Summer Travels, Developmental Leaps, and God’s Delight


We traveled this summer. Preaching and then spending time together as a family. 5 year old Josiah, 16 month old Ava, my husband Caleb and I explored beaches and hiked in forests in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California. Beauty all around. Bright spots of joy everywhere. Our Maker’s handiwork on full display. 

Only a few days into our trip, Ava took a leap in her language development. She pointed at things around her and said their names with recognition and assurance. Beyond the words she was already using like “Daddy” “Mommy” and “Siah” (her brother), she called out Jesus, baby, book, water, hungry, eat. Everything had a name and she would attempt to say it! She woke up.

One of the moments I hope to always remember is when I coached her at bedtime.  Say, “Jesus,” I said.
“Jesus,” she said.
Say, “loves,” I said.
“Loves,” she said.
Then before I could say the next word, she called out with such joy, eyes dancing, “Me!” It caught me by surprise. She was delighted in her ability to fill in the sentence with the next word! More than that, she seemed delighted by what she was announcing.

“Jesus loves me!” she said, in a sweet baby voice. Yes, my darling! It’s true.  We repeated this pattern a few times. Each time, she filled in with great joy, “me!” before I was able to say it. 

In the stillness of that room, a temporary home away from home, I blessed my daughter. With tears brimming in my eyes for the sheer delight and gift of the moment.

My daughter,
May you always know you are deeply loved by Jesus. 
May you remember that you bring this same delight to us and to God. 
May you know that your presence brings joy and makes the world a better place. 

What about you dear friend?  Do you need to go back to the basics today?  To delight in the sheer simplicity of the truth.
You are deeply loved by Jesus.
God delights in you.
Your presence brings joy and makes the world a better place.