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As I talked with her in the parking lot after we boogied and sweated together in Zumba class, I was tickled by her enthusiasm and joy.   Sometimes in these conversations I can see her becoming a woman and blossoming right there in front of me.  I couldn’t help smiling as my firstborn gushed about all the awesome things God is doing in her life and the exciting opportunities for ministry coming her way.   As she spoke, God spoke very clearly to me, “See my handiwork?  Isn’t this much more valuable than any house, paycheck, or material thing?”

Years ago when the girls were little, they loved to help us with projects.  I especially loved it when we would open up the “Klotz Christmas workshop” to make cookies and sweets for neighbors or church friends.  Sure, we’d end up with flour all over our hair and clothes and the dog, a few misshapen gingerbread people with oddly placed eyes and buttons, way too much frosting in our tummies, and sprinkles all over the floor, but it was fun.  When we washed the car I might have to go over spots they missed or finish on my own because they got sidetracked pouring buckets of water on each other, but I loved having them with me.  Even if their contribution wasn’t always that great or created more work in the long run, I’d rather do stuff together as a family because I love them.

God is showing me that all along He’s been the true parent and shaper of my girls, John and I just get to help.  Our shortcomings or mistakes haven’t ruined them or robbed them of the future God has for them because it’s His plan, His delight, His design of who they are and are becoming.  His dream for them is bigger than I could come up with.  He is able to do so much more than we ever could.  He arranges for other believers to walk up beside them on their path to encourage them, to guide them, to counsel them, to befriend them.  He leads them to opportunities, to the right places at the right times.  I couldn’t orchestrate that like He does.  He speaks to their hearts and calls them near as only He can. Just like the psalmist said, He knit them together in my womb, choosing the personality and gifts they would each have.  He breathed into their little bodies an eternal soul.  I got to carry them, help bring them into the world, hold their hands, try to teach and discipline them, play with them, feed them, watch them succeed and fail, pray for them, hurt with them, and love them but they have each been God’s project all along.

I don’t really think he needs our help.  In fact, I’m pretty sure there are times I create more work for Him.  I do think He enjoys having us by His side, doing our best, trying to make him proud, looking up to Him now and then with big smiles as if to say “Is this good?  How’s this, Dad?”  God likes having His family involved in what He’s doing.  He loves us.

And He’s right, watching Him do His work in my girls as they find purpose and fulfillment in Him is so much more valuable to me than any earthly thing.  If my girls walk closely with Jesus and love to serve Him, then my heart is full and glad.

Thank you, Papa, for letting us help with the three beautiful girls you placed in our lives.  Thank you for filling in places we have missed and fixing our mistakes.  You are amazing.  You know what You’re doing.  You’re doing a good job!  I am in awe of You.

God, you are our Father.
We’re the clay and you’re our potter:
All of us are what you made us.
– Isaiah 64:8  The Msg