We don't get many of these days often during the school year, and I wanted it to be special and filled with fall fun.
It was a perfect, perfect day.
We went to Burt's Pumpkin Farm and hit it at a really good time. The crowds were low and the pumpkin rolls were delicious.
Amelia and I got to ride the hay ride all by ourselves. She sat in my lap, talked my ear off about pumpkins, and enjoyed the view.
I knew Amicalola Falls was just down the road, so I thought we would try it out. I asked Amelia if she wanted to see "the waterfall," and she assured me that she did, and that she could handle all of the steps. I haven't been to Amicalola in years, so I wasn't sure about the hike, but I thought if it got too rigorous, we could turn around and walk back down.
The park was beautiful, and the weather was perfect - crisp but not too cold, with a warm sun beating down on us in a promising manner.
When we got to the first little fall, Amelia shrieked in excitement. "WATERFALL, MAMA! WATERFALL!"
After she said that, I knew we made the right decision.
"You haven't seen anything yet!" I promised.
Once I explained to her that there were many more steps to take to get to the really big waterfall, Amelia determined to reach it. She climbed those stairs like a pro, gingerly taking each step with excitement. There were several elderly couples around us, and they all marveled at her energy and intensity.
How can anyone see such things and doubt the presence of God?
We climbed to the little bridge that stretched across the fall and I stared for a second.
"Isn't it amazing, Amelia?" I asked pointing heavenward.
"Look, MAMA! Water is under here! Look at that water! Look! Look!"
As much as I tried to convince Amelia that the real beauty was right before her, I couldn't take her head out that grate. People walked by her and giggled and pointed at the sight.
It was borderline embarassing.
We were at this beautiful waterfall, and my child looked down?
She was more enamored with the water below the bridge than she was with the water above her.
And I snapped a picture, shook my head, and then felt in my spirit that God had something to teach me - that He would find the words to summarize this event in my head.
Sometimes words come to me in jumbles - in puzzle pieces - and I have to knit them together, but I knew there was something in that moment that I needed to take with me.
When I prayed for this girl, I prayed for wisdom. Leadership. That God would use her in mighty ways. And when He made her, He made her to see things that not everyone sees.
When the rest of the world looks up, she looks down, to see the beauty - the miracle - below her.
We all have bridges in our lives - things we've had to inevitably cross. We all want to see the waterfalls, but sometimes, we forget that there is beauty in victory - in standing over bridges to watch the waters of despair finally, finally leave us. Redemption's bridge is just as beautiful as waterfalls of righteousness.
There is splendor in the extraordinary, sure, but sometimes there is something worthy to be found in observing the little things - the dirty things - the things that seem unlovable.
May I never forget to be thankful for the girl that looks down.