Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Ponderings

***This was originally written six years ago this Christmas.***

You never know when it's going to hit you. It might come from a certain expression ... a little giggle ... a funny quirk .... or a memorable day. Ah yes, it's often on my mind. I suppose even more around special holidays. But today ...... it was the new pink robe that brought that pierce so tenderly and sharply to my heart.

I noticed she was gone for a few minutes. Sure enough, here she comes boppin' in to where we were .... having ditched the clothes behind with her little chocolate-toned body all adorned in her new robe. "Mommy! ... it's so comfy and cozy!", she said, as she twirled about showing us all. And as I reached for the camera to capture this fun memory, it hit me once again.

My mind drifted off thinking about another momma .... wonder what she'd think of this precious little sight, I thought. Would it make her giggle to see this spunky little girl all happy and dressed in pink?

Often these moments are a little bittersweet for me. I wonder at times if the other momma would approve, for lack of better words, on how we're raising this most amazing little girl that she gave birth to. As I was baking Christmas cookies this year, the thought came to me that she would want us to rejoice in these times and enjoy all these wonderful moments in Naomi's life. She would want her to be happy.

I wonder today if something made her stop and ponder and dream of this wee-one. Oh how I pray she is well and that the God of all Hope is her Peace today.

Soon we'll be celebrating Naomi's 4th birthday. Can it really be four years since I took those flights to get to Texas? How I would have given anything just to have one picture of that dear other momma. And so tonight as I stop and think this all through ...... yes, there are some tears. But oh the JOY of getting to witness this child have LIFE, because of one brave Momma's choice to walk a very difficult journey all alone and give her the best gift she ever could .... the gift to live.

What a privilege it was tonight to sit together and hear the Christmas story being read. For these girls to hear of a most special baby born many, many years ago. He came so that we might have life.

Oh Lord, help us to live our lives well ... for your glory.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Four Things That Surprised Me in Becoming a SN's Momma

My entrance into being a SN's momma came through foster care. Little did we know it would become forever. Forever is a beautiful thing. Here's four things that surprised me along my journey so far.

1) How scared I would be. Of everything. Of equipment. Of unusual sounds. Of medical terms. Of  handling my child. Of being responsible for so many medications. Of the unknowns. I found myself trying to run so much those first month. Y'all .... I am not a RUNNER. ;) I mean the kind of running that makes you want to curl up under your covers and hide for a very long time. I'd been a momma for a good 20 years and yet I found myself daily gripped in fear. Here I was thrown into parenting this child who I knew nearly nothing about and I was in way over my head. It blew me so far out of my comfort zone. And I was so ashamed. Ashamed of the person I saw when I looked in the mirror. Ashamed of my weakness. Yet in that place, God met me .... and He took hold of my hand and walked with me every step ... every day.

2) How lonely I would feel. Thankfully, I am blessed with an incredible support system literally around the country. Yet when I'd walk into familiar places, I suddenly felt like a new stranger. Conversations sometimes became awkward. Especially as we wrestled through decisions about the future. I no longer knew where I fit in. Sometimes it didn't seem to feel like there was a place I'd ever feel that again. Some friendships changed. I couldn't get used to the awkward glances from strangers who couldn't quite figure us out. And I was so discouraged. Discouraged that I might always feel out of place. Yet in that place, God met me .... and He took hold of my hand and walked with me every step ... every day.

3) How serving with bended knee would take me deeper into worship. There's something about caring for another who cannot do anything for themselves. I found myself on bended knee a lot, whether through daily cares or helping with therapies that had been long neglected. And in that place, God met me ... and He taught me this is all worship. Every need before me is an opportunity to serve Him. I've experienced a greater depth in worship on the hardwood floor of my living room than in any church service. Because He's changed me. And taught me what worship really means.

4) How much can be communicated without words. I'm a word girl. I love words. I love a great in-depth conversation. I love hearing other people share from their hearts. I love to read words. This new world of mine though with my little non-verbal tyke .... I was so ignorant and had no idea how much she would "speak". It comes through gestures, mannerisms, sounds {sometimes grinding teeth!}, and now eye rolling. Do you have any idea how precious a squinty-eyed eye roll is? I swear sometimes she's telling me "Mom, will you just hurry up and figure out what in the world is wrong and fix it?" And in this place, God meets me ... and He teaches me that if I will listen and watch I have so much yet to experience. He has so much to show me through this precious little soul.

There are days I'm still scared. And I'm finding my way through loneliness. But through it all God is changing me and making me into a better momma. A better wife. A better daughter. I'm sure there are many surprises yet ahead. One thing is for sure ... God will be with me. Never leaving my side. He goes with us where He calls us. He's with you. Wanting to teach you. Wanting to prove His faithfulness to you. Wherever He has you.