Saturday, November 27, 2010


I remember it clearly.  Her warm body, lying on my stomach.  She had been placed there seconds ago, but as I gazed down, I could only see the back of her head and her shoulders.  I had been waiting for this child, this daughter that I began to know in my womb over the last nine months, and here she was.  She entered the world, and I longed to see her.  I asked the nurse, "Can I move her?" - not knowing what to do as a first-time mom, scared that I would somehow injure her.  The nurse looked back at me and lovingly replied, "Of course you can, She's yours!".  She's mine.  She's mine.  The words gravitated deep down into my soul.  This child was mine - a gift from God, and she was mine.  But more than that, I was responsible for this new life - her happiness at that moment was dependent upon me.  The task seemed so great, and my experience so small.

I look at her now at six years old, and there are days when I have to repeat - She's mine.  Mine to guide, mine to protect.  The thing that strikes me to my core now though, is not the idea that she belongs to me, but the fact that I belong to her.  I am the mother that she will model her motherhood after.  My life explains to her how a Christian woman should walk with Christ.  My shortcomings reveal to her that it is ok to make mistakes.  My words show her how to express emotions, and how to build or tear down relationships. 

I thought the first few days were hard -  a newborn that I had no idea how to care for.  These days are much harder.  Willl I ever become the woman I want her to be?  If I never get there, how will she?  The answer comes in the quiet, when I fall back on my knees and disclose all that I am lacking to my Heavenly Father.  He reassures me that she doesn't need to see a perfect mother - she needs to see a perfect God.  And somewhere in the stillness, in the aching for renewal, I remember this truth:  "God is most glorified when I am most satisfied in Him."  His perfection is revealed most gloriously when I am surrendered - fully surrendered to Him.  While striving to be that "woman", my daughter focuses more on my struggles, but if I let go, she sees Him.

Lord, help me to let go - to turn to your word, to your voice, to your will, instead of mine.  Help me to surrender my children to your care, so that they may know you more.  Help my voice be small and gentle.  May your glorious perfection be revealed in a woman fully surrendered.  Amen.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Due Date

I have been waiting, anticipating this day. The last nine months of hopeful excitement anticipating the new child in our family, and worry and concern that everything in the pregnancy goes well. It really is a long time – nine months. The day has arrived – my due date, and I am still awaiting this miracle.

She waited too, only her wait was much longer than 9 months. She suffered the aching, yearning for a child that lasted years. Through tests, doctors visits, answers that provided more questions than hope, and finally the realization that the best way for them to have a family would have to be through adoption. Even that process was long, and personal. Never sure of what the outcome would be.

I feel uncomfortable, aware of the baby lying low in my pelvic bone. I toss and turn at night, unable to find rest. It is hard for me to breathe – the baby now big enough to crowd my lungs. Contractions start and stop, at times teasing me that perhaps today is the day. When will the day of birth come?

She felt defeated, unable to lay hold of the dream of a child, and subject to the whim of a birth mother, or the agency in placing a child in their arms. It would keep her up at night. It was hard for her to breathe – anticipating, always waiting, always wondering. Her muscles contracted when she cried. Tears of anticipation, and tears of frustration. When would her baby’s due date come?

The hope of a child – as real as life itself. Two mothers, two generations.

She receives a call – twins. Not one child, but two – more than she had dared to hope for. God answered her pleas, but surpassed her expectations. He provided for her above and beyond her requests. Her heart leaps with joy and assurance in His provision. The babies arrive safely, and meld into the family unit. A complete family. A living, breathing reminder of God’s grace.

I await that moment – it will be different for me. I was the baby She had longed for. My twin brother and I filled the heart of a woman longing to give love to a tiny person crafted by God. The child in my womb is the grandchild – loved and conceived out of God’s grace and mercy to parents who don’t deserve such a miracle, but hope for one nonetheless. And God delivers. He heaps His blessings upon our family – not just fulfilling them, but surpassing them. We give thanks.

Ephesians 3:14-21:
“For this reason I kneel before the Father,  from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen. “

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Slow Seconds

His head rests gently over my shoulder, his shoulder curving around my neck.  The arm on the outside of his body drapes over my shoulder and I can feel his fingertips brush the back of my arm.  My neck fits snuggly, like his body was created to be cradled.  I rest my head on his head.  He breathes deeply.  He had come over and lifted his chubby little arms up to me, his eyes bright with expectation.  I could tell he knew I would lift him up.  I would hold him despite being uncomfortably 39 weeks pregnant.  I would hold him despite not feeling well.  I would hold him even though it is 2 hours past his bedtime, and I am ready to be resting.  I would hold him because today, our friends buried their 7 month old, and they will never be able to hold him again.  I snuggled him close to me, and felt the warmth of his back.  My hand hesitated to feel him breathe - that breath of life - another day God has given us with this precious treasure.  I couldn't hold back my tears.  Tears of grief for that family, and tears of joy for my child.  He lifted his head and drew both arms around my neck in one big hug.  Too little to understand, and yet demonstrating love so perfectly. 

I pray for one more day with this child.  I pray that I am awakened to actually live in the moment, to cherish the times we have, and to let go of the dishes, baths, laundry and meals.  I pray that I notice the small moments, the tender kiss of a child, the relentless requests for assistance because they think I can do anything.  I pray that I bring them up to love the Lord.  I pray that I am as strong of a witness to God's grace and mercy as that mother was today in all of her pain and anguish.  May I love these children more because I know we are given precious seconds, and each second matters in the building and living of a life.  May these seconds be slow - slow enough to treasure, slow enough to savor, slow enough to see.  To really see.