A beautiful little girl is celebrating her FOURTH birthday today - her name is Abigail Grace Schreck!
Known as Abby to most of us, her name actually means "Joy of the Father." And our oldest grand daughter has proven to fulfill her name over and over these four years.
The most resilient child I've ever met. Abby has weathered surgeries, eye exams, x-rays, and face plants more times than we can count. (Her feet don't always carry her where she wants to go as quickly as she wants to get there!)
But with each difficulty she jumps up, brushes herself off, flashes a smile that could melt an iceberg and takes off again. We're never sure if it's the huge blue eyes, the adorable dimples, the bouncy blonde hair or the raspy lisp that pulls everyone in to her spell.
But when Abby focuses on you and begins to explain the latest adventure taking place in her imagination, you can't help but smile and nod agreement. I've watched her captivate the toughest heart and force them to break into a silly grin of delight.
This fall she'll begin kindergarten. We can't believe time is passing so quickly. One thing is for sure, she'll be loved by her teacher and classmates just as soon as they meet her.
That's our Abby! Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl!
Last week I was getting my breakfast at the same time Nathan was packing his lunch for the day. Our kitchen times overlap occasionally but I'm aware that Nathan is not a morning person. He loves me. He always responds politely to my overly chirpy comments.
But typically we stick to three sentences:
- "Good Morning!" "Morning."
- "Did you rest well?" "Pretty good."
- "Have a blessed day!" "Thanks, you too."
But I knew his lunch would be stale in record time. And at that moment, I remembered where there was a lone zip lock bag. It stood as a silent sentry in the pantry, guarding the freshness quotient of my British tea bags.
As many of you know, air is the arch nemesis of tea bags. Once they've been exposed to air, the freshness is sucked right out into the atmosphere and the avid tea drinker (such as myself) is left with decidedly mediocre tea.
And so you make every effort to guard the delicate tea leaves against being accosted by the brutish air. Hence, the importance of the single zip lock bag in our pantry.
But I dearly love my sons. The girls have accused me of showing more love to the boys than to them - silly girls!
It took all of a millisecond for me to reach into the pantry, grab the zip lock and empty it of the fragrant tea. "Nathan, here's a sandwich bag."
He was surprised I had found one but expressed his gratitude, deposited the sandwich and quickly headed for the front door.
"Have a Blessed Day, Nate!" "Thanks, you too."
As the door closed, I rolled the tea bags into a tight ball against the onslaught of freshness-stealing oxygen. "At least it wasn't an entire sleeve of tea bags, only half." I consoled myself with the idea.
While waiting for water to boil, I reached for the milk and thought, "Wow, Nathan isn't a tea drinker. He didn't even have a way to realize what a gift I gave him." I smiled with the thought of my small token preserving his sandwich......and my heart was instantly glad I had shared.
As I poured the amber liquid into one of my favorite cups and watched the steam rise, a whisper came to me. "Sheri, how many times have I felt the same way?"
It was the familiar whisper of my Heavenly Father impressing my heart. "How many times have I provided a gift for you that was more precious than you really understood?"
Before I could feel any guilt, the impression came clearly, "And I'm always glad I provided for you. I dearly love you!"
A single tear dropped into my perfect cup of tea as I bowed my head. "Thank you, Father! Thank you so very much for every precious gift that I didn't understand how to value. I'll never have the words to adequately express my gratitude. I dearly love You, too!"
Rest assured, Dear Reader, He dearly loves you just the same!