Oh how I've missed you guys! I haven't just missed writing posts, but reading so many of yours. I have so much catching up to do.
Where have I been? Well, I've been to the doctor, dentist, orthodontist, and veterinarian. I've had things notarized, over-nighted, dry cleaned, and pressure washed. I've been grocery shopping, apple picking, and field tripping, and homework checking. I've been attending soccer and baseball games; tubing on the lake and camping under the stars. I've been kissing boo-boos and correcting no-nos. I've attended school meetings and Bible studies . . . and done lots of laundry. My exhaustion is only matched by my gratitude in having the best job in the world.
I've had so much to share, but it's hard to write on my blog at red lights in my minivan. But life should start to slow a bit now that our adoption paperwork is almost done. (I'll give an adoption update soon.)
So here I sit at my computer knowing I have just enough mental fuel to say a short hello before my eyes flop shut and my head hits the keyboard. I've had three little words that seem to have been the theme of my last few weeks that I think I have the capability of sharing before calling it a day.
A couple weeks ago I was picking the boys up from their Christian school. (All four kids go to the same school, but the boys get out at noon and the girls at 3:00.) I'm often one of the first moms in carpool--primarily because I've often been doing adoption errands that morning and just go straight to the school after, but also because I just love seeing Daniel's face beaming with confidence as he exits the building with his buddies and beloved teacher. That particular day his teacher stuck her head into my car window to tell me something before the carpool parade started.
She said, "Daniel said something beautiful today and I want to tell you before I forget." She continued, "Our lesson was about Cain and Able. When I finished telling the story about how Cain killed Able, then God provided Seth, . . . I asked the children what we can learn from this story. Then Daniel spoke up and said, 'GOD LOVES MERCY.' "
His teacher's eyes were moist with tears as she shared. So were mine. That an eight year old boy had grasped this truth--a truth that took me 35 years to understand--what a blessing.
Since that day, my thoughts have been punctuated with those three words--GOD LOVES MERCY. Like the responsive readings that we would have at my childhood Baptist church--my imaginary congregation's answer to whatever happened in my day seemed to be--GOD LOVES MERCY.
We recently attended a neighborhood camp-out. It's an annual thing where many families pitch their tents on a grassy common area for a night of fun. I remember attending last year wishing Daniel was here. As we sat together this year under a starry sky--watching a movie with Daniel snuggled up next to me, laughing out loud at the funny parts with his mouth covered in the remnants of a s'more--I couldn't help but caption this memory with "GOD LOVES MERCY."
Last week I drove on a field trip for Daniel's class. We went to a local planetarium to study the stars. I loved watching him. It was a treat to see him looking at the telescope with amazement and listening intently to the lady doing our tour.
Then we walked into the planetarium, took our seats, and they began to dim the lights. He grabbed my hand and whispered "I'm scared." And I whispered back, "It's okay. It has to be completely dark for you to be able to really see the stars."
As the darkness revealed the spectacular display in the dome overhead, Daniel's gasp of "WOW!!!" was the loudest one of all. Although he was no longer afraid, he kept holding tightly to my hand. And I was grateful that I was able to experience this with him, drinking in another precious moment with my sweet son, in awe of God's goodness in bringing him into our lives. And all I could think of was, "GOD LOVES MERCY."
Tonight I stepped outside for a minute. I just needed to fill my being with the cool night air of fall and take a look at the stars. And as I marveled at the display of magnificence with the melody of crickets in the background, I couldn't help but quietly sing "How Great Thou Art."
"Oh Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the works Thy hands have made. I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed."
And I rejoiced in my great God and His love for me. I remembered all those times I said to Him "I'm scared" and His answer was: "It's okay. It has to be completely dark for you to see the stars." And I remembered that His goodness and His power is most evident during times of profound darkness.
In my last minutes under the canopy of diamonds, I thanked Him for being a God who loves mercy.
How great Thou art. How great Thou art.