Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Great Blessings

Yesterday was quite a day... It started as a simple zoo trip with a group of moms. My children and I were enjoying the fellowship, the beautiful day, and the immense variety of God's creation. I had a unique sense of my Father's presence throughout the day and was filled with love for each friend and each sweet child present. We all seemed to work together to keep an eye on all the children as if each of us had 14 children. It was beautiful, and beautifully illustrated the old proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child." I was able to thoroughly enjoy moments with my own precious brood as well as little talks with some of the other children and the sweet joy of simply watching them all interact. What a gift friendship is!

Then the adventures began. The first was a runaway wagon that I saw coming down a small hill and heading into the brush. One of our little group had been pulling and lost control, and my middle daughter was inside with 2 other little girls. By the grace of God no one was hurt--not even a scratch from the overhanging branches--and we were quickly back to trekking to the picnic tables. I was able to enjoy the story from the perspective of one of our friends, who is a gifted storyteller and can make you laugh until you fear public embarrassment! From fear to fun, and what a gift laughter is in releasing tensions!

Not long after, one expectant mom and I decided to take a break and head on over to the playground so the kids could run a bit and she could rest a little out of the sun. We'd hardly taken 5 steps when a passerby informed her that there was a bug on her 2-year-old's face. We looked, and Little Miss was rubbing a swollen, red eye! Was it simply sunscreen in the eye? We went to wash her face and it turned out that there was more to it... Off we drove to pick up some Benedryl! After some time, the swelling went down, the little one seemed better, and all 4 kids wished to go back and try the playground once more. Whew!

On my way home for a last-minute scramble to get everyone cleaned up and gather materials for our community group, I happened to see a car on the opposite side of the interstate swerve off the road. I felt concern for the driver and took a look in my mirror to see if they were able to regain control. Instead, my stomach clenched as I watched the car skid through the grass and tip to briefly stand on it's headlights before flipping upside down. I began to pray and fumbled my silly little cell phone out, trying to unlock it and dial 911. Thankfully, someone else was quicker than I and they already had the appropriate vehicles dispatched.

By the time we reached home, I was supercharged with adrenaline! I was also filled with a powerful love and appreciation for all of the family and friends my God has surrounded me with. Perhaps it was watching the vehicle accident; someone who was not spared after my own friends and family had been spared twice. I do know that there have been times when I have grumbled at the duties involved in keeping up with it all, times when all I wanted was a few hours of peace, quiet, and time alone with God. Yesterday, God met me amidst all the chaos, the noise, the crowd and I was filled with love almost beyond what I can bear. I felt a love that couldn't have been from my own heart: it was far too great, far too painfully sweet. I am convinced that He allowed me to sense just an eyelash-worth of the weight of love He carries for each one of us silly, selfish, thick-headed sinners. I cannot imagine further! I was up much of the night, just lying in my bed and talking to God, thanking Him for the experience, for my family, for my friends. Thanking Him for allowing me to glimpse something greater than I can ever concoct on my own. Praising Him for His mercy. Delighting in His presence. What an awesome God we have!