As we worshipped this morning at church, my heart cried out in praise, and tears welled in my eyes. All morning long, even as I was getting ready for our day, I was thinking of the blessings of Mother’s Day, and thanking God. I reminisced and thought back to my precious Grannie Sylvia and beloved Grandmom Florence. Those two strong and grace-filled women had a beautiful impact on my life and left a legacy I will forever hold close in my heart. I can still taste Grannie's special oatmeal she would make for me on summer mornings in Maine, and of course I can still taste Grandmom's delicious Polish bread that I would devour at Christmastime, a family recipe I still have yet to master!
I thought this morning about how 31 years ago this week, I entered into this adventurous world. My amazing mom carried me for 9 months, delivered me, and held me so close. She prayed over my life blessings of which I know I am living out this very day. She prayed in the hospital that I would be a servant for God, that I would know and love Him. On a side note, I thank God that my mom chose life. Not that she ever personally wrestled with that issue, but since 1973 in our country, so many moms who are past a certain age in child-bearing years get nervous to carry a child to full term due to risks. She was bold and brave and didn't even want doctors to do extra pre-natal tests on me- she told them she would choose life no matter what. Now, as I turn the corner to 31 years this week, I am more grateful for life than ever...After going through everything that Jamie and I have gone through, I realize that every day is a bonus, every day is a gift, every day is a chance to live fully, live passionately, love others, and glorify God! As I worshipped this morning, and the tears welled in my eyes, I remembered and called to mind the many miracles God has done in the past few years to bring us to where we are today. There is no way I should be here, by medical standards. The surgery I had was "impossible" by all accounts, but we know with our God, ALL things are possible.
I also thought back to 3 yeas ago today...the day that my awesome man chose me to be his forever love, and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him as his wife. I still get butterflies when I remember him kneeling and pulling out the heirloom diamond that was my Grannie’s, set in a design Jamie had the jeweler create only for me. He stole my heart, and my heart is his forever. I still can’t believe he chose me!!! During the time of our engagement, we were pounded by doctors telling us that we needed to be prepared for the reality that we would likely never have biological kids, and there was no chance for children any time soon. But we kept pressing into God’s heart and into each other, knowing that our Lord is so much bigger than the medical trials we faced, than any diagnosis or prognosis, than the wisdom of the world. We believed that His plan was perfect, however that looked like for our family. We knew that children are a gift from the Lord and a heritage from Him alone, and that biology is not what defines a child being a part of a family, but that it is rather love which defines family and accepts children into the home...We had no idea what God had planned, but we had to turn to him in reckless trust and our faith stepped into greater realms of reality.
I think back to our wedding day, just four months after Jamie proposed, and how blessed I am to have married into a family of faith, love, laughter, acceptance, and adventure. Not only do I have the world’s best mom, but now I have the world’s best mother-in-law! Truly, that is how I feel. I know people say nice things on holidays, Mother's Day especially, just to sound nice, but I am forever grateful for the two moms in my life and in Jamie's life. These women love God, have such servants' hearts, and are always putting their families before themselves. Their devotion to live lives centered on truth, beauty, excellence, and generosity is such a testimony to me, and a legacy I want to carry. Joey adores his Mimi and his Memaw, and their love for him is so precious and pure. (I also got to adopt the most radiant Grandma Mary Lou when I married Jamie, and our time with her always leaves me spilling over with smiles. She is a gem, and I am so glad we live near her so we can enjoy her life and the blessing she is in this world!)
And now for the most incredible gift...two years ago I had recently received news of the most marvelous miracle in our lives, our little baby. I couldn't believe that I was carrying a child inside and the sound of his heartbeat made my world come alive. It was extraordinary. The most amazing surprise gift from my Heavenly Father. From the moment I found out about our little one, I was caught up in new depths of love. My soul leapt with joy and song and praise and wonder. My little Joey Bear is the greatest treasure. When he runs into a room, locks eyes with mine, leaps into my arms, and yells "Mommé!"(I'm not exactly sure how to write the pronunciation of the name he calls me), I just am filled with such happiness that my heart cannot contain it. I've been blessed with exceptional grandmothers and extraordinary mothers, but now I get to cherish the gift that it is to be a mother myself. To be able to give a million kisses and snuggles every day, to read books and make animal sounds and play ball and talk to my baby boy...it's those little things that make life the abundant gift that it is and that point me to the love of God in ordinary moments.
I am overwhelmed and in awe of God's good gifts, there is no other way to describe it. I know I don't deserve it, and I know the gifts of this world don't last forever, but I do know that they are a picture of the glory to come, and that relationships are what mean the most in life. God created us for relationship and for family. He adopted us into His beloved, royal family and made a way through the cross so that we can forever be alive with Him and have hope for true and lasting relationship with Him and with the ones we love forever. Thank you, Jesus!