I drove home with three sand and ice cream covered sleeping kids, tears of joy on my cheeks. As this summer has begun to unfold, it feels like God has given me new eyes to see so many things. I see Georgia so fully alive running "nudie tudie" through our yard and it stops me in my tracks. She is so free, no longer shackled, no longer weak, no longer protective and afraid...she leaps, pigtails flapping, giggles bubbling everywhere. She is experincing her first ever summer, her first time doing bubbles in the yard as the warm winds blow. She literally screams with joy every time she sees her swimsuit, dancing around the house making up swimsuit songs. The mention of ice cream brings about shivers of excitement until she runs to everyone making sure that they know the best thing ever is about to happen.
I watch Ravenna, long legs running powerfully, her eyes and heart watching life deeply. Today at the beach she was like a magnet for other kids. Her joy and her delight in what she was doing were contagious. Whether it was digging a pool, making rivers or building up mountains, she gently included every child that came along until there was a hoard of kids celebrating as the water rushed from the pool, through the river to the dam.
Tender Parker was in the thick of it all, smile spread across his face for hours. By the end of the time he knew the name of every child and had spent time playing with each of them. When the play seemed to stall Parker would throw out some new crazy twist like, "now the volcano is full of scorpions...lets pour lemon jello on them!!!!" and all the kids would rise to the occasion.
So as I drove home in the rare quiet of the car, it just hit me so deeply...the beauty of God's plans. My life is so deep and rich and full and it looks so very different than what my hopes and dreams had been. It was not easy for any of our kids to join our family and each time I struggled with why God wouldn't just do it my way, why it could not be easy. But now I see...the fight and the worry and the pain that accompanied them was so short compared to the beauty of what was to come. Because of the difficulties, the little things shine as if they were diamonds. I look at my children and see so much more than merely a child at play. I see the story, the absolute hand of God that brought them to this moment in time where I watch them so absorbed in their play that they have no idea of what is going on in my heart.
And as I drove I wept tears of thanksgiving , that God loved me enough to not allow me to take my path. That He paused my plans and taught me His. The things that started as tiny whispers, have blossomed into full blown joy.
The truth is, as I look back...over 20 years of following God's still small voice...it ALWAYS has taken me to deeper, richer and better places...always. There were many times when I could not see it, when I stamped my feet and begged for my way and now, looking back, I can begin to see just how much I would have missed.
Out of curiosity I looked up the Hebrew meaning of the word "delight" from Psalm 37:4
" Delight yourself in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart"
You know what I found? The definition of the word 'delight' (which is anag) is:
To be soft or pliable
So as I allow my heart to be made soft and pliable before the Lord, He can give me what He knows will truly fill my desires.....
Oh how many times I have bucked against this....I look back now and think, "if I had only known what the Lord had in store!" My life is richly blessed because He has led me to what was better than what I thought was best....and words fail at the beauty of it all.