Spring 2019 / by Daphne Petrey

One day in the middle of a lengthy wet spell, my three daughters and I were at home getting a little stir crazy—some more than others. When the rain finally let up a bit, and one asked to go outside, I said, “Yes!”

I figured a little wetness would not hurt—it could be a prelude to a real shower upon re-entrance into our dry abode!

When I looked outside, I was stunned. What was this child of mine doing—dressed in a pink and blue beret, a short layered black skirt, green watermelon t-shirt, the smelliest, sparkly, blue Toms any child has ever worn, and a beautiful, three sizes too small red wool coat with a faux fur collar?

I just watched, wondering if I should make her come inside, but she was enjoying her time outdoors so much. And honestly, I could tell she needed this freedom from the four walls.

I joined her in the great (wet) outdoors and took her picture. Then I asked her, “What are you doing?”

“I am feeling the rain.”

And such is life with her—she feels the rain in every situation. When life is sad, her eyes fill with tears. When life is funny, she rolls with laughter. When she sees an injustice, she burns with anger. When she sees a need, she does her best to meet it. When someone is sad, she gives them warm hugs. She is not afraid to feel every emotion and to love every person she meets.

Our daughters are so different: One feels more than the others, one fears more, and the other one wants to cuddle more.

It is my job to help each one navigate the world around her according to her own bent. To point each to the God who has always been by my side and will always be by hers and who has plans for her for a hope and a future.

Before the Lord gave me these precious daughters, I never realized how different people can be. Thanks to these little ladies, I have had to learn to love different people in different ways.

Being sensitive to each personality sometimes means I must stop what I have planned for our day and listen to the heart of a little soul trying to navigate this great big world. She may need a quiet cuddle on the couch at that moment more than the completion of three pages of math. Other times, it means taking an impromptu trip to the closest Dollar General to let someone use her money on something she needs. Sometimes that means that I put the school books away, pop popcorn, and put a movie on because everyone needs a little downtime.

It takes time and much prayer to understand each child’s different needs, but I would not trade this job for anything else. I hope you, too, can take time to appreciate the uniqueness of each person in your home. I want to encourage you to occasionally take some time out from your schedule to feel the rain.

God knew that I needed to learn to feel the rain. To live my life to the fullest and to enjoy every minute of it—whether rain or shine.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,

plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:11

 

 

Daphne Petrey lives in the mountains of North Carolina with her husband, three little ladies, and four loud but lovable beagles. Daphne’s self-published book, I Have a Brother—My Brother Is in Heaven, is available on Amazon.com and through her blog, www.carrythemforever.com.