reflections on a hard year and ready for another one

I wrote this last August, and today, I’m sharing it with you. Psalm115:1 “Not to us O Lord…”

it’s not that i haven’t enjoyed some really precious, eternal treasures. the hugs and kisses alone amount to overwhelming joy.

but it’s also been hard.

i remember running down the grassy hill towards the balloons and round chocolate cake ready for family and friends to celebrate Grafton’s birthday – his first birthday party! Friend, I just love love love a birthday party. It’s just such an obvious spectacle of God’s grace.

I was running down the grassy hill towards fried chicken and potato chips, balloons, and round chocolate cake, and I felt so good. Light and easy.

I thought it was an answer to my prayer – that through this pregnancy I wouldn’t be as sick or as tired as I was during the other two.

We enjoyed such a sweet celebration with our family and friends laid out grass covered by picnic blankets, littered with paper plates and watermelon rinds.

Retrospectively, it’s dawned on me _ I am pretty sure _ the little(s) were already with Jesus. What a birthday (for them!)

and what a hard year.

(And let me just say before you start back tracking and thinking something like God doesn’t answer prayer – or what a horrible way to answer a prayer! or…

no. think what’s true. practice self control. know HIS LOVE.)

I prayed for strength and for grace. And our heaven-babies are named Strength and Grace. And I prayed for life. And they are Living with Life Himself.

and it is this way – God designed it so that life would be birthed into the world through the woman’s womb. and as the Sovereign Good Living Lord sees fit to populate Heaven through my womb, …. Blessed Be the Name of the Lord.

and it is this way – God designed it so that life abundant and eternal would be birthed through personal suffering. and as the Sovereign Savior sees fit, this suffering labor has birthed the Christ Life in me, fitting me for heaven,… Blessed Be the Name of the Lord.

but it’s still hard…

…this muddy tension between heaven and earth, where dirt and dust and defiant hope mix with His Word to create strong bone in the body of a believer.

As the Lord wills, we celebrate Grafton’s second birthday in a matter of weeks. And the year, filled up with hugs and kisses, His mercies new every morning, Life abundant in our hearts and Hope helmeted to our heads, we respond

Thank you, Lord…

for life

for heaven

for heartstrings tied to You

for Your Face to ours

for Your Word in our lungs

for our boys and my huband, our marriage, our family, our house-home

for our family and friends

for Strength and for Grace

for Story and Selah

for Hope

for redemption and response

for cozy beds and chocolate cake

for the helmet of salvation

for the breastplate of righteousness

for the whole armor of God to engage the battle

for running the race for us

for being the Race – the Runner – the Victor – the Cheerleader – the Water Holder – the Finish Line

for grace upon grace upon grace

for suffering

for the Suffering Savior

for satisfaction

For strong bones built by You

for the glory of God, which will one day sweep us off of our feet, into His loving arms, into a wedding – a feast – a bliss – a home … He will wipe away every tear, He will mend every broken, He will dress us in the finest robes of righteousness, and He will be ours, and we will be His. And we will live happily ever after. 

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