Thursday, June 16, 2016

lost


I lost her infant and toddler years.

They are a blur of diapers and sleepless nights. A terminally ill father-in-law. Balancing home and work. All bear equal blame. I would tiptoe into her room at night - oh, so careful not to wake her - and peer into the crib, determined to memorize every sweet line in her face. I knew I would never forget. I was wrong.

I lost her preschool years.

On-going health issues and a number of surgeries stole them from me. I was so focused on building a new home that her first day of kindergarten sprung upon me like a jack-in-the-box. I heard the music and I knew it was coming, but I was still startled by its appearance.




 
I lost her elementary school years.

They are hidden among the ball practices and dance classes, homework, and church activities. We lived in 4-week increments of shift rotation - planning "girl time", trying our best not to wake Daddy, and looking forward to that one precious weekend each month when all three of us could be together.





 I lost her middle school years.

Somewhere in the chaos of a husband losing his job, his returning to college, his finding a job, then Mama's passing...well, they are gone. I've searched the recesses of my brain, hoping to find some traces of their existence. They are faint at best.


I lost her high school years.

She learned to play field hockey and to drive, became comfortable with who she is, and discovered her passion for medicine. Preparations for college consumed all of us, as we waited to see what the Lord had in store. In two days - TWO DAYS! - she will turn that tassel and high school will be finished.


And just like that, her childhood blew away.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

war, no more

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
...a time for war and a time for peace. 
-Ecclesiastes 3:1, 8 

There is satisfaction in knowing that Nietzsche was right: That which does not kill us makes us stronger.  Muscles are strengthened and passions are ignited in battle. Defending something makes you realize how much you love it.

Yes, there is a time for war.
A time to stand up and fight,
to make your presence known and your voice heard.

There is also a time for peace. Not necessarily the peace of this world, but there is peace in accepting that some wars will never be won.

There is relief in understanding it's time to walk away. In no longer being held captive by Satan's lie that those who retreat are cowards. In knowing that by refusing to engage, you can find rest under the heaviest onslaught of artillery.

There is hope that the Lord is your strength and shield (Psalm 28:7). That, as He did for the children of Israel as they faced the Red Sea, "The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent." (Exodus 14:14). 

There is victory in realizing that God's purposes have prevailed. That when the opponent meant to harm you, God meant it for good (Genesis 50:20, Romans 8:28).

There is comfort in knowing that in this - even in this! - you can count it all joy (James 1:2-4). 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

my girl...


...doesn't enjoy the spotlight. She doesn't like to draw attention to herself. In a world of selfies and oversharing, I treasure that about her.

The most important person in her life has always been her Daddy. They are peas in a pod, my Frick-and-Frack. One of the most joyous sounds I've ever known is their harmonious laughter. They look alike and they think alike.

Not far behind her Daddy is mine. He is the only grandfather she remembers and she adores him wholeheartedly.

She has a remarkable, understated wit. She doesn't try to be funny. She just is.

Her deep blue eyes - the only trait I could claim as mine - are morphing into a stunning green. No matter their color, I have loved seeing the world through them: big, exciting, full of possibilities and challenges.

She volunteers with the elderly, but her heart is with children. She wants to devote her life to making them well. The Lord has gifted her with a depth of compassion and mercy that I often envy and always admire.

She is opinionated and stubborn. She doesn't back down quickly or quietly. I appreciate these qualities. But not always.

She is intelligent, determined, and fun. She's a procrastinator and a perfectionist (unfortunately, other traits I can claim as mine). She is a protector and she loves big.

I gave birth to her, but she has given me a life I never thought possible. She has made my days more beautiful, more difficult, and more meaningful than I could have ever imagined.

Her days of living in our home full-time are quickly - too quickly - coming to an end.

If only I hadn't blinked.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

coming too quickly

The white robe is tucked away in her closet. The mortar board is hiding in the guest room. The announcements have been put in the mail box.

Each evening my girl gives the countdown. There's no need. A mother is well aware of how quickly her little girl is vanishing before her very eyes.

This week she receives the cord, the golden tassel, and the stoles that mark her years of hard work. Next week she'll march the final steps of her childhood.

And through the tears, I will be cheering her on: sad that this part of her life is ending, and thankful that the Lord has allowed me to be a part of it.




Thursday, June 2, 2016

deeply impressed into my brain


Thoughts on 3 John, from Douglas O'Donnell

Image Source

Fellowship is more than sharing a cup of coffee after the service; it is sharing life together - the joy and sorrows, triumphs and defeats - so that together we might fight the good fight, finish the race, keep the faith, and long for the glory of God's gospel to cover the earth.

And this...

..."commendation of community" is a welcome "antidote to the individualism that infects" many local churches. Just as the body of Christ "does not consist of one member but of many" (1 Cor. 12:14), we need one another for service (v. 21), perseverance in holiness (Heb. 10:24-25) and mission (Mark 6:7).

And then there's this from Christine Hoover:

The Church is our opportunity to give and receive the love of God. It's about relationships in which we sharpen and are sharpened. Our service is a vessel to pass the love of Christ among ourselves...We are held accountable for our individual faith, but we experience his sanctification and sharpening through community, and we endure in our faith through the companionship of this community...The specific community God's given us is our opportunity to respond to God's love according to the unique giftedness, personalities, and roles we've been given.