Three years ago, today our Harlee Rae Miracle came home from the hospital! She was eight pounds at the time, which was incredible since she started this life at just over a pound. She had oxygen in her nose, but other than that, she was fine.
Fast forward to 2016- she is now 3 years old, laughs all the time, runs, plays, talks, and loves us all dearly. She is truly a sweet blessing.
I call my grandchildren my ‘apples’- because they are the apple of my eye. I love them more than words can express. I love to watch them grow, have conversations, and watch as they learn more and more!
This weekend we took both of the apples away to the mountains. They had the best time sightseeing, riding up the mountain in a gondola, going to town for ice cream and to the toy shoppe, and then spending Sunday in Papa’s boat. They smiled and laughed and brought us so much joy that we often glance at each other, and just grin.
Our oldest grandbaby is Zaiden, who is now five years old! With his big blue eyes and sweet personality, he is adorable. Saturday night we were all sitting on the couch and Zaiden put his arms around my and papa’s back, and said, “You guys are my best friends.”
And I melted.
Mark 9:36-37 He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”
I have welcomed these babies into my life from day one. I love them beyond words. Even when Nanny is firmly setting boundaries, teaching wrong from right, and holding them to some high standards, they know my love. My heart has been theirs these past few years.
Hindsight makes today’s vision quite clear, right? What we never saw all those years ago, well, it is flashing in neon today. It is easy to look at these beautiful babies and want to teach them with clarity and being intentional, knowing I struggled in some areas with my own kids.
I look around at today’s young adults and see how things have changed, and it is not always for the better. I have seen a work ethic shift, adulthood time- frame shift, respect become an obstacle rather than an expectation, courtesy an unexplored word, and the concept of compassion- not sure what has happened there. No, it’s not every individual, but from all my watching and seeing, it is far more than I would have hoped.
We must welcome children in the love of Jesus Christ. Remember Jesus loved in discipline, honesty, truth. He loved those who had not only ‘made’ mistakes, past tense, but were smack dab in the middle of making mistakes right then and there. He never desired to leave anyone behind in his or her sins. Often telling those he loved to go and sin no more. He loved the woman at the well. He loved Zacchaeus.
He loved the sinners!
My apples have taught me so much about myself. Things I never saw while raising my own kids. Life is short, and we must strive to live fully every day- loving in truth, honesty and discipline. This is how the future brings about a growth in a world swirling stagnant in the muck of ‘self’ and every decline that living in self, brings.
Welcome the children, love the children, start with one soul at a time, but start today.