Monday, April 18, 2011

Becoming grateful... blessings in disguise

There is nothing in the world more pure and beautiful than holding a newborn baby close, rubbing the soft skin and marveling in the petite features.  As I held 3-week-old Hannah Leanne last week, I was reminded of this beauty.  She is a life beginning, a story to be written.  She is loved and cherished by many people, but even more so by her Creator.

Most of the night, I cradled her tiny frame against my heart, singing to her while I watched her gaze about the room.  Hardly a peep was made out of her little body until later in the evening, when tears suddenly formed and face reddened and voice cried out.  And as she cried, my anxiety rose.

What does she need?  How do I really know what she wants?
She whimpered, and I did too, trying my best to figure out what I was not doing that she needed me to do, wishing I could know her heart and mind and be exactly what she needed.   But she had to wait for me.. and cry some more.  And in just one night, I failed her more than once... changing a diaper when she wanted food, picking her up when she just wanted to lie still.

And that is just the beginning.  As I stared into her precious, crying face, eyes squinty and nose wrinkled, I thought of the other people who would fail her because none in this world are perfect.  

But then I smiled... oh, how I smiled and rejoiced over that little one and her tears!  Why??  

Because God knows her perfectly. 
He will never fail her.  

He knew what she wanted even as she cried in my arms.   In the years ahead when deeper hurts happen, will she be able to see how God reaches out to her and brings her joy?  Maybe not wiping away her tears right away, but drawing her close in other ways until she realizes that she really just needs Him?  Will she find the gifts that God blesses her with, even in the midst of trials?

As I held little Hannah, kissing those small fingers and tickling tiny toes, I thought about the life she has ahead.  I have no idea what it holds.  
But God does

And she will experience pain.  There is no keeping her from it.  
She will be discouraged.  
Her heart will hurt.
Why?  Because she has entered a fallen world.

  But my prayer for her is that she will be able to see the redemption that God brings.  He despises the bad, but He can make it good.  So very good.

And so many times, His most beautiful blessings are those that come disguised in the ugliness of the world... the blessings that draw us closer to His heart than we ever could have dreamed of on this side of heaven, and the blessings that show us where true joy and love and wholeness is found.
The blessings that show us Christ.
The blessings that can only come through the beauty of God's redemption and healing of an aching heart.

May Hannah learn this, and may I remember it.  

I'm still counting my gifts.  God is so good!
336...  A mom and toddler son walking an old, waddling, white nosed dog outside of my window, bringing tears to my eyes
340... Talking to Adam about his exciting future adventures
343... Teaching my very 1st graduate school class in a professor's place!
344... Making a class laugh
350... Hannah Leanne
351... Last minute babysitting

353... Being Hannah's first sitter
354... Baby feet
355... Pacifiers

356... Changing diapers
357... Baby skin
359... Tiny hands and tinier nails
364... Flower tights, denim dress, and cowboy boots
365... Fishtail braids
366... Time to take the morning slowly
367... A classroom visit from our professor's 4-year-old daughter Chloe, who taught about unicorns (what she knows best)
368... Chloe telling me all about being a cowgirl when she grows up (I picked the perfect day to wear my cowboy boots...)
376... Coffee with Sarah, Rachel, and Anna, sitting in sunshine, laughing and sharing
380... Water drops on grass
381... Snowflakes mixed with water drops
384... The prayers of my supervisor
386... Self-timed pictures with Anna (pretending we are "therapizing" each other) when my client doesn't show up... so professional, I know.  :)  

And in case you are wondering... we don't ever look this silly as therapists... or at least I hope not....  Sometimes you just have to unwind after a very very very VERY long day.  :)  

I hope your days have been filled with blessings!


Meadows said...

Your therapy pix made me LOL! So glad to see you're able to put your modeling/acting experience to such good use! John Robert Powers would be so proud!

Leslie said...

Hi, I am just over from Ann's. Just wanted to let you know what a blessing your post was today. As a mommy to a little girl, this was such a breath of fresh air to my soul. Thank you. :)

Jazzi said...

Nicely said and YES< God loves and knows everything about all of us and our plans~~that is the cool part, now we all just need to learn to follow him!! Little Hannah is very cute!!

Diana and Jazzi

The Rocky Creek Scotties said...

What a touching blog post.


Tennessee Transplants said...

Miranda, thank you for your sweet comment on our newlywed blog. I love that we can all share the working of Christ in our lives together through our blogs. I know yours is such a daily encouragement for me :) We'll survive finals together! Remember we're Sir Fidel SmartyPants ;)

Catz said...

Hi Miranda! I love your shots of the baby, and your therapist shots were hilarious! Thanks for visiting my blog today!

Megan said...

Beautiful post!

Kathryn said...

love these pics! sweet post ♥