This picture above was the defining moment of the day. Clutching the camera, trying to get an adequate shot of the priceless expression on her face. Clutching my insides as I tried to hold it together. Voice cracking as we sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to her – for the first time in her life. I’ve never seen such a look of pure joy on her face. Cupcakes made just for her… candle burning just for her…
I’m so thankful, Father, that I get to be the one to do this with her….
The smile never left her face all day. She was quiet, taking it all in…
Simple games in a breezy back-yard. How could ‘duck-duck-goose’ and ‘red rover’ be filled with such glee and jubilee?
Celebration. Merriment. Triumph.
Gifts picked out just for her, not part of a shared collection of rummaged-through goods. Dresses she’ll be the first to wear… a baby doll she can call hers…
A simple gathering of loved ones who love one.
One I didn’t know I was going to love. One ‘added’ in at the ‘last minute’… before dossier left faltering hands.
One who was at first my wildcat… now aptly-named, a source of joy.
I didn’t know it would come like this, at such a high price, and such unexpected, overflowing measure.
Today, thank you, Father, for Lena Joy.
Thank you, Father, for sweet rest.
“In peace I will both lie down and sleep.
For you alone, oh Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
How majestic is your creation, Lord. I’m so thankful for the wonderful, exquisite world you spun together with Your breath,… Your words…
Every fiber of creation reflects You… the mountains so steady, towering strong, pointing to Heaven…
The world declares Your glory.
Each petal and blade of grass…. life so minute and varieties vast and exquisite…
Soft. Smooth. Prickly. Vibrant colors. Tender shoots.
Soil and seed giving way to life… fruit sustaining.
Breeze mysterious and welcomed. Soothing against my skin. Lifting my little ones’ hair. Like an invisible friend, making the trees wave and dance.
The expanse of the heavens so breathtaking.
Water quenching thirst.
Thousands of species. We catch barely a hint of your imagination…
… and creatures small…
You are the One who made them all.
Father, how could I be adequately grateful…. for grace?
I am that cheat hanging next to you. Exposed and pitiful. My guilt laid bare.
Angry words. Bitter heart. Impatient. Unloving.
All the while you are taking the blame, covering for my inadequacies. Despised and rejected of men… a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief…
And yet you looked at me, seeing my repentance, and offered me…. grace.
Something I couldn’t be worthy of. A gesture I could never repay.
Every morning, it rises again. A new, refreshing covering.
Despite the inadequacies I tallied evening prior.
How could One’s mercy be so vast? Unchanging? Immeasurable?
Because you are incomprehensible.
You are the Potter, and I am the small vessel not yet made.
Thank you… for grace greater than our sins, which number beyond the sands on the shore.
For though I was as scarlet… I am white as snow.
Thank you, Father… for home.
For strong refuge against gusty winds that billowed early morning before the sun, when the hard-working-one had long left for work.
For warmth inside walls of imperfection.
Cracked and cobwebbed. Handprinted and smeared. Paint too tired to keep its luster.
For happiness amidst clutter of grand proportions.
For littered and forgotten floor, upon which happy ones play and dance and ‘skate’ in socked feet.
For table scratched and dented. Ridden with memories of meals and family and games and learning. Never empty. And too small now, for its many guests clamoring around in mismatched seating.
For mounds of laundry so lofty and rife, it leaves wonder if small village is left without covering.
For countertops never empty. And sinks even more so.
For bathrooms never fit for magazines… or guests. Tissue roll ever waning, waste pail overflowing. Toothpaste splattered mirrors.
For beaten couches and loved-worn blankets never refolded. For books always escaping their nest.
For the peaceful, fleeting feeling of something dusted or swept… only to be lived in again.
Thank you for home.
Father, thank you for the special and unique blessings today holds…
Waking up to the rustling of the little guy next to me, who made his way into our bed in wee morning hours… who cheerfully puckers up for a sweet kiss – his way of gaining permission to let feet hit floor and exploring begin…
For this one.
With locks so wispy blonde and grin so infectious.
Who hangs on my leg by kitchen counter… and giggling, pretends to eat my chin when holding face near mine…
And roars like a dinosaur.
For this one. He who is all boy. Enthusiasm undeterred. Climbing. Striving. Tiny frame unhindered.
The one with a thousand expressions… and dirt beneath his nails.
With small chubby fist. Skin so soft, baby still lingering on way to boyhood.
My cup runneth over.