Christmas in July

There is a tall White Pine outside this hospital room window and I sit on the bed and watch evenly-spaced branches bow low over the parking lot. A soft breeze blows and long needles shimmer—arced branches wave unhurriedly.

My boy is sleeping in the bed next to me—lulled into slumber by the heat of the infection he still fights off in his body. On the last day of July his appendix ruptured and I held him tight behind a curtain in the ER—willing his pain to sleep as we waited out the slow turning of the wheel of modern medicine.

I’m scared, he told me, before they wheeled him off to surgery.

Me too, I wanted to say, but instead I prayed with him and he gave me a butterfly kiss and I had to walk away from him—singing Jesus Loves Me in my mind.

 

Jeff and I held hands and prayed in the waiting room and I leaned on his shoulder and closed my eyes.

I guess I feel like crying because I’m so tired, I said.

And he just pulled me tighter.

And when the surgeon came out smiling it felt like I’d just come up for air from underneath a heavy ocean. This doctor is our new hero—he only just operated on our oldest the week before. After he gives us the run down and shows us pictures of the rupture, he gives us a crooked grin.

Guys, I don’t know … do you have any more kids?

We laugh, the three of us, and it feels so good I could cry.

Later, Jeffrey would tell me, God was there.

He would look me in the eye and whisper, I felt him.

I sit on this hospital bed and look out that window at that solitary pine swaying and I let the rhythm of its gentle undulation touch the tired parts of my body. I’ve never been so happy to say goodbye to July and I pray for a brighter August—for something, something to ring the bell of joy.

And that White Pine just looks on, speaking Christmas into my tired like a million brightly wrapped presents are tucked under its skirts.

::
This week’s memory verse:
 
 

Check previous Tuesday posts for prior verses.

For memory cards of the whole book of James visit this post.

Heart’s Desire

Today is Teddy’s birthday. Thirteen years ago at this time I was waiting. 

I wait still.

This child of mine has always been a challenge. He just sees the world a little differently than most kids his age. Last night, I snuggled in beside him (13!) for the tucking in. I was painfully aware of how little bedspace was left with both of us under his covers. No longer am I able to wrap him in my arms and whisper mother-dreams over him.

His feet are bigger than mine.

So, I lay beside him and contemplated how to grow with him; how to stay this close forever.

I remembered these words I penned a couple of years ago. They comforted me. I hope they bring some measure of joy to you as well.

September, 2008 

He wakes up, before sun’s light and in darkness heeds body’s call. Light spills into the hallway, underneath the crack in my door and, like a siren call, my eyes open.

I listen to padding feet, bustle of body, until the soft squeaks of the mattress signal he has returned to the land of dreams.
But I cannot, and so I rise.
I am thinking about how I learned to hear his movements in silence. How every stirring of his body incites readiness in mine.
Was it the infant cries that trained my sleeping brain to heed the soft noise of rustling blankets?
Or the many nights of childhood illness that kept me in wakeful slumber by his side?
Perhaps it was written on my heart from the beginning of time—this mother love.
I sleepwalk to our meeting place and ponder these things with The One I Love The Most.
Before I ask the question, I know the answer.
Is it this way for You? I muse.
And I know it is.
He is in a constant state of readiness for His children.
Watching as they sleep.
Hearing the padding footsteps as they choose the path they will walk.
Waiting for the voice to call in the night.
He is always ready.
I bend my head low and touch the floor with my forehead, overcome.
I reach out my hand to touch Him.
I know He is here.
Thank you, I whisper. Thank you.
I lift my head and see this crescent moon, a mere sliver of itself. It is lying on its back, smiling at me.
I smile back.
He knows how to stir my heart secrets. He waits with bated breath to do just that. He anticipates my face, waits to see me smile…longs for a deep-throated belly laugh.
This knowledge fills me up inside.
The knowledge of HIS mother-love. And in Him, we will always be bound.

Alone in the dark this morning, I found my heart’s desire.

Celebration

I wrote this late last night, dear ones, and wanted to share…

I can hear the children playing upstairs, remnants of our party. Most have gone home, returned to their own nests.

This afternoon we celebrated Jeffrey’s birthday with a handful of ten year-olds and close friends. We spent the morning watching home movies of his birth and earliest days–as is our tradition this time of year.

I sit here tonight amazed that we’ve made it this far…that so much has passed through the portal of time.

I am realizing that my hands are a sieve, trying to hold these moments as they keep sliding on through.

These slippery things—they get away from me.

Watching that chubby-cheeked, chubby-legged, big-eyed baby boy this morning made that achingly clear.

I never knew he would be so special back then.

I knew I loved him.

I knew I would always love him.

I knew I would give my life for him.

But I never knew the special boy that he would become.

I never knew that he would teach me so much…

About love…


About freedom…

About growing

About prayer…

About God.

I look into these big blue eyes…I gaze upon this sleeping face…

and my heart feels fragile,

it’s breaking with this knowing that

these moments will never be mine again.

And so I know

that now

is what we are given

to feel this love.

Eternity is written in our hearts,

But for now

We must make every minute count.

Heart’s Desire

He wakes up, before sun’s light and in darkness heeds body’s call. Light spills into the hallway, underneath the crack in my door and, like a siren call, my eyes open.

I listen to padding feet, bustle of body, until the soft squeaks of the mattress signal he has returned to the land of dreams.

But I cannot, and so I rise.

I am thinking about how I learned to hear his movements in silence. How every stirring of his body incites readiness in mine.

Was it the infant cries that trained my sleeping brain to heed the soft noise of rustling blankets?

Or the many nights of childhood illness that kept me in wakeful slumber by his side?

Perhaps it was written on my heart from the beginning of time—this mother love.

I sleepwalk to our meeting place and ponder these things with The One I Love The Most.

Before I ask the question, I know the answer.

Is it this way for You? I muse.

And I know it is.

He is in a constant state of readiness for His children.

Watching as they sleep.

Hearing the padding footsteps as they choose the path they will walk.

Waiting for the voice to call in the night.

He is always ready.

I bend my head low and touch the floor with my forehead, overcome.

I reach out my hand to touch Him.

I know He is here.

Thank you, I whisper. Thank you.

I lift my head and see this crescent moon, a mere sliver of itself. It is lying on its back, smiling at me.

I smile back.

He knows how to stir my heart secrets. He waits with bated breath to do just that. He anticipates my face, waits to see me smile…longs for a deep-throated belly laugh.

This knowledge fills me up inside.

Alone in the dark this morning, I found my heart’s desire.