Sunday, March 1, 2015

Happy Birthday, Ryan

Dear Ryan,

Wow, you are 21 today.

I remember so well going to the hospital in the early morning hours because my water had broken.  You were two weeks past your due date. True to your nature, you were not in any hurry to make an entrance into this world.  Late afternoon we finally were able to hold you in our arms for the first time.

I thought you were beautiful with all that dark hair.  You were bigger then the doctor had predicted weighing in at eight pounds even.  At 22 3/4 inches long, there wasn't a bit of fat on that long skinny body.  And your feet!  Your footprint didn't fit on the little card they stamped it on.  I thought then that you would some day grow into those feet and do big things for Jesus.

You had beautiful big brown eyes with long eyelashes.   Eyes are a window to the soul.  From the time you were a toddler you took Jesus very seriously and were concerned that he was a part of your life.  You had heard it taught at church that Jesus lives in your heart.  You came into the kitchen one day nearly in tears.  Looking down the inside of the front of your shirt you said, "Uh, oh, mommy, Jesus all gone."  Your two year old eyes were so serious.  

You were my thinker.  You started taking books to bed with you when you were a year old.  Now, you still pour over the books, reading your books for the next semester on your breaks.  You are a book lover.  But what blesses me the most is that you love The Book.  Seeing your Bible often lying around open speaks volumes of the young man you are.

This morning you said, "I don't belong to me."  You are right.  You are God's.  I have seen you let him live in you and change you.  It can seem frightening to realize you are not your own.  In reality, though, it is comforting.  When you belong to God, you live in peace knowing he is in control.  He can be trusted with your life really much more then you can.

Dad and I are thankful that you are God's man.  No matter where he takes you or how far you go, it will be ok.  We wouldn't want it any other way.  You were His first.

May your feet be guided by the One to whom you belong.  May your eyes always reflect the Savior you love.  May The Book remain your compass for life.  May you always remember you belong to God.

Happy Birthday!
Love,
Mom 





      



 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Happy Birthday, Kaytlin!

Dear Kaytlin,

Nineteen years ago I awoke in the early morning on a day somewhat like today.  It was a bitter cold outside.  I was uncomfortable and couldn't sleep.

I remember your dad got up with me and distracted me from contractions that were 7-8 minutes apart.  We played solitaire on our new computer.  After awhile I grew restless and so I made sure my bag was ready for the hospital and did some things around the house.

I was pretty sure I was in labor, but I wasn't in pain.  I finally called the hospital when the contractions were about five minutes apart.  They advised me to do some walking for 30 minutes and then if the contractions were closer after that to come on in.  So I went next door to the church and walked around the auditorium.  My contractions did get closer together, but it sure didn't feel anything like my first labor.

I decided to rest on the couch and play with your brother, Ryan, for a bit.  At about noon I suddenly felt edgy and grumpy.  I told your daddy I thought we'd better take Ryan over to our friends and head to the hospital.  Now you know your dad.  Well, he decided now was the time to grab himself a sandwich and find quarters for the machines at the hospital.  And you know me.  I was a bit upset.  He had known all morning to be ready to go!

We arrived at the hospital a little before 1:00 p.m.  I remember the nurse that was checking me in wasn't sure I would be staying.  She said as she was filling out the paper work, "We'll just monitor you for awhile and see what you are doing?"  As I lay there answering her questions and laughing and talking my water broke.  The nurse calmly said, "Well, I guess you will be staying."  She finished the paperwork and then decided to check and see where I was at.

Her next words started a rush of activity.  "Oh my, you are at an 8 and nearly complete.  We have to get you into a labor and delivery room."  Your dad had gone to phone grandma and let her know we were at the hospital.  He had to find me when he came back.

There was no time for an epidural.  You made short work of labor and arrived at 2:45 p.m.  What a doll you were. I thought you were perfect in every way.  Pretty dark hair framed your sweet round face.  Your daddy thought your nose was funny because it was flattened to your face, but it shaped up nicely in a few hours.

One of the things I remember most about your birth day was your daddy holding you and stroking your little face and hands.  He adored you.  He still does.  There isn't anything he wouldn't do for you.  How blessed you are to know a father's love.

However, you are even more blessed to know the Heavenly Father's love.  I am so thankful for your deep love for God.  It is reassuring for me to know that you have an anchor for the storms of life that will hold you steadfast and firm.  Keep walking hand in hand with him and this new year in your life and the years to come will be filled with joy and peace.

You are loved, dear daughter, always and forever.  Happy Birthday!

Love, Mom











Monday, February 16, 2015

A Prayer

"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?..." Isa. 49:15a 

Bonding begins naturally in the womb.  It happens as an infant suckles at his mother's breast.  In the dark of the night as a fussy infant snuggles close and the smell of parent and child mingle, the bond tightens.  This process of bonding happens as naturally as we breathe.

In adoption bonding also occurs, but it begins in a different way.  It began for me with a vision and a prayer for children not yet my own.  I loved before I ever knew.  Then just as with all children the bond and love grew as we lived life together. 

In recent months we have encountered some challenges.  As I watch one of my children struggle my heart is pained.  It hurts deeply for them.  I want to protect.  I want to shelter.  The reality...I no longer can.

I cannot forget the early days.  The pain my child had gone through ripped at my very soul.  I cried out to God.  Please help my child know my love.  God heard.  God grew that love through the challenges.  He blessed us with good times and laughter.  We became a family.

Now I cry out, "Can a mother forget the child she has held and have no compassion for the child she has loved as her own?"

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net


It is impossible.  And so I beg of God, the One to whom all my children truly belong.
 
"Be where I cannot be.  
Be what I cannot be.  
Let my child see that you knew them before they were even formed.  
Let my child know your steadfast love.
Amen." 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

When the Storm Rages

Our family is encountering a particularly tough time.  I will not recount any particulars because I respect my children's privacy.  However, at a time when emotions are raw, I'm learning how great is the love of my Heavenly Father.

When the storm rages
the flesh struggles
and the heart is pained.

When the storm rages
doubts arise
and the mind cannot comprehend.

When the storm rages
each breath 
becomes a matter of will.

When the storm rages
nights are sleepless
the days an emotional haze.

When the storm rages
conversations ensue
questions need answers.

"Lord, I feel betrayed."

"My daughter, I was betrayed."

"Lord, I gave my love."

"My daughter, I gave my Son."

"Lord, I poured my life into him."

"My daughter, I poured my life out for you."

"Lord, I can't."

"My daughter, I can."

When the storm rages
He is there
My God is faithful.

When the storm rages
 He gently holds me
through prayers and hugs.

When the storm rages
He is a rock
the stability in the unstable.

When the storm rages
I will stand firm
He will strengthen me.

He is My Shelter in a Time of Storm.

Praise God!

Photo from freedigitalphotos.net