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Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Waiting

In the pristine exercise studio the tan instructor (who is nice and thin and not pregnant!) instructs the expecting ladies around her in a perfectly orchestrated workout.  They move smoothly through the routine without breaking into a sweat and smiling sweetly all the time.  If only they could see this workout video played out in a real house with real tiny children and an out of shape pregnant mom!  I am on all fours trying to do the seriously modified pushups with Abby clinging to my middle in protest and Alena whacking me in the face and laughing hilariously each time I come up!

I just give up and lay there laughing.  I am truly glad that there is no video of us!  Sometimes having two tiny ones can make life seem a little crazy.  Nevertheless, after some recent conversations with friends whose children are teenagers, I realize that I might be in the easiest part of parenting after all.  It's true that last week I found a girl and her crib covered in poop, barely stopped her sister from munching the dead grasshopper on the porch, and heard my husband yell for help when one of them decided the tub was a good place to relieve constipation!   On the other hand, my little ones can't hop in the car and drive away, and every decision they make does not have the potential to impact the rest of their lives.  I find myself contemplating how so much of my time in the future years will be spent waiting for outcomes.

My thoughts circle this idea of waiting...Waiting for your teenager to come home at night.  Waiting as your child deals with some form of the pain that is sure to find us all in this life.  Waiting for a distant spouse to re-engage.  Waiting for the doctor's test results.  Waiting for your baby to be born healthy.  Waiting to see your little girl again when she has slipped into heaven before you.

Perhaps most of life is about waiting.  About being in between.  That strange place where you realize your grasp of control is much looser than you would like.  Will we wait well?  Will I wait well?  I read once that the only thing we can grasp without damaging our souls is His hand.  I wish that were as simple a it sounds!  But maybe it is.  Maybe the flip side of waiting is abiding.  And the journey here  is really about turning the impatient minutes and seconds into breath prayers that say " I trust you."  Even when it doesn' t feel that way.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

16 Weeks and 5 Days

16 weeks and 5 days today.   That's how long I have been carrying this little one.  Last night I lay in bed and felt anxious for no particular reason.  I knew that this time was approaching, but I hadn't figured out exactly the day.  As I lay there calculating, it dawned on me that it would be tomorrow.  It's amazing how your subconscious can be aware of things without you even realizing it.  Our counselor had warned us this sort of thing would happen as the girls grew older.

So this morning I sit on the back porch watching the pink sky and trying not to think about it.  That when I was 16 weeks and 5 days pregnant with the twins, Makiah died.   She asked me constantly before she died if the girls could hear her voice yet.  She would talk to them and tell them how cute they were.  She would exclaim, "Little babies, you are soooo loved!"  Every night she would give them each a kiss and a "hug" through my belly.  It was her own idea!

The girls are toddling around the porch blissfully unaware of mommy's inner turmoil.  I don't know if they could hear her voice yet.  One website says yes and another no.   I feel anxious.  October 8th started off as perfectly as today.  I think that we will stay home all day and hold my breath until it is over.  Then I read the words in my little book... There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears has not been made perfect in love.  1 John 4:18  I can't believe that is the scripture for today!  I read it to the girls a few times.  I whisper to the pink sky.  Oh God please help me to be perfected in your love!  I don't understand so many things.  I don't know how to face each day bravely when the outcome is veiled... how to trust you are with me when I know what feelings of abandonment can seize us in a an instant as life turns on its head.  But here are your words in black and white-  Perfect love casts out fear!  Drive it far from me today and embrace me with your love as I embrace the mystery of this truth!

And He did.  I packed the girls up and started with a trip to the store.  We have read books in Makiah's room and looked at her pictures and cried (well, I did anyway... little ones just wanted to slobber on them!).   We made oatmeal cookies together... sort of.  The main ingredients included several spills, screaming (the twins), and laughter (me- what else can you do?).   So now we are eating hot, yummy cookies and celebrating instead that today I am 16 weeks and 5 days pregnant with what appears to be another little princess!  What was a disastrous day during my last pregnancy,  has turned out to be a perfectly ordinary, messy one this time.  And I whisper again... this time a thanks for the embrace of peace breathed into me in early morning light.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Resurrection

Makiah's Daddy says bedtime prayers with her the same as every night.   Sun beating on our backs.  He names each family member in the order that she likes.  Tears and names intermingle with sobs barely suppressed.  He prayers for her his daily special requests.  Words straining to reach the throne room but seeming instead to drop like weighty rocks into hard, uncaring earth that has just been dug.  Her Daddy sings Jesus Loves Me just like every night.  Voice cracking.  Faltering.  The people have all gone except a few who stand in waiting.  He finishes... "the Bible tells me so."  Kisses her good night.   Tiny, pink roses and  delicate petals all around.  I lean down and press quivering lips into the dainty pink smocking across her chest.  As if to kiss her heart again.  One last time.  Before they close the little, white box forever.  Before we drive away.  Just the two of us.

And it seems that all fairy tales are lies.  That my wistful, childhood dreaming of a life that ends with happily ever after are being sealed up in that little box with red clay piled up on top.  We kissed the princess, but she did not wake up.   At least not yet.

As I sit here now, typing, the seconds and minutes of our final goodbye at the grave-site are etched in my memory as clear as glass.  But I read that I see through the glass but dimly.  When the blackness of despair creeps in and covers over my eyes lately, I push back with a thought.  Words penned to me in a card after she died.  "There is a Resurrection!"  I say it out loud.  "There is a Resurrection!"  I say it again, and courage begins to rise.  "There is a Resurrection!"   Despair shrinks back and hope fills the foggy mirror of my view instead. 

Last year on Easter I wrote that Jesus tomb is empty and so is Makiah's room.  Tomorrow is Easter again, and I can't help but notice it falls exactly 18 months from her heaven day.  It has been a year and a half  since she went home to be with Him.  But this year I can write that Jesus tomb is empty and so will Makiah's be!  The princess will indeed arise... as will all of us who have "... fallen asleep in Christ!"  It is my hope.  It is my lifeline.  It pushes back the dark thoughts now.  But one day it will push back the dark decay of Death once and for all!  There is a Resurrection!

"Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."  1 Corinthians 13:12