My daughter asked about the first miracle of Jesus…How do you tell her it was wine?

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My husband has taken to telling stories at the dinner table that encourage my daughter for school. This past week marked the end of the first month of Polish school that she has started and nearly completed.

Woot-woot. Victory.

She seems to have fared fairly well. We’re even doing okay keeping up with the homework. And she is even eating school lunches—which are vastly different than American school lunches (like couscous and meat sauce for day 1 or ham and other random meats soup for day 4). This is a big victory, too, as she has had to readjust her palette upon returning to Poland.

For example. They put fresh parsley on everything. Potatoes, Meats, Soup. Everything. Which is great—when you’re an adult. But when you are 8, it is like, “What is this green thing that they are putting on every piece of food I am eating?!” We’ve had to start telling the restaurants “Without parsley, please,'” as she readjusts to the Polish cuisine. But I also told her, “Ada girl, you better start eating it because soon school will start and you won’t have a choice.”

At home, parsley was a battle, but at school it seems to have been a non-subject. She just eats what they serve and likes it ūüėČ

Life with kids, eh?!

It is cute, however, because she was playing “restaurant” at home the other day and made the menu. 3 of the items were Polish specialties: Zurek, Barszcz, and Pierogi. So we are making progress in the food arena…Especially if she includes barszcz on a menu (it’s beet soup).¬† Now when she makes a menu that includes mushrooms, you know we will have won!

School.  Oh, it is so difficult.  Everyone asks if we kept up with Polish while away.  The answer is a Big Fat No!

We originally intended to keep up with Polish, but, you have to understand, our daughter had never lived in the United States.  And so every experience was like Disneyland.  And every day was a big ball of bubbling joy.

She did things like swim team and dive team.  She did things like soccer teams for girls and softball.

She joined chorus for two years and the running club for one.  She even went to circus camp.  CIRCUS CAMP!

It was awesome.

School in America.  You can say whatever you want about school in America, but we loved school in America.

It taught character traits and exploration.  It taught teamwork and discovery.  It taught respect of authorities and looking out for others.

School in America was AWESOME!  So awesome, in fact, that my daughter continues to wear her school PRIDE shirts even while in Poland.

Our intentions were to continue her Polish while in the States—but, you know what, living in the States is an invaluable experience that I wanted her to soak up and enjoy.¬† I wanted her to live every minute and smile as much as possible.

I wanted her to play freely, read much, and learn about everything.

Now she is back in Poland.¬† And she sits.¬† And she does workbooks.¬† It’s okay.¬† Her teacher is precious and her friends are grand.¬† But we are so happy that while our daughter lived in America that she got to experience America.

Funny insert story. ¬†The other day at PE the PE teacher said to the kids, “Okay, boys, follow me! ¬†Girls go over there.” ¬†The boys went and played football (soccer) and the girls were put in a small ball pit. ¬†My daughter was not amused and did not find it fun, as it was a lot of girls crowded into a small pit of balls. ¬†She said, “Mom, she didn’t even ask if any of the girls wanted to play football!” ¬†Oh my precious daughter—hang in there! ¬†And we told her, “Next time tell the teacher that you want to play football, too.” ¬†But that is hard for an 8-year-old to do. ¬†I understand.

Anyhow…Back to the blog posting.

All of the above brings us back to present day Poland.  She is in the 3rd class.  And she works really hard each and every day.  She receives two hours a week of Polish as a Second Language, and we send her for study hall twice a week.

It’s different and the language will largely be a barrier all year.¬† But she is trying hard and that’s exactly what we’ve asked of her—to try hard!

But that brings me to the first miracle of Jesus.

We were talking about firsts in the Bible.¬† And then we asked her what story she wanted to hear about in regards to the Bible.¬† She said, “What about the first miracle of Jesus?¬† What was that?!”

Rich and I glanced across the dinner table at each other and paused.

Well, hmmmm…How do we tell her it was wine?¬† Because, honestly, living in Europe, she would find that a bit fun.¬† And funny.¬† And the significance on the miracle might be lost on the fact that while it was not healing a leper, it was still a miracle of God takes on the elements and the disciples believed proportions!

And so we sat for a moment.  And we thought.

And this is what we said…

You know, Adelyne.  The first miracle of Jesus was turning water into wine at a wedding.

Giggle.  Yep.  We knew that would happen.

“Why?” followed. ¬†Fair enough.

Well, you see, Adelyne.  Jesus and his mother and some disciples were at a wedding (See John 2:1-11).  And the wedding was a very special event, as all weddings are.  And Jesus was not yet known to many to be the Son of God.

Big eyes.  Listening.  Because, at 8, every story she has ever heard is about how Jesus is the Son of God.  I think sometimes we forget that there was Jesus, son of Joseph and Mary, before he revealed himself to the world as Jesus Son of God.

