Christmas was tough this year. I felt anxious, restless, and sad. I haven't felt that kind of restlessness in my spirit for awhile. And I think I that deep down I was more afraid than I realized I would be, that we might lose Rachel at Christmas. I thought of a friend of mine whose baby girl died last New Year's Day and she just recently miscarried her second child. And of friends who spent their last Christmas in the hospital. And those who are lonely and desperately missing someone....We even had some lady come knocking on our door, on Christmas Day with a bogus story saying that she needed money...and all of these are reminders of how broken our world is.
But right now I feel so sad about my little girl - because she is my world right now. Almost all my waking hours are spent thinking of her and caring for her. I am even getting Abigail and Rachel's names mixed up, a definite sign of how much a part of our family she has become. And today I was so struck again by the thinness of her arms and legs.....nothing is sticking to her...she has been growing in length but she has so little body fat. I am afraid of writing things like this - because I want you to see her as I do and I see much more than her thin-ness. I see the brightness and depth in her eyes. I watch her reaching her arms up to touch us. She is trying to imitate our talking and our hand movements. I can see in her eyes the desire to communicate and play, but she has so little energy. And sometimes it really scares me to think of how much more difficult life could get for her.
But we are past Christmas - and I am so relieved about that. There were no "heart spells". On Sunday night, she seemed a little 'gaspy' in her breathing....but for the most part, she has been doing really well. We all took turns taking care of her at night because we didn't have respite for three nights. And we took naps when we could.
I am thankful because in these days - there have been many gifts of immeasurable worth....
The comfort and companionship of family...
The friendship of neighbors...
A CD we were gifted with - of my Grandpa Kornelsen playing guitar and singing his faveorite worship songs...It had been so long since we had heard his voice....and hearing him sing means even more to me now, when I have a daughter who may join him soon. Heaven felt closer just for awhile. I can still hear him singing "His strength is perfect when my strength is gone." I am thankful for my Grandpa's perserverance in trusting God to the end.
Other very thoughtful gifts that I don't have room to list here!
Watching the kids open their presents - and knowing how much they would love them. They got to help Grandpa bring the gifts into the house on the day before Christmas and oh, they were in agony..... "Tomorrow" was a lifetime away for them....oh why did they have to wait such an 'eternity' of time before they could open the gifts? Ethan our little negotiator tried his darndest to get us to change our minds - he tried pretty much every tactic....but to no avail.
And I wonder - as a parent, I have alot of joy in watching my kids recieve what they have waited for...Do you think God can hardly wait to show us what He has in store for us too? He sees our disappointment and the agony of waiting now. But one day, that will all be over. I have to say though, honestly, it is really hard to imagine right now what that might look like. I wish I could see it now. Waiting is really hard, isn't it?
I know some of the stuff I just wrote today makes our Christmas celebrating sound more gloomy than it really was... and it wasn't all that way...We played games and laughed and ate...oh, we ate. But I guess these are the things that stand out the most to me right now. And it was a different Christmas than any I have known before, that's for sure.
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Cor.2:9