The grandmas help.
Sitting with Gladys (my dad's late-dad's wife) yesterday in the middle of our long road back to Columbus, she couldn't help but remember. Her own babies. How it used to be. Her husbands. Her life. How lonely she now is.
And as we were leaving our third self-admitted lonely grandmother of the summer, she turned her eyes, as she always does, on Jesus.
Traded in her lonely for the gift of having had two god-fearing men who loved her well. The gift of her children and grandchildren. The gift of so many happy and healthy days. The knowledge that her men are with Jesus, and that she will be, too. The joy of the Lord, as her strength.
Nora's just messing big with my emotions. Lily WAS Nora just a blink ago, and here she is all tan and lanky with dangle earrings and battling the roller-blades. Sofie, man, she looked JUST like Nora, just a moment ago, and here she is making up crazy stories and spelling out "H-O-N-E-Y" off the bottle. And here's Nora, who suddenly erases from my mind all those months of sickness and discomfort and waiting, wondering and unsure that we were ready again for diapers and midnight feedings and starting all over.
All you can think about is how wonderful it is, each day, that she is our gift. Watching her, already, growing and changing, and knowing that before we know it, she'll be losing teeth and asking big questions.
We talk to Fanfan this morning, we pack our suitcases for a year, again, we think about these days ahead, and I remember that life is tasting and seeing that He is good.
And I am incredibly thankful.
for a husband who sees my tears welling up before they even do, and catches my hand, let me pray
for three beautiful disciple-daughters for me to practice loving like He loves me and to GROW me in all things patient, kind, true, loving
for a family, blood and woven in, who cares for us and is His grace to us
for a home, for two homes, where we are safe and dry and at home
for work that is a daily gift to lay our hands upon, stretching us and pouring us and meeting us giving Him
for His Word, wrapped up in crinkled pages that never change, always quick to turn MY eyes to a new reality, a higher perspective, to truth transforming, to Him.
for the future, which He has not abandoned nor is He finished with, and the great hope we have that He is able and at work
Tomorrow is our last day in Ohio to finish packing and cleaning, and then Friday we are off to Florida to get closer to home while we wait for final passport stages for Nora and to finally introduce Matt's family to baby girl and to have some time together...we haven't seen Matt's brother and his family for over a year!
Slow down today, just a little...taste and see that the Lord is good. How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. Psalm 34:8