Thursday, October 14, 2010

Blessed to be Crazy

Once in a while, I beg for the opportunity to do something without my children. Usually some errand running. It goes by so quickly when I am not constantly counting heads, buckling and unbuckling car seats, retrieving sippy cups and pacifiers, stopping for diaper changes and potty breaks, and convincing children that the three or four stops we have left aren't that bad, really!
You see, six of the children, the ones that are at home with me all day, are too young to be left in the vehicle to wait-even if the parking space is directly in front of a very small business with windows all across the front and my stop is less than 5 minutes. It's the law, and people do not hesitate to pass judgment and/or call authorities when they perceive child endangerment!

I recently left the house without my children. It wasn't something that I particularly wanted to do. I was attending a funeral. For a newborn. Funeral receptions are social. I discovered that I don't know what to do with myself when my children are not present. No one's hand to hold. No one asking to be picked up. No one to rush off and change a diaper for, or take to the bathroom. No to clean up a spill for, or fill a plate for. No one to help eat or assist with a cup. No one to tell "sit down" or "Shhh" or "Please help your brother/sister".

While I have long envisioned this as being a short moment of relief, and the ability to return to "myself" (whomever that may be...) I had an unpleasant jolt of realization.

I do not know how to act without my children in tow. I don't know what to do with my hands, where to look, whether to sit or stand. I don't know how to get through a buffet without carrying more than one plate. More importantly, I don't know how to communicate! I am used to conversations interrupted and cut off. I am not used to carrying one on! I don't know how to approach a person and introduce myself, because I have no opportunity for it! I don't know how to be anyone other than the Crazy Lady With all the Kids!

As I left my seat to head for the bathroom, I naturally picked up bags, stray socks, a stuffed toy, and headed on my way, realizing as I opened the door, that none of these items belonged to me. I am simply used to packing things around. I walked around a corner and down a hall with these things in my hands. I apologized. Fortunately, my friend also has seven children and completely understands these moments! She was quite gracious as she retrieved her child's trappings from me.

Now you know. If I ever have the opportunity for face to face adult conversation, and I stop mid-sentence, appearing to look for something around the room, it's because I don't yet know how to do it differently for now. And I am blessed to be a little crazy!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Ewan Eliezer's Amazing Impact

I met a couple last summer at a local college reunion. My sister was coming to town, and another friend suggested we get the locals together. This couple that showed up started college the year after I left, but was in the school at the same time as some others there.
They shared about how they met, and re-met, decided to get married, and how God was working in their lives.
These are people about whom you cannot help but recognize the light of God. It radiates from their being and touches everyone around them. I thought about them from time to time over the past year. Wondering about them. Hoping to get int touch with them and keep up with their 'Jesus adventures'.
I heard a couple of weeks ago that they had a baby! How wonderful! But their baby is sick. While they welcomed this beloved, much hoped for life into their family, they had, immediately to give his life, the survival of his flesh, over to God.
Most of us that call ourselves christians say that we give our children back to God. That we know they aren't ours to hold selfishly, with the tight grip of a parent that wants no harm to come to their child.
James and Kirsten were put in on the front lines of the battle for their child immediately. They have a fantastic army of Dr.'s, surgeons, nurses, and prayer warriors.
This doesn't change the fact that Ewan Eliezer has a broken heart. For one week and 6 days, Ewan has been fighting for his life. He has had ups and downs. The answers to desperate prayer have been too brief, sliding his life into precarious balance again.
This morning, Ewan's parents have to make the choice to let their precious little boy slip from this life into the everlasting arms of the one who created him, or send him into a surgery that may rupture his arteries. Something that may still take him from this world, but without the comforting arms of his parents on that journey.
I cannot imagine the pain and desperation of such a decision. As it is in this moment, all seven of my children are healthy and whole. Their flesh is intact. I do not mourn for broken bodies.
While I know that physical safety is not, by far, the most amazing gift that God gives, it is, by the standard of my flesh, one of them.
God, my heart cries to you for Kirsten, James and Ewan. You know the pain of giving up your only Son. You knew that your precious lamb would be salvation for the lost. Humanity knows nothing of your mystery. Of your plan. Of how Ewan's life impacts your Kingdom. We can see snippets. We can see the hundreds upon hundreds of people praying in unison for Ewan. We can see the beautiful witness of Kirsten and James as they continue to persevere in their faith.
I know what it is to hold my babies, to snuggle them close, to wake to their cries and comfort them, fully expecting that they will wake the next morning, healthy and growing.
Kirsten and James do not.
God, please, be clear in the direction that you have for these saints. Allow them the peace that you promise to the ones that love you. God, today, fill their empty arms with your grace and comfort.
And selfishly, crying from my flesh to see this couple know the joy I have as a parent, please create a miracle within Ewan's body. It pains me to know that you always answer prayer, but that it isn't always the way I want it to be. It hurts me to think that your ways, though higher and better than my own, are not the way I would have them.
Still, I have hope, and I can not but tell you about that hope. To be honest and open in my prayer.

Mom! Thanks for Saving the Legos!

Every time sweep the floor, I pluck them out of the dust. Every time I travel down the hall, I pluck them from my tender feet.
The hours of enjoyment, the amazing creations, those are thanks enough.