...............The Hellwig Family

Monday, November 10, 2014

The National Bible Bee - Part 1

We're home from Orlando.

There is so much to share about the National Bible Bee event that I anticipate several posts.
My heart is bursting with praise for our great and kind God who ordained our time there, and who so graciously allowed Christianna's dreams and desires to be fulfilled in unexpected ways.

No, she did not win any of the prizes, but she certainly did win the prize.

Please allow a little bit of motherly love and joy to bubble up through my words as I describe highlights from the trip, truly a journey of a lifetime.

Sunrise in Charlotte,NC
Our plane took off from Raleigh-Durham airport on Oct. 29.  This was the first time I'd flown since before 9/11, and Christianna's first ever flight.  So, not only did she get the prized window seat she'd hoped for, but she also flew into the sunrise(another desire), up through clouds (another wish fulfilled) and also experienced perfect clock-work-like timing with regards to making connecting flights, baggage claim, reserving airport transportation to and from the hotel (my desire fulfilled ;-)  ).

On the van ride to the Hilton Orlando (where the Bible Bee convened and where we were required to stay) we were joined by another Bible Bee family (father and son) and we had such a lovely and animated ride.  This certainly helped Christianna feel like she now had at least one new connection there.  There's nothing like an earnest conversation between two young people regarding the merits of one Bible interpretation vs. another to warm a mother's heart.  Christianna had a chance to do what she loves best: to talk about the Scriptures, to compare notes with others who seriously study God's word, and to share of her experiences as she worked so hard the last several months learning the Word and leaning into her Lord.  (another desire met!)

Checking in was easy and smooth, no surprises.   Being on the 4th floor allowed us to run up and down the stairs conveniently without having to rely on an elevator....  I was thankful we were not up on the 10th!  (Praise God!  Again!)

At registration that afternoon, not only did we get through it easily, but also with many hugs, lots of encounters with genuinely happy people.  At the end of the line, Christianna had another surprise waiting for her:  the people who make the Bee happen did not forget those who were celebrating a birthday over those 5 days.  There, waiting for her, was a HUGE gift bag, with birthday wishes from the sponsors of the National Bible Bee!  She was shocked, and I stood aside in quiet tears of gratitude.  (Praise God.... again!)

Later in the afternoon, Christianna and I were drilling some of her troublesome passages out in the lobby.  Now, when she's in a particularly spunky mood, when she recites something incorrectly and I call it, she will let out a peculiarly humorous groan, an "Oooh" of sorts that starts at a higher pitch and rapidly descends "to the pit," she might say, all at an unabashedly audible volume, complete with trademark Christianna-body language.
Suffice it to say, she was in said mood in the lobby that afternoon, and had just hit an incorrect recitation spot when, out came the groan, and who should be walking by but a Bee-mother and her son, who laughed knowingly, and an elderly grandfatherly man (attending with his grandchildren and family) who produced a huge grin, a wink of the eye, and a knowing nod and chuckle!  Christianna was a bit embarrassed, and ever after that gentleman would smile kindly and give her a chuckle!  We had made friends!  (Praise God, once more!)

The Cary,NC Bee group (Christie in back on right)
After greeting many families from our local Bee host site (in Apex, NC) and catching up with one another for a while, Christie and I went to dinner at the Italian restaurant in the hotel.  Again, everything was so perfect.... a quiet spot for us to speak alone, nourishing food (just what she needed for her headache) and a relaxed, unhurried experience to simply sink in and recount the blessings of the day.   (Thanks be to God for His perfect gifts and care!)

Early to bed, for the next day was the written test and the Preliminary oral rounds.

....continued in Part 2.....

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