Tuesday, May 10, 2011

From a mother's heart --- the greatest of these is Love

When Steve and i married almost 29 years ago, we dreamed of bouncing boys and giggling girls running all around our little home on Mockingbird Road. We were giddy over the hope and hopeful that God would give us MANY little ones.
Our first years together were wonderful. The typical story --- we were poor as church mice but crazy in love. We loved doing the simplest goofy things together like going to the grocery store (buying what we wanted instead of what we should), staying up late eating pizza (because we could), talking 'til the morning hours (because no one could make us go to sleep), sleeping in the backyard under the stars (just for the fun of it), dreaming about the days ahead of us, and wondering how in the world we would ever be "grown up" enough to pull it all off. We waited for two years and then we were ready to hear squealing baby laughs under our roof.
But the Lord had different plans.
We did our part (husbands just love to joke about the "practicing"). But no baby came. We waited and prayed --- no baby. We prayed that God would change the desire of our heart ---- if He did not plan to bless us with a baby. Our desires did not change. We waited and wondered and i sometimes wept over it all.
Then after 4 years, i was able to whisper those words to my husband, "We're going to have a baby"! What a beautiful moment ---- i carried a gift from Heaven inside. But 3 months later --- the wrong words came to our ears, "the baby is dying, we're so sorry". There was a heartbeat, but it was too weak. The doctor's suggested a DNC the next morning - i refused. The baby could take all the time it needed to pass from my womb to Heaven ---- or ----- God might just work a miracle. But about 2 weeks later, our little treasure packed up and moved north --- our eyes cried, our souls wept, our hearts broke --- we were broken.
I was soul sick --- and did not recover well. No need to share too many details, but for those who have walked a similar path (or may be walking one now) you are not alone - the path you are on is familiar. 
We named the baby (privately) and trusted God that His decision to keep her in Heaven was far better than sharing her with us -- after all, He knew what this world held for her. We thanked Him that someday we'd see her face in Heaven. We've even dreamed of her since then --- several times.
I lost weight and cried every night ----- rejoiced over the birth of my first nephew and wept more because i had lost his play partner. I pinned my clothes together to keep them from falling off --- Steve and i could count every one of my ribs. I remember thinking i was crying myself away. I stopped crying in front of people, i didn't want anyone to think something was wrong with me ---but i knew --- i was a broken almost-momma.
My dear mother in law cried with me and loved me through the worst of it. (i miss her)

Then 3 months later sweet news came our way. We were pregnant again. i began gaining weight and all was right with our world. And this one stayed nestled inside for the needed 9 months. Our wild and wonderful Mike screamed his way into this world on March 6, 1987. (Exactly one year earlier, to the day March 6, 1986 our first child had moved to Heaven.)

What crazy joy was ours. He was beautiful and healthy and strong. Mike came into this world proclaiming his arrival, and the world became better in those moments. He filled up the aching places perfectly. i was no longer a broken-momma.
Then 4 years later our girl arrived. She was tiny and lovely and cried so softly. Born sunny side up on a stormy night --- she brings light to dark places. She's a gentle, safe, peaceful place in any storm --- we're certain angels sit with her to be comforted.
And we thought our quiver was blessed beyond measure. We would ask no more of God. Two in our arms and one waiting in Heaven ---- we did not want to be greedy with God's goodness.
But 2 years later our bonus boy bounced into this world. He arrived one Wednesday morning, silently sneaking into the middle of the week and the middle of our world. He was quiet and strong -- i sensed he was strong, knew he would be a strong man. The doctor looked in his eyes, Pete stopped moving and looked squarely into the doctor's eyes - time stood still. Then the doctor looked at me so sweetly and said, "this one is very wise already, he has very wise eyes". I thought of Solomon and thanked God.

Now, 17 years later, all three of our treasures stand taller than me, are stronger than me, and i'm quite certain will go farther than me. Time - it can't be seen but it can be felt passing by -- like wind.
They still let me love on them - i'm so thankful. When i look into their eyes, just as i did when they were tiny and in my arms --- i know their hearts hear my heart silently singing - "i love you". My love for them has no conditions smothering it ---
if they are good, i love them --- if they are not, i love them ----
if they are wealthy, i love them ----- if they are not, i love them ----
if they are influential, i love them ---- if they are not, i love them ----
if others approve of them, i love them ----- if they do not, i love them ----
if they are healthy, i love them ---- if they are not, i love them -----
if they succeed, i love them ---- if they do not, i love them -----
if they make the team, i love them ---- if they do not, i love them ----
if they get the job, i love them ----- if they do not, i love them ----
if life around them looks good, feels good, tastes good and sounds good, i love them -----
if it does not, i love them
if they run quick, fly high, dig deep, and go far, i'll love them ----
if they do not, i'll love them.

Dear God --- may my children, these three you let rest in my arms, may they know they are loved deeply and completely.

As i prepare to move to the other side of the world away from them --- thank you for allowing the youngest to join us for the first year. You knew this mother's heart would need this comfort --- of still being able to look into his wise eyes.
As i prepare to breath in and breath out and do life away from my first born and my girl ---- please comfort, hold, protect, enable, walk with, place favor on, and embrace them deeply and completely. May they all three rest in your love.

We have faith that the plans you have for them are good --- Jeremiah 29:11
We have hope in You Lord, for blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord --- Jeremiah 17:7
We rest in your love as we call on you Lord, we call upon you in truth --- Psalm 145: 18-20

Faith, hope, and love ---- the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13
May my children embrace your unconditional love for them Lord ---- may it feel familiar to them --- because they have felt it already --- from this mother's heart.
And may they give this same love to others --- quickly, easily, and sincerely.

Thank you Lord for letting me become a mother. I remember -- you never gave them to me, you only shared them with me. They are not mine --- they are yours. Thank you for sharing.

Photo take by Steve on Mother's Day --- at my surprise lunch and movie date

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