Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Trust and Patience

Well, yesterday was the day. The day that I had a five percent chance of meeting this little boy blessing who’s been residing within my body for the last 38 weeks. May 11. The day that’s been on the calendar and that’s been the topic of many conversations over the last half year.
I’m not frustrated that I didn’t get to meet him yesterday. Perhaps it’s the part of me that’s naturally patient. But even more than that, I feel like it’s the knowledge and trust I have in the God of all. The Lord of life itself, who challenged me over a year ago to relinquish my desire to control my family to him, has a plan for when this baby needs to be born. He will make it happen in his right time. And I am very satisfied to rest in that.
People are telling me that I’m “dropping” or that I look like it could happen at any time. That’s how I feel, but I also know from experience that people don’t really know what they’re talking about when it comes to gauging a pregnant lady’s “term.” I like how my doctor put it: her crystal ball is fuzzy. 

There’s just no way to know when a baby will be born, which in and of itself is a beautiful exercise in trust and patience. Perhaps God has each momma go through this exercise (multiple times for some of us) to give us a little practice in this trust and patience. There’s no doubt that as these little babies grow up into toddlers and young kids and old kids and grown kids that we continually must walk this line of trust and patience. 
We trust that God knows what’s best and has perfect timing in every circumstance. We trust that we are doing all we can as moms to aid the development of our children and provide for their safety and well-being.
We are patient (or if we’re not, we drive ourselves crazy with disappointment) for our children to reach each new milestone, to develop in ways that are good and pleasing, to make mature choices, to attain the ideals that we have set before them. And there is even more patience required when they do not even follow the path we desire for them, when they become who they are rather than who we want them to be.
Trust. Patience.

Perhaps I will forever be "practicing" this lesson.

Thursday, May 7, 2015


I held him in my lap, his ear close to my heart, rocking back and forth slowly on the old rocking chair. This was not how it was.
Earlier, he had pushed my buttons to their limits. Earlier, he had looked at me with those testing eyes and done precisely what I had told him not to do. Earlier, he had been so whiny that I couldn’t even understand what he was trying to whine about. Earlier, he had been crying and frustrated. 
Earlier, I had no patience for his delays. Earlier, I had no grace for his deliberate disobedience. Earlier, I used my mean voice. Earlier, I put him in time out on multiple occasions. Earlier, I felt my heart filling with bitterness. Earlier, I buried my head in prayer because it was the only thing I had the strength to do. Earlier, I was crying and frustrated. 
Earlier, I thought that the battle to get his dirty pull-up changed followed by the battle to get him into his bed for nap would be the end of it. Earlier, I assumed that his poor attitude was from over-tiredness. Earlier, I was thankful for the silence I heard from the bedroom, signaling that sleep had come and that there was rest for my weary mom-soul.
But he woke from his nap groggy and crabby, still holding stubbornly to his idea of how the house should be run. I quickly put up my defenses, preparing for another hour of hard ball. He deliberately disobeyed; I threatened with more punishment. He cried and I looked at the clock, marking the minutes until my husband would be home. And I prayed again, “God, show me how to reach through to him.” I was tired of being frustrated with him, and he was sick of being the source of my frustration. He stood at the door to the backyard, weeping.
I put dinner in the oven and walked over to him, not knowing what to do. I picked him up and he held on tight. So I held on tight. I sat down in the rocking chair that gets rare use. And we rocked. He and I. Me and him. His sobs gradually slowing, and then silencing, as I lightly rubbed his back. We stayed like that for a long time. I talked to God about redemption, and thanked him for redeeming me as a mom and my son as a boy. Peace found its way back to my soul. I spoke in soothing words to my boy about forgiveness and love. He snuggled into me and his breathing slowed. I had dinner in the oven and a baby moving around in my belly, but I didn’t care. There was no other thing I wanted to be focused on in that moment than my relationship with my son. There was no room for anything in my heart than beholding the beautiful joy of being brought back together after pushing each other away. In a simple act, a simple sharing of space and silence and slowed breaths, the cares and frustrations from before vanished like smoke, and were replaced by true and lasting love from God. 

Dear heart, this is redemption. This is forgiveness. This is love.

I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist.
Return to me for I have redeemed you.
Isaiah 44:22