Preparing a Place for You

Ann Leland,

It still seems so surreal to say, or type, just that– your name. A name that we initially both agreed on but ventured down quite the interesting path to return to it. Girlfriend, your mom already has your back, because Lord knows your dad threw out some pretty wild suggestions along the way. One of the most entertaining being Meadow. Who knows, maybe one day in your teenage dramatics, you will tell me in angst that I withheld your creative freedom and should have named you Meadow after all. However, can I let you in on a little secret? After we decided on your name, I looked up the meaning for kicks and giggles….. Leland means “meadowland”. Your dad got his meadow after all. Jesus has a sense of humor; you will soon learn this.

At any rate, we are T- 3 weeks (I hope) until your sweet arrival, and over the last several months, I have been slowly but surely preparing your room for you. Let’s get serious. Your mother is a hot mess of a procrastinator. The rug and curtains still aren’t here yet, so take your time, little one. Take your time. Let’s also not fail to mention all of the ridiculous and embarrassing things your mom, here, has done in planning and preparing your room. I have: 1) made your dad drive to San Antonio and back on his Friday off after Christmas to get your crib 2) cornered and polled at least three unsuspecting women in Pottery Barn about your bedding… after staring at it myself for at least 30 minutes…to only make it home with a twin-sized bed skirt… not a crib skirt. 3) ordered a book for your room solely because I thought it was pretty only to receive it in the mail and realize it had no words. We are going to have quite the time narrating that one. 4) Ordered new decorations for above your crib tonight after buying two different sets of prints and making your dad and grandmother hang both… multiple times. These are sadly just a few examples. Luckily, “baby brain” is aiding me in delayed recall of all of my blunders in trying to prepare a room for you.

Don’t get me wrong. I have good intentions. I want your room to be perfect. I want your room to be prepared just for you. I want it to be home. I want it to be a place where you feel and know love. I want it to be a place you find peace and rest. I have good intentions, but my heart has been ill-focused.

The last few weeks, I have felt the nudging on my heart. I have heard the whispers. He is gently telling me, gently reminding me; my room may be imperfect, but His is not. I have stressed and planned over this physical room, these four walls that are so very temporal, when you have a greater place, an eternal residence, a perfect Heavenly home, designed by a Carpenter and Father who loves you more than you can fathom.

My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going. –John 14:2-4

You see, my sweet A.L., He has prepared a place for you. A place where you also may be where He is. A room that is perfect. A room that is prepared just for you. A place that is home. A place where you will eternally feel and know love. A place where you will find peace and rest. You simply have to open the door. I pray that one day you do just that.

Therefore, in these last few weeks of waiting for your arrival, I pray that my heart is not ill-focused. I pray that I take my eyes off the four walls down the hallway and fix my eyes upon your eternal home and how I can guide and point you more accurately to that place. I pray that I forget about Flora the Flamingo and her completely barren book and that I instead concentrate on His word and His abundant message of mercy and grace. For that, that is the story to tell you. I pray that I accept and live out as a parent that this is not where your true home lies. Ultimately, I pray that your heart is embedded in Him and that you so easily reside in His presence.

And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.”

And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”- Luke 2: 48-49

While I hope that you always feel safe, that you know and feel love in our physical home, that you find encouragement and support when you come through our door, I hope that your heart is lost in your Father’s house. I hope that this is a home-away-from-home where you discover truth, where you grow in wisdom, where you develop roots, where you learn of love and its Creator, where you serve, not just in church, but the Church, where you comprehend He must become greater and you must become less, where “you also may be where I am”.

Little girl, I am preparing a place for you. I am so anxiously awaiting your arrival, to meet you, to look into your little face, and to welcome you into this world, but I am thanking Jesus extra today for His Father’s house, its perfect preparation, and praying that you, too, will one day know the “place where He is going”.

 

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