I got to sit outside during a downpour this morning.

Some of my favorite memories from growing up is when it would thunderstorm during the summer and we would throw on our swimsuits and just run around the neighborhood. There’s something about summer storms that have me enchanted. I think that’s fairly common among people so I won’t focus on that. While sitting in the rain I got a chance to think about all the awesome memories I have from being a kid and how much I look forward to watching Appleseed make her own.

A desperate prayer I have for my little girl is that God would reveal to her while she is young the things he is revealing to me now. The good and the bad. Starting with the bad — I want her to see just how important it is to have a humble and repentant heart before our Almighty God. I want her to see the ease at which we turn away from the Lord and pursue idols or how hard it is to not rely on our own abilities to save us. These are really hard truths to hold on to in the culture we have on earth. But because of that, I want God to show her how much more wonderful it will be when we are with him all the time. When sin and death are gone and everyday is like dancing in the rain — because true and everlasting joy are ours as we gaze into the loving and powerful face of our Father and worship our Savior with complete abandon. Which brings me to the good — I want her to experience a relationship with Jesus that is all-encompassing. More than just knowing theologically that life with Him is the best way to live or relying on an emotional response to feel close to Him and therefore pursue Him. But to truly have her heart, soul, mind, and strength turned toward him in dependence, devotion, humility, and love. I want her to learn to trust God even more than she trusts me or her dad. To find security and identity in Him to a greater extent than she does in our family. I want her to be more than a Nelson. That name will get her nowhere before God. But in Jesus’ name, she will be able to worship at His feet and enjoy His Presence forever.

I know that much of these desires give a great responsibility to Eric and I to “train her up in the Lord.” To do more than satisfy her earthly needs and desires. To show her the value of endurance and struggle — not shield her from it. But also to display the love and grace that the Father has for us. That is going to be such a difficult responsibility. But what better way to show her that we all fall short and get her excited about the perfection of the One we serve than to love, serve, and teach her in a way that does not try to cover up our shortcomings.

I was thinking about another thing while sitting in the rain too. God is the only one who is able to make things completely new. We can renovate and sometimes things even look new but it’s still only a shadow of what God is able to do. He breathes life into dead places. He makes things grow. He knows how to care for his creation. I love the way rain makes things smell fresh.

Today is July 18. Which means we are exactly 1 month from our due date. I’ll be 36 weeks on Saturday. Trying to hold on with patience and use this remaining time wisely…not an easy task!