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Saturday, February 5, 2011

.The Grace Gift.


Her ear was the recipient of my whispered promises in the night, as I pulled the covers to her chin and tucked her in warm and deep.

Tomorrow morning. I murmured. It is then that we play and slow and cuddle and talk and be. Just the four of us, with no interruptions - no phone, no internet.

She reached her child warm arms around my neck and squeezed. Then she closed her eyes and giggled and anticipated.

And he and I snuggled in and rehearsed the plan again. Cementing it in our minds and committing to the empty, but really so full, Saturday, that lay on the other side of the sleep.

With the breaking of dawn came the breaking of rules.


Of hot cocoa with puffy marshmallows - marshmallows that mommy had hidden away from the remnants of summer s'mores.


Of jammied bottoms way past eight.


Of messes, of sweet stuff, of movies, of moments.


For in the breaking of rules we were able to romance our children.


And in the giggles and warm bodies snuggled into mine, and in the stillness crashed the knowing. Africa crept in and with it sadness for the brown eyed boy that was so obviously missing. Not too much longer I prayed, and he would soon be part of our Saturdays and our every days. The sadness hovered but was welcomed as it was twinned with anticipation, and the anticipation was tasted as painfully sweet.

But as quickly as I embraced the anticipation, guilt thundered in, and this is where I don't know how to be anymore. Africa changed me, and my skin hangs loose, uncomfortable, strange. Because the knowing the remembering of things and people creeps into every moment. The chocolate eyes of the widow woman with baby boy on her hip pleading for nourishment for him for one more day. The gratitude in the smile of the beggar as my husband curls birr into his bone-thin, sun-aged hand. They sneak up into our giggles - into our Saturday.


I don't deserve this any more than the gnarled and twisted man missing both his limbs that sleeps and survives on the side of the dirty Addis road deserves it. I have done nothing to merit this Saturday filled with warmness and food and family quilted in love. Guilt pounds at my heart threatening to break off another piece. And this is where I am learning what to do and how to live with the knowing. It must change me. It has changed me. It must linger and crash these moments of beauty. There will be moments when I must do something, be active, advocate and speak up for the defenseless - I am commanded to especially now that I steward this knowing.

But I am believing that maybe, just maybe there are moments even now - still with what I know and have seen - for stillness and cuddles and marshmallow kisses, for coffee and movies, and crafts and block towers. For it is in these moments that the knowing makes me see - for the first time with scales still falling off my burning eyes - the gift that I do not deserve, did not earn.


I need these moments, I need Saturdays - not so that I can forget Africa and the orphans that pleaded for the very thing I am in this moment enjoying. To forget would be as death in this life.

I need Saturdays to truly see that which I have been given and do not deserve.


I need Saturdays so that I can slow and still and savor the unwrapping of the grace gift handed to me. For it is truly that a grace gift - undeserved, unmerited. The guilt creeps out, the memories linger, and I embrace the grace gift of the moment, and the knowing caresses us all.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8



Unknown said...

i love this post. we do the same in our home. we enjoy the sweet moments stolen with each child. making memories that we hope to burn into the depths of our souls so never to be forgotten. blocks and babies and dinosaurs and princeses...yes saturdays....sweet saturdays.

praying for you.

Kathy's Kitchen Korner said...

"Break my heart for what is yours
Everything I am for your kingdom's cause
As I walk from earth into eternity."

These song lyrics came to mind as I read your post...
Break my heart,Lord... could be a scary thing to pray...but oh, so rewarding!!!
Love you and still praying!

Cynthia said...

I love, Love, LOVE your gifted writing! You speak exactly what my inept words failed to do. What a blessing to read your blog entries!


Mandi said...

Really beautiful post, Tiffany. Thanks for sharing your heart and allowing God to work in ours through your story. :)

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