Friday, December 12, 2014

Unplanned Blessing

My daughter, Eden, turns 10 today.

She has blessed my life with a decade of love.

She is special to me because I didn't plan her. God did. He loved me beyond what I deserve when he placed this child in my life. He decided. He provided. He told me who was in charge.

It's not that I didn't want a large family. It was how sick pregnancy made me. It was almost unbearable. In fact, upon realizing I was pregnant for the third time it was something I believed I couldn't physically endure again.

However, God provided me with the help I needed. My family supported me through four months of sickness and we were all blessed with Eden on December 12, 2004.

Eden observed the world through wide eyes from the moment she was born. She was the final piece of our family puzzle... fitting in perfectly with her older brother and sister. Those busy years are now a distant memory but they were so foundational in all of our lives. We became a complete family and learned how to help each other along on our intertwining life-paths.

She and Lilli are only separated by 22 months. "Irish twins" is the phrase I've heard used...

She is taller than her older sister which presents a bit of a challenge in their relationship. Walking this delicate tight-rope of sisterly love and sibling rivalry has been a test of my parenting skills. I remember occasionally fighting with my sister (you know... knock down, drag out style) so I guess it's "payback" time!

She's a hard worker. Sticking to a task until she figures it out. This makes her a math whiz. "Math is easy-peasy," she says. It also makes her an excellent swimmer and a mesmerizing pianist.

She's also very black and white.
Kid love her. They think she's funny and she likes it!
She has a fierce love for God... she loves to read the Bible with me.
She loves to dance and sing.

Thinking. Thinking. Thinking. As my sister said the other day, "She's there with me but she's thinking about something else." Her teacher thinks she will be a scientist one day. Eden says she wants to be a swim coach and a math teacher.

A decade of Eden has brought me so much joy. I'm definitely looking forward to the future. I wonder what she will accomplish. What will she be doing when she's 13? 16? 20? How can I best love her? What is my purpose in being her mama? Why did God give her to me? I'm always asking. Praying. Seeking the answers.

Happy Birthday, my baby girl. You intrigue me. I love you.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


I am missing my Grandmother today. Sometimes the feeling of loss is overwhelming. It's a feeling I had never experienced before she passed away. Loss grips my heart and squeezes tears from my eyes. I talk to her... telling her how much she is missed.

I suppose my grief is a result of our close relationship. We were 52 years apart in age but sometimes I felt like her best friend. We shared many enlightening conversations. We belly laughed together too many times to count. She shared her knowledge of cooking, sewing, gardening, and managing a home with me. She also loved my grandfather, her children, her siblings, her extended family, and her neighbors. She was gracious. A woman of inner beauty who radiated kindness to all who knew her.

Many times I would pop in for a visit with her and she would be reading her Bible. In her last six months of life, I read her Bible to her about three times a week. As I read to her, I realized the task was as much for me as for her. I was overwhelmed with peace. And joy. The process of caring for my beloved Grandmother fed my soul and filled my heart. It gave me a purpose. 

She passed away at the end of July. I still can hear her voice. I still love her and I think about her every day. She lives on in my heart. My prayer is she will live on in the way I love my own husband, children, siblings, family, and neighbors. 

In Christ she sleeps. In Christ she will awake. Until that day, I miss her. 

I love you, Grandmother.