when the kids are asleep in the borrowed camper and you find yourself sitting on the end of the bed in the middle of a mess in the dark and all you can think about is how a shower will wash everything away and you cry for the lost hope of getting a shower today and your cry turns to sobs because you just want a shower. and somewhere beyond the limits of what your heart can articulate, you know it's not really about a shower at all.

when the boy cries because he is so cold and because he wants to play in the ocean some more but he doesn't want to be cold either and he just can't figure out how to get everything he wants at the same time and ends up cuddled under a blanket in the corner of a camper sobbing.

because the heaving sighs and sobs come from a place of longing far deeper than your dirtiness and his coldness. the raw issue is value. because the newness of this week became overwhelming for us and we forgot whose we are, who we are.

and it's because this one man is so strong and courageous with his love and it seeps into our cores so unexpectedly but so routinely and it guides us and carries us in our dirty coldness, and so when he takes a moment to sit and make eye contact and heart contact with the cold boy, the boy remembers what he is capable of and he goes back to the beach to play and tackle the coldness and the waves, and when he takes a moment to sit with you and look at your eyes and tell you the truth about the situation you were in and you remember who you are and what you've been called into, what you've been rescued out of.

because you are valuable to him even when he is busy facilitating an extraordinary beach camp.

when the truth about this face to face relationship is a picture of the beauty of a spirit to spirit relationship. because, even more than ryan, God speaks truth to you about your unmerited value in the middle of your tunnel-vision focus on conquering new things like camping for 4 days with small kids and cooking food for 35 people three times a day and coping in the face of not having a shower nearby, and once you have been driven to a hotel for a perfectly scorching shower by a saint of a friend and once all the stoves and leftovers have been put away for good and once your kids climb screaming into the van and fall asleep immediately, you realize that God has been whispering the truth to your heart this whole time because that's what he does, he whispers and points and directs and encourages and reveals the truth in the midst of all your brokenness.

when it's all good. all the crying, all the laughing, all the thinking and prodding and stirring is all good, all a moving into closeness; with your husband, with your God.

let love and faithfulness never leave you. bind them around your neck write them on the tablet of your heart