If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Psalm 139:9-10 (NIV)
When the family gathered this weekend to bid oldest son bon voyage as he leaves to work in Hawaii, my husband’s niece brought the entertainment. That is actually how we sometimes refer to her daughter, Julia, also known as, Miss Julia, or “the entertainment” as in, “I brought the entertainment.” It has been a long time since our family had a baby in it (seventeen years) and even longer since it was a girl baby with flirty blue eyes and long blonde curls. Julia looks just like her aunt did at her age, and I’m told just like her grandpa did as well. She is a real doll and in that toddler way, knows it, but is not conceited about it. It is just normal to be adored and petted. We are all besotted with her. When Julia comes, she always has a new “trick” to show off. This time, it was singing the ABC song which she did over and over. Sometimes, standing on the seat of a high stool like a young drunk at the end of a Friday night binge. There was always some grandparent, aunt or cousin to cheer her on or catch her if she looked like she was going to fall. Like a bartender closing down for the night, her mama caught us at it and made her get back down on the floor. She loves to run after our dogs so much that we have to keep them locked in a bedroom behind a baby gate. She peeks around the corner at them and squeals when they run for cover. They are terrified of her. It is amazing the power of a thirty-five pound little girl over a ninety pound Doberman. She loves me because I always have cookies and make pretty jewelry. She is too young to have any of her own, but I have promised her a treasure trove someday when she learns not to put things in her mouth. That’s the way it is with Julia, we all want to give her the moon. But, when it comes time to put Julia in her pajamas for the long drive home, everyone scatters. Like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the sweet entertainer turns into a mad dog. There is much chaos as grandpa holds her down and grandma and mama change her clothes. Aunt Jennifer makes funny faces as a diversion, but it doesn’t work. She twists, turns and screams until the diaper is changed and top and bottoms are snapped together. Then, she smiles and asks to cuddle. It reminds me of how sometimes God’s children also struggle within His Hands. We are safe and protected there, but when we want our own way, it seems like a prison instead. Why can’t we just remain calmly in His arms knowing that He wants only good for us and knows what is best? I don’t know, but I do know this. Whether I am fussing or trusting, God loves me anyway.