Friday, November 11, 2005

Coming Home

I just finished watching Ira Lester Hays coming home video posted on Joe's website,

Of course, I cried. Tears flow easily from my heart.
Of course, I smiled. They brought their boy home.
Of course, I paused. It's impossible not to give thanks.

Of course, I remembered.

Of course, I paused. We didn't bring our boy home.
Of course, I smiled. Thinking of another home coming.
Of course, I cried. Tears flow easily from my heart.

Many blessings to Joe, Laura, Sophia, and Ira. What a beautiful day, for all of us.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Happy Birthday, Mikaela

Dear Mikaela,
There are many things I want to say to you on your birthday.

It is a privilege to be your mom. I can remember looking at you for the first time, much the same way I look at you today, with complete surrender and a sense of thanksgiving that can't be described. Every night in your room as I pray over you while you sleep, I see that same precious face of innocence I saw eight years ago and thank God for you. Every night as you pray with me, I am encouraged by your gifts of compassion and faithfulness. God has given you a heart beyond your years.

You will learn many things during your lifetime. If you will remember to love God and love others, you will have learned what God desires for us. There will be times when you are sad, angry, hurt, and confused by the things of this world, and in those moments I want you to remember that all things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. Your treasures are in heaven, not here. It is God's will that no one should perish and He wants us to tell others about Him. Even more, He wants us to be Jesus to them.

Mikaela, I love the time we spend together and all the things we talk about. I hope that for the rest of our lives you will share with me the things of your heart. I will always love you and always be here for you. That's what being a mom is all about.

I am so very proud of you. Your life continues to unfold into a beautiful reflection of God's love. He has chosen you to do great things, and I am so happy to be a part of His plan for you. Happy Birthday, sweet girl. It's going to be an incredible year.

As you get ready for bed, tonight is no different than any other, and so I say to you, I love you more than there are... Stars in the sky, shells on the beach, ants in Texas....

And I sing over you...
"Jesus, keeper of this life, you are my refuge, my Savior, my guide.
Watch over this little one tonight.
Guard her every footstep as she travels this life.
And in some quiet moment, draw Mikaela to your side.
That she might come to know you, Jesus, as the Keeper of this Life."

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Love Never Fails

When I watch the girls with their daddy, I am often reminded of the times I spent with my dad as a little girl. He spent many hours in ministry and yet was always home at the right times. He was home in the mornings before school and then again afterwards, often in the kitchen getting ready for dinner. We always had dinner together as a family. He was there when the lights went out and then to throw them back on the next morning. His hugs, his smile, his eyes, his honesty, his discipline, his hands, his practical jokes, his voice, everything. I continue to miss him every day, and yet he is here every time I'm witness to the daddy/daughter dance in my own home.

Kevin isn't as fortunate to have as many hours with the girls each day as my dad did, but as he was leaving last night for Fort Worth (gone til Sunday), I realized it didn't really matter, because the love between these precious ones of mine, isn't dependent on time and space. It has no boundaries. As he scooped them up and hugged them, as they cried and Morgan said, "don't go, take us with you", as Makenzie held on to his legs for dear life, as Mikaela handed him her "goodbye note", I knew. I knew that no matter the circumstances of this life, no matter if they spend 5 hours with dad every day, or just one, this thing between them called love, would never fail.

I am thankful that my sisters and brother and I have been given another opportunity to love someone we think of as "dad". I am overwhelmed by the fact that two months ago we weren't even sure if he would still be here, and today, he is tumor free. God has given us not a second chance, but a third, to love and be loved by someone who lives out the love between a father and his children. Garon isn't "my dad", but he will always be my dad.

We spent the last several days with Kevin's parents. We haven't been able to be with them lately as much as we would like to, and I was reminded just how much they mean to us. One of the reasons Kevin is a great dad, is because of his parents. They are thoughtful, self-less, humble, loving, and always putting us first. What a blessing to us and the kids. Makenzie keeps asking when Mommom and PawPaw are getting up. She thinks they're still here. I keep showing her the room is empty. We miss them when they're not with us.

As the holidays approach, we can't wait to spend them with our families. We really need their love and support. I am so thankful for Kevin, our parents, brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews, and our precious girls. I am mindful of our grandparents, my dad, and our son. In this season of Thanksgiving, we have much to bow our heads about.