I guess it is no surprise to You, that I love children so much.
Me, the little girl practicing giving babies a bath in the sink, testing the water with my elbow, wrapping the towel just right over the dripping rubber body of Baby Tender Love.
Me, the second grader who took a baby doll wrapped in blankets into the restaurant with a little friend, both of us hoping the grown-ups would believe we were big enough to be responsible for holding real bundles of life.
Me, who never really settled on just the right thing to be when I grew up ~ for who can choose between flutist and teaching, therapist or pastor?
Me, who married before finishing college and asked my husband on our honeymoon if we could have Emily at the beginning of us. At the beginning of us could we begin the family we were to grow into?
Somewhere along the way, with two in double-digits and two just past diapers,
Me realizing it was You who shaped my heart to love children ~
and that was either the greatest occupation, or no occupation at all but a calling.
You, always growing me into the fullness of my dreams ~
wife and mom.
You, who split my heart at the seams to increase my capacity to love. Split so wide, barely mended before stretched again, joy and ache spilling over.
Each year, we Benton six lean against the kitchen counter, strips of paper marked with our names to decide the Christmas love-letter exchange, children hopeful to draw mom or dad's name ~ could we be this honored? We, those baby parents in whose hands You placed your heart four times? And those little ones, they laugh and ask why we don't throw our doors open wide so other children can live in this home.
Me, wife and mom all growing up,
and a home where love is practiced and practiced,
played and cried,
sung, danced, and yelled at,
then held close through each day,
never resting until circles are closed,
Me always finding You.
How many more children can this home hold?
Me, I'm not enough for even the four You gave me. Not nearly, ever, hardly, remotely enough. And then You asked their real parents, those whose feet are caught in the hardened concrete of poverty and despair, You asked they lay down pride and share their children with the wealthy woman who has always been able to feed and clothe her children.
Me, this wealthy woman who walks clean concrete paths and puts pictures on her refrigerator to remember the outlines of their faces, the curve of their smile ~ I'm not nearly enough for what You have given me.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24
My inheritance, Lord?
Faces of those I have become less for, that You may increase in every way.
Fill this wealthy woman's refrigerator with faces.
And continue growing faithfulness in me, that I will offer them more love letters.
I love You.
Favored One, my Compassion International assignment today was to write to God. Might I encourage you to write a letter today as well? And while I'm at it, would you please consider sharing this post with others? Because who doesn't want more love letters in their lives?