Thursday, May 27, 2010

Life Song

The Prologue...
We are at 38+ weeks and countin' the days! In just a few short days/weeks/hours??? :), this little one will begin to walk out their life story. We'll turn the page and begin Chapter One. What kind of adventures will he/she have? What kinds of choices will he/she make? Falls and failures, victories and conquests? Love? Heartaches? Joy? Abundant  Life?

What kind of life song will he/she create?

It is unbelievably thrilling and terrifying at the same time!!!

As I worked toward my undergrad degree, a wise professor always encouraged us students to read the prologue and forward of the books we were studying. It is there that we get a glimpse of the passion of the author, an introduction of what to look forward to, what to prepare our learning eyes and ears for. Wise advice. I've picked up this habit and have been remarkably surprised at the information one can glean from the prologue.

This season of expectation has written that prologue. As we have waited and wondered, wrestled and worshipped, the experiences have not only continued to shape my view of life and parenthood, but also given me a glimpse of the Eternal Author.

And it is a good time to stop and remember. One stress-filled day, when life was rapidly falling apart and I held a tiny, sweet K in my arms, I vividly recall panicking about her life story. What challenges and difficulties would she experience? It all felt so uncertain.
In the midst of the fog and fear, I felt the reassurance of One who walks with us in all these things.

You cannot create her story for her. To do so would deprive her of the dignity that I have given, rob her of the chance to live and love. It is an honor and privilege to be so intimately involved in someone's life story, but it is not yours to write.
As parents, we are called to train, influence, teach, nurture, mold, protect these little people for the time that we are given. An ultimate act (and test!!!) of responsibility!! Yet we are not to control, dominate, or direct their life story.

As the prologue here blends into Chapter One (and I wonder what THAT title will be!!! The Arrival.... might be a good place to start ;)...) it is with healthy anticipation and some reasonable fear and trembling that we turn this page!!

...the Epilogue...
This spring, death visited our family. Some individuals had lived out many many days and were ready to go Home. For others, it seemed life was over before it had even begun. As I witnessed the emotions and reactions to these events, one thing I began to reflect on was the power of Legacy. What kind of life story am I leaving behind?

You do not have to live a long, full life in order to impact the lives of those you love (and who love you). Ask any woman who has miscarried, and she will tell you the date, time, location, of when she had to say goodbye before she was ready; how her life was forever imprinted by someone she never had the honor of meeting.

The way we touch the hearts of those around us is what gives meaning to life, purpose in pain, strength and joy for the journey.

It was around this time that I had an interesting challenge through my bible study one morning. The invitation was to reflect on the previous week and start making notes on the ways I perceived the ways in which I have influenced others. Oi. Veh. Well, these days, thinking back over a week is a bit of a stretch :) so I limited myself to the past few days. I made a list of all the interactions I'd had. I noted themes of the conversations, and the ways in which each of us seemed to influence each other. Whoa!! What an eye-opener!! It was overwhelming in some ways ---

It reminded me of Proverbs 25:11...
A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.

What kind of influence am I passing on? What kind of legacy will I create?

I think these are tough, but essential, questions to ponder as I interact with my sweet family, my loved ones, my friends and my neighbors.

... and all the days in between!!
These past weeks have been good. Well, they've had their share of hiccups :) --- I seem to be battling through another season of "confused parenting" :), intense fatigue as one week I averaged 3-4 hours of sleep per night (and not in a row either --- which is NOT ENOUGH when I'm not pregnant, and CERTAINLY not enough when I am 8 months along!!!), and I'm having to face some issues I have with, ahem, control :) and so on --- but I've started out my days with a new plea, a new prayer...
"LORD please provide the integrity today for me to live well, to love well."

Integrity - the quality of character you possess when no one is looking.

It's in the little things that matter.... and the big things that don't.
It's in the battles you choose to fight... and the ones you choose to set aside for better timing.
It's in the acceptance, the gratitude, in taking the time to laugh.
It's not stressing about what gets done or not, but tackling things one thing at a time and keeping it in perspective.
It's gardening without gloves in spite of the presence of worms (eeeeewww!)...
It's setting aside time to listen ... and participating in that that vulnerability by sharing secrets of your own.
It's in gathering the flowers to enjoy inside every day, planting a garden just to watch it grow.
About reasonable expectations --- and anticipating good things --- and letting go.
It's admitting when I've failed. (Unfortunately, I have a lot of opportunity to practice that one ;P...)

This simple prayer has profoundly impacted my perspective. I am grateful. For I have much to learn.

May the words I say
And the things I do
Make my lifesong sing
Bring a smile to You
~ Casting Crowns ~

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