Our family has expanded a bit for a while. Instead of 4, we have become 6. Chocolate has been added to our vanilla. Chaos has been added to our structure. Our days are filled with sticky fingers, baby dolls, tiny trucks, endless chatter, 4 million questions, sippy cups, sparkly bows, cute little afros, and a whole lot of laughter.
At least 900 times a day, the owners of those precious brown faces stop whatever they are doing, run to me (or Vance or Houston or Aaron), throw their little arms around us, produce the biggest smiles you have ever seen, and and say “I luv you, Miss Kim”.
It seriously doesn’t matter what is going on around them. I could be correcting, instructing, teaching, or just breathing and their little responses never seem to waver. It is almost like they have an overwhelming desire to be sure that we know that they love us.
“Jeremiah, come wash your hands.”
“I luv you, Miss Kim.”
“Destinee, let’s pick up these toys.”
“I luv you, Miss Kim”
“Who dropped these pancakes on the floor?”
“I did. I luv you, Miss Kim”
“Somebody didn’t flush the toilet.”
“That was my brother. I luv you, Miss Kim”
“Don’t hit your sister.”
“I luv you, Miss Kim”
“Who’s ready for lunch?”
“I’m is. I luv you, Miss Kim”
“Time for a bath!”
“Can we get some bubbles? I luv you , Miss Kim.”
Seriously. The love vibes in this house are ridiculous. They make me gushy and mushy and soft and precious with preciousness.
I’ve gone soft. I’m losing my street cred. I’m thinking about chocloate hair styles, and coloring books, and bedtime stories, and crafts, and glitter, and rainbows, and unicorns. It is ridiculous. But, it isn’t in vain.
Here’s what I know: God never wastes a moment of our lives. If we seek Him, He is faithful to grow us, stretch us, teach us, remind us.
Friends, He’s been working on me in a big way lately. Through these tiny chocolate children, He is leading me to repentance. Fall-on-my-knees repentance for forgetting His grace toward me.
Grace. These tiny brown souls understand grace. G-R-A-C-E. In their sweet little 3 and 4 year old lives, they have already experienced more hardship than you and I could ever imagine.
They’ve never had a home.
They’ve never had a bed.
They’ve never had their own closet or clothes to put in a closet.
There has never been a need for a toybox.
No one has ever read them a book.
They’ve never had a birthday party. Or birthday cake. Or birthday gifts.
They’ve never been tucked in. Or snuggled.
No one has taught them about Jesus.
No Dad has ever played catch with them. Or tickled them. Or told them “I love you.”
They’ve never decorated a Christmas tree. Or hung stockings by the chimney. Or worn new pajamas on Christmas Eve.
They’ve never had stability. Or predictability.
They’ve never felt special.
The things that I often take for granted are little luxuries for my newest children. A warm bed, clean clothes, the guarantee of 3 meals each day, bedtime stories, and bubble baths- these things are huge expressions of love to them. They simply cannot even contain their joy at receiving what they deem to be such extravagant gifts… such luxurious acts of love. I truly believe that they are so overwhelmed with love that they simply cannot help but pour out that same love right back at us… oozing the love because they simply cannot contain it all in their tiny bodies.
I heard Destinee talking to Jeremiah earlier today. Their little conversation has brought me to my knees.
“You know who love us, Jeremiah?”
“Miss Kim do. She ain’t have to love us, but she do. And Jesus do too. He ain’t have to either, but He do.”
“We better listen to Miss Kim and Jesus.”
Innocence. Precious innocence reminding me of such a deep and powerful truth.
None of us deserve the magnificent love that we have been given, yet it has been poured upon us anyway. We had better listen to the giver of that powerful love; just like Destinee said. Clearly, He is for our good.
Grace. The overwhelming grace of His love toward us… it should change us. It should ooze out of us.
Perhaps, we have become so busy with living life that we have forgotten the love that saved us?
“I know your works, your toil, and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But, I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove my lampstand from its place, unless you repent.”
Remember the love. Remember the grace.
Love always works.