1. This morning Dave took care of the kids so I could sleep. This is what Ethan said to Dave this morning....
"Sssshhh. Listen." Dave says, "to what?"
"I can hear the birds singing. And you know what they're singing? Praises to God. It's so beautiful!"
2. Abigail's prayer, that she wants to pray every time she can. And it makes me smile every time.
"Dear God, Thank-you for everyone and everything. And Thank-you for this food. Please help Grandma and Grandpa, and me, and Ethan, and mommy when our colds are here. (This list keeps expanding and the people who get better don't get taken off the list) And please help us when Rachel is gone. Amen!
3. The other night I couldn't sleep so I decided to transfer the birthdays from the 2011 calender to the 2012 one. (both MCC calenders) As I kept getting closer to August, I started feeling sadder, wondering what day of the week August 5th would land on, remembering what that awful day was like.....and then I got there...to picture of a beautiful smiling woman. And underneath, the story behind the smile. "Sithebe, a project leader for Helping Hand, a group in South Africa's Tembisa Township that serves people living with HIV and AIDS, became involved after her daughter died of AIDS in 2000." It's the only page in the calender that mentions the death of a daughter. And underneath that....this verse.
Be strong and courageous....for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)
4. I listened to a CD the other day too that I hadn't heard in a long time. And there was this one song that brought me back to another time. We were staying at the Flames House in the summer after Rachel was born. She was just a few months old. Dave convinced me to leave for awhile and go enjoy the weather. So I went for a long walk around the University campus nearby. I remember listening to this song - and feeling...pure JOY. Because I knew that God was bringing parts of me alive to Him because of the pain.
Listening to this song again, in these days, felt differently. I have had a hard time HONESTLY saying that Rachel was a gift. How could a gift hurt this much?!!!! And the song felt way too optimistic - jarring even. But I remember that day when I knew beyond a doubt that she was a gift. And I missed the JOY that I knew then. I have been listening to that CD more this week, praying for God to return some of that Joy to me.
Lyrics to "Just Showed up for My Own Life"
Spending my time sleep walking
Moving my mouth but not saying a thing
Hoping the changes would take by working their way from the outside in
I was in love with an idea
Preoccupied with how a life should appear
Spending my time at the surface repairing the holes in the shiny veneer
There are so many ways to hide
There are so many ways not to feel
There are so many ways to deny what is real
And I just showed up for my own life
And I'm standing here taking it in and it sure looks bright
I'm going to live my life inspired
Look for the holy in the common place
Open the windows and feel all that's honest and real until I'm truly amazed
I'm going to feel all my emotions
I'm going to look you in the eyes
I'm going to listen and hear until it's finally clear and it changes our lives
Oh the glory of God is man fully alive!!
5. I am thankful for the good news that Dave's sister received yesterday about her pregnancy.
6. And I'm thankful for the story I am hearing from the Living Room right now. "The Last Battle" by C.S.Lewis. There is so much ugliness in the beginning and the middle...not different than our own world right now...but oh, the ending!!! Oh, the ending.....