Friday, January 14, 2011

deep thanks

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Tonight, I am thankful for.....

- physically healthy children

- for the comment below found after this post, and Ann's Thursday post, all reminding me that having healthy children is not my right.  I need to give thanks every day that my precious ones are lively, loud and alive.

I’ve been plumbing the depths of these and other questions since my infant son (our first child) died at 16 days old in early October. Reconciling the apparent discrepancy between our deep human pain and God’s goodness is a philosophical-theological question, and even if we receive an answer that satisfies the intellect as true, the heartache remains. It’s not so much that the answer doesn’t help at all — it does ease the mind that believes — but I came to see that what I really wanted was not the answer to the question so much as for Him to ease my heartache, to unbreak the world a little just for me, in short: to give me my son back.
In other words, I wanted Him to make an exception even though I couldn’t think of a single good reason why I should be spared what so many others suffer.
Even though He promises suffering over and over, I continue to be surprised at it when it comes and ask “Why, God? Why?”
Brokenness is painful and perplexing, and it is so redemptive — I’ve seen Ewan’s life and death purify not only my own soul, but so many others as well. This terrible ache acquaints me deeply with myself, and ever so much more deeply with the One who loved us enough that He spared Himself none of our pain.
Even with all the good I’ve seen come from it, my heart still aches and asks the questions. And so now I find myself trying to make peace with the mystery.
this grieving mother's blog link here:  Team Ewan

- the dreamy act of watching my baby (okay, my 25-month-old) sleep.  She is so beautiful to me.

- my husband's warm arms, his kiss hello

- Magic School Bus Chapter Books for nine-year-old Peter.

- a better night for my Peter.

- frequent hugs from Mary

- laughing at Mary in the bath tonight.  As I washed her hair I told her she was beautiful.  She responded, "Nonsense!  You're beautiful."  As much as I want her to receive my praise (we'll work on that), I found it so funny hearing her say the word "nonsense" in that bossy tone.  It's not a word used frequently around here.  Funny what things they pick up!

- deep finger marks in the pumpkin pie cooling on the stove (that would be Mary).  She came into Beth's room as I was nursing Beth to sleep:  "I leally want some of that pie!" (She doesn't form "r" correctly yet.)  I asked her to wait until I was done in Beth's room.  As she left the room I said to myself,  She's going to go dig her fingers into that pie.  I walked into the kitchen fifteen minutes later, noting the three lines of finger marks in the center of the pie!  Now, why did that make me smile so?  Because as I grow old older, I will always remember my Mary putting her fingers into every pie and cake.

- that one of seven-year-old Paul's missions is to cuddle with you in a way that leaves the littlest room possible between you and him

- sister hugs six times a day

- craft books from the library and the crafty mess they instigate in my dining room

- Jack Black, the hamster, for continuing to delight our family with his gentle ways.  He is evidence of God's grace toward Peter.  Each time Peter plays with Jack, I hear  "Isn't he just the nicest pet, Mommy?"

- the pleasure of knowing these wonderful children a little better every day.

- snow-capped evergreens, soothing my soul, reminding me of His creation and love and grace

- lots of snow once again, though I may be the only one here appreciating it (children are beginning to dread all the bundling required to play outside.  They keep talking about spring and summer.)

- my kids dancing up a storm to Christian CD's (They still love it, Sandi!)


Sandi said...

She articulates the feelings of loosing a child and the struggle so well. I get the "theology" of it too but your heart still very much is a wrestling match with a mystery. Trusting His plan but yet so broken at the same time.

The verse you shared at the top of your post is the verse I feel God has given me for this year. God's will for me everyday is pretty clear. Practicing the rejoicing, praying and giving thanks really alters every situation I find myself walking through.

Thansk for sharing this. I really identify with this womens comment about her son.

Christine said...

Yes, I agree Sandi. Her thoughts echo those of so many sisters. My heart aches for her. Later today, I want to try to write something to her. Holy Spirit will give words, I pray.