Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mema's Hands

There is no 92-year-old woman I love more than my Mema. She is the perfect combination of sweet yet feisty and quite hilarious. No trip home to LaGrange is complete without a trip to her clutter-filled, always hot, but always stocked with chocolate apartment. She sits in the only open spot on her couch, nestled between her beloved newspapers and magazines, while I take my place in the chair; I take hold of her hand while we catch up on life. She fills me in on the drama from the latest Food Committee meeting, any recent visitors, the happenings of the local birds and hummingbirds that frequent her corner apartment, the score from the latest Braves’ Game, and of course, she enlightens me to any important clippings from the LaGrange Daily News. I fill her in on all of Micah’s new tricks, any important happenings from our crazy family, and often lament on the challenges of bring a wife, mom, and teacher. She always pats my hand while reminding me, ever so sweetly, that “it will be alright.”

I’ll never forget the trip John and I made to LaGrange soon after confirming our first pregnancy. Oh, the excitement to finally tell Mema about our first baby. The tears in her eyes, the joy on her face, and the way we held hands for the longest time will be a memory forever etched into my heart. Her wrinkled, weak, arthritis filled hands. The same hands that stood at an altar and vowed to love my Deda through good times and bad, sickness and health. And did she ever live up to that commitment as she loved, cared, and fought for her husband as he battled against Alzheimer’s. Those same two hands that loved four children, a multitude of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and transformed a little white house into a comfy home. Speaking of which, she and my Dad, her youngest son, raised a duck in the upstairs bathroom unbeknownst to my grandfather. Yes, a real, live, quacking duck. To this day, my Dad gets the biggest grin on his face when he retells this story.

The list goes on and on. She is a daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She is a teacher, an artist, a hard worker, the best-bread-maker EVER, a wonderful listener, a generous giver, and a fighter. But most of all, she is a difference maker. She has made quite the difference in my life. Can’t wait to see her soon and hold those precious, tired hands.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


I clearly remember the day that doctors confirmed there was indeed life being knit together in my womb. My heart was immediately filled with sheer excitement and a touch of anxiety knowing that my life would be forever changed. The days following that life-altering appointment were filled with sharing our big announcement with those we love most.

Several important people in my life said the exact same phrase upon finding our exciting news...”This child will forever change your life.” Duh. I knew that sleeping would never again take such priority in my life and I would be forever responsible for getting two people ready instead of just myself. And while we are on the subject of fashion, I struggle with finding just one cute outfit for me to wear daily so the idea of now finding two outfits was a bit overwhelming. Pajama days are a huge blessing around my house...amen! A year and nine months into this journey of motherhood, I’m beginning to understand the depth of that statement….”This child will forever change your life.”

No one could have ever explained to me that on February 14 at 7:02pm my heart would take up residence outside of my body. M’s life has left me astoundingly vulnerable because I take his joy, sadness, and every emotion in between so personally. I have never prayed over someone with such diligence and intensity before this child became mine. I pray that he will grow to love the things of the Lord, for God’s protection to follow him all of his days, that his future wife will be madly in love with Jesus, that the manners I attempt to daily teach him will eventually take root in his mind and heart, and for his life to make a difference in the Kingdom of God. Oh, yes, this child has forever changed my life. Every tragedy I see on the news or hear about from a friend makes my heart momentarily stop because what if that was my child. My heart knows no greater joy than watching him experience something for first time or the belly laugh that ensues when his Daddy walks thru the door after a long day at work. I never knew someone so small and innocent would make me doubt my every decision. Although I have loved my parents for 20-something years, this little being makes me appreciate them more than ever.

As I listen to friends chat about their desire to love a child as their own or when that exciting phone call comes to share the news that a dear friend has finally gotten the miracle she has prayed for my heart merely whispers, “this child will forever change your life.” What a beautiful yet exhausting calling motherhood is for many but with each passing day and milestone, I'm realizing the truth of just how incredibly much this child has already changed my life.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

2013: Expectant...

Ah, goodbye 2012 and hello 2013. Fabulous yet challenging...yes, that would be an accurate summary of our year. On February 14 our world was completely rocked by that bundle of joy that was born at 7:02pm. July brought about a move to our new hometown with a five-month-old in tow and the overwhelming decisions that come with building a new home. Next, August brought the closing on our very first home and the following months were filled with the challenges and immense joy that come with serving in the place where you know God has called your family.

So, 2013…how are you going to beat that?!? My heart is expectant of many things in this New Year…an intimate walk with the Holy One, God-ordained moments to serve others, the life-changing experience of discipleship, a love for memorizing scripture to fill our home, lots of laughter, raising a little one to love the things of the Lord, both connections within the Body of Christ and outside of the walls of the church, and multiple opportunities to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!” -Ephesians 3:20-21