Monday, May 6, 2013

Because They're Mine






My husband, two of my daughters and I had a long conversation at our favorite Mexican restaurant tonight. Just goes to show you that the presence of God is not confined, limited or hindered by location—for where two or more are gathered there he is also…

During this conversation, midst tears, something I had been thinking and mulling resurfaced.

Between my husband and me we have eight gorgeous daughters. Yes, you read that correctly: eight. They range from 17-27 years old. We have three grandsons between us. They are all born in September and range from 8 months to 2 ½ years old. We have two great sons-in-law and one joining us in June. This combined family has never been altogether, and one of our dreams is to have them all in one place at one time. This might just happen in June of this year as Steve’s oldest daughter will be getting married.

We love this family of ours. Surely, we do. My husband and I have talked about this—often. We have had many conversations about these daughters of ours. They are part of why my husband and I are rich.

Recently I was looking at my grandsons’ pictures. I had been with both of them during the week. I know. I know. I’m doing the grandmother thing again: bragging on my grandsons. Honestly, I just can’t help it. Anyway, I watched their sweet faces and listened to their gurgles, coos and babbling. I held them in my arms and dodged their fingers pulling on my face. I was thinking about how much they have grown and developed in eight months. I considered how many developments they had achieved. And of course I have deeply loved and crazily applauded every single one, even if in my mind.

But I started thinking about when my daughters brought Elijah and Judah home from the hospital (actually before). These babies did nothing but cry, eat, sleep and fill diapers. They didn’t hug us back. They didn’t kiss us back. They didn’t look at us with recognition. They didn’t interact with us. They didn’t talk to us.

Yet we loved them anyway.

We swaddled them in their soft blankets, pulled them as close as we could and buried our noses in the softness of their sweet necks. We stared at them. We counted their fingers and toes. We traced the outline of their ears and lips.

Why?

Because they are ours.

Even though they didn’t love us back yet, even though they didn’t respond to us we loved (and do love them) anyway.

We love them because they are ours.

Over the past eight months they have grown. In every way. They interact, respond, and react to us now. They have developed these unique personalities—serious, contemplative, cuddly and charming, curious and busy. They are so much more than those few word descriptions; they are becoming little people.

But you see I loved them before this. Because they are mine. My grandsons are my daughters’ children. Just as I loved my daughters I love these boys. I loved them before they ever loved me. I delighted in their development. I was thrilled each time they learned something new regardless of how trivial or small it seemed. I clapped and shouted often.

Just today I said it to both of my grandsons, Yay! Elijah. Yay! Judah. And my smile almost split my face.
If I can love like this…

If I, who in comparison could be called evil, if I can love like this, then what must God’s love really be like? If I, not knowing how to love perfectly, can love like this—then please tell me what the perfect love of God is like?

He loves us because we are his.

We came just like baby Elijah and Judah—with almost less than the basics. We came to him doing nothing more than eating, sleeping, and crying.

And he loved us. Just us. Our frail, fragile little selves.

And then we began to grow. We grew incrementally. We developed and reached new stages. We acquired new skills.

And the Father watched.

He delighted in our development. He was thrilled when we learned something new—regardless of how trivial or small. He shouted and clapped when we were obedient.

But he loves us because we are his.

It is my prayer that my daughters and my grandsons understand that my love for them is not based on what they do, but who they are. Not based on what they accomplish, but because of who they are. I love my children because they are mine.

And if I, who am frail and sinful, can love like this…

Then please consider what kind of love our Father has for us.





Because They're Ours!




Tatem Axel

Elijah David


Judah Nathaniel

katherine and Elijah


David, Katheine and Elijah

Tamera (Mama) and Anna




Noni and Elijah

Noni, Judah and Elijah

David, Abby and Tamera

Noni and Judah

Aunt Liv (Olivia) and Elijah
Elizabeth

Hannah and Tatem



Stephanie


Gabrielle

Olivia

Hannh and Trevor


Elizabeth, Stephanie and Gabrielle

Abby

Elizabeth and Keegan

Abby and Olivia


Anna and Judah


Stephanie and Tristan

Tamera and Steve










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