Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Bundle of Joy-ful Noise

"Ty, he's just such a happy kid." My mom-in-law reflected a week or so ago. She was at Dana's house for a couple days, and I was picking him up after work. We were just giggling at him from across the room, playing with the boys.
"Yeah, Mom. I'm so thankful. Every day. God has protected his little heart. His joy has helped me through so many hard days."

Isn't it just like God to take the ONE thing I've been most concerned about in the wake of the events of the past couple of years, and just turn it on a dime into the one constant encouragement and reminder of His goodness! My job, my pride, my home... everything was easy to "let go of", after being forced to let go of Leslie, in order to allow God to begin to do His redemption work. But TJ? He was the one thing I just had the hardest time entrusting to God.
"By the grace of God, Mom." I continued our conversation there in Dana's kitchen. "I mean... he's a little miracle, isn't he? I was so worried about how I'd manage. I mean, how can I be a mommy AND a daddy?! I can't do this alone!"

Obviously... I can't. But God has provided.
Sure, there are little quirks that will take years to work through. He still sleeps with his paci. (We're working on it.) He still has an exaggerated fear of abandonment-- nothing like it used to be... But every once in a while, I'll be taking out the trash or something and will come back inside to a crying little boy. "I thought you left me," he'll say as he wipes away tears. But all those things considered, I marvel every day at the joy, compassion, and fearless energy that just spills from this child's every word and action. I'm brought to my knees in humble thanskgiving for his apparent sense of security and comfort... for his "adjustment" (as we adults call it). He's genuinely happy for his Mom, that she's all better, and is totally secure in her love for him. And he loves the life we're living together.

And he's genuinely excited about the prospects of this "New Mommy" thing...

I just returned from a 4-day weekend on Lake Michigan with the Buchers. Dad landed a couple of Sea-Doo's for the week, and on Tuesday, Curt, Chris (bro's-in-law) and I were taking the kids on rides up and down the beach. After one of TJ's turns (he LOVED it... the faster and rougher the better... he's a little adrenaline junky like his dad), he plopped down beside Dana under the beach umbrella. (I was giving another cousin a ride, so Dana recounted the story for me.) Completely unprovoked and out of the blue, TJ grinned up at his aunt...

"Hey Dana! Guess what! I'm going to have a New Mommy soon!"
This of course caught Dana a little off guard, but she was touched by his sincere excitement at the thought. "Yes TJ! I know! Aren't you excited?"
"Uh-huh! And guess what! It's going to be KATIE!"

"Aw, that's great, TJ!" Dana encouraged him. "You love Katie, don't you."

"Yeah," he smiled his dimply smile and went back to eating his fruit snacks and building his sand castle.

Again and again, I stand in awe as I consider what we've been through as a family the past 2 years, and just witness these day-to-day miracles. Beauty to ashes, the new vessel, eternal perspective... I've tried over and over to put these things into words on the pages of this blog. And every time I fall short of the praise and worship that is due the One who has provided. I guess I'm brought once again to a profoundly simply word. "Hallelujah". A word of praise, thanks, or joy to the Lord. A joyful noise. With every breath, Lord, this will be my song.

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me,
And the world's all as it should be.
Blessed be Your name.
And blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering.
'Though there's pain in the offering,
Blessed be Your name.
Every blessing You pour out I'll
Turn back to praise.
And when darkness closes in, Lord,
Still I will say,
"Blessed be the name of the Lord!" ...
...You give and take away.
My heart will choose to say,
"Blessed be Your name!"

This was our song through the diagnosis, the surgery, the prognosis, the suffering... It is our song in victory, in awestruck wonder at His provision and blessings... Again I say...


Special thanks to Papa, "Aunt" Lydia, and Heather H for the great photos!!