Yesterday I had to miss my weekly Bible Study due to Brett being sick, poor guy! I decided to stay home and let him sleep in for the morning. After all, rest IS the best medicine. He rarely gets sick enough to call in to work so when he does, I know he truly isn't feeling well. I am so blessed to have a man with an excellent work ethic.
While I enjoyed a quiet morning with Emersyn, I did get to read a little more of my "Anonymous" book. And by "quiet" morning, I mean Emersyn was banging away on her baby piano, slamming cupboards shut, squealing at the kitty, etc. :)
I have explained before that this book is about Jesus' hidden years. Obviously once those years had passed, He was put in a tremendous spotlight, not one that I would ever want to encounter. I don't think of MY hidden years as a prelude to being in a spotlight at all, just as years where you kind of wonder if all you are doing is treading water in a sense. I believe that I have been blessed with good perspective. It isn't hard for me to find joy in little things and I am a fairly content person. (Funny, after writing this I received some disappointing news....ha ha, the Lord wants me to practice what I preach apparently and find joy in any situation!) This book is a great reminder to me too that God isn't done with me yet.
The author talks about how when Jesus was baptized by John, really the beginning of his "unhidden" years, the Bible says that when Jesus came out of the water, "A voice from heaven said 'This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.'" (Matthew 3:17) Jesus hadn't even DONE anything at this point, yet the Lord acknowledged him as His son, said that He loved him, and that He was pleased with him. That challenges me so much as a parent. I need to not just wait until Emersyn has done good things or somehow earned my praises; I want to speak affirmations and love to her just because she is my daughter. This should encourage us as children of God too. God loves us and is pleased with us, even if we don't feel like we have done much in life that is significant yet.
I loved this excerpt from "Anonymous"......it especially touched my heart as a mother.
"What news! God is pleased with my hidden years. He does not view anonymous seasons as boring and unfortunate preludes to be rushed through quickly so I can move on to some other season that is more productive and exciting.
And though, like any parent, I am sure God finds joy in every season of our lives, it will not surprise me if in the end we learn that he enjoyed our hidden years the most. They seem less cluttered with the glittery stuff that distracts us from his face.
My children are in their hidden years. They are dancing blissfully in almost complete anonymity. With the exception of a few other privileged souls, my husband and I are their primary audience. How we treasure the show!
My husband and I treasure beyond words our private viewing of Jonathan and Keona's hidden years. Our front row seats in their lives are priceless. We are their greatest fans, and for the moment, they are not looking for any others. We are enough. How nice it is to be enough.
I wonder if, in my own life, God feels like I believe he is enough.
Soon we will have competition. Soon others will be inspired by Jonathan's genius and dazzled by Keona's inner and outer beauty. Soon my children will have to navigate through praise and applause, criticism and rejection. Soon the room will be filled with flattering admirers and unwelcome detractors.
But my hope is that our presence, and more importantly the presence of Jesus that we keep drawing their attention to, will steady them. We were there before the crowds came, and he will be there after my husband and I and the crowds have to leave.
In hidden years, God is our only consistent audience. Others come and go, but only He always sees. God alone recognizes our full potential and comprehends the longings in our souls. When no one else is interested in (let alone impressed by) our capabilities and dreams, God is still whole-heartedly with fatherly pride shouting his love over us.
Anonymous seasons afford us the opportunity to establish God as our souls' true point of reference IF we resist underestimating how he treasures our hiddenness and take the time to decide whose attention and acceptance really matters in our life. "
~Chapter 14 from "Anonymous" by Alicia Britt Chole
I thought this was such a precious description of her children's childhood. It really made me realize the importance of encouraging my children and preparing them for days ahead when I wont always be there to applaud them or protect them. I also am encouraged to think that this is how the Lord views our "hidden" years, the years we feel are insignificant. I would never describe Emersyn's baby or toddler years as insignificant, even though she isn't out in the world changing it. It's such a sweet and loving picture of the love our Heavenly Father has for us.
Well, those are my thoughts for the day. Since I didn't get to participate in Bible study yesterday, it was fun to discuss my thoughts with all of you! :)