use pre-made bottles that I put in the bottle warmer, but at night, she’s hungry and we don’t have 5 minutes to wait. So I just make a bottle fresh at that time. When I turned on the sink no water came out. My first thought was “oh no, they think we didn’t pay our bill!” But we did 🙂 My next thought was something was wrong with our house, and we were going to be out of water for awhile and have to pay big bucks to have someone come fix it. I waited until a reasonable time in the morning to text my neighbor to ask if they had water. They didn’t either! Whew. Turns out there was a water main break and a lot of people were out of water. And thankfully it wasn’t out for too long either. It came back on later in the morning. I was texting my neighbor telling her how I had trouble making a bottle and had to use cold water and then the bottle warmer. And that I should have run my dishwasher last night. And I wanted to take a shower first thing this morning but now couldn’t. And I was going to start my washing machine first thing this am, so now my plans to be productive were ruined. She was super gracious and super kind and replied. And then she said she was thinking about how blessed we are and all of those who don’t have running water. Wow. It hit me so hard. I was sitting here thinking about how I wasn’t going to be able to sanitize my baby’s 12 (expensive brand) bottles in my sanitizing cycle in my sweet dishwasher. And that my hair might just have to go another day without washing. And our piles of laundry (because we have that many clothes) would go unwashed for awhile. And I’m so thankful that she reminded me of what’s important. I forget. And I forget really quickly, too. What makes it even worse is that my daughter used to not have water. My own daughter lived the first part of her life without running water. Every day. She never knew what water was until she came to us. And it scared her pretty badly for awhile.
I have debated so much how much to share of our sweet Firecracker’s story. On the one hand, her story is one of redemption and God’s love. If you can’t see God’s hand and love and redemption all over her story, then you aren’t going to be able to see it anywhere. He has cared for her and loved her when no one else has. Part of me feels that it’s this amazing testimony that needs to be shared. Because it’s amazing. And so many people don’t even know this happens in our own city. I didn’t. But then part of me wants to fiercely protect our girl. I don’t want people to know that she was disadvantaged. I don’t want anyone to look down on her because she has had a hard life. I don’t want people to judge her or see her as dirty because of her story and her first family. I struggle with this. I never want to write words that she will grow up to read and be embarrassed of. I never want to write words that anyone could use to harm her. But I want her story to be told. And to be known. And I never want her for one second of one day to doubt how much God loves her and how much we love her. I never want her to think that because of her hard life, she is loved any less. I want to use her life to teach her and others how beautiful God is. And how he can take ashes and turn them into beauty. That’s what He has done and continues to do for our Firecracker.
So today I choose to share this precious part of her story with you. Not because it’s dramatic and I want to up the drama on how bad she’s had it. Trust me — there is nothing I could add to her story to add drama. It’s all there. And there are a lot of parts that I will never ever write here. There are a lot of parts that are so sacred and for her to know when she’s ready. But for right now, I share with you that to say that I am thankful God gives me reminders. How quickly I forget of what life is like for so many, including what life was like for my own daughter.
Today I pray you are safe and learning lessons of your own that make your heart grateful.