Sunday, January 19, 2014

Someone Else's Baby

There is the very rare occasional time when Matt is less than perfect. Through no fault of my own he has arrived at the intersection of miscommunication and frustration. He is singlehandedly in the wrong and I never am. I take a deep breath as I mentally prepare my best argument, take one look in that face and see... someone else's baby.
At one point my grown, strong, man of a husband was a round cheeked, imaginative toddler. He was read to, cuddled, bathed, dressed, tickled, hand held, kissed, and prayed over. He was her baby. And my mother-in-law probably never saw a day that the handsome baby in her arms would be yelled at by a frustrated housewife.
And now looking at my own perfect, round cheeked babies I take a look down the road towards the grown men they will be. And my heart knows the disagreements and unfriendly conversations that can occur between their beloved. And not for a second can I picture a red faced woman shouting and pointing her finger in my little boys' face.
So I stand here before this man and do a double take every time I feel angry. He was her baby, and these boys are mine. How do I want my future daughters-in-law speaking to these precious boys I'm blessed to call my sons? I want to make my mother-in-law as blessed to have shared her son with as I hope to be one day.
So I maybe, kinda, sorta, ok, definitely share the load of the miscommunication, and maybe through every fault of my own I contributed to where we momentarily find ourselves. With that all my little guy's faces come swimming in my mind. And I look into the eyes of the man I love so much and know his mother used to pray for his marriage...and for me. And someone else's baby, became a husband, who became a father, to someone else's future husbands...and how I respond now could be how someone does or doesn't talk to these little men one day, to their own babies one day...
What about you? How are you talking to your husband or wife? Do you keep in mind that the being you are so angry with was once a cherished baby, perfect in the eyes of doting parents. Do you keep in mind your own baby lovingly wrapped in your arms? Do you build a foundation for generations of love and respect? Do you cherish the bond shared with someone else's baby?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Lost It's Sting

Buckled in the car, driving 60mph on the parkway, during the middle of a Thursday afternoon, we had church. We didn't plan it, we lived it. "Running to Your Arms" had started playing on the radio, we sang and tears I never saw coming slipped down my cheeks. In the silence of the ending chords Harrison summed up as best anyone could, "that was really good."
The back story is, someone died. A friend of a friend died. A girl I never even met before, died. So why did her death pour an ache in my heart. Through the distant posts I had followed the battle of a young life fighting for more. I saw the beaming girl I never met being chased down by death. And I saw sunken eyes shine from something deeper than anything on this Earth.
And so my prayers for a girl I never met in my life joined the prayers of those who couldn't imagine life without her. And then this morning the young bride fell asleep and awoke in the arms of Jesus and I couldn't shake the tangled emotions of grief, peace, and confusion.
Death is sad; it leaves indescribable heart ache of mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, and children reeling from the sudden chasm in their lives. But I had no immediate connection with the friend of a friend so why was I sitting at a stoplight crying, barely able to make out the words, "You are joy, You are joy, You're the reason that I sing. You are life, You are life, in You death has lost its sting..."
And I realized the pounding in my heart had nothing to do with my ever personally meeting her. The testimony her brief 26 years shouted to His glory, and the excitement knowing this faith giant was a sister I will one day have the pleasure of meeting, stirred a celebration deep in a place of my heart that's balanced between the present and eternity.
God doesn't need a certain number of days for a life to bring Him glory. When we belong to Him we belong to His mysterious ways. And in that unknown lies a fearless strength I saw in the eyes of this dying girl. Life is a gift whether it's weeks, months, years, or decades. Once we look through the trappings of the world into the glory ahead why do we cling so tightly to the temporary?
This life I've been gifted I cherish. These boys my life is poured into as they become men I cherish. My husband I am blessed to share life with I cherish. My God who spoke life into existence is the Great I AM. And the girl I never met is sitting at His feet having run the race set before her. I know now my tears had nothing to do with death, and everything to do with life.