I went to Bismarck to meet my (for all intents and purposes) niece this weekend. She's about three weeks old, but this is the first chance I've had to go and spend some time with her and her family (very close friends, Jeromie & Missy and three-year old big brother, Drew).
The moment I met her, I fell in love.
I'm not a big baby person, but, just like with her big brother, I fell in love the moment I saw her. I spent almost the entire weekend holding her. The only time I wasn't holding her was when she was eating. And I took those opportunities to hang out with Drew. Three-years old is my favorite age, and he had me laughing out loud so many times. Jeromie made mickey mouse pancakes for breakfast Saturday morning, and as Drew was crawling up into his chair and saw them, he says "These are adorable!" What three-year old says that?! I pushed him on his horsey swing (the kid is fearless), and we teeter totted at the park. Missy has some excellent pictures of other park activities, but she's a little pre-occupied, so I think it will be a while before I get them. :-)
We went to church this morning (where I held Paige the whole time), and the Pastor preached from Proverbs 31, and as I held her and listened to him read verse 30 (A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised), I realized that is my prayer for her. What a privilege to pray that prayer for her every day as she grows to be a woman who loves and fears the Lord.
Every time I looked at her, the only thought that crossed my mind was 'I love you,' and then my logical side kicked in, and I would sometimes think, 'Why?' Why do I love her so much? How does that work? She hasn't done anything to earn my love. By virtue of simply being, I love her. And to be honest, the whole covering my chest and face in spit-up should have knocked her down a couple rungs, but it didn't. And then I realized what a beautiful (and minute) picture that is of God's love for us. We don't and can't do anything to earn his love or acceptance, but the simply being who He made us, He loves us - no matter what we do. Unfortunately, the analogy on our side breaks down, because most of us are a lot more tolerable of babies, and we often fall into the trap and "falling out of love" with someone because they do things that cause not to like them. I am so thankful that I serve a God who will never fall out of love with me and will eternally feel about me an even more perfect form of what I felt for little Miss Paige Marie yesterday.
Alright, alright. Enough of my thoughts. Let's show some pictures of the beautiful and loved little girl.