To my six people~
You all know your stories…
How you each came into this world by God’s grand design and not by the careful planning of your parents,
How four of you were utter surprises and two of you, well…we thought about you and nine months later you made our family a little more complete,
How I cried each time we brought another of you home and how I fumbled through managing the ever-growing tribe.
And you know that I still fumble. Every. Single. Day.
We both fumble, your dad and I.
We’re about as broken down as any two parents could possibly be. We’re loud and busy and we are driven. We wrestle with God on most everything imaginable and we sit at the dinner table each night long after you’ve all gone out to play. We both furrow our brows and your dad rubs his head and I get distracted by things you don’t understand.
And we do all that we do because we love Jesus. We make choices that make no good sense and we live places that you don’t want to live because we are fumbling our way through how to love Him best. We fight a war that you don’t see and we grope at loving you all well and loving our neighbors and loving our church and still loving each other at the end of every day.
And so are you.
Each of you wear bits of us, inside and out.
When I see you, I see your dad’s blue eyes that haven’t yet learned to furrow in thought.
I see my own fiery temper flare up during a backyard scuffle.
I see blond curls framing a round face and I marvel at the 6 different ways God was able to intermingle our flawed DNA and spin the beauty that sits around my dinner table every night.
And I marvel in the grace poured out upon us all.
I watch you when you read and work on schoolwork.
I stand in the window and watch you when you swing from the tire swing.
I bend over your shoulder when you color outside the lines.
I watch you when you sleep and I breathe in the very air you breathe and I see the curve of your lashes closed on your cheek.
And I see the way you look like me and the way you rest your head like your dad, but it’s not us I long to see in you.
I long to see your brown eyes flash wild in compassion for your neighbor.
I long to watch your feet fly across pavement and dirt and broken rocks to give hope to the hopeless.
I long to stand at your back at cheer you on when nothing you do makes any kind of sense to me.
I long to see you wrestle with God, late into the night, and limp away knowing Him more and thinking of yourself less.
But most of all, I long to see you love Jesus with a fierceness like I’ve never known and proclaim His fame among your own people and your own neighborhood.
I long for you to lose it all for the sake of Christ.
* last picture: http://www2.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/faq/20.htm