And they ran out of wine. ¬†And so his mommy came and told him that there wasn’t any more wine (maybe in hopes that he would help somehow).

Look of confusion.

But, Adelyne. ¬†This is where it gets really special. ¬†Did you know that Jesus didn’t just run out and buy some more wine? ¬†Or he didn’t just make any ol’ plain wine. ¬†He made the BEST! ¬†Out of water he made the BEST wine.

Eyes widen.

Let me tell you, honey…That is exactly how Jesus takes care of each and every one of us each and every day. ¬†He doesn’t run out and look for other people to solve our problems.

He doesn’t just do a so-so job.

He doesn’t even wait until the very end to give us our gifts.

Jesus takes control of all of the elements and gives us the best!

He cares for us the best.  He loves us the best.  And he saves us the best.  Because that is who he is.

So Daddy and I want you to know that when you encounter something in your life, you go straight to Jesus because he has your best intentions in mind.

Nodding head.

What do you think about that Adelyne?

“Can I have some wine?”

Giggle, giggle. ¬†Sigh…

And then we prayed, together, as a family, ¬†“Dear Lord, thank you for this example. ¬†How you took control of the elements. ¬†How you blessed this family. ¬† How you turned water into wine. ¬†And not just any, old wine. ¬†The best wine! ¬†Because you care best of all about us. ¬†Please help each and every one of us to remember who you are—almighty Son of God—as we enter each new day and to believe in you. ¬†Amen!”

And my daughter said, “Amen.”

You know. ¬†I thought that it would be much harder to tell that story to a child. ¬†But, in the end, it wasn’t. Because each story told in the Bible has great significance. ¬†And there is no reason that any of us should falter in sharing any or all of them. ¬†The difficult stories of the Old Testament. ¬†Tell them. ¬†The miraculous stories of the New Testament. ¬†Tell them.

Because, and this is a big B, because in each story of the Bible, God is revealed.  God is glorified.  And we should never shame in sharing what it is He has shared through His word.

Why?

Because everything he does he does because he loves us best of all.

Amen.

Oh, heaven forbid. Don’t make me speak English!

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I really try to be kind and courteous and real and friendly, but I have this problem.¬† And it’s called my mouth.

It gets me every time.

I am talking all the time.  Day and Night.  Even when I am sleeping.  It gets me there, too, because I even talk in my sleep.

So, this is what happened.  The other day I was at the grocery store in Gniezno.

It’s a rather large grocery store.¬† It’s a French chain, I believe.¬† So now I don’t know whether to blame the French grocery chain or the Gniezno store owner on this one…BUT…someone decided at this rather large grocery store to implement a one-line rule where everyone lines up in a single file line to wait for the next available cashier.

The idea isn’t bad—IF—it was a small store with few customers.¬† But this is a huge and busy grocery store.¬† It’s like we all line up as if to go through the cattle gate — our grocery carts and kids overflowing down to the chips and liquids aisle.¬† Imagine trying to get into a busy sporting event with kids and a grocery cart to boot.¬† It’s utterly ridiculous.

Yet, it’s what we all must do, and I am the one that chose to shop at that store, so I got in line.

One woman—out of the 30+ of us in line decided that as long as her cart was in line, she would keep shopping.

Duh, lady.¬† Don’t you think we would ALL love to do this?!

Well, her cart was there but the line was moving forward.  So, of course, there was a huge gap in front of her cart and the other customers in front of her.

Who was foolishly the customer/shopper behind this thoughtless lady?

Hand in the air.  ME!

But what happens with this huge gap of air space and the missing cart lady?  Why 3 new customers come along and hop in line.

The lady comes running back to her cart and says she was there.

Um.¬† No, technically you weren’t.¬† I am just a patient person and was waiting for you to move forward.

Fool count 1.

Well, after some exchanged words, she is defeated and now stuck behind 3 more people.¬† But that’s okay, because she goes back to shopping.

Air space yet again.  Because there is this thing called checking out and people do pay for groceries and lines do move forward in the grocery store.  But where is this random shopper lady?

MIA, Missing in Action, yet again.

And again, I foolishly wait for her to find her cart and push it forward.

Fool count 2.

Finally on Fool count 3, when there is a mile of space between her cart and the cutting customers in front of her and the MIA shopper, I take my cart and go in front of her cart.

Boy howdy!¬† You would think that this woman had a cart radar or something.¬† No sooner did I put my cart in front of hers did I then see her come screeching at me, yelling, “THAT’S my space!¬† I was there in line.”

Now, because I am a very mature 38-year-old mother of 3, I of course engaged in her argument, (in Polish), “No, ma’am.¬† You were not here.¬† And, this is the 3rd time that you have not been here.¬† This was free space.”¬† Yes, my Polish is lacking, so this is basically what I said.¬† Not so intimidating but enough to let her know it’s not okay.

