Monday, August 2, 2010

Gumdrops and Playing in the Mud

I’ve found out two things this week. Both are about Nicholas. Well actually I found out a third – that he likes dried pineapples (horrors… I’m still trying to take in that terrible reality). But anyway, two other things about Nicholas. He has never eaten a raspberry. And he has never eaten a gumdrop. Shock. Complete shock!!! Raspberries just happen to be about the most wonderful food in the universe. And gumdrops and plastic tabletop gumdrop trees are a foundation to a healthy childhood. Even as I write this I’m still trying to take in the sad reality of Nicholas eating neither.

Last night Nicholas came out to the yard and laughed as he saw me playing in the mud with my little shovel. Upon seeing my unworn gardening gloves on the porch, he asked why get dirty when I could wear the gloves. He hadn’t realized I like mud so much. He still doesn't get the elation one finds in squishy mud on one’s hands while sowing little seeds with so much potential to grow into plant grownups. I asked him what he thought about the garden and he said he didn’t know because, the few times he planted things when he was a kid, nothing came from it (I have also learned that mud digging in general has been discouraging… his mother told me about the day he dug a five foot hole hunting for a queen ant so that he could become an ant farm farmer. Needless to say, it didn’t work out. That seemed to permanently put a damper on digging).

Nicholas never knew how much I like mud. I never knew he hadn’t eaten a gumdrop.

Marriage is the most intimate relationship on earth. And yet even in that awesome intimacy we don’t fully know each other. We don’t fully know each other’s pasts. Presents. Hopes. Dreams. And so, every day, we keep learning about each other. And every day we make a point of telling and showing each other each other.

But there is One who fully knows Nicholas. And there is one who fully knows me. I don’t have to work to show Him myself. He knows. The One who thought of marriage in the first place, the One who thought of me before the foundations of the world, knows every thought I have ever had. The random moments of each day that fill me with extra joy (such as finding a penny on the sidewalk or noticing the time is 6:25 which is my birthdate). The concerns that are so tender that, when I try to say them, tears come instead of words. Every hope I’ve ever dared to hope. Even those hidden hopes that I’m afraid to dare give rise. I never surprise Him with my curious oddities and crazy ideas. He knows me.

And He knows even when I don’t know myself. Even those moments when Nicholas asks me what is wrong and I don’t have the words. Or the times I say one thing but mean another and Nicholas finally pieces together the root but it takes awhile (like when I started to cry the other day because I wanted a dog, but really I was crying because I wanted a baby so much my heart was in shreds). The Lord fully, completely, 110% understands. And He doesn’t just understand, He cares. And He doesn’t just care, He is the All-Powerful One who makes all things right in the end. And He doesn’t just make things right, He makes them better than right. He is the Author of rightness and goodness and sovereignty. He specializes in weaving His plan of wholeness and beauty for His kids.

The other day I found an old treasure box of most valuable possessions – a crumbled old corsage from high school graduation, a note from my grandma in Heaven now, my favorite tiny stuffed dog, etc. Little things collected while growing up. All saved together in my treasure box incase I had to run it downstairs during a tornado (being a Kansan one had to think about such things). Well I found it the other day and could hardly wait to show Nicholas these little treasures because they are windows into my soul, the experiences that shaped me. Nicholas is learning about these things, just as I am learning about the treasures of his life. Maybe he will even see pictures from the events captured in my box. He will learn about them. But the Lord was in them. The Lord was there during those events. He was by my side, surrounding me, within me. He knew every thought and hope and sadness and joy within those experiences. He knows how those impacted my soul. How good it is to have always been known! What joy and security that gives!

Knowing that I am known can and should powerfully impact every facet of my life. It should transform my reality, giving me an awesome confidence and security of belonging to my King and lover of my soul, and an ever increasing joy. It fills me with purposefulness. It helps me when I am tempted to despair over my sin instead of running to the cross with it. It fills me with joy when I consider life's obstacles and hardships that hover over me now or may someday ahead. It just transforms everything.

Sometimes it’s just good to remember this; that I am fully, truly known. I have always been known. I always will be. No matter what happens in life. No matter if there is someone there to share life experiences or not. God understands me, "gets" me, and delights in me. It is so, so good to be known!