You know when you want to climb mountains and shout from 'em? When you feel like you should take your shoes off because the ground beneath feels holy? When it's so sweet it feels like a dream but it's better because it's the wonderful wonder of reality?
And what is real in all of life is what you know in moments like these.
The beautiful gift of four. One and then another and then another and then another. And all so undeserved.
But isn't each gift?
And I've messed up so many things and done so many things wrong.
And isn't that why this is the biggest wonder of all?
That in spite of me I would joy in the grace that is the joy of a lifetime in the lives of each of my children.
Would it sound silly to say that it was the biggest smile I've ever seen on his face? Because it was, you know? The biggest smile. Spring of 2012. February 26.
Bigger than when he took that first step and we all had silly goofy grins of pride on our face - and he knew it was him. Bigger than the time when Gideon coming was only one day away - or no days away. Bigger than seeing the footprints Santa left behind or getting ten more minutes before bed or me saying yes to the second oatmeal pie.
He couldn't stop smiling.
And he said he felt funny inside and touched his stomach. Smiling.
He ran to me, Mommy, I said my payers by mysel tonight.
Then again, ten minutes later. He jumps up beside me.
Mommy, I asked Jesus to live in my heart. I asked Jesus to make me a Chistian. I told Him I love him best.
I mute the TV and pull him to my lap and he feels greater because he is and I know because of the beautiful gift of three before.
And there is the smile. He was almost shining and maybe he was? That smile was large and he twinkled and I saw it. Jesus in my son.
He can't answer all the questions correctly. He's only five. He doesn't completely understand the devil. He only partly understands sin. He doesn't understand death or hell. There will have to be more later -
But he does understand the cross.
Do you believe Jesus died on the cross?
Yeah, so I don't have to.
What happened after He died?
Thee days later.
Where is Jesus now?
And this is the part. If I forget it all this is the part I want to remember. This is the glorious part that becomes my greatest gift - my final gift of four answered prayers.
The smile is still there. I silently think his cheeks must be hurting.
In me, Mommy.
I hug him tight. Yeah. But where does Jesus live now, after he rose?
And he looks at me, smiling. He stares at me as if I am the one who doesn't understand.
He lifts his hand and points one little finger. Right at the middle of his heart.
In meeeee, Mommy.
And he laughs as if to say, silly mommy.
But who possibly loves more on this earth than a mother? Who else understands the things they don't understand themselves? Who else sees the possibilities of their future more than a mother? Who more than a mother hurts more when they hurt?
Who else worries more that they might turn away?
And isn't a mother pregnant for a lifetime?
And when their flutters turned to kicks that turned to pain that you knew of but had no idea of, each time forgotten fresh, in each blessing turn of gift life you whisper and plead and need to know they will be safe in the life past this one. That He will grant what you will never be able to. That He will give the real life.
This you pray. Even when they only flutter.
And here I witnessed the last, as I witnessed the three before.
The first who wanted to lie with me in the dark and whisper it soft. As if it was so beautiful the moment might break. Gentle with small hand in mine and a great confidence. And beautiful it was. And my heart swam for in this moment I realized the greatest gift of grace is the gift of life to her.
The second who didn't understand why she had to ask for what she knew was already there. Hadn't He always been there? She couldn't remember Him not. He could have easily been her first word. The help of a dear pastor to fill in her blanks. Her taking my hand and stepping out.
The third with the crowd in the living room. Family all around. Rare moments of all together and she pulls me to her room. She cannot wait. She wants to do it now. And in the quiet of a room, shared wall with love loud seeping in, she bows and prays.
And now this fourth gift. He so unexpected, who I love wild and strong and in that way a mama loves only a son, he takes a knee alone. Warrior. Joining an army of the King. Running to me to tell and feeling funny inside and smiling huge on the outside.
What is such grace as this my Father grants? Proof that His love is not only greater than my sins but called to these four in spite of me. Where I failed He triumphed and loved more and spoke softer but louder and called deeper and gave all to the ones that I would give all to
but the thing I cannot give that is His alone is the only gift there is.