Ooooh, boy!  She was steaming mad!  And kept yelling at me how she was there.  So, again, I engaged in this civil thing we were having (NOT) called a conversation.

“No, Ma’am, you were not here.¬† Again, 3 times you have left and gone shopping.¬† YOU WERE NOT HERE.¬† This was a free space.”

Yes, I am a Polish force (smile and wink).

And, yet again, she flew off of the handle yelling at me.¬† Imagine, “Yadda, yadda, yadda!”

There, lady.¬† You went and did it.¬† You brought out my English!¬† And I started in again—this time in my Mother Tongue…

“No!¬† You were not here!¬† This is ridiculous.¬† For 3 times you have left your cart to go shopping…(insert more)…This is not okay!”

After the shock wore off that I was no longer conversing with her in Polish, the entire line of people started to speak up, the lady that was now in front of the both of us turned around and said, “No, you weren’t here (in Polish).¬† You can’t keep leaving and shopping.”¬† The person in front of the lady in front of the lady spoke up.¬† The husband of one of the ladies spoke up.¬† And this fiery MIA shopper just kept getting louder.

It’s a good thing we were in a French grocery store.¬† This small riot didn’t seem out of place, eh?!¬† Haha.

Anyhow, after I started this small riot of vocalities, I realized that this lady was going to continue to throw her fit, so I pulled my cart out of line and let her go back in front of me, which she eagerly took and moved forward.

But, let me just say—she DID NOT leave her spot again.

And the check-out lady was super nice to me, too.¬† Nice or scared?¬† I don’t know which.

Oooooops.

So much for showing the love of Jesus at the grocery store that day.

It takes a village. Now would someone please help me clean up the pee?

I admit it.

I need help.  Lots of it.

It takes a village, and I am living proof of that.

Even today, I, mother of ONLY 3, got breakfast eggs from my sister when she came to pick up my daughter for school.

Have I mentioned that my sister has FOUR children?¬† So, let’s do the math.¬† Sister + 4 kids = 1 more than me.

Yet…

She somehow got 4 kids dressed, lunches packed, and out the door…Made eggs and picked up my daughter.

I got one daughter dressed, fed, and ready to be picked up.

ONE.

The other two in my posse of 3…two poopy diapers changed, one baby nursed, and one toddler stuck in a high chair watching Sesame Street.¬† Oh, glorious Sesame Street—how I love you!

It takes a village, and I am living proof of that.

Last night, at my daughter’s softball game, I had one amazing friend take my infant.¬† One nephew babysat my toddler, my brother worked with my daughter on her hitting stance, all the while, I sat (or jumped and screamed), keeping score during my daughter’s softball game.¬† Boy, it was an exciting game for 5-9-year-olds!¬† Although, I must admit, the other coach took the game a little too seriously.¬† After all, we cheered at the last double out of the evening—and it was against us.¬† But it was so exciting!¬† I think the other uber-competitive coach thought we were all crazy.¬† Maybe we are.¬† But at least we had fun!

It takes a village…and I am living proof of that.

Today my mom is going to go shopping with me while I pick up some stuff I want to bring back to Poland with me.  Like a collapsible wagon.  I have birthday money for it.  Glorious birthday money.

Oh, yeah.¬† I finally turned the big 3-8.¬† It’s official.¬† (happened a couple weeks ago, but I’m too tired to keep track)

And then I did it.¬† I ventured out on my own and did something big.¬† I’m talking huge!¬† I bathed two babies after breakfast, simultaneously.¬† And it was fun.¬† No village needed, SuperMommy came flying through.

Baby one—out of the bath, while toddler one still got to splash around in the sinking water.

Wee.¬† All of this is fun.¬† It must be my sister’s breakfast eggs giving me super strength.

Infant one is finally lotioned, powdered, diapered and dressed.  Toddler is still happily splashing.

I can do it…I can do it…I am doing it!

Toddler out of the bath, towel wrapped around him, it’s actually like a towel dress.¬† I have grabbed infant and we are now heading in the direction of his (toddler’s) room.¬† He runs ahead of me.

The entire house is tile.

And when we (me and infant) finally catch him, I see him, squatting on the floor.

Happily splashing.

“Wee, wee, wee!” are literally the words coming out of his mouth followed by, “Splash, splash, splash!”

“MAXWELL!¬† Did you go pee-pee?”¬† Why did I bother to ask?¬† I know the answer.

“Pee-pee!”

Splash, splash, splash!

Yep…It takes a village to raise my family.¬† I will be the first to admit it.¬† But I am pretty sure that even in my village, when it comes to toddler’s random pee spot on the floor, it takes the momma to clean the mess.

After all, the village is busy doing everything else.

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Life.  As I know it.