Monday, December 12, 2016

The Wide Eyed Wonder of a Child

Over the river and through the woods to Austin from Texas.....now it's play time with my Southern Texas Fam!!! Oh the miles I'm putting on my car....but every mile brings with it so much gratitude and thanksgiving. I delight in these precious times of family focus -- especially here during the Christmas season.

While my grandbabies are no longer babies, this time of the year -- more than ever -- we're reminded of the joys of being a child. Week before last, I was staying with my mother-in-law for a few days to finish up some scheduled activities, and one of the pleasures of spending time with her is the weekly visit of my niece (Mom's great-grandchild, Anna). Anna is three now and, without a doubt, her little life has added to the life of Mom in ways beyond we could count. Mom is radiant when Anna visits her and she will sit and watch every move Anna makes during the time she's there. She is "entertainment" personified!! And she's added to my life, because it brings me so much joy to hang out with her, too. My sis, Karen, bought a big doll house for Mom's house and the room that it's in is designated by Anna, as "Anna's Room". While with Mom, I purchased some doll-sized, Christmas decorations and dolls for the little house. I had it all decorated when Anna came over, and when she went into the room to the doll house, she put her hand over her mouth and was in awe. She looked at me and said, "What did you get these for me?" I said, "Because I love you so much!" She replied "I love you so much too!" She played with those dolls and decorations all day long.

Anna runs blissfully about, filled with happy freedom from care and concern. What joy it is to watch her and hear her talk. Matthew 18:4 says "Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of God". When Jesus urged us to become like little children, He was saying He wants us to regain some of our childhood innocence and awe. When we were young, it was easy to believe in a good God Who watches over us and Who has a band of angels to protect us. I love how my two youngest grandsons make sure we pray for the angels to encamp around them while they sleep. They MUST have that prayer, and we're delighted that when we pray, they are comforted and then sweet sleep.

But as we grow older, some of those comforting images fade and we gradually lose that sense of security. Of course, as adults, we face many variables in life -- pressures, responsibilities, transitions, ups and downs in "life", and then we fail to remember the freedom and abandonment of worries as we did as children.

But let's change that. Let's revive the innocence and joy we knew as children -- not dependent on just our own efforts. The fact is -- maturity isn't being independent from God -- it's a deeper dependence more than EVER! We're DEPENDENT on His mercy and grace. God IS our DADDY, and from our first breath -- to our last breath -- He has a watchful eye over us and His plans for us include His very best. Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Let's continue on into this beautiful season of Christmas with wide-eyed awe and wonder -- like we had as children. And, when "stuff" is chasing us down and we're about to be CAUGHT UP in the frenzy and stress that often comes with this season, let's look up and say, "I love you too so much!" God loves it when we become like little children reaching out to Him. I promise you, He'll reassure you with his love, support AND open arms!