Thick purple and black clouds, sparkling crystal drops dangling from tree limbs, and mist dancing in the shadows of the trees met me this morning as I had my quiet time in the wee morning hours--it was a visual feast as is reputed here in the Colorado mountains.
I was thinking about how this kind of beauty sometimes calls to a deep longing in my soul for more--more of God, more of love, more of purpose and adventure and life. I think that these longings are here because we were created by God to experience deep intimacy, profound beauty, heartfelt satisfaction. Yet, Paul tells us that in this world we see as through a mirror dimly. These shadows of reality here are but a taste of what is to come. Our longings are there because God made us to have them fulfilled--and so they will be in His new heavens and new earth.
And so I told the Lord how very grateful I was for such beauty and goodness and love. My heart was full. Clay and Sarah are are in Nashville, so it is just sweet Joy and me to hold the fort down this week. Even though I knew Joy had to go to work by 8:40, I wanted to share a moment of beauty, love and delight as God had shared it with me. So, before I awakened her, I lit the candles, prepared the food and tea and put on an old Celtic album that we love so that my little princess could come down the stairs to a few moments of civility and delight, devotion and prayer.
I have seen that when the atmosphere and table are set, as God had done for me in the beauty around me this morning, God shows up in special ways for my children, too, and allows us to have great moments of conversation and devotion together.
As an aside, Joy has been a child care worker for 3 years at our local mops program. Our children have always had to work for extra cash. On a ministry salary, life has demanded that all of our children have had to work a bit. Last summer, Joy and a friend hosted Explorer Camp for younger children, where they read books, made crafts, dressed up as explorers and this is how they made money for the summer. This year, we will have some Princess camps with tea times and stories and crafts--(Thanks to Beth Martinez for the idea!) And they will also host, Mom's Day out camps with great adventures, stories and crafts to earn money for a trip in the fall.
I used to feel "bad" that we could not provide our children with all the things they needed in their lives, on our salary and with our limited resources. But now I see, that God's way has been great for my children. By them having to learn to work and make money, it has made them more responsible, thankful, humble and more prepared to enter into adulthood with a realistic understanding of money and work. So, I am thankful for His ways in my life, even though I may not have known to ask for them earlier! Some pressure and hardship is the very building block of our children's souls, so I learned as I was pondering all of this while writing Dancing with my Father, that His ways are to build His character in our lives. Ultimately, these paths give our souls satisfaction and freedom and peace.
On to my day! Grace and peace to yours!
PS. I HAVE HAD SEVERAL EMAILS FROM MOMS ASKING IF I KNOW OF ANY OTHER AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND MOMS WHO ARE INTERESTED IN HOSTING A MOM HEART CONFERENCE THERE OR IN ATTENDING A TRAINING TO START THIS MINISTRY THERE--I WILL COLLECT NAMES AND EMAILS AND SEND THEM TO YOU AS A GROUP, SO YOU CAN KNOW EACH OTHER! (SALLY@WHOLEHEART.ORG)