Oh isn’t it just hard not to respond to love? Justin prayed over me and my day this morning and he prayed specifically that I would feel God’s big hugs and I just have to tell you how much I have gotten hugged today. Not to brag or say “Nanner nanner…I’m loved” cuz that is so not me—but because I think it is easy for us to just zoom right by moments in our life where God wants to just say, “I love you!” And I never would have learned where or how to look without first hearing someone share their moments…so I share in response to the love He has lavished on me today…knowing He is just waiting to lavish you too.
The boys got home around Noon like they do every Friday from school (Gotta love Eduprize ½ days on Fridays); and we finished lunch and went for a bike ride in the neighborhood and to the pecan groves where the boys like to ride on what they call the “dirt track.”
Here is just a glimpse into this hour long ride which I pedaled along while God captivated my heart. First, I glanced up in the sky and God had painted a picture I think just for me. He used the white from the clouds to form an airplane because just yesterday He pointed out two airplanes which were obvious flying together like I often see; one right in front of the other and I swear I heard deep in my heart God whisper like only He does…”Follow me just like that…” So, I saw my Artist’s work in the sky and just below it were what first appeared like three people cheering…you know with their hands up in the air and almost appearing to be jumping up and down because they were kind of fuzzy. Then the three figures turned into XXX…just like the sign for hugs as in xoxo. Oh, my heart was full!
We rode on and stopped at a shady spot under a tree in the grass. I talked to the boys about their day and talked about our plans for the weekend; they always like to know what the family has planned. When the conversation and snack time was done we continued on until we reached the dirt track; where I found a quiet place to just sit and watch the boys tackle the small dirt hills and absorbed the warm sunshine. I didn’t feel God nudge me to think about anything except for focusing on enjoying the moment—so I did.
On the ride back, I noticed I had “The Star Spangled Banner “ in my head for no particular reason. And I was stuck on the first words, “Oh say can you see, by the dawn’s early light.” I’m a little embarrassed to admit this; I will be 35 next week and I was chuckling to myself to just now be getting that first phrase…I felt like God just showed me the words…the right words without even seeing them on paper. As a child singing that I never quite understood it…as a child I remember it going something like, “Oh say, can you see? By the Donserly light…” What is Donserly? I don’t know…I just sang it. I felt like God was just smiling and talking to me at this point while I was LOL and riding in my neighborhood (I don’t even want to know what people were thinking). While laughing I glanced up at the mountains and laughed even harder because it was just this summer that I understood “America the Beautiful.” While driving through the beautiful NW I finally understood what ‘amber waves of grain’ were and then put it together what the ‘purple mountain majesties’ was referring to. Oh, what beauty of these two historic American songs---one of them being our national anthem that I have missed out on…all this time!
And I felt my laughter cease and turn a bit somber…how often do you suppose that we might miss out on God’s expression of love—because we don’t know what love is and how easily we can twist the happenings of this life to fit our own scope of things…like I did the words ‘dawn’s early light.’
I found myself singing all kinds of praise music in my head and even out loud a bit. What a beautiful day and how precious I felt that God brought about this moment.
Just before getting back home we passed through the park and I watched as my boys sped down the hill and raced through the park and waited for me by the end of the trail. I noticed right up above in a tree that they just passed by was a hummingbird perched on a leafless branch. I called my boys over to see and told my boys how I rarely saw hummingbirds growing up unless they were by the feeders and I always just thought they were fast birds…so fast you rarely saw them. But, just like us children of God...when we choose to seek God we will find Him…and on almost every walk I take through the neighborhood now; I find a hummingbird somewhere. My boys zoomed right passed the tree and would’ve missed seeing the treasure perched on the tree branch if I hadn’t pointed it out…and you know I too would have missed out on so much in this life if it weren’t for God and His children pointing things out to me! We need each other. We need to be reminded of the great things God does in a world that is tainted right now with pain and hurts.
The next stop reminded me of why we need to slow down enough to capture the loving moments and respond to them… celebrate them! We stopped at the mailbox and there awaiting us was three packages from Grandma and Grandpa. The boys were elated and so excited to get home and open the packages. Inside the packages were expressions of love and reminders of “We love you!” Oh, Lord, help us to be so excited to open your packages of love that you place throughout our paths each and everyday. And a clincher…a message in one of the cards caught my eye and so fit with the recent bike ride journey I had with God and my boys…
One life will soon be past…
Only what’s done through Christ will last.
This is such a brief time on earth compared to eternity...the Bible and Rick Warren have reminded me of that this last week. May we get out of zoom mode and be aware of His love for us and all of humanity. May His love captivate our souls; draw us to respond in the particular ways that only He can lead us to respond!