Wonder

Boo hoo!  It’s the last Five Minute Friday of 2012.  😦

Ten tiny fingers, ten tiny toes (I counted).  One tiny nose and a head covered with fuzz.  Unfocused blue eyes and a pink rosebud for a mouth.   And she was mine.  How could this be?  How could this perfect little person have been growing inside my body for almost nine months?  Amazed is too mild a word for the way I felt the first time they placed my newborn daughter in my arms.  Stunned.  Transcendent.

There’s a reason that the word “wonder” is often preceded by the words “wide-eyed” .  It’s because wonder opens our eyes to a myriad of possibilities that we had never even considered before.  Our eyes, they have to widen to let in all the new information that’s just been sent our way.  All of a sudden we see paths available that we’ve never imagined existed.

My new baby girl was a real eye-opener for me.  Oh, the possibilities!  Would she be an athlete?  A scholar?  Both?  What would her passion be?  Would she one day have children of her own?  She was a blank page (even though God had already planned out her days).  Anything could happen!   And if God could make a wonder such as this, what other things is He capable of?

There is wonder and possibility in every single day, but as adults we sometimes lose the ability to be wowed.   For the past two nights, by some miracle of astronomy we have been able to see the planet Jupiter in the night sky, near the moon.  We pointed it out to our girls and we answered their questions about how and why (at least the ones we knew the answers to).  And I got to stand there with my family in childlike wonder as we contemplated the bigness and possibilities of our God.   May we take always keep that sense of wonder, everywhere we go.

Thank You

It’s Five-Minute Friday, the last one for a few weeks (gulp!).  Writing without a prompt?  It’s a little scary!

So, on the subject of Thank You:

She is the child I never thought I would have.  The one who required medical help to conceive, long after my first child was on the way to grown-up, and the path to her was littered with my tears and disappointments.  She’s a challenge to parent and she herself is challenged, but with God’s help we somehow make it through.  She’s not the child I thought she would be (are they ever?) and yet she is just right.

She sits at the table with the child who was born not from under my heart, but in it (and is a challenge all of her own), and the sweet baby child of my oldest child, all of them girls, and all of them making this woman’s heart swell with joy. 

And at the “big people” table sit my mother, my oldest girl, my son-in-love, and the man of my dreams, all the people closest to me.  And in front of us is a spread of food the likes that some people will never see, and I think, “How could I possibly express with any clarity the gratitude that is overflowing my soul?”  because it just grabs me around the heart.  And I hear the Father saying, “You can thank me with your life, with the way you go through the days, by seeing all the world as a gift from My heart to yours.”

And I wonder if I really could do that, live my life from the Thank You instead of the What Can You Do For Me?  It’s all the in eyes, in how I choose to see.  I can see my challenges as nuisances, or I can see them as an opportunity for God to show His power.  All the little things I take for granted, maybe I can open my eyes, slow down, and really SEE how blessed I am.

Time’s up!  I think I could have gone on for another 15 minutes. 

Stay

How many times have I wished they could just stay little?  Millions, I’m sure.  At least as many times as I have wished away their childhood by being too anxious for the next phase of their short lives.  But children must grow up into the adults God made them to be, despite our desire to keep them in the Mommy-loving, wet-kisses stage. 

I’ve borne witness to this phenomenon at least once, with two others in process right now.  My oldest daughter is now a mother herself, and a fine mother she is, too.  She couldn’t stay little any more than her sisters can, any more than her own daughter can, and that’s a good thing.

To stay little would be to deny our children the richness of a life well-lived, a life full of experiences and growth, painful though it may be.  I’d love to shield my girls from the harshness of life by having them stay (with me, at home, little!), but I’d likely be saving them from the very things that might (will!) draw them closer into a relationship with their God, because when the pain hits, the ultimate solace is found in Him.  And that is no kind of saving at all.

So, my sweet babies, when I say I wish you could stay little, what I really mean is that I’m loving this stage of your lives and I wish we could camp right here, just for a while, to really drink it all in.  But I love you too much to ever deny you the joys and pains that come with growing up.

Quiet

Quiet.  It’s a rare commodity around my house.  With two girls ages 11 and 8, there is always a voice or a tune, or the thumping of feet filling the air.  I long for quiet, and yet when I have it, it’s….disquieting.  It sets me on edge and I look for something to fill the silence:  TV, radio, my own voice on the telephone.  If it’s quiet and the kids are home, it makes me suspicious and wary, thinking that they’re doing something they shouldn’t.

The first voice that popped into my head when I read this week’s prompt was, “Be still and know that I am God”.  Be still – body and mind and soul – and listen, and you will realize that I alone am your God.  How hard it is to be still!  There is a continuous whirl of activity going on around us, and I do mean continuous.    It used to be that you could find some quiet in the wee hours of the night, but not anymore, with the 24-hour department stores and fast food joints.  There is no longer one block of time when you can count on life, if not stopping, at least slowing down considerably.

And there’s another angle that comes to my mind when I think of quiet, and that’s peace.  As in “peace and quiet”.  The two seem to go hand in hand.  So maybe the next time a chunk of quiet comes my way, I’ll try to use that time to be still and know, and I’ll bet that in the knowing, there will come the peace.

Roots

Five Minute Friday!  Want to play?  Click here:  www.lisajobaker.com.

The pictures are old and faded now, but I can still make out the impatient face of the little girl in front of all her grandmothers, her hands held tightly by her mother to thwart her escape.  In one picture all five are standing straight, smiles firmly in place.  In the second one the little girl is a blur, bouncing up and down in a futile attempt at freedom.  And finally in the third one, the group is moving apart, hands over mouths in laughter as they break photograph formation.

The little girl in this picture is me, and the other four ladies are my mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great grandmother.  Our family has five generations of women living and we have for at least three generations.  In the most recent picture I am the one in the middle – the grandmother.

These ladies in the old pictures?  I am an offshoot of them, and my future is firmly rooted in their history.   I grew up geographically near my relatives and it was always clear what my family stood for and where I came from.  Now that I am 3 hours away from my relatives, I wonder what kind of roots I’m giving my kids.  Having grown one to adulthood already, I can see some evidence that maybe I’ve taught her something of worth.   Ultimately it’s not our relationship with our earthly family that makes us who we are, it’s our relationship with our Heavenly Father.