Monday, March 12, 2012

Hidden Places

Pillowcases made by Great-Grandma's hands

They sat unnoticed for thirty years in the same small box, waiting for the day that I would go looking through my garage for things to discard. I had held them in my possession since my father passed away almost nine years ago and did not even know it. As a six year-old, I was there the day that my grandmother gifted them to my father, though I took no notice at the time; I know this because of the similarities in his gift and one that I was given that very Christmas morning. My grandmother's neat handwriting on the tag said that they were for her son, but the minute that I discovered the detailed image created by once steady hands, I knew that this gift was always meant for a great-granddaughter that she had never known.

We have often joked that my oldest daughter was born into the wrong family. At a very young age she showed an interest in animals that seemed comically contrary to who her father and I are. For a time there was a quiet belief that the fad would be passing; surely, she would move on to other things? But as her years have increased, so too has her passion and knowledge.

Stacks and stacks of 'How To' animal books overflow from the corners of our small home. If our landlord were to drop by for a visit, I suspect that she might even grow suspicious of our sincerity in abiding by her Pet Policy; I imagine her unable to resist the urge to scurry around from room to room on the hunt for contraband Collies, horses, cats, or an exotic insect or two.

Never is my hesitant-to-step-out-of-her-comfort-zone eleven year-old more inclined to take risks than when she knows it will make her better at what she loves.

The gift of riding at Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch

It is as if she were created for this.

As her mother, this has been both exciting and sometimes frightening to consider. What a precious gift and privilege it is to care for the children that are entrusted to us.

But…what if we fail?

Doubt whispers:  'How could I possibly be the right person for such a big job?'

What I forget is that our children are first His.

Often, it is just as I am questioning my own ability to provide the resources and opportunities that both grow and encourage my children, that God comes through to open doors that I had never considered.

Those He calls, He equips.

This day in my garage, God planted encouragement in hidden places, like a seed waiting for its season.

Is He calling you to do something that doesn't seem to make sense?

You are His child.

He knows you and He delights to walk with you down unlikely paths.

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