I watch my 20 day old daughter- God's newest gift to me. How awestruck I am at his craftsmanship. She is beautiful and the love that I feel towards her spills out of me and all around her. How blessed I am. It has been said by millions- but I am sleep deprived, unkept, exhausted, and generally out of my mind- because of her. Yet, that doesn't stop me from kissing her face every time I look at it. I can't help but want to pick her up even at 3:40 in the morning when she gives me the slightest cry. What a blessing. What joy.
My two year old's cries ring out in our tiny car on the way back from the store. He mumbles in almost-words about popsicles (his newest obsession), music, and other words I have yet to translate. We make promises about treats and good things when we get home in exchange for a few quiet moments in the car. He stops and gives us what we have asked for. It wasn't too long ago that I could feel the recovery pains that brought this child into the world. Every time I touched his heart he would grab my fingers and urge me to stay close. He loves touch. Even in his misery you want to reach out and touch his mountain of curls, loving face and passionate embrace. What a blessing. What joy.
With every chubby, uncoordinated step our 20 month old makes I am amazed that time has passed so quickly. We battle most days now about potties, taking off our diapers during the night, and screaming for no apparent reason. Normally the two of us are like two cowgirls staring each other down, each one refusing to make the first move towards surrender. People who know us usually laugh and shake their heads, explaining that we are the perfect match for each other. Lately her attempts to scare me away from potty training with screeching cries brought out a different side to me. I met her screams with reassuring words, patient looks and a peaceful exit. As a result I now watch her chubby smooth face form the sweetest smiles that bring me back to gentleness and tenderness. God knows why every now and then He brings me back to her chubby cheeks, dimpled smile, and big bright eyes. What a blessing. What joy.
Four and half seems so young. So young to have calls from the teacher, notes in his folder, and arguments with his parents about - well everything. We haven't yet figured out how to tame his impulsive nature and at the same time nurture his independent and intelligent side. He challenges us to think before we speak- because he will call us on every unclear thought and implausible tale. Most days he can be found trying to drop the shadow of his little brother. Rare days he is seen comforting and soothing the melt down of the 2 year old and instructing the 20 month old on how to tidy up her playhouse. His love for his newest sibling is tender. He hugs her with an almost touchless embrace. What a blessing. What joy.
Lord help me to grow to appreciate the blessings and joys that dwell around me. Encircle my heart with the memories of their sweet faces and their rare attempts to win me over. Clean out the cobwebs of doubt that curl up in the corners of my mothering mind. Protect me from "bad days" that turn into bad thoughts and lead to bad habits. Fill all of us with joy "unspeakable" and fill our life with your blessings.
Psalm 128 (The Message)
A Pilgrim Song
1-2 All you who fear God, how blessed you are! how happily you walk on his smooth straight road!
You worked hard and deserve all you've got coming.
Enjoy the blessing! Revel in the goodness!
3-4 Your wife will bear children as a vine bears grapes,
your household lush as a vineyard,
The children around your table
as fresh and promising as young olive shoots.
Stand in awe of God's Yes.
Oh, how he blesses the one who fears God!