It was a spontaneous kind of day where we simply jumped in the car and headed out to see what we could see………
There aren’t many of those kinds of days. These days.
Life & jobs & responsibilities abound. I had clients check in needing me to show property, and almost changed my mind to go!
SO much treasure we would have missed!
It’s been TOO long since I’ve quieted enough and choose to “give it a rest” – just enjoy a day off with The Fam.
Our six other kids had jobs to do or are away at school, so our very tiny crowd hopped in Grandma’s car, with an excited Braeden on board for Family Adventure!
It was a crowded Labor Day weekend and we found ourselves venturing around the fresh springs in Chickasaw National Park. I’ve lived in this state for longer than I care to admit. In my mind there are two locations to mention, Tulsa & Oklahoma City. Growing up in California, where the Great Outdoors offers an abundance of things to do and see-oceans & mountains, rivers & fresh water lakes, hiking, the Redwoods & so much more! I’ve had a hard time thinking in adventurous terms, but this weekend has changed my mind!
As we unloaded the car and made our way to the winding river, Braeden grabs my hand, looks up at me and states, “Today you can Baptize me in the river!” I looked into that sweet-boy Angel Face and my heart was full.
Of course we can!
The river edge was totally packed with people. We stood there feeling maybe we’d made a wrong turn into another country. It was curious that multiple languages were being spoken all around us and we seemed to be one of the few American-born ones there. Seems unusual for Oklahoma?
Stu commented, “Look Honey, we are standing among the nations.” The landscape and people-scape truly made me think….we could possibly be standing on the edge of the Jordan River! Having John the Baptist and Jesus on my mind and all….
Braeden braved up and tried stepping in…it was COLD!
Several natural springs bubble up in various locations, sweeping into one meandering, lazy river, interrupted by slabs of bedrock to create multiple ledges of waterfalls, swimming holes & adventures to be had. Most of the water was only knee deep, but too chilly for Braeden to handle. So when Dad suggested to go on a walk, he was happy to escape the challenge.
Thoughts of Baptism forgotten…….
The terrain is basically flat and wide gravel trails line the streams, interrupted by wood and stone bridges that scream for a pure-hearted 9 year old boy to dare cross! The natural springs are intriguing, creating beautiful clear pools of water & several rock creations with falls cascading with pleasant sounds. The crowds had thinned out and gave way for us to adventure on our own. I was surprised at the pretty landscape. Drinking in the quiet and watching our son enjoying himself is a special treat and I thought “This is the kind of day when everything is right in the world.”
I LOVE taking photos and my inside photog came to life! The sun was going down behind the heavily treed forest, there was a light summer thunder storm creeping in and showering us occasionally with fresh drops of misty rain. I started taking pictures of one of the falls where a tree had either fallen or been placed across the stream. Braeden saw it and shouted “Hey Mom! Watch me I’m going to cross it!”
I started snapping pictures-mostly because he’s not usually that adventurous and I wanted to show him how brave he is! Also, if he fell in, I thought we could laugh about it together with the photos as proof. He slowly made his way out. Click Click. All the way across! Success! I wanted him to cross back over, since the side he landed on was wooded and landed on a dry creek bed, I feared there may be snakes (didn’t dare mention that) so I yelled, “Braeden! Come back across! You can do it!” He hesitated, but found himself back up on the log, edging back over the water. Click Click. When he got in the middle, I noticed my phone was lit up with sunlight, and it looked like he was faded out. Didn’t think much of it except that the sun was interrupting my perfect shot. Click Click and he was jumping down!
We came up to the headwaters. A tall cliff of rocks where at the base the fresh water came rushing out. It’s truly beautiful! The virgin stream runs quickly from bedrock and rushes out into a clear and full of plant-life river that pools into a transparent glassy pond of water, surrounded by overhanging limbs. It was interesting that I felt God whisper many things to me along the way, bringing treasures to my heart just simply through His breathtaking nature.
Streams of Living Water. He Leads me beside the Still Water. He Restores my Soul.
Living clips of healing kept resonating. I wish I could rest in this place. Every day. But HE knows where I’m dry and thirsty, and today was a Day HE began to fill me back up…..
On to the next spring! There’s a round, hand-hewn stone pool wrapped around a bubbling underground spring that is continually filled up and overflowing-the water is pure and reflective. My mind starts singing…Wade in the water, wade in the water children wade…in the waaaaattteeerrr…the Lord’s Gonna Trouble, the waaateerrr. The man at the Pool of Bethseda, awaiting the Angel of The Lord to heal him….
How Nature can Preach!
