Sunday, June 23, 2013

Kids in the City of God

Sometimes I feel crazy being Riviere's mother.  I have actually taken a leave of absence from church on Sunday mornings because of this craziness.  Riviere wants to walk around the whole time and say hi to everyone, touch everyone, and just generally yell happy things all the time.  And when we go to church, she is not supposed to do any of these things.  She is supposed to sit in a row.  Quietly.  Not talk to people or touch them until the designated time.  This doesn't work for her.  So, as you can imagine, no new toy can distract her more than a minute, she's trying to leap over my arms, go under my legs, scream her way into the crowd of people so she can be with them.  Then comes the mama guilt and worry.  Guilt for others around me being too distracted to worship.  Guilt for not being a good mama during these times.  Worry that others are judging.  Worry that I'm crushing my daughters spirit somehow.  Where's BJ in all this?  He's either at work (every third Sunday), leading worship, or running sound.  She has a tendency to excitedly yell "DADD-YYYY!" from the back row when she hears him singing over the speakers. 

When we go to the park across the street from our house, Riviere is walking up to the children.  She is touching the beads in their hair, the Dora on their shirt.  She is grabbing their hands to play ring around the rosey, or trying on their shoes.  Riviere is yelling "Hi Every-BODY!" to people who walk by our porch, people we pass in the grocery store, and people at the pool.  She is vivacious and she loves to connect.

Our girls are named out of Psalm 46:4-5:

There is a [Riviere] river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall rescue her, just at the [Orianna] break of dawn.

We believe that for our daughters, this scripture foretells of their journey with Jesus and with one another.  Riviere is a healing river and she loves the city of God.   A year ago, we asked our dear friend, Bethany, to paint a picture of this scripture for Riviere (not knowing that Orianna was a part of this as well).  This is what she painted in April 2012:

Prior to this painting, I had never seen the city of God when I imagined the scripture in the context of my daughter.  Two vital parts to this scene are the city, and the color gold, Or, that covers everything --infuses everything with light, with life. My children belong here in the city of God, these babies are meant to grow up here on Broadway, amongst the people of God.  Riviere and Orianna are meant to be here, and this is coming to life for me more and more each day as we engage the city of God all around us. 

If you (and your kids if you have any) would like to connect with us here in the neighborhood, you are welcome to come hang out on our porch and drink tea, go to the waterpad across the street at Lincoln Park, or join us on Monday Nights (through July 22, 2013) from 630-730 for our Growing Together Community Garden Kids Night with Godly Play, Games, Crafts, Snack. There is even an organic produce stand with delectables grown & sold by our employed at-risk-youth.  Please feel free to share any insights you have about the scripture or painting or how God is at work in your life, or through your children in the comments.