Thursday, September 27, 2012

Beautiful and Precious

There is something beautiful and precious about life.  It's so fragile yet so unstoppable.  Against all odds, the seeds of spring survive, buried deep in what seems like a kind of death.  But the sun warms.  The rains fall.  And the idea of what could be, comes alive in a small, hard cocoon of forgotten possibility.

And so it is with the lives of my precious children.  In some ways I feel unworthy of the life they have awoken in my being.  Like I was never meant to feel this deeply or this wildly.  It's a strange and wonderfully scary place to be.  The seed of forgotten possibility suddenly wants to put down deep roots and send tentative tendrils up, reaching for the sun.

We went this last week to have an ultrasound to see what to expect with this baby.  My faithless heart and I went wearing black, just in case I would begin mourning in that moment.  My expectant heart and I dressed up a bit, hoping that moment would be a celebration.  And God knew which one it would be before that baby's form ever flashed on the screen, while I yelled, "I see it!"  and my tender-hearted husband cried beside me, and a weight lifted off of us.

I am tempted to write that God is faithful.  He is.  But for every mourning heart of a parent out there, those words sting.  Why was He not faithful to heal the lost children?  The hurting ones?  The children of this world who haven't made it to their 2 month birthdays, like sweet Pearl has?  I don't know the answer.  He is faithful, but it all is beyond my understanding.   Why do I get these three children when dear friends try again and again for a second baby?  A first baby.  It's not fair.  My joy seems gaudy in the face of their sorrow.

And yet it grows.  God has a plan.  In time I won't be able to hide that He is working in my body and this baby's body.  It is the unstoppable force of dust that has had breath breathed into it by the Creator.  His plan for this little one may be big or small, but it is part of God's story.  I can't even write my own chapter.  If I could, I would have skipped all of the sad parts.

I don't know why my friends can't have children right now, but I know that God binds up the wounds of the broken hearted.  He did mine.  He will yours.  The wildly and deeply will come.  And though the seeds may have not awakened yet, they lie sleeping in your heart and He knows.  And He holds the pieces of you in His hands to keep you from falling apart when everything threatens to break.  And here's what I want you to know; it is you who are beautiful and precious. 

For MQ, JD, KC, and BN.   And for every other mother out there who has lost their baby. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Little knits for little girls

Little Arm Warmers
 Nearly four years in the world entitles this girl to some opinions.  Namely what she wears and what she likes.  So when I asked her if I could knit something for her, she told me what, picked out the yarn and monitored my knitting progress every day.  Unfortunately she also decided to use my scissors on them so these exact arm warmers, after some repairs, were given away as a birthday gift to Cora's BFF, as a consequence for messing with mama's knitting stuff (her choice of consequence, by the way).  Little does she know I made her another pair just like them for her birthday in a month.  Shhhh!  Keep it on the down low.

As for the pattern, it's a simple tube knitted in a rib pattern and when I got within 3/4 of an inch of the end, I knitted 8 stitches onto some scrap yarn, re-knitted the stitches with the real yarn and carried on until the end.  Then I came back and pulled those scrap yarn stitches, picking up the 8 stitches on each side plus 2 more on the ends and knitted a tube for the thumb.  Make 2 of these, then bind off and weave in ends and watch your little fashionista light up!

Little Arm Warmers

Monday, September 17, 2012

Messy Monday - laundry mountain

My family likes to have a big breakfast.  They pick at lunch, they graze at dinner, but at breakfast they feast!  I'll give you three guesses as to how eggs and a newly pregnant mama mix in the mornings. 

Actually most mornings are like this lately, not just eggy mornings.  Mornings used to be my most productive time, but not so much right now.  So in honor of Messy Monday, here is a view of my heap of laundry waiting to be folded.  It happens to be clean, and for that I am grateful.  I will get there, but not right now.

Laundry Mountain

Here is the window seat and book corner, post Kid-Apocalypse.  They are fans of dumping baskets and boxes of things out.

Book Corner

I feel like I could take a picture like this in every room right now.  But before I depress myself about the state of my uncared for home, I will say this:
I may not have a clean house, but the kids and I baked an apple pie together today.  (read, they ate peels, ate pie dough, ate apple slices, and ran around squealing and wearing aprons while I chopped apples, but we were together and had fun!)

I may not have a clean house, but on Friday we went apple picking and I made an entire farm full of roosters crow with my rooster impression, inspiring awe in my kids.  We also slid down a giant pipe slide together.  All three of us.  Lots.

I may not have a clean house, but my daughter whispers in my ear, "Guess how much I love you?"  