To tell the truth, I wasn’t asking for these insights. But He is Faithful anyway to just give them freely and be close. I love that about Him!
Heading back to the way we came, and deciding to end the day, there was a group of folks climbing a leaning tree that dropped straight into a deep swimming hole. We paused to watch their fun. They were a rambunctious bunch that broke the peaceful silence and invited more adventure. I asked Braeden “When have you ever been able to say I jumped from a tree into a natural spring swimming hole…YOU can do it!!” With Dad going first, he got up his nerve, and a little extra “help” from Mom, off he jumped! First time to submerge that adorable blonde head of his….
He came bubbling up with lungs shrieking out “IT’s COLD!!!” Everyone laughed and cheered him on…he climbs out shivering, towel ready for a warm hug, and turns back toward the water…”I think I’m used to it now! I want to go back and SWIM!” Holding his hand we go back down the muddy cliff and enter the pure, soon to be Holy Water….
And then I remembered! Braeden! Do you still want to get Baptized?
Dad, we need you! Stu joins us in the knee-deep water. We ask if he understands what it means to be Baptized. Do you Love Jesus? Have you asked Him into your heart to be your Lord & Savior? Do you want to serve Him all of your life? Yes. Yes. & Yes. (Let your Yeah be YEAH!)
With Mom on his right & Dad on his left. We say a simple prayer. Braeden, when you go down into the water, Jesus takes all your sin and washes them clean, when you come up, He gives you new life and fills you with more of Him. Stu begins “Braeden, I Baptize you in the Name of the Father, The Son, And the Holy Spirit”.
I cover that cute little nose, his beautiful blue eyes shut, behind his steamy blue goggles…hahaha, he says, “Mom, you can catch my legs” I respond, I’m going to make sure water doesn’t get in your nose! And down he goes, with a pure, Heavenly submerge and UP we pull him.
Beautiful. Priceless. Quiet. Still. Holy. Pure. Child-Like.
His Sweet Little Precious Heart came beaming out of his smiles and instant hugs. We could not love him more or be more proud.
Grandma stood on the path capturing it all and welcoming him with affirming hugs that only she can give.
I wrap him up and hold him tight. He just smiled and snuggled in.
We walk hand in hand taking it all in. I start thinking. ALL of his sin just went down. I think just last week he had his first real “discipline” from Dad at the tender age of 9. This kid. Like the rest, a true GIFT from Heaven. But a Miracle no less.
Again, a Divine reminder that neither of us should even be walking this planet. He has depth and intuition beyond his age, an Old Soul. He has ministered to me more times than I can count.
I start singing, remember Braeden, “Yooouuuuuu, are my Miracle Child…” being silly and making him laugh. Do you know the song? It’s from Joseph, remember the story about his Coat of Many Colors?
That concluded Our Perfect Day. One stand out among many.
Divine touches. Divine moments. Pure.
After a round of Braum’s ice cream, as only Braum’s can do, we settle in for our car ride home. Worn out, Braeden falls limp in the back seat with Grandma.
I start clicking through photos of the day. WOW. They turned out great!
I come upon Braeden crossing the tree in the river. Frame upon frame. There he goes across, here he comes back.
I freeze on the frame that I thought was ruined by sunlight.
There he is. Smack in the middle of the log, middle of the river, completely awash and shrouded by a RAINBOW. It looks like he is being rained on by washes of striped rainbow colors! Perfect stripes of blue, red, orange, yellow in column after column of color. I can’t believe it! Then I notice a very bright spot over his head and I zoom in closer.
What is this? His hand is reaching up towards his head. On the back rests a FLAME, a fiery red-orange glow with a white hot middle. I blink to clear my eyes. Zooming in, zooming out. Frame by frame.
Photos on either side of this one are clean and clear, only marked by the natural surroundings of this moment.
I hand my phone to my mom in the back seat, then to Stu who was driving us home.
Is THIS what I think this is???
Braeden wants to see. He laughs and says, “I felt something on the back of my head. I thought it may be a bug or something on me. But my head felt hot around my calick area…is that fire?”
I believe. In the pureness and simply way that only a Holy God can do, HE impressed on his pure little heart, and Called him to be baptized that day. Of his own will. By his own simple request. For reasons we won’t fully know until Time tells all.
And in the midst of a young boy’s adventure on a fallen tree, dangling over pure Streams of Living Water, He washes over him.
The Maker of Dreams, Rainbows & Holy Fire.
Today marks A Day, I believe in my Mother Heart, He answered YES. And God responded by showing up.
Glory to God. Thank you Jesus.
You are Truly Wonderful.