My week has been one covered in germs and Lysol and stuff I won’t even type because I love you too much for that. Four of us had a vicious stomach bug that wiped us out, and while sweet Peach managed to miss the stomach stuff she acquired a double ear infection and a bad case of bronchiolitis. This afternoon I had to take her back to the pediatrician so he could determine if she needed a breathing treatment. On the way, Lyd asked if we could puh-lease get home before Daddy would because she needed to finish decorating the table. I remembered on our way out the door I had seen that she had already set the table for dinner and added a few “decorations” to Matt’s spot at the table. I grinned in the rear-view mirror and told her that while I wasn’t sure we would make it home before Daddy I loved her heart. “That’s a Jesus-thing you’re doing, Lulu,” I told her, “setting a place for someone, inviting people to your table, making them feel loved and wanted.” She piped up from the backseat, “Mom! Do you think that’s my purpose?!” By now my eyes were smarting, and I rather enthusiastically responded, “Yes! Yes, I think this is your purpose, sweet girl! To make a safe place for people to feel loved and honored and welcome.”
There in the middle of a week that has felt like one big blur of germ-infested nothingness and on the way to a second doctor’s appointment in 24 hours, God gave me a gift from the back seat of my minivan. I drifted back to a conversation Matt and I had with Lyd in the middle of teeth brushing and band-aid applying last night where she asked us how a person knows the purpose God has for her. And I thought of one of the verses I added to my prayer journal recently, Deuteronomy 6:4-9:
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Later in Matthew 22 Jesus would give the same command to love God with all our heart, soul and mind and remind them of the second commandment which is like it, “to love thy neighbor as thyself.”
There in all our sickness and weariness, God gave me a beautiful gift–the opportunity to see the reverberations of a thousand prayers echo forth from the backseat. That my daughter would know her Creator has a purpose for every breath she takes, every word she speaks, every beautiful, messy soul she invites to her table.