Luke 24:13-32
This is Jesus heartburn(I have to credit Dallas Willard for this term!)...31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"

Monday, June 14, 2010

Car Seats?!?!

My goal today was to get 3 of our children to the Doctor at the Family Kingdom. As Ashley and I were talking about how to accomplish this, she asked me a question that struck me as so funny I couldn't help laughing out loud. It was one of those moments when I was overwhelmed (again) with how much we (Americans) do to protect our children, here they would call it spoiling. She asked me if they had car seats here; a practical, good question but the answer is no. I imagined asking the staff here for car seats to use to transport the children and their faces of disbelief. So, instead of strapping the babies safely into car seats, we took 5 adults for 3 children to the doctor down the hill, over multiple bumps and through some crazy traffic, and the whole way each of those children were lovingly and tightly held onto by a caregiver who was ready to meet their needs. I watched them talk, sing and play with the babies. Encourage the 7 year-old who was afraid of another shot, and make the trip as safe and enjoyable as possible.

My thoughts though continue to turn to what I know about the emotional, physical, social, and spiritual needs of children and how to use what we already have been given to meet those needs in the best way possible. What is a necessity and what can a child learn to survive without…maybe the better question is what are we willing to allow a child to live without? Car seats don't seem so important in the light of basic things like clean water and healthy food, but there are so many things that fall in that grey area between what is essential and what is good and right and what is excess. Having a teddy bear to go with you to the hospital and someone who will explain what is happening might seem like extra in a world where there is little to go around but it doesn't seem like extra to me. Having someone that makes sure you take a nap and get a bath may not seem like a lot but to these dear children it means the world.

I struggled today with one of the little boys. He has grown attached already and cries and gets so upset when we leave. At rest time he kept sneaking down to sit on our laps and be with us. As a preschooler he needs his rest and he needs to learn that temper-tantrums are not the way to get what you want but it was so hard to follow through on that because he just wanted to be held. I could be accused of spoiling him if I sat and held him for hours at a time (and there are several other boys that would throw tantrums or hit him if I paid too much attention to him) but that is exactly what this little boy needs; someone who can do that for him every day until he decides he is too old to cuddle and he begins to trust that if he falls asleep someone he loves and trusts will be there when he wakes up.

These are my thoughts for today. Maybe you have some answers…


  1. Hello sweet Cari - I just love reading your blog and hearing about the joy you are encountering and the struggles you are having adapting to a new environment. You are in my prayers daily.

    I love you.

  2. Cari that made me cry and renewed my inspiration because I agree with every word.
    Bless you my friend,

  3. Cari...this was a beautiful post! You understand perfectly what those sweet kids are needing. How thankful I am that they have you in their lives!

  4. Cari
    No answers but just love, love, love all over those kids! If its one thing I've learned as a parent of 4, spoiling isn't a result of holding and loving. Spoiling happens when we try to replace love with items and things! Natural love (ie: touch, hugs, kisses, tender embraces, holding) don't spoil. They simply reinforce in a child the knowledge and the confidence that they are loved and treasured. So do that, love them abundantly! We miss you!!!! Love and prayers from St. Cloud.

  5. Cari-we just signed up to sponsor two children at the Covering and I am super glad you are there too, and that we have connection through your blog to "our kiddos". Thanks for sharing! Praying.