Category Archives: motherhood

With windows wide open

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Before they arrived, I would relax by watching the news. I would turn on the Today show and snuggle deeper under the covers and sip my coffee. It was blissful, at that time. Then he arrived, all 8 pounds of him, wet and crying and they placed him in my arms. That moment, my entire universe tilted on axis. Beautiful blue eyes stared up at me, and I was undone. He was here. He is mine for such a short season, and I get to shepherd his heart.

After he came, and the four that came after, I could no longer find watching the news relaxing. The stories, that were simply other people’s lives, were suddenly not. I stared at him, and later at them, and I realized what a scary, tragic world we live in. The people on the news were not other people any more. That was somebody’s son, somebody’s daughter, somebody’s whole world.

But we aren’t the first who have watched a world suffer tragedy. We aren’t the first mommies to watch one another suffer the unthinkable.

One little kidnapped boy changed the world by his stand. One little kidnapped boy refused to bow to the will of the king, but while refusing did so with so much grace, that he became the most favored. One little kidnapped boy grew to become a man. That man lived in a corrupt world that was full of shameful, unspeakable things, but that man prayed with the windows open. When all was at stake, he opened the windows wide.

We can be swept away by the horrors and devastation as we watch our country surrender our freedoms that the blood of our grandfathers stained the ground to protect. We can be overcome with fury and rage as we watch the trial of monsters that kill babies and as we watch the unspeakable unfold in front of our eyes, on our soil. In a world that is so uncertain, I look at them, my five hearts to shepherd. I cannot give them false assurances, but I can give them what Daniel’s mother must have given, I can give them HIM. I can take all of the time alloted to me, and raise them to be Daniel’s – to be men who are favored among kings, but are unashamed to pray with the windows wide open.

Surely God would have understood if young Daniel had comprised. Surely His grace would have covered prayers with the windows closed, but history would not have changed. By opening the windows, Daniel may have opened himself up to a decree of death, but he also opened the doors for one of the greatest miracles of the Bible. He opened the windows to God Himself. And God never fails.

I want to be a mother with the windows wide open. Can we learn to take strong, tenacious stances with grace and love? Could we open the windows a little wider? Would you join me?

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The Other Girl

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I watch her skip everywhere she walks, she sings as she goes. She always has a ready smile at her lips. She is radiant. She is full of joy, and I get to call her daughter. She is mine. These days as I watch her grow, and become, I wonder about her, the other girl who resides beyond the gates of pearls.

I wonder if she too would love all things sparkly. If she would have fair hair and eyes and if she would giggle with every step. I wonder if she would love babies and tea parties and if she too would put stickers on anything that would remain still long enough for her small fingers to peel the sticker off and press it on. I wonder if she would insist on sleeping in her sister’s bed at night and whisper secrets into her ears. I look at this girl here, and I wonder about the one who has gone before.

When it was time for me to say my earthly goodbyes, my final words to my grandmother who had been so influential in my life, there was no wondering of what to say. How do you say goodbye to someone who has been so dear and special to you for all of your days? I whispered my goodbyes, and begged her to say hello. I whispered about the other girl. I asked her to hold her for me. Who can wrap their mind around the heavenly?! It is foolishness to think that she could want for anything, and yet, I couldn’t help asking, “Could you tell her I love her?”

My life is full. Is there anything better than a houseful of children? Our walls ring with laughter and our hearts are full of love. How can a house so full be missing anything? But, yet this mommy knows, there will always be a pair of shoes missing at my front door.

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Her wisdom has far exceeded mine. She is clothed in beauty. She is with her King. She resides beyond the gates. HE has given her everything. She lacks nothing. I cannot wish her back. She has made heaven even sweeter for me. How can I ask Him for anything more? And yet, I cannot help but whisper, “Lord, could you keep her little for me?”

The Emptiness

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He asked me for a simple drink, but I was busy.  I was in the middle of preparing a big celebratory dinner, and my stress level was high.  I said the right words, but my demeanor, which he reads so very well, spoke my irritation.  He walked away, but not before I noticed the dejected look in his eyes. 

These days, my days are full.  Caring for, teaching, training, and shepherding young hearts consume my time.  Laundry and cooking and household chores are a constant source of frustration for this tired Mommy.  Daily requirements press in, and I realize I am failing in so many ways.  In spite of these incredibly full days, I often end my days feeling … EMPTY. 

What I see as my failures, HE sees as His invitation.  Emptiness is His arena.  The empty tomb, His greatest victory.  Emptiness was His chosen entry to triumph.  My failures become His opportunity to redeem.  He fills empty hearts.  He fills me.

The days I come to the end of myself are the days that He is able to begin.  He receives my emptiness and replaces it with HIM. 

Lord, you replace the rhythms of my heart to match the cadence of Yours.  You conquer my failures.  My emptiness becomes Your dominion.