As I was searching for some candy with which to decorate our gingerbread houses, I ran across some cookies in a tin at the dollar store. I was struck with deja vu so strongly that I could remember just for an instant exactly what it felt like to be 10 years old. You see, years ago (before iPods) my mother gave my sister, my cousin, and me little round cookie tins to play with. Hours on end, we would sit with the Sears and JCPenney catalogs (remember those?) and scissors, making a "pretend family". We would each pick out a husband, however many kids we wanted, what clothes we would like to wear, toys for our kids, appliances, even hair styles, and we would cut them out and store them in our cookie tins. We were quite creative, building this elaborate pretend world that occupied most of our play time. What great times we had!
I love to reminisce about those days, and the more I visited those times in my mind, the more I realized just what a miracle had occured in my life. When we played, I ALWAYS had 5 children (which I have now). I always wanted a Christian husband. I always wanted to love only one man in my whole life. I always wanted to stay at home with my children. I didn't know anything about homeschooling then, but I knew about Daycare. My mother ran a daycare center in our home. I loved those kids and spent so much fun, quality time with them. They loved me because I did all the fun stuff with them. Their moms would come pick them up after a long days' work, take them home for supper, baths, homework, laundry, and the menial tasks of everyday life. When I played pretend, I always included me (as the pretend Mom) doing all the fun stuff with my own kids. In my dreams, my kids thought I was super cool instead of the babysitter! Little did I know then, that God would open the door for homeschooling for me, allowing me to spend abundant time with my children and create tons of memories and traditions that I hope they will take with them forever. When I first held Caleb in my arms, I decided I was going to milk every ounce of fun out of him that I possibly could, and I've tried to live up to that with all my kids.
Seeing how the Lord has brought me full circle from my childhood dreams to my real adult life is overwhelming to me. God is so gracious. He's so kind. And thoughtful. And loving. Praise His Name! He truly does give us the desires of our hearts. When I say that I couldn't have had a better life if I had hand-picked it all myself, I hope you'll know that I literally mean that. The Lord has given me everything I ever desired, much more than I ever deserved.