Friday, December 14, 2012

Learning Joy

If all I have to unwrap this Christmas are size 2 and size 5 dirty diapers, I'll still have more to thank God for than I deserve.  These two precious lives have given me so much.  I only pray I can be half the mother that they deserve.  Every day, I fall short, usually it has something to do with not keeping a level head or acting my age--sometimes I forget that I'm the adult in certain situations.  Today I feel guilty about every complaint I've ever made involving anything associated with parenting--the days I've forgotten to give thanks for the two gifts I never thought I'd be able to carry for 9 months, or hold in my arms.  I only wish I could keep them there.

I'm still far from wise, but I believe a parent's love is more real and pure than any other.   That is why it is an honor for us to be considered children of God.  Not only are my children gifts, but their existence alone allows for the ultimate gift: a greater understanding of God.  God sent his son to die in our place.  In that action, he sacrificed what he loved most, his son.  It's easier to see the beauty and sense in the trinity, now.  God the Father, Spirit, Son--3 in 1.  We hear it and sing it, but why is it significant?  I'm still learning why.  But if who we know as God the Father, the Almighty King, came down to Earth, it truly wouldn't mean as much than if his innocent Son, a lamb, was the sacrifice.  As a mother, I can understand that.  What a gift; it is perfect love--he gave what he held dearest.  He knew we would be more eager to accept his love this way.  Now I don't have to fear death because of what he did.  I still fear losing my children, though, more than anything. A parent losing a child becomes more real when we have children of our own, yes.   But our tears will never be as heavy with grief as theirs, only God knows their weight as he himself experienced this ultimate loss. 

We can say our condolences, empathize with tears, and pray for those families and even our own children.  We want to make it better, though.  We feel a sense of guilt as we struggle to find a way to improve the situation.  If we knew the families, we'd offer to cook them meals.  We'd find a way to make this holiday season somewhat "bearable", if that's even possible.  We'd want to help them focus on something else on Christmas morning, so that they wouldn't have to sit before a Christmas tree bearing unopened gifts for children whose souls are now a light shining brighter than the one atop the tree they decorated just weeks before today's tragedy.

I'm thousands of miles away, feeling helpless and with a heavy heart, though.  But I'm doing what I can with what I have.  I'm close enough to make a difference, still, because my children are HERE.  They are wanting to be loved, every single day that I have them on loan from their Heavenly Father.  When they are misbehaving, when they are brushing (aka pulling) my hair with a plastic doll comb, when they are begging for chocolate at the top of their lungs with their dinner still before them--they are asking for love.  It may not be at the top of their Christmas list, but it's the best gift I can give them. 

I can't buy them a thousand years on this Earth, even though that's at the top of my Christmas list, but I can love them today better than I did yesterday by learning to stay joyful in all situations, because, in the end, sitting down and having my hair pulled by a pink plastic doll comb hurts a lot less than the regrets I'd have if I missed these moments, if my sweet babies were gone tomorrow.

I love these kids so much.  Please, Lord, they deserve my joy every day, so give me a heart to love them like you love me, no matter what.  Thank you for another day of diaper changes, spit up-covered clothing, tantrums, and hair pulling.  I'm ever so grateful for every obvious and disguised beautiful moment, especially today.  Be with those who've lost a child, show them you are closer to them now more than ever before.  Amen.

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