Conspiratorily, Adela and I walked into the room where Micaela played. Adela held out a box to her sister and said, "Micaela, we have something for you."
I watched with a proud heart as Adela helped her sister open the box to reveal her new pair of pink glasses with her new prescription and matching shoes that fit her AFO's. Micaela flapped her little hands in excitement as we fitted her braces into the shiny pink shoes and slid the glasses over her head. I hugged her and said, "I like your pink shoes and your pink glasses, Micaela. They are very pretty."
She grinned and exclaimed, "Micaela is pretty!"
Adela and I laughed and hugged her hard enough that she squirmed in our arms. She leaned back and very deliberately articulated, "Thank you." My eyes stung as they filled with tears.
She stood up and flapped her hands the whole way through the house on her way to show Jovani her new kicks and specs. Our little girl is pretty in pink.
Micaela has so much equipment. Another little girl, older and more knowing, might want contact lenses and high heels, but Micaela is content with her family telling her that she is beautiful. That is enough.
Most of all, she is thankful.
We are all thankful. I watch her walk and am reminded of the miracles...the incredible answers to endless prayers. When I watch her, I am at peace. My trust in God fills my heart.
Perhaps, mine is the most miraculous blessing of all. The storms of life have kept me close to God and Micaela reminds me of this with every step, every spoken word, and every night she is brough safely into the morning sun. Thankfulness is etched into the deepest corners of my soul.
Is a grateful heart keeping you close to God today?
I refreshed the weather app on my phone and slid my finger past the next 10 days. No rain. Not even a chance.
My stomach rolled over with fear. Restless, I stood up from my chair and softly padded my sock-covered feet to the windows. I stared at the wind, furiously moving dust and leaves and yellow grass.
Lord, I prayed, please send us some rain.
Determined I went back to my endtable and grabbed up my Bible. God made so many promises to the Isrealites to bless their country with rain and I wanted to hear one. I am an adopted daughter of God, that means He promised rain to me as well, right? My mind eagerly snatched at a formula: Find the verse + pray the verse = God remembering His promise and makes it rain.
This is where you the reader can shake your head and say, "Poor, girl."
Well, God in His mercy directed me to something else. I found Moses blessing to Isreal right before he died in Deuteronomy 33:26-29. While God does promise "dew from Heaven", He primarily emphasises that He is our reguge, that we are in His arms, and that He protects us.
My soul sighed, my shoulders relaxed. God is already here.
We all do this. We fixate on a problem, small or enormous, and all we want is for God to intervene. We want it now. We just know that an answer would set our world right. If you are anything like me, you have a hard time with any semblence of contentment until you get what you "need".
We are already protected and safe. Even before the answer from God or the miraculous intervention from Heaven, we are loved, in God's arms, and overloaded with His blessings.
I stopped refreshing my weather app and decided prayer was enough. I am bringing the need for rain to God, often multiple times a day, but I am not waiting for rain to have peace and joy. That, my friend, would be an insult to our Lord who "rides across the heavens to help you".
The next time you feel the agony or fear of an unanswered problem in your life, take a moment and revel in the truth that you rest in the arms of your everlasting Father.
What problems are filling your mind and heart these days?
I wrapped Micaela in my arms and began to play the "face game". Her body was warm, her eyes sleepy. In the opposite recliner chair, Adela was curled up on Jovani's lap. The house smelled like the popcorn I had made on the stove. The news talked to us from the television.
My shoulders dropped. In that moment, the world felt delicious.
I took in all the details of Micaela face as we named emotions and changed our faces from "surprise" to "anger" to "happy" and so on. Every once in a while Micaela would let out her tiny little roar and I would pretend to be scared. She giggled.
Worry niggled at the back of my mind.
The side of her head bore a quickly growing bump. She had fallen five times in the last few minutes before I scooped her up and decided to hold her the last little while before bed.
Falling has become a new norm as we go through the tedious process of slowly introducing Micaela to a new Epiplepsy drug. The medicine makes her dizzy. The neurologist asked that we push through the process and see how her body reacts after it has had some time to acclamate.
The process is scary and frustrating, but necessary.
Isn't this true for all of us? When we move toward good and lasting change, the process is often frustrating. We must compell ourselves to endure through discomfort, people telling us we should give up, loved ones asking us if it is really worth it.
I love reading Nehemiah, the book in the Bible where the Isrealites return to Jeruselum to build a wall of protection around the city. It was tough. The nay-sayers were loud. The enemy was dangerous. But once they finished, the wall protected them from assault.
There are some pretty awesome habits, customs, and atitudes God has called on us the build with Him if we will have the fortitude to stand firm through the process. With God, we can build our own walls of protection.
Have you started working on a wall? Perhaps it is a new prayer habit or a new healthy eating plan or a dedication to learning a new skill. As you strive for this change, you feel the push back from the world, friends, and even your very self.
Don't give up. Ask God for discernment and protection and keep going with His blessing.
Our family has chosen to wait out the side-effects of Micaela's new medicine. In the past, her body gets used to a drug within a few weeks and the side-effects lessen or dissapear. We are hoping for an added layer of protection from her seizure which are markedly decreased since her surgery last year.
As I hold her, I thank God for this moment, a moment of peace, and I ask for His strength as we continue to work on that wall.
Have you ever had to stand firm through a grueling process meant to better your world when you got to the other side?
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"...and God was already there with me."