As I sat down at my computer this morning, I caught up with the recent news. The victims from Monday's horrible tornado in Oklahoma popped up on the front page. I reluctantly browsed the images, looking at the faces and reading the stories about lives cut short; children who were torn from their parents arms while waiting the storm out in their bathtubs...boys and girls who were off to school that morning, boys and girls Ethan's age...who didn't get to kiss their moms and dads ever again. My eyes are pouring with tears and my heart aches.
It's easy to get frustrated daily, isn't it? It's normal to feel inadequate as a parent. I know. But suffering like this, and experiencing the pain of loss from the outside looking in...I can't help but let it strike me to the core...
How many times have I let my anger come out and wish I could have taken it back?
How many times haven't I told my children that I am proud of them, that I love them, and that no one else can love them like Jesus does?
How many moments have I mumbled under my breath complaints about my schedule or having to get up late with a bad dream or a potty break?
How long have I sat awake at night wondering why Isaac had such an "off" day and wished he could just be "normal" so life would be easier?
How many times have I silently wished Ethan would be more like me in the classroom, and less of himself?
Honestly. How dare I. How DARE I.
Moments, minutes, days...these are gifts.
My precious children, how you make me wonder how God thought I could ever be what you need to teach you and to raise you in his wisdom and grace? In all of my fallibility, He saw fit to let you be mine for a short time on earth. I'm so sorry if I have or ever will take that beautiful mystery for granted. Please forgive me.
To those parents, families, who are experiencing searing loss...my heart truly does hurt with you. I can't comprehend...
I couldn't imagine...
In all of the hardships, in all of the trials--in LIFE--we must love and press all the juicy goodness and beauty from our experiences. It's difficult, being squeezed and pushed--but it's worth all the sweetness in the end of the day, when we hit the pillow and know that we aren't the same as we were 12 hours ago if we allow Jesus Christ to transform us through the process (even if that included tears, raised voices, asking for forgiveness, and then reassuring of our love). We pray that we have the gift of another day to do it all again...and if we don't, we can hope that we have honored God in the role he has blessed us with as a parent--that we loved until we couldn't love any more...any less..."beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and anyone that loves is born of God and knows God..." (I John 4:7)
I type and stare at my mousepad on the desk beside me. Images of my sons, from babies to school age, stare back at me. Smiling faces, hugs, beach scenes, sitting together in the kitchen...memories flash and I take a deep breath. I praise my own heavenly Father for such images, such memories.
Today, and always, may I never take them for granted.
|My mousepad lesson today...|