Tomorrow is the Parent Child Dedication at church for us and Royce. We are also celebrating her first birthday a week or so early with our family. I had mentioned in previous posts what a challenging year this has been for us. In a sense for me tomorrow culminates this year. I feel the need to celebrate because really we have so much to be thankful for, not the least of which is Royce Adelyn, our third little love, and my sweet joy baby.
Before we decided on Royce’s middle name, we considered giving her the middle name “Joy”, but we thought the whole Roy-Joy thing was a bit…I don’t know…weird. So we went with Adelyn. I love it. But to me she has always had a sort of invisible middle name too. I always think of her as my little joy baby because God has used her to radiate His joy into our lives throughout this past year in ways no one else could. I knew our family was not yet complete before Royce was born, but I did not know how much was missing until we met this sweet angel. It is as if she fills a place in each one of us, Hayleigh and Braxton included. The love and joy that God has brought to our home through her is exactly what this year required.
God knows what we need when we need it. Once again He proved this to me by sending me my Roycie. There is not a doubt in my mind that God said “This year is going to be a tough one. It is going to wear you out and down. I will teach you so many valuable, hard fought truths, but at many times it will seem bitter. So I am sending you the tangible sweetness you need to go along with it.” Her name is Royce. So many times this past year I run through my mental list of all the crap that we have been dealt this past year, but I can’t write off this year (because I believe in suffering producing beauty in us) but also because there is something, someone, on that list that trumps them all. So many times her innocent and adorable face has cracked through to my inside and brought me a kind of joy in pain that I have never experienced before. she has brought me back to the present, brought me back to enjoying the simple things, the things that really matter. She has reminded me that God really does give good gifts to His children, even if at times we may question that.
And what a gift she is! From the moment she was born, and even before (especially in Hayleigh’s case), we have been smitten.
Her face does mysterious things to me. She has that effect on all of us actually. No one can penetrate past the bad moods, or tempers, or stress the way Royce can with her sideways grin. She was born with a great purpose, as we all are. I do not know what God’s long term purpose for her life is, but I know for right now His purpose was to infuse my heart with incredible joy. Some times you have to go searching for joy, especially when things are tough. But some times joy just smiles up at you and gives you a drooly kiss right on your lips. I love when God speaks to me through my kids. I have never heard Him speak so loudly through someone who at this point has only uttered about 7 different words. Her innocence reminds me that she has no idea of all the stuff this past year has brought, and that has a purity to it that is refreshing. Her tenderness and neediness reminds me of how I need my Heavenly Father.
I am thankful for God knowing what I needed, even when I thought at the time another baby was just about the last thing we needed. He knew we would need some extra sunshine in our lives this year. He knew that without her we would be tempted to write November 2012-November 2013 off as an entirely bleak year. I am thankful that God gives us good gifts and lets me be the steward of three amazing ones. And today I am so thankful for my Royce Adelyn. I am excited to devote a day to a simple celebration with our family, celebrating her life the past year and how God has used her to impact all of us. I want to celebrate the joy in the midst of a very difficult year for all of us and our extended family. To me Royce embodies that joy. She is indeed that tangible reminder of God’s love, provision and happiness. So as we celebrate our Roycie Adelyn and the incredibly sweet joy she has brought into our lives this past year, we will also celebrate God’s faithfulness and grace in our lives.
Happy Dedication Day and (almost) Birthday, our Bee-bah! What a miraculous blessing you are. Oh, how I love you.