“Who loves you more than me?” I asked as we pulled up to the bus stop.
“Daddy?” he asked.
“No. Even more than Daddy.”
“Yes, God loves you so much – more than even Daddy and I can. And God loves every single person the most – each person who sits at your table in school, the ones who walk down the hallway next to you, your teachers, and the people holding signs by the interstate entrances. Can you imagine loving everyone so much?” Continue reading
Thrashing around, their little bodies twist and turn. Couch cushions lay on a heap in the floor – collateral damage from brothers wrestling. I’m in the thick of it, tickling belies and shielding my face from injury. It is raucous and joy-filled. It is a moment of brothers let loose to be brothers… living this life together that is messy and dangerous and beautiful.
It is love on the edge.
Every Christmas, we pack up our lives and pile up the gifts. We drive south on I-65 and we begin our Christmas circuit that takes us all over the state. From house to house, we drag all our items out of the car (an obscene amount no matter the length of stay thanks to the little ones). Drew distributes and unpacks while I begin the vigilant watch of our 4 year old and 20 month old in new territory. Suddenly everything seems breakable or a choking hazard.
Christmas with two young ones is exhausting. Chasing them around leaves me so tired that 9:00 p.m. sounds like a perfectly acceptable bedtime. Watching them in new environments is a game of risk, a test of multi-tasking abilities while maintaining conversation, and a sport of trying to communicate with Drew through mere hand signals or looks that clearly say, “It’s your turn! I need a break!” Mitigating negotiation-deals with the four-year-old at every Christmas meal is always humbling while we sit in front of those who prepared the meal. He contorts his face and says in the whiniest, most pitiful voice he can muster, “I don’t like this. How many bites do I have to eat?” We unwrap presents and I practice my telepathy as I send eye-signals to the oldest to not immediately blurt out “we already have that” or “I don’t like that” or the most obnoxious, “Where are more presents?”
And yet, Christmas with two young ones warms the jaded adult heart like nothing else. Christmas morning in striped matching PJs, the boys jump up and down with un-matched glee as they see the stockings. From house to house, we get to watch our grandparents be great-grandparents to our boys. Our youngest’s shyness dissipates and he begins cackling and playing games with everyone. He plays peek-a-book, freezes, and shows his mean face. To watch my boys be known and loved by family – it is the greatest gift. Continue reading
His tiny hands rummaged through the ground and picked up the seed. Holding it before him, my oldest exclaimed with the joy of discovery, “Hey, Look!”
“It’s a buckeye seed,” my dad answered enthusiastically. “Remember what seeds do?”
In his little boy voice he echoed back, “They drop in the ground and turn into a new tree!”
My dad had begun the education on our way in the car. For the forty-five minutes it took to get from Brownsboro Road to pull through the gates, “Grandpa” did his best to describe in young-boy terms the formation of North America and the molecular wonder of creation. Staring out the window, my newly-turned four-year-old seemed both young and old at the same time. A filled-out boy frame with the ability to listen while still sitting in a car seat and distracted by bull-dozers by the side of the road.
It was November and we were finally fulfilling my dad’s birthday present – an afternoon hike to Bernheim Forest. Continue reading
I feel it again on the car ride home from daycare. My daily worries, headaches, and inconveniences are pierced and shattered by word about the state of my fellow humans living around this world we share. The stories. The audible cries of the hurting.
I pause. Not to give thanks for my privileged life, but to walk a mile in the shoes of another in prayer. Seemingly inconsequential in the face of another’s impending death in war. Seemingly not enough in the face of another’s life-altering grief. Six-degrees-of-separation suggests the suffering of another is never far from me. Scripture suggests it must always be within me.
I pause and I walk next to each of them in prayer… Continue reading
Pink and white seersucker trimmed in lace. Raised and tapered at the shoulders. Skimming the ground. Cinched at the waist. Clothed in my mother’s old robe, I putter around the kitchen as I make breakfast before the world stirs. Out-of-date and yet full-of-history, it is the robe my mother wore in the hospital as she spent her first hours holding on to my little life. The feel of the seersucker and lace edges. The sight of the pink and white. Her face glowing in love. My first moments.
Any attempts to remember those moments beyond the photos taken are merely imagination. And yet, I venture to guess the memories exist somewhere within me. Time may have locked them away. But all are not lost. Rather, every caring gesture, nurturing act, and tight embrace are threads within the tapestry knit within me. Continue reading
She stood still as a statue with her baby in her arms. I breezed by her as I walked through the gate to plop my youngest down around the other babies. Before heading out the door, I paused as the daycare workers sought to comfort the mother cradling her ten month old.
“First day?” I ask. Continue reading
Eleven months and ten days after his first arrival in this world, it’s time to say goodbye to the intimate role of being the source of nutrition for my youngest. As the days come to an end, I give thanks for the blessing that it was – to nourish, to comfort, to sustain this little life from my own. It was gift. It was blessing. From the early days in the hospital to the grueling first months. From the return to work with all the embarrassing mechanics to the nighttime bedtime routine with all its sweet tender moments.
Since the beginning when we savored that first golden hour after birth, there has been an invisible tether that kept our personhood interwoven together. We have been two human bodies in deep need of one another, sharing in our fragility and strength in a way in which no other human relationship can compare. Continue reading
The door creaks as I slowly open it. Light floods the dark room as I carefully tiptoe towards his bed. I reach for the toy flashlight and turn it off. I take away the plastic light-up turtle and place it quietly on the bedside table. Pulling his covers up, I let my eyes pause on his face and it hits me like a ton of bricks. Love. Continue reading
Three peers in ministry.
One small office.
Huddled together, her smile and the light in her eyes gave away the surprising news. After over three years, it was finally here – a positive pregnancy test. I don’t remember what was said, but like a film clip, I remember it in the silence – wide-eyed disbelief, stunned faces, tears streaming down our cheeks.
Three peers in ministry.
Three women pregnant at the same time. Continue reading