that’s Amare!

EDIT: Please pray for my grandma. She finally had her back surgery and has been at a care center for rehab. She’s back in the hospital–in the ICU with pneumonia. She was in critical condition earlier but is now responding some. That’s all I know. Thank you!

Livi doesn’t mention many kids in her kindergarten class by name on a regular basis. Except for Amare. We’ve heard tales of this little boy from day one. Amare got in trouble today. Amare had to go to the office. Amare got a card pulled. Amare stood on top of his desk. Amare went to the office again. And again. And again.

One of the big “discussions” we had before Livi went to school was that not everyone in her class will know about Jesus. Many (probably most) of them will not go to church where they can learn about Him. It will be important for her to be a light, to show the kids around her what it looks like to have Jesus living in your heart.

Praise be to God–she took our talks to heart. It wasn’t long before the Amare stories began to take a different tone. Amare gave me this note. Amare asked me to be his friend. Amare gave me this bracelet. Amare didn’t go to the office today. Amare got his hair cut. 🙂 Amare gave me this magnet.

I could see it in Gabe’s eyes that this Amare kid, whoever he was, better keep his paws off his (Gabe’s) little girl. 🙂 Gabe went to Livi’s parent/teacher conference today at 10:55. While he was gone, Livi was busy writing a note to Amare.

Ms. Olivia
Amra (Amare)
STOP GIVEIV ME STOF (stop giving me stuff)
DO NOT GV ME STOF (do not give me stuff)
CAS IT IS NOT FER (cause it is not fair)

She showed it to me and explained that it wasn’t fair that he only gave her stuff and no one else. I suggested that he might get his feelings hurt. She assured me it would be okay.

Moments later Gabe called. The conference went well. Livi is doing well. Her teacher commented that she thought it was really neat how Livi was friends with Amare. “The other kids don’t even try,” she said. It broke my heart. She said it was neat to see it since they are “on opposite ends of the spectrum.”

How sad that we even see that spectrum. In God’s eyes, there is no spectrum. I am no better than anyone else. I am not inferior to anyone else either. I want to love like a 5-year-old. More importantly, I want to love like God.

Today has been half “crappy birthday,” half “happy birthday.” The crappy comes when I think of myself first. Happy is when I think of God first and love others second. JOY (Jesus, Others, Yourself)

I’m choosing JOY today, and I’m choosing LOVE. I find it quite UN-coincidental that Amare’s name is so close to the word amore, which means “love” in Italian. I don’t know what his nationality is–perhaps Amare means love in his family’s native tongue as well. edit: see comment below that amare means “to love” in latin. cool.

p.s. I talked to Livi about what her teacher said. She is going to reconsider her note to Amare but is keeping it in her backpack. (I had to sneak it out to xanga about it–bad mommy!) Thank you, God, for teachable–and learnable–moments! This is what life is all about.

22 thoughts on “that’s Amare!

  1. scottnjes

    Ivy got the sweetest note in the mail yesterday! Please tell the precious girls in the photo (which hangs on the fridge) that Ivy says  “thank you! I love it!”

  2. sarahlester

    RYC: Featured Content is on the Xanga front page.  The link to it is on the left side.  It’s updated at least daily and “features” the top 40 sites with the most comments.  I don’t often look through there but I was taking a quick break and happened to stop by.  Most of the sites aren’t worth looking at but I was pleasantly surprised to find yours!  I’d love to become a “regular” if you don’t mind. 🙂

  3. biblestorebrowser

    I saw you comment on that book and I definitely want to check it out. It may be several months before I can save up enough money for it. My Christmas list (100% books right now) is already more than twice as much as my shopping spree budget from DH!

  4. jbnygaard

    Wow. That is such an amazing story. As mom’s we all need something in our lives to help us see all the hard work we put into our kids lives, but never see the impact. There you go! God’s grace and love in action! You have every right to be one proud momma!

  5. sarahlester

    Caught your site browsing through Featured Content.  What lovely girls you have, and I love your story here.  Bless your daughter for showing Amare the love of Jesus!  She sounds wise beyond her years – you have taught her well. 🙂

  6. YoGrandmaYo

         I’ll try REALLY HARD not to be one of those obnoxious grandmas, who think THEIR grandkid far surpasses any other grandkid on earth……………..far be it from me to EVER have any such arrogant thoughts!  Shame on those OTHER obnoxious grandmas!  LIVI, YOU ROCK!  I’M SO PROUD OF YOU!  Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…don’t tell anyone I said that.  I love you, Livi, and I’m so grateful for your tender heart!                      Grandma

         HAPPY 31ST BIRTHDAY, MARLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  What a blessing you are to my heart!  Thanks for being such a WONDERFUL Mom to my granddaughters!:)  I love you, honey!:)                          Mom

  7. gsowell

    That is my fear when the twins hit kindergarten next year: that they will not treat other kids (you know, the REALLY sinful ones 😉 ) with the love God demands of us. This story inspires me to keep instructing them on love. Thank you, and give Livi a hug for being “Jesus with skin” to Amare!

  8. kkakwright

    See Marla, your greatest accomplishemt are those girlies of yours and you have obviously done a lot of things right with them.  Sit back and enjoy the moment.  Don’t you love it when God gives us moments like these to see the fruits of our labor as mothers.  They are listening, they are watching.  Way to go mom (and dad).   

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