I hope our daughter doesn’t develop a neurotic fear of ladybugs and dragonflies. If so, it will be my fault. Or, more appropriately, her mother’s fault.
I spent most of this past week getting Paytyn’s room ready for her. Not that i don’t enjoy hearing her turn over and grunt all night long right next to our bed while i’m trying to sleep, but i know that eventually (by age 9 or so) she’ll probably want to move out of mom and dad’s bedroom.
If you’ve been reading along, you know that I had actually planned on being ready with the room before she was born. But even though I had very carefully planned (with the help of the cool calendar the doctor has) the exact day of her birth, she decided to come about three weeks early. So, she is here, and i’m still fixing up the room.
We have a crib, dresser, changing table, diaper pail, laundry basket, bookshelf, lamps, toy box, rocking chair and stool, and any number of other baby things that go in a nursery. The problem is, prior to a baby, we had a lot of other stuff in there too. So, i spent the week pulling stuff out, throwing stuff away, moving stuff in my garage and then organizing the stuff that had to go in.
My big task this weekend was to put up stickers of ladybugs and purple dragonflies all over the room. I didn’t even know they made such a thing until i met them at BabysRUS. But, they fit the theme of the room–which includes a whole hive of ladybugs (do they live in hives?) and purple dragonflies. And so, i carefully pulled them off their backing and placed them in aesthetically strategic places all over the room.
It’s funny when i think that with painting, organizing, and decorating the room (to my wife’s exact specifications), i have probably spent more time on the ambiance of that room than any other in my house. Painting alone took quite a bit of time. But it was really the rest of the detail work that has taken most of the time. What style crib should we get her? What color wood should it be? Should we get the dresser that matches and a matching changing table? Or should we just get a matching dresser/changing table combo? What style rocker-glider chair should we get? Is it wide enough? Does the wood color match? Is the ladybug lamp a little overkill on bug deco? What color curtains will look nice? On and on and on and on . . .
And after hours and hours, i realized this weekend, we still aren’t done. There is still a few little touches to add to make the room perfect.
Now, at first i thought my wife had completely lost her mind. I mean, after all, it’s not like the baby can even see more than shadows of light and dark right now anyway. But, the more i helped prepare the room, the more i began to catch the fever as well. My eye for decoration has never been this “on fire.” Makes me wanna watch the home and garden channel or something.
And as i sat around drinking my coffee this morning (a good late monday start is perfect for any youth pastor’s week) thinking about these final touches i could add after work tonight, I realized why I am so caught up in it all. I don’t really love decorating and preparing a room. I really love my daughter.
I love my daughter. There is something so exciting about knowing she is gonna grow and change and move into this room and look around and (hopefully) love ladybugs. The idea that she is a part of our family is mind-blowing. The idea that her vision of home will be this room that I am preparing is exhilarating. And in the end, i’m not doing it because i enjoy it on its own, but because of my excitement in creating a small part of her place in our home. I’m excited about her.
It reminds me of Jesus’ words one time. He said, “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would i have told you that i go to prepare a place for you? And if i go and prepare a place for you, i will come again and will take you to myself, that where i am you may be also.”
What if heaven isn’t so much about our excitement to be there, but of God’s long-suffering excitement to be with us? What if God is preparing to come and live with us with the same intensity and joy that a new father takes in carefully planning each detail of his daughter’s new room? What if God is using every ounce of his unlimited creativity to prepare our part of his house?
You know, in that case, it might not really be about the room itself? Maybe the streets of gold and diamond goblets and all that God can create aren’t really the payoff. Maybe the beauty of heaven isn’t any of the stuff God actually dreams up as decoration, but in the desiring, preparing, anticipating love of a Father for his child to come home.
How crazy?! I always thought that it was us that would be the most excited to be in heaven. But, what if the person most excited about heaven is God? What if the greatest joy is His?
That i would spend solid xbox time placing ladybug stickers on a wall is to non-fathers out there, a little crazy. But, crazier still, that an Infinite Creator God would spend even half a second thinking about my eternal home is just plain unfathomable. And if that’s the case, then i don’t care what the decorations are, i only know i wanna be loved by someone like that. I most desperately want to be a part of that family.
I hope Paytyn grows up and feels that way too. And i hope she doesn’t develop a severe phobia of all things bugs.