Today was a beautiful day.

Cliche? Why yes, but so so true. It started with my waking at 9am… after a FULL night’s sleep. Miranda was sleeping next to me and Rod was smiling at us. The sun was shining and the birds were singing, so loudly that Randa awoke and asked, “Sleeping Beauty?” because Briar Rose/Aurora sings with the birds. We had a lazy morning, a big breakfast, and found an RV park to stay at for the next 4 nights. It’s new, clean, and we are the only ones here.  The girls played outside all afternoon. There isn’t a playground. They played with grass and leaves and rocks and their shadows and then with some toys. We ate lunch outside. I savored it. I still am.

Tonight at the concert, Miranda raised her hands with mine. I only got to hear a few songs, but they were balm to my soul. There is so much heartache and loss around me right now. None of it is ‘mine,’ but all connected to me through friends or blogs or just my helpful/harmful ability to identify with everyone around me. The Nelons sang three songs about Heaven and a song about redemption. I let the words and the Spirit guide me to a place where I could see little feet padding down the streets of gold. There is so much more for us there than there is here, yet we hold on and manage and try to figure out how to make things perfect here. Of course, God made us with these very human hearts, so when tragedies and nightmares happen, we are supposed to grieve… but… with HOPE.

I have started calling out names when the kids and I pray before meals. This week, the list of names grows daily. Miranda just smiles as she repeats them. I am happy and thankful the Lord knows our hearts in their complexity, confusion, and sometimes, even doubt: we want everything to be OK, yet we know that on this flawed earth, it cannot be until…

I am glad we are told the end of the story. And thankful for some of these amazing promises I heart sung tonight:

“He’s alive and I’m forgiven; Heaven’s gates are open wide!”

“Just as soon as my feet strike Zion I’m gonna lay down my heavy burden
I’m gonna put on my robe in glory, Shout and tell the glad story
Soon as I can see Jesus, I’m gonna tell him all about my troubles
I’m gonna put on my robe in glory, Shout and tell Him my story…”

“I was so lost I should have died,  But You have brought me to Your side
To be led by Your staff and rod, And to be call a lamb of God
Oh Lamb of God, Sweet lamb of God
I love the Holy Lamb of God
Oh wash me in His precious Blood
My Jesus Christ the Lamb of God”

God has taken me on a journey since this past Saturday night.  In the wake of others suffering from my worst nightmares, I have had to tell Him that I WILL trust Him no matter what. That proclaimation both scares me and frees me.

It helps that we are away this week… and days that cannot be spent on laundry and errands can be spent on extra hugs and songs and playing and reflection. Rod and I talked today about how we get to see grace every day, how our babies were not just miracles in their conception and birth but that every day we get the privilege of raising them is a miracle as well. I know as with all things, as time passes, my sense of urgency and focus will change with the tides, but Lord, help me to remember in the forefront of my mind what you have taught me in these past few days, and help me to keep picturing those little feet padding down the streets of gold and glory, where there are no more tears.