Tuesday, December 27, 2011

"Just" Waiting

The pastor's sermon on Christmas Day was entitled "Great with child", referencing Luke 2:5 from the KJV, that Joseph went to Bethlehem, "To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child."  Since Christmas Day was exactly one week before our daughter-in-law's due date, the whole subject really resonated with us.  Although we listened as he spoke of Mary, and how the birth of Jesus took place, we couldn't help but think of Kim.

As the sermon progressed, he talked more about the waiting, the anticipation.  And a quote that jumped out at me was this:  "I'm looking forward to looking back on this."  Now to be honest, in context that line was from a story of someone going through difficult times, and anticipating getting through it, and being able to look back.  But I thought how appropriate it was in light of good times, as well.

Don't get me wrong, we absolutely can't wait for this granddaughter to make her appearance.   I've actually already got my hospital bag packed----I've got snacks to keep the two grandfathers-to-be and the uncle-to-be fed and happy.  Magazines to read.  Camera.  Extra batteries.  Needlework to keep me entertained.  A note attached to remember to add the cell phone charger at the last minute.  I'm keeping clothes clean at all times so I can wear something comfortable to the hospital for the final "waiting" hours.  That sort of stuff.  I want to be ready when we get "the call".

But as much as I can't wait to see this sweet little girl, I don't ever want to forget the waiting, the months leading up to her arrival.  That glorious day when they told us she would be coming----wow, what a beautiful memory.  The next day, talking to Kim's mom once she heard the news, and our excitement as we talked.  The following weeks when we kept the big secret, since no one outside the immediate family knew the news yet.  Being present when one of the great-grandmothers-to-be found out.  The honor of being present for  an ultrasound visit in July, when Aaron was out of town, and the joy that filled the room when the ultrasound tech said, "Your baby looks perfect!"  A few days later when we learned little baby was a girl------we grandmothers tried to get the ultrasound tech to tell us that piece of information, but to no avail!  It was so much fun learning it the way we did, in a restaurant, over lunch, with Cameron listening on speaker phone from camp while the grandparents simultaneously opened gift bags that contained pink (pink!!!!) tiny  hats and socks.  I wouldn't trade those days for anything. 

There were showers to get us through the fall.  Watching the nursery take shape, seeing a crib readied for her arrival, and dresser drawers fill with tiny little outfits was great fun.  To go in the nursery, and see all the preparations, and realize that in a few months----weeks----days----there will be a precious, tiny, beautiful baby girl taking up residence there was almost surreal. 

But the waiting, as hard as it is, because we want to see her and hold her and love her so badly, has been a beautiful time.  I am completely looking forward to her arrival, but I always want to look back with joy and remember these days of waiting.  They've been precious, precious days.  And she's definitely worth the wait!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Found this picture recently-----it may be the only one of this view, taken possibly before we even moved in.

It looked like this for the majority of the time we lived there.

We lived in this house for over 22 years.  Built it----bought it when it was nothing but a foundation, and then rebuilt it almost entirely 6 years later (that's a story for another day).  Brought both of our boys home here when they were born.  Lots of memories.

Adjacent to the neighborhood is a county park, and just on the other side of the park is a public TV broadcasting station, with a very tall tower.  The lights on the tower blink every couple of seconds, and we could see it from some of our windows at night.

When our younger son was about 4, we were out running errands one day, and he looked out the car window and saw the familiar tower.  "I like when I look up and see the tower," he said, "because then I know where home is."

Whoa.  When you look up, do you know where "home" is?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


So Mary has been on the brain lately.  That Mary, the mother of Jesus.  In chapel today there were various pictures of her on the screen, by various artists over the years.  One really struck me, because the woman depicted was really just a girl, as they believe Mary was, maybe just in her mid-teens.  Young.  Really young.  And it's on the brain because it's Christmas, and because my sweet daughter-in-law is about to give birth to our first grandchild.  Lots of reminders of mothers and babies.

Have you ever been around a group of women when they started talking about their childbirth experiences?  It's  uncanny how we remember the details----when labor started, what time we got to the hospital, what phone calls we made, what happened first, and next, and later.  All of it.  And if one woman so much as begins to talk about her experience, all the other mothers have to share theirs.  Have to-----it's like it's on the inside of us, and the story has to come out.  We have to share it.  Every detail we remember.  All of it.  Compare and contrast, share the glorious experience with other women who can understand.

But think of the verse, the one at the end of the story of Jesus' birth, almost an afterthought when we read the Christmas story----

Luke 2:19
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

She KEPT these things.  She PONDERED them.  Just think about it-----who would Mary have told about the birth of Jesus?  Who would have believed her?  "Well, last week, Joseph and I went to Bethlehem, you know, for the census, and, well, I went into labor, and we looked and looked and looked for a room, but all we found was a stable that a nice innkeeper let us use.  Long story short, I had my baby, right there in that stable, with cows, and sheep, and chickens right in there with us.  And we named him Jesus, like the angel told Joseph to do.  And speaking of angels, during the night, a bunch of shepherd showed up, saying angels had told them to come see the baby.  Shepherds!!  It was quite a night!"

Seriously, who could Mary have told?  Who would have believed her??  Crazy teen mother, they would have thought.  Married to an older man-----pregnant before she was even married to him.  See, she couldn't talk to anyone.  So she KEPT.  She PONDERED.  Don't you know she spent many hours wondering why God chose her?  Why he sent His son to earth for her and Joseph to raise?  And all the while, she KEPT, she PONDERED.

So this Christmas season, what are you keeping?  What are you pondering?  Are you thinking about why God sent Jesus to earth, to you, to me?  Are you pondering what you should do now that He's here, reminded anew this season of His coming, His birth, and His death?  All for you?  All for us?  For all of us?

"For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."  Keep that.  Ponder that.  It's what Christmas is all about.