Life has been full, good, busy and unexpected and I did not mean to be away from here so long. Many times I’ve sat down to blog and only stared at a blank screen wondering where to begin.
So I’ll just start small and share a little update on the family. Brandon will officially retire from the Army next week! I met him almost 20 years ago and I’ve only always known him as a soldier. This is a big change for us, but a welcome one. He already has a new job lined up with a great company, and we are excited for this next chapter. Thinking back over the past years, gosh, we’ve had some hard times (and 3 deployments added for good measure), but somehow the whole thing’s been covered in grace. Like God took one of Rhema’s markers and colored his goodness all over our ugly, restoring to us things and years we thought we lost.
The girls are doing so well. Hope continues to amaze me with her devotion to Rhema. It seems that from a small age, all on her own, she decided to be her sister’s best friend. She’s made it her aim and pleasure to love, protect and cheer her sister.
Recently Rhema became overwhelmed when we were dining out at a restaurant with extended family. Much to my dismay she scratched/hit Hope who was sitting next to her. Later Hope showed me the mark on her arm and we talked about what happened. Mainly I just listened in wonder as Hope explained to me that sometimes Rhema gets so overwhelmed she just doesn’t know what to do. I asked her how she felt when Rhema got upset in the restaurant and she said, “I just kept trying and trying to think about what could be bothering her so I could help, but I couldn’t figure it out.”
The next day Hope told me that she and Dana gave Rhema the opportunity to say she was sorry. “But she was too happy,” Hope reported. “Rhema just kept giggling! So Dana suggested that Rhema give me a kiss on my arm.” So with a little help Rhema kissed (nuzzled) Hope. That was it, case closed. And Hope laughed at the whole thing because she takes Rhema just as she is and loves her whole.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Rhema’s voice. How I listen for it, like a hound dog with perked-up ears. According to the speech evaluations she presents with a “limited phonemic repertoire”, and is currently working hard to learn to produce letter sounds. Her voice is beautiful and rare and every sound is precious because it comes from her lips. My Bible study reading in 1 Samuel this week said when the word of the Lord was rare in those days Samuel prayed, “Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.” I couldn’t help but think of Rhema and how I wait to hear her, how her “Bye” in the morning as I drop her off at school doesn’t come easy but when it comes it makes my day. So too, my soul longs to hear God. I know that just one word can breathe new life into me.
“Speak, Lord; for Your servant hears. I have prayed to You, I have told You my grief and now I am just sitting still to hear… I am all ears and all heart. If You will command me, I will obey. If You will comfort me, I will believe. If You will reprove me, I will meekly bow my head. If You will give me the assurance of Your love, my heart shall dance at every sound of Your voice. Only speak, Lord; for Your servant hears.” ~Charles Spurgeon
I tiptoed into their rooms, prayed for them quietly and said “I love you.”
And I heard it. All this time, all along He’s been whispering love.