Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Making the necessary preparations

These past few days, the snowfall has been nonstop. I live in a snow globe, it seems. So many tiny snowflakes. Then the snow melts and gets dirty. Its perfect shade of powdered sugar-white turns shadow-gray with flecks of dirt, with time. But for now, I'm enjoying sitting on my bed staring out the window and down my street. I'm daydreaming but still very much looking forward to the beautiful flowers that are sure to show in a matter of weeks. Sometimes that's what keeps us all going: knowing spring will come and we'll feel the warmth of the sun again.

Mirabelle will be born in the spring, I don't believe this is a coincidence. She is our little miracle and another way God is shining light into my life. I often think about what it will be like to give her a hug; what her baby soft skin will feel and smell like, and how her tiny toes will wiggle. Thinking of her in this way makes me feel like a protective mama bear, and I don't want her to know pain. Ever. But, unfortunately, there will be sadness and I won't be able to shield her from all of life's disappointments. This is why I pray for her soul, though she hasn't even opened her eyes yet. I pray that God will strengthen our tiny soul and give her the wisdom to see his beauty, even if and especially when life gets ugly. I also ask for be the kind of mom she deserves. I love her; we're already close -- that's a good start.

My fear of seeing her sad is rooted in my own fear of sadness. Granted, we've all had our fill of it. I don't feel jaded as a result of my experiences, though. The rough moments were unavoidable and not a result of any major mistakes I made, just part of the bigger plan. I see that now. I don't know if I'd be able to appreciate life as much as I do today, were it not for those rough patches.

Though Jose and I hope to provide the best for Mirabelle, we do realize there is no such thing as the perfect childhood, or the ideal family (or flawless parents!). We are all dysfunctional in our own way. Still, if we remember that God can meet us where we are and that he isn't judging us for our weaknesses, then the healing can begin. It's a matter of moving forward by acknowledging our struggles and blessings, all at once. Seeing the glass half full, because life is beautiful at times, while also recognizing the same glass as half empty, because that's the portion He's meant to fill. We wouldn't need grace or love, otherwise.

So here I am. Still flawed with a quite few scars, but very much ready to love my new baby girl. I've bought her cute little clothes, arranged her side of the room, made hospital arrangements, and prayed for a safe and speedy delivery. There's only so much I can plan for, though. I'm acknowledging that while also giving God credit for his omniscience. I'm depending on him to carry me the rest of the way. He's already brought me this far and blessed me with this beautiful babe (certainly more than I ever expected, because my body is just as flawed as my human spirit). He'll lead the way and we'll follow, taking baby steps... literally :).

I'm ready to be a mom.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A new blog layout...

I can't believe how long I managed to keep that last layout up! But with the new year comes the need for a new birdie. I picked up the header image from this site.

Jose was quite sad to hear that I'd be parting ways with Mr. Superhero Birdie, he insisted that I keep him on here. So I added him to my new signature :). He'll be sticking around for awhile...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentine's Day Cookie Tutorial!

Click on the image for a gluten-free linzer cookie tutorial! Baked up just in time for Valentine's Day :).

Friday, February 5, 2010

Waking up

Love is something that makes you wake up in the morning, not something you wake up and realize you're in. That's my way of lookin' at it.

We've watched two movies over the past week that seem to go against this idea. It isn't really a tough one to grasp, but it seems it's not a very popular idea to have. I'm guilty of renting or even buying the occasional sappy movie; there's something about watching people "fall in love" that makes most of us feel like our soul just got a warm cozy bath after spending a long day outside in the cold. But sometimes reality isn't cold, sometimes it's actually better than what a screenwriter can put together.

So after watching these two movies, which will remain nameless because there are many films like 'em out there, I actually felt like I was the lucky one. I didn't feel a pang of loneliness set in when the credits began to roll.


Because both of these films depict love as some kind of thing that people sort of end up with coincidentally, if they're lucky -- like winning the lottery, almost (and it certainly isn't that). They wake up and, suddenly (Really? Suddenly?), the world is right. In the film, it finally occurs to the actor that they've been dating their soul mate for 10 years, so it's okay to get married, they guess. The character spent their life looking for this someone, and, somehow, they blindly dated so many wrong someones for so long (thinking they were "the one, maybe" the whole time!). It's an exhausting process. Their collection of broken hearts makes Beanie Baby collectors look like they shouldn't be ashamed of having spent so much money on products that no one cares about any more. Harsh? Well, that's pretty much what happens in some of these films.

So how is reality better than this? Thankfully, real love isn't some thing. What we know as human love is actually the outline of God's shadow. We haven't seen him, so don't know what perfect love looks like, exactly, but we have an idea of what it is. When we catch a glimpse of that love in someone else, just a shadow of his love, we're attracted to it. It's as natural as breathing.

We're all wired to love and want to receive love; anyone who denies this has been hurt before -- there's no denying that. I truly believe you can't be unsure of love because when it's sincere, it's obvious. It's the pink elephant in the room, minus the awkwardness and negative associations usually held with the term. Still, someone could say it might take a person awhile to realize its existence in their life, and that would be true, but that doesn't change the fact that it was already there from the beginning.

So it seems the only time I saw any semblance of love in these two films was at the end. No, not when the characters acknowledged they were "in love", but after that. During the rolling of the credits. White words against a solid black background, moving down a screen right before our eyes. Love is that obvious.

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