21 weeks pregnant
my heart brims with so many differing and complicated emotions, as you are now a full year old. the emotions are mixed: thrilled, proud, astounded...sad? i'm sure the sadness stemmed from the huge undertaking recently, virtually removing all evidences that a baby lived in your room. from your swing, to your swaddle, to you burp rags, to you baby booties...to the hospital cap you came home in...little trinkets that cause the memories of the past year to rain down on me. how far we've come...how much we've grown...how many treasures are stored in my heart! i grasp each day for the mental snapshots that will remain etched on my mind, but the frames all blur together and all of the sudden...what!....you're 365 days old, now.
first night being admitted...
when i would nurse you as a newborn, you were as long as the distance from my wedding band to my elbow, nestled close. wasn't it...just...yesterday? and every night, i take another mental snapshot of you laying across my lap and wish time to freeze. your feet now dangle over the arm rest and our days are numbered for when you'll be able to comfortably fall asleep in my arms. i treasure the weight of your head in my left arm. i look at you and marvel...you will become a man.
painful to look at, even now...
and so our lives peel away in layers and the 'infant' layer of your time with us is now safely packed away in bins and boxes...and embedded in our hearts forever.
i've mulled over why all my loved ones have joyous birthdays, and with great anticipation we plan, and purchase gifts and ultimately celebrate another year...and why i feel a deep ache sometimes with yours.
he was ok...huge relief...
after much meditating, i've realized i don't mark the days of my life, or the length of my years according to my parents birthdays. or my siblings. or my friends, for that matter. i don't reflect upon my life, when i celebrate their birthdays.
3 days old...
but with you, isaac, i've never been more acutely aware of the measure of a year. a week. a minute. you bring exponential value to every second. it's here. and then it's gone. and while that moment was enjoyed to it's fullest -- it's the fullness of it that pangs the heart. i relished every second of this year to an extent i never knew i had the capability of and ...and it now exists as a part of my memory. but as a building block of you who are and will become. and there's the twist. i mourn, in part, the passing of time, all while fully appreciating my great responsibility in your rearing.
day after delivery -- i missed my baby shower!
though God is eternal and lives in timelessness, he has given us the framework of time. and the limits of time. and power of time. but, isaac, i pray you understand from an early age that life is precious, yet, fleeting... we don't live forever and we have no control regarding our length of days here on earth....
that said, my prayer is that you live life sharing the urgent message of Christ. as your mother, i could not be more proud of you already! i look into your eyes and wonder what you will become, or how you will understand your calling, or what manner of work you will choose. i wish i could protect you from the pressures you will encounter to seek wealth...fame...fortunes. achieving any of those should never be your loftiest goals and i pray you will be shielded from those empty snares of this life.
day 1 of life...
it doesn't matter what preschool you go to...
or what elementary school you attend.
or where you apply to college.
it honestly doesn't matter when you start walking...
or when you will say your first word.
or when you will be potty trained.
it honestly doesn't matter what sports you play...
or when you get a cell phone.
or who you take to the prom.
while all of those things will be exciting and while i'll relish every milestone we shared together, i continually guard myself against giving you identity in such silly things. my heart's desire is such that i truly want you to find your confidence in Truth.
all earthly confidences are simply doors for which anxiety and fears can enter.
fears about health.
fears about money.
fears about acceptance.
fears about status and popularity.
fear should never define the child of God.
rather than toiling over your current social baby calendar and your eating habits.
or fussing over your appearance and your vocabulary (all very fun and valuable things!)
....i attempt to reset my focus daily on shaping your values and setting your sights on far loftier things.
i don't pray that you'll be the next president, or a famous doctor or lawyer. i don't set my thoughts on cultivating your ambitions to be (yes! again! wonderful things!) anything but inside the will of God.
'car seat test'
isaac, baby, i pray that you will grow to be a humble man.
i pray that you will be light in this dark world.
i pray that you will love all people, particularly your enemies.
i pray that you will be tempered and wise, understanding life is brief.
i pray that you will be merciful and forgiving.
i pray that you will be a peacemaker and pure in heart.
i pray that you will expect great miracles through faithfulness and depend only on God's grace.
i pray you will find your satisfaction in your relationship with God and drink deeply from the water of His word.
i pray you live against the grain, embracing that this life is just our entree into something far more endlessly remarkable and glorious. understanding that all of humanity's shallow ambition falls short in the light of His glory.
i pray you bear the fruits of the Spirit, that you are characterized by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.
and i pray that as you grow and fulfill your calling, and as you shed your childlike dependence on me, that you will transfer your dependence upon God the unshakable foundation of our life. and i pray that Jeremiah 29:11 will resonate in your heart, and also be a reminder to me that God plans our lives, despite our best guesses!
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
...and so my momentary sadness evolves into hope. and joy. and gratitude.
we've tucked one year under our belts and side-by-side step toward the future. i can only pray that one day, when my little baby is a tall in stature, striking in presence, and and a fully grown man (hey, i'm just basing it off his daddy!), that you will define success by winning souls for Christ. period. and that in spite of my imperfect and often faltering hand in your upbringing, i will hold no regrets. i will look back at our years together with nothing but amazement. i know my memories with you will be most vibrant -- as you were my first. my miracle.
first time going to church
....and finally, that you will understand that never has another baby been born just like you, predestined to be an intricate part of this family, yes...but infinitely more important, predestined before the beginning of time, to be an intricate and necessary human being with an irreplaceable role to accept in The Great Story...forever. and ever.
Every joy or trial falleth from above.
Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love;
We may trust Him fully all for us to do;
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.
Exactly 365 Days Old...
WE LOVE YOU, ISAAC!