Wednesday, March 23, 2011

One Lovely Year

A year ago today, the bright warm sun was streaming into my room and filling the shadows with a glow full of life and excitement. I can still see the smiling, kind face of my midwife as she assured me that I was close to greeting my little girl. The presence of light in the room filled me with a new determination, a burst of energy and strength I did not realize I possessed. With a final push and painful, yet triumphant cry, she slipped into this world and into my longing arms and the day began.

My heart aches a little for that moment to return...for that indescribable feeling to linger just a bit longer. There is nothing in all the world like staring into the eyes of your newborn baby, their insanely tiny fingers wrapped lightly around your own, and soft, damp skin pressed against your chest. I have never in my life experienced such tremendous pain, or exhilarating joy.

What an incredible way to begin a day! Even after being up all night, wavering back and forth between great  anticipation of what was inevitable and overwhelming fear that I could not survive it...all I wanted to do that day was stare at her, and kiss her, and feel her velvety cheeks. I hated to nod off into a slumber and miss a single second of her miraculous presence beside me. I was so deeply in love with this bitty creature I had only just met. How could I possibly love her with this intensity? How could I possibly not?

We took her home hours later...still slightly intoxicated with bliss. The days and loooong nights following would prove to be challenging at the least. I felt entirely unprepared to care for a newborn along with my 2 and 4 year old children. My heart raced and my mind panicked at the very thought of my husband's return to work. But despite the fears and inadequacies I struggled with, this sweet year has been so very lovely. And this surprise baby we had not anticipated or desired has filled our lives with a richness and beauty that cannot be reproduced any other way. It is a fullness that money cannot buy and planning cannot manufacture. It is a gift.

I am ever so thankful that God, in all His wisdom, ignored the dreams in my own heart and gave me a gift I had not asked for and shamefully, I even mourned over a bit. I was so foolish to ever think that I did not want to be needed and loved by this sweet girl. I weep as I consider it. Thank you, Lord, for unseen circumstances and unplanned sharing a day full of sunshine and new life with the baby girl you have given to us. What a privilege and joy this year of living life together has been for our family!

Happy Birthday to my sweet darling, L.
What an amazing day it was!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Stranger Joy

What is this I see with my eyes?
The lonely, shadowed places men lie
And weep
Not concerned that others view it
This pain cannot be choked down
It must be heard
All too familiar are the gunshots and the cries
Listen close
A piercing blast and strong men agonize
In their eyes
I see fear met with determination
I see devastation
What's to loose?
Death could free them from the tragedy they live

And I grieve
With this perfect baby in my arms
And I weep to know a mother holds a lifeless child
And I pull her closer still and breathe a prayer
I wrestle with my thoughts then leave them there
Too great to bear
Too big to comprehend in my small heart

Standing in the kitchen
Staring down into the black sink
I am thankful that there's dishes to be washed
Images flash by in my mind
Of dark waves crashing, rushing by
And trailing grand destruction
This should be a dream
This should be a nightmare
But I have seen
And someone lives it
And my heart grieves
While children's laughter warms my heart
From the next room
And I cherish every tiny shriek
Knowing somewhere silence breaks his heart
And a father stares into an empty space
Too soon apart

Greater still a love that cannot be
Shaken by a quaking ground or raging sea
Silenced by the roar of men
Intimidated by a gun
No this love will never run
It holds us firm
And we cannot slip the grip of this grand grace
A peace that passes understanding
Hope that drives a weary soul to carry on
A truth that sets a firm foundation
So if the ground should shake
We will not fear
Though hate accuse
It won't prevail

I pull my baby close and say a prayer
God, meet them there
In the lonely, shadowed places I can't see
Cannot reach
Wipe away the tears the helpless weep
May Your love bring
A stranger joy