Friday was my oldest son’s birthday (fifteen!). Working on my memoir about my cardiac arrest reminded me of how before he was born I ached to hold him.
We had struggled with infertility and miscarriage and when I finally carried this baby to term, an incredulous gratitude emerged. Here’s an excerpt from the memoir about that time.
How I loved that baby in my belly. How I wanted him. Then after our Benjamin boy finally joined us and I held him, touched his soft skin, gratitude cascaded over me. I had doubted my arms would ever hold this tiny package, but I’d longed for him. And God heard my cries, softly placing this precious gift in my care. The rocky path of loss that brought him to us made me even more in love with my little boy. Every moment seemed a miracle.
Lying in ICU after dying twice, being a mommy to my four little loves again felt miraculous. Similar to that first longing to have a baby, a tangible hunger for my children overwhelmed me.
That “longing love”–love like there’s no tomorrow–continues to inform how I mother my kids. When I go back to that place of delighted gratitude, the struggles of being a mom fade, as do the messy house and the crowded schedule. I just want to love them.
So I pray for help to replace rushing with hugs, strict expectations with affirming words, angry impatience with listening, and I top it all off with tons of laughter.
I don’t do this perfectly, but I try, and God helps me.
Love your kids friends–like there’s no tomorrow.
For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:8 ESV)
And remember, God loves you like there’s no tomorrow.