Something I have pined after for years. Something I knew that I would love and cherish and put to oh-so-good use. And while I was sincerely happy for others who had this thing that I wanted, at times I wondered why I couldn't have one.
This thing is expensive. And at this point in my life, if I can't feed, clothe, or shelter my family with it, I usually can't purchase it.
So here's what happened...
Dear Friend calls me to see when she can stop by. I wondered what she was up to. I figured she had a valentine or some chocolate. Something to make me smile. (Because she's sweet and spontaneous and generous like that.)
So on Friday, February 14th, she stopped by. The Man was still home. The kids were running around. The house was in various states of disarray. Just another day in paradise...
DF came in bearing a box.
What in the world is she doing? I thought.
Before I got to see what was in the box, she handed me an envelope.
Inside was a letter.
It was the nicest letter I think I've ever received. You know all the yucky things you think about yourself? Well, it was as if she had telepathy and knew all the bad self-talk going on inside my head and she wrote a letter telling me the opposite. I cried when I read it. And every time I've reread it, I've cried. And even now, just thinking about it, I'm still crying.
This letter was so amazing, it would have been enough. Who cares about what's in the box when you get a letter like that?
But the letter was just the tip of the iceberg.
Inside the envelope was a check, half of which is to be used by The Man and me to go on a much-needed date AND pay for a babysitter. The other half is for me. Just me.
Well, the letter AND the generous sum of money would have certainly been enough. Way more than enough.
But still, just the tip of the iceberg.
I opened the box.
I SCREAMED. And SCREAMED. And jumped...many, many times. And, still more SCREAMING. And jumping...
Poor Cupcake. He was so scared, he cried because his mother was screaming like a banchee and the Man just had to hold him and attempt to restore calm.
Inside the box was a new camera. A brand new Canon Digital Rebel.
Custom-chosen just for me. It even has an "image-stabilizer" lens. I don't even know what that is. Plus a camera case, memory card, and various accoutrements to go with the camera. You can't even imagine how nice and fancy this camera is.
For little ol' me.
I couldn't believe I was staring at the thing. The thing I've craved and only admired from a distance, dreaming of the day when I would grip my own and capture the most beautiful pictures of my children's faces.
And even as I type this, I am still crying. I have cried a lot over this thing that I got nine days ago.
Because, you see, it's way more than a thing.
It is a giant helping of Grace.
I didn't deserve the letter or the money and certainly not the camera. Wanted? Yes. Deserved? No.
In the letter, DF told how she had been praying about what to do with some money she knew she and her husband were to give. And I was the one who kept coming to her mind.
The letter said:
Let her know that I love her. Let her know that I see.
So she did.
And He did.
I don't know why my Father chooses to make Himself known to me in such huge ways. I think it's because I am stubborn and quick to forget...and easily distracted by things I don't have.
And still, He provides for me, his forgetful and doubting and discontented child.
Because He has done it time and time again, particularly over the last two years since I left my career to be home with my children. When I left that job, we said goodbye to nearly one-half of our family's income.
We thought we were crazy. Foolish even. But I knew God was calling me to this. To greater faith, to greater dependence on Him as my provider.
It has not been a bed of roses. Stress, anxiety, doubt, not knowing how to pay this or that. Not paying this or that. We've experienced all of the above.
But our God has supplied all our needs, often not in our timing. But always in His.
And He's even gone beyond supplying our needs. At times, He has even supplied our wants. Big lavish, luxurious wants. Like cameras.
How much does the Father love me? 12.1 megapixels. That's how much.