Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Power Point

When we do our program downtown, the main lesson for the day is called the "Power Point." This week's Power Point was "God is with us in hard times" This, of course, is an important lesson for the kids we reach to learn, particularly seeing as they face such a disproportionate amount of hard times because of their unique situation (living on welfare, food stamps, surrounded by violence, absent father etc). However, I was surprised to discover what an important lesson this Power Point was for me as well.

I went to Canada this weekend. Normally, that would be an exciting trip for me - I love going back to see my family and the places I grew up . . . but this time, it was one of the most emotional and hard weekends I've ever faced. We went to see my opa (grandfather) this weekend, and basically to tell him goodbye. He has prostrate cancer which has spread to his bones. Mercifully, he is being looked after by my oma at home (he no longer leaves the hospital bed she set up in the living room for him) and he's not in pain, he just has no energy and does little more than sleep. My oma has always been the sweetest, most selfless lady I have ever met - but now her loving care of opa through his illness only makes that sweetness shine through ever brighter (perhaps because it is in the midst of such a dark, sad situation). It was hard to see opa looking so skeleton-like, but luckily he is still very cognizant and was able to talk to each of us (even though he would often doze off mid-conversation).

The best part of the weekend for me was that I was able to talk to him a bit about the little one inside me. Adam and I were planning on keeping our baby's name a surprise - but we really wanted to tell opa and oma the name - so I was able to share that with them this weekend (and once you tell someone, why not tell everyone right? so we told the whole family - which was literally 40 people gathered at the chinese buffet . . . ) He told me he was honored, and also spoke with me a little about how he would see his great-grand-baby in heaven one day, and assured me that he was in God's hands.

There is something very powerful about people who recognize the providence and goodness of God in the midst of hard or painful situations. For my opa to be dying, and my oma to have to watch, makes no sense to me. I hate seeing my dad and his siblings saying goodbye to their father, and even though opa's lived a long time, death is never easy. But opa personified for me this weekend the truth that "God is with us in hard times." If he can believe it as he lays bed-ridden in his living room, I can certainly believe it and live like I believe it in my blessed, full life.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The miracle of life :-)

I mean seriously, being pregnant is weird if you think about it too much -- I have a baby inside of me, growing and moving and eating and peeing and everything! Strange, but miraculous - I cannot imagine how someone could NOT believe in a Creator while going through a pregnancy - the intricacy of how your body changes and how the little one grows inside of you. And the first time you feel her (or him) move -- oh how amazing it is!

I felt the baby move for the first time a few days ago. Every night (ok most nights) before we go to sleep, Adam and I pray out loud together. We were laying in bed and Adam was praying for our daughter when I felt her move - It was amazing, such a little miracle - like she knew we were talking about her and she knew we were talking to her maker!

Then when I was downtown on Wednesday night - the kids were singing and showing me their dance to "Here I am to Worship" and I swear our baby was doing cartwheels and back flips - she was moving SO much! Adam and I like to think she was worshiping right along with us.

A dear friend told me this week that parenting reveals how God gives us grace for the moment. I am already finding the truth in that statement, and my daughter hasn't even been born yet. Every time I get overwhelmed by upcoming motherhood, or frustrated with how uncomfortable i feel or how often I have to use the bathroom, I'll feel her move and realize that everything is going to be ok. My body is doing what it's supposed to be doing and God is knitting together our little one in my womb. If I can trust Him now, I surely can continue to trust in His grace and goodness when she arrives!

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