I may not have a clean house, but I have a good and loving husband who just this morning promised to make breakfast until the morning sickness passes.  What a fella! 

I may not have a clean house, but I am a fun mama.  And that is enough.  I'll have a clean house when they leave for college.

Happy Rainy/Messy Monday!

Messy Mondays was inspired by Flo Paris Oaks when she wrote this blog post/article and subsequently started this blog.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Letters to Pearl: We shall see God

Dear friend,
  This post is part of a collective of letters to Pearl Joy Brown.  I've written about her before in this space, but since then her life has touched so many people.  This is a bit about how she has touched mine.

Dear Pearl,
   Your mama and I found out we were pregnant with our little girls around the same time.  My baby did not live longer than a few weeks in my belly, but every day you grew, I rejoiced.  When your papa sent word of what experts thought was your fatal illness, my heart failed me. I lost faith.  I could not grieve my own baby and you at the same time, so I retreated back into myself.  With every letter your papa sent out, I rode the roller coaster from afar of hope and fear for what your life could be.  I remember reading these paragraphs and just crying.

"We truly feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to care for Pearl. People all over the world get the same type of devastating news every day, so it’s not as if we are unique or special. The amazing part is that God chose two of the most normal, unimpressive people that we know of and has given us the privilege of partnering with him in unfolding a story about a baby girl with only half of a brain and no nose, and a God who numbers days, makes people out of dirt, and rides in to town on a donkey, unlike any other king has ever done. He has used us to display himself. He has pulled us in close, because he knows that if he doesn’t, we will rebel and fall off the deep end. We have peace that passes all understanding, even while in the midst of something that should otherwise crush us. It’s not as if we’ve already gone through the fire and are able to look back at how he sustained us. We are in it, and he is good."

and this:

"Pearl bears the image of the same God that Brennan and Abbey do. We do not need to hide image bearers from other image bearers. God knit Pearl together in Ruth’s womb exactly as he saw fit. He didn’t make a mistake. Things didn’t go wrong. He brought her form into being with the same intentionality that he has created everyone. " 

This was faith beyond measure in your family and I wondered where mine was.  When your mama asked for scriptures for your blanket, even my choice of God's word reflected my faithless heart.  I embroidered, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God" Matthew 5:8.  My fear was that you and your innocent heart would make a brief appearance here and then you would be in the presence of our Father and I dared not choose a verse that was about hope, for I had none for myself.

And then you were born.  And then you lived!  People said the word, "Miracle" and my faithless heart turned away.  I still feared.  It took me a long time to come visit you.  I held your sweet, tiny body and then I prayed for you.  For your family, for your very breath.  And the word "miracle" went past my head where the fears and doubts lived and hit my heart.  You are a miracle.  I said that word as I breathed thanks to the God who created you.  Who knew you.  Who knew exactly what your story would be.

Nearly 6 weeks later and you are still here.  Not just alive, but thriving, growing, and changing the world.  And here I am, nearly 6 weeks pregnant.  God did a work in your body, in your family, and through your story, the world.  He is also doing a work in my body and in my family.  I don't know the answers.  I don't know if my baby will live.  I don't know the outcomes for any of us, but I know that right here and right now, God is good.  

He has a plan and He is working all things together for Good.  I still find fear in my heart when I think about your future and my baby's future, but more and more, I find faith, hope, and peace.  And though I chose that scripture from a place of no faith, it has come true.  Through your precious, tiny, and pure heart, we have seen God.  Thank you Pearl, for the gift that is your very life and breath.

You can read more about Pearl's story on her blog.
If Pearl has touched your life, you can write her a letter too.  Here's how:

There are three ways to share your Letter to Pearl:

1. Publish your letter on your blog or web site. Link your post to Life.Edited via the “Click here to enter” link at the bottom. *Please link directly to the post with your letter in it (not to your blog’s homepage). The link-up will remain open until Friday, Sept 14, at 11:59PM.

2. Publish your letter as a note on Facebook. Post the note on your own Wall/Timeline, then copy/paste the note as a Wall post on the Letters to Pearl event page HERE.

3. Mail your letter to Pearl. Send your handwritten letter or a copy of your published letter to:
Letters to Pearl
c/o Eric or Ruth Brown
PO Box 160083
Nashville, TN 37216

Thank you for sharing your part of Pearl’s story.
Click here to enter your link and view the Letters to Pearl link-up list…

If you would like to support the Browns in a tangible way, I have something for you too.  They need a van!   Here's how to help make that happen.

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