The Chambered Nautilus
"Deep calls to deep..." Psalm 42:7
...uncurling and growing into the wonderful grace of God.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Spilling Over: Noni's Boys
(They are not exclusively my boys. Many, many
others love them, but indulge me for today.)
warned me. Many people explained that there would be no experience quite like
this one. Several people even told me it would be the best thing in my
life.Not quite a year and a half into
the journey I agree with them in many ways.
In my case
this grandchildren phenomena arrived in the bundles of two little boys born in
September 2012. Elijah arrived and then Judah. I wrote about both of them when
they were born and have written about them since. They provide more writing
material than I could ever use. And my world has never quite righted itself.
it is quite acceptable for grandmothers (in my case Noni) to be terribly biased:
to believe their grandchildren are the most beautiful, to think that their
grandchildren are the most intelligent, to determine their grandchildren to be the
most advanced and to just know their grandchildren are the sweetest and cutest.
I am no exception.
Yes, I am
that kind of grandmother.
Oh, how wise
our good Father is. He knows what will soften our hard hearts. He knows what
will smooth the edges of our jaded attitudes. He knows what will readjust the
warped planes of our minds. These beautiful little boys have changed me, and I am
they changed me? Too many ways to count or tell. Their influence in three areas
must be measured exponentially.
Prayer.At least one day a week I keep each of the boys while their mamas work. I
anticipate those days. Wednesdays and Fridays are my favorites. About midmorning on these days Elijah and
Judah grow very tired, and I get to rock them to sleep. While their sweet eyes grow
heavy, and their breathing evens and lengthens I lean my head down to their
sweet little ears and I pray. Their eyelids lower slowly and I just keep
praying. Their eyes close completely and I just keep praying. Whispering hope
on these little boys. Pleading grace on these someday men. Speaking peace on
their now gentle spirits. When their great big little boy bodies grow limp—legs
and arms sprawled across my lap—my prayers slip into praise. As I peer down into
their little faces—skin unblemished and smooth, lashes dark against their
cheeks, sweet lips lax in deep sleep—I am overwhelmed. Overcome.
Purity. As we grow older we forget what it means to be
pure. To not yet be jaded and cynical. We forget to look at the world as brand
new. We no longer remember what it is to see snow for the first time, to hear the
deep woof of a dog for the first time, to taste blueberries for the first time,
to understand the concept of hot for the first time. Often when the boys are
here, or I am with them, I simply watch them. I try not to interrupt them with
my words, but observe their innocent purity. Their beautiful eyes are so full
of light. My protective instincts poise ready; prepared to strike if anything
endangers that innocence. Watching them helps
me to remember God has called me to be pure of heart like Elijah and Judah. He
doesn’t want me to look at people and the world with a skeptical cynicism. He
wants me to see this world in wonder. Eyes wide. Mouth open. Hands
Pleasure. Elijah and Judah teach me to enjoy
life. They remind me to savor this daily living of mine, to relish every
moment, every detail regardless of how insignificant it may seem. These little
boys understand pleasure. They relish food as it was meant to be—popping blackberries
and blueberries in their mouths and saying, “ummhh”. Elijah and Judah have both
been taught to be gentle. Their sweet hands brush your face in a downward
stroke as they watch your face. They give open-mouthed kisses generously and
their heads lay on your shoulder or chest—sometimes with arms wrapped around
your neck—in a pulling-the-heartstrings hug. These little boys laugh with
abandon. No inhibitions. No curbing the volume. And when they belly laugh I
come unglued. The flyswatter and Noni swatting crazily at flies caused raucous
fits and chortles with Judah. Noni’s version of the big bad wolf blowing the
little pigs’ house down caused Elijah to throw back his head and chuckle. These little boys are good teachers. They
gently remind me of how often I neglect this gift of pleasure God has given us.
I forget that laughter is such good medicine. I fail to remember how affection
can be healing.
this Thursday a week before Thanksgiving I am thankful for Elijah and Judah.
Father, I bless you and praise and thank
you today for Noni’s boys. For Elijah and Judah and the richness they bring to
my life. Thank you for how they have expanded the capacity of my heart. Thank
you for the reasons they give me pause—to
wonder, to gaze, to laugh, to enjoy, to ponder and to breathe. Thank you,
Father, for these little boys who will become men. My mouth cannot speak what grips my heart.
Father, there are no words for this heritage I see in Elijah and Judah—this continuing
of generations and family. Father, I am undone when I see Elijah and Judah’s mamas’
faces in theirs. Father, there is no ability in me to fathom what your plan
holds for them. But I ask, I pray, for you to carry all you have planned for
Elijah and Judah to completion. Thank you. Thank you. Amen