This morning I sit here, already downed my cup of coffee, fire cracking in the wood stove, baby boy talking and bouncing in his seat, husband napping beside me, my brain a muddled mess as I think about last night and what happened a few short hours ago. And the phrase that keeps coming to mind is, "Emmanuel, God with us...."
Last night we put the kids to bed and went to bed pretty early ourselves last night. About 2:30 this morning, I heard a commotion (our kids), and Larissa had come up to where we were sleeping. We asked her what was wrong and she said Charlotte was sick and coughing and she was almost crying. I followed her back downstairs with some medicine I had brought with us on our trip. I got down to their room, and it was filled with smoke. I look at the foot of Larissa's bed, she was sleeping on the top bunk, and noticed that she must have been playing with the welcome light my mom had put in the window. Larissa had left it on her bed and must have fallen asleep. It was smoldering on the bed. I yelled for Nate and he quickly pulled the mattress out of the room, down the steps, and out the door. We opened the windows in their room and put a fan in there to blow the smoke out. It smelled so bad. I can totally understand the dangers of smoke inhalation. I felt like I couldn't breathe. We put an air mattress downstairs and we all slept in the living room. Once we got the girls settled, Nate and I couldn't go to sleep. Your mind goes to "what if" land and instantly I am conjuring up all these alternate endings. Not to mention my dad tells us to look outside, and we have a serious bonfire going on out where Nate tossed the mattress. To think that if that would have gotten just a little air, that mattress would have totally erupted into flames, with our baby girls inside.....tears fill up my eyes now, just thinking about it.
Emmanuel, God with us. The phrase just kept going through my mind. Like God was whispering it to me, to just remind me, He is always with us. In tragedy, in heartbreak, in triumph, in loneliness, in defeat, He is with us. I am just so thankful that the girls woke up. That smoke could have just been so strong, they never would have had a chance, and we could have had a blazing fire. I don't deserve God's mercy or grace, but I am so thankful for it. For a second chance, another opportunity. There are so many times in life where I can get so frustrated with myself, with my kids, with people, and then something like this happens, and it just brings the uncertainty of life and that there's no guarantee that you will get a tomorrow, that just brings home the meaning of living your life today as if it was your last. Loving on those kids, your spouse, your friends, your family, and treasuring and valuing that time, because it may be your last.
Emmanuel, God with us.