It has been a crazy 24 hours. We had our last day of school, followed by an hour and a half at McDonald's as I attempted to give the carpenters just a little more time to pull off 'the big, huge surprise.'
The treehouse was built inside a large magnolia at the edge of our patio in the backyard. The amazing men who built it did most of the prework offsite, but have been working while the children were at school for the last two days.
I have had all of the drapes on the backside of our house drawn closed--and have been unable to let them play in the yard for fear that they would discover their gift too soon. When the children were home, I was unable to leave them unattended downstairs, for fear someone would peek behind the drapes. It almost happened yesterday as K attempted to open them to let in a little sunshine. "Mama, why are all these curtains closed? It is so dark!"
Mercifully, my husband was able to wrap up work a little early Friday. When he arrived home at 4, we decided to go ahead and have 'the big reveal.' We told the children their gift was outside in the backyard and they had to find it.
The magnolia provides pretty decent coverage, so it took a minute or so...
Their initial response was not as enthusiastic as my hubby had hoped. They were pleased, but unsure about what to do.
"What do we do with this thing?" one of them asked.
It did not take long for their imaginations to kick in...and the new "Scott Spot" was christened with a dance party.
A few minutes later I saw K heading up the ladder with her sidewalk chalk. Just like a little woman, she was ready to nest by doing a little decorating. And also predictably, she did a lot of supervising and instructing P in how she would like things done!
Today at the party we received a few other great gifts that will be useful accessories for the treehouse: a battery powered lantern, some cool chairs and the promise of a groovy new communication system involving funnels.
I think they'll figure out what to do with it!
And tonight as I reflected on their initial response and the evolution of it all, I got another little (BIG) lesson from God.
My husband and I have taken great joy in preparing this special treat for our children. It has been several weeks of researching, planning, whispering, investing. The only hint I had given the children was that their gift was big and a surprise. R decided it was a huge teddy bear for them all to share. All I could think was Oh, your perspective is so small. It is so much better than that!
The gift was more than they had asked for or expected. How often this is true in my life! Instead of rejoicing, I have to step back and re-evaluate. I have to adjust my expectations--even when the adjustment is upwards. "What, God, am I supposed to do with this?" I ask.
And He is faithful to show me if I trust Him. It is a message that resonates throughout my testimony. It is not a prosperity gospel message. God 's Will for my life has brought me heartache and disappointment--and incredible gifts. Walking this road of His brings both--and we can rarely predict much about when or why. We simply trust and follow. It is, afterall, all about Him, not me.
“You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him. Matthew 7:9-11 (NLT)
I'll post about the party tomorrow...