Tuesday, October 28, 2014

God's Greatest Gifts

I don't know what you hope for, long for or dream about.
I can just share with you the dreams in my heart.
Ever since I was a young, young child I dreamt of being a mom.

I know this is TMI and I know Mary Kate will be cringing as I share this...but, I got my period super late in life -- 15 years old -- sophomore in high school -- in other words, ancient.
Before that time, I knew that if you didn't have a period, you couldn't have a child.
Trust me, my reproductive knowledge was greatly limited but that I knew way down deep.
So my prayer for years was, I kid you not:
Please, please please God, let me get my period.
Let me have kids.

They were always called kids in my adolescent mind.
Always plural.
Not snuggly babies.
Or baby dolls.
Kids...and I wanted plenty.

I guess God knew my heart because he helped me find the right guy and gave me the joy of four great kids.


That still seems a bit greedy on my part.
I never thought it would be four...but I learned with my very first pregnancy -- which ended with a miscarriage -- that I was most definitely not in any sort of control.

These four are by far my greatest gifts.
My biggest joy.
My purpose.
They are the thread that helps everything else make sense.

I see my children in every child I encounter.
I see every mother in me.
I see every family in mine.

That separation that existed between me and the rest of the world felt a little less with Jack and Mary Kate but it fully disappeared with Patrick's presence.

Suddenly, the marginalized were part of me.
The "broken".
The disabled.
The slow.
The people that others look away from...the people that others don't discuss...that are okay to terminate...those people were now part of me.

There was no way to love Patrick and not see them too.

I look at the way Patrick has changed me and I think of God's gifts.

My dream as a teen...so limited and finite...busted wide open with the realness of His gifts.
It was way better than any dream of mine.
How could I know what to wish for?
Little, sweet Caroline?
How could I know to ask for such wonder?

I never could have imagined it.
Four busy, funny, quirky, messy kids.
Old and young.
Fast and slow.

All I can say is thank you.
Thank you for my kids.
Thank you for the joy that comes with
fighting with and for...

and for the heartbreak.

For in feeling so deeply we get close to what really matters.
This, right here, this moment, this meal, this day is what counts.

Thank you, God, for your greatest gifts.
Put my tiny dreams to shame, no doubt.

Monday, October 20, 2014

What Love Is

So...do you remember the young couple I wrote to over here in the blog piece, 

Well a lot has happened since that time.
Just a few days after that post, sweet baby Jonah was born nine weeks early.
It was a traumatic birth for both mother and baby...brutal, difficult, scary.

Not one single step has been easy for sweet Jonah.

There were definitely moments where Jonah's life was in danger as well as his mom's.

Do you know what I've seen from Jonah's mom and dad, time and time again?


I've seen shy smiles.
I've seen tenderness and gentleness and overwhelming care for their tiny bundle.

They've been there waiting to hold him, love him, whisper to him and talk to him.
They've read him board books, brought loved ones over to see him and generally have been keeping vigil over their most precious son.

This, my friends, is what love looks like.

While ISIS does it's vicious, evil deeds in Syria and Iraq,
while Ebola becomes a common topic for discussion,
a new mom and dad are over here loving their precious son...
and letting him know in every way, every day that they are here for him.

Love is so very patient...tending and watching.
Love is kind...to nurses and doctors and others who are in the way...but always to that bundle.
Love isn't asking for an easier path.
Love isn't rude or self-seeking or easily angered.

Always protecting.
Always trusting.
Always hoping.

Love shows up.
Day in and day out.
Even when it's really hard and you don't want to.

Sweet baby Jonah is doing much better.
He's still in the hospital but he's getting chubby.
He's had his surgery for his intestinal blockage.
He's even had a bath!
He's getting real nutrition and beginning to have opinions...which is always a good sign.

Jonah is blessed to know deep, abiding love.
I couldn't be more grateful for Jeff and Melissa's example.
They are grace-in-the-ordinary dealing with extraordinary circumstances.

Melissa and Jeff -- congratulations to you both.
Through your love for each other and for Jonah you are changing the world.
We can't help but want to be more like you.

Love never fails.

You know that.
Thanks for the reminder.