A word which has shaped and defined this year is freedom. I’m seeing it played out in so many ways throughout my every day. For instance. Today my skirt fell off. Under many circumstances, this would have been categorized as one of my most embarrassing moments. Thankfully, I was *only* outside in the front yard, having just walked out to our van to grab something and bring it inside. The mailman wasn’t there. No one was walking by. The neighbors weren’t mowing their lawn. I speedily pulled it together and ran inside. This can be categorized as freedom, though not exactly what I had in mind on January 1st. My box of wrap skirts have taken center stage in my wardrobe. And I will not let a small setback, such as one falling off of me, deter me from wearing them. My twenty-week-belly loves the wrap skirt idea. This week the kids have been able to feel baby Chip move so much. Their faces are priceless! Jack sat there with his hand on my tummy for a couple of minutes when all of a sudden his hand shot back and he looked at me with his eyes and mouth about the same width. It was great! As I sit on the front porch this evening after a busy day of mommy-ing, attacking the weeds in my garden, and doing the regular mounds of laundry, I feel some kicking. Baby Chip most certainly had a growth spurt this week, because all of a sudden I make a funny noise when I bend over, forgetting my front has expanded into my ribcage when in that position. That, and I keep stubbing my toes when I walk upstairs. I think it’s because I don’t lift my legs as high right before I take a step. Pretty much on the dot, every night around 11pm the gymnastics starts, and I sit with my hand on my belly, in wonderment at another life bursting with joy inside of me. Freedom.
For the past six weeks, Elsie has had a cast on her right arm. After about a day of figuring out how to do stuff with a perpetually bent arm, she quickly resumed life with a cast, almost as if she had none. She literally lets nothing hold her back. Even without the use of her thumb, she figured out how to tie her shoes, do monkey bars, climb, ride a bike and even play baseball!
Monday was a big day for her, when she was liberated from its confines. Freedom. They say a picture is worth a thousand words:
This week I had to say goodbye to a dear, sweet friend. Our husbands met at a spin class about 8 years ago, which was definitely a God-ordained meeting, since I don’t think either of them have been to a spin class ever since. Our kids are the same age, and we’ve watched and prayed eachother through some mutually serious health issues. She is the friend who introduced Plexus to me, and after watching her journey to health and freedom, jumped in to join her. She has been an incredible source of joy and encouragement and wisdom to me the past few years. I love how in Heaven others will truly find out how much impact they’ve had on your life. Thankfully Tennessee isn’t too far, but knowing I can’t just pop over makes me get a little teary. Letting loved ones go and be and do what they’ve been called to is one of the hardest things on earth, I believe. Yet, letting them go gives you more freedom to love stronger and deeper and further than before.
Once a week Nadine has been getting back into the saddle. It’s the highlight of her week. She gets to ride with one of her best friends as well, which adds all sorts of amazingness to her week. To me, it’s scary. To her, it’s freedom. She continues to be a huge source of help to me around the house and is growing in her babysitting abilities.
Today our not-so-bitty-Betty lost her first tooth! She is growing up, embracing her big sister role already, and is somwhat of an old soul. Sometimes I look at her and wonder on what wavelength she communicates to God. He must tell her things I can’t quite fathom. If you’ve ever had a conversation with her, you might understand what I’m having a hard time putting in to words. Growing up requires a little bit of pain, which usually results in more freedom.
Speaking of growing up. There are these two characters who live in the attic, who often sound like a small herd of elephants when they come down the stairs. But they are in actuality, boy-men. Boys trapped in bodies which are swiftly becoming men. Boys who dream of motorcycles and ammunition and muscles and big stuff like jobs. Jobs that pay money so Elijah can get his pilot’s license and fly his friends wherever they want to go. It’s fun to listen to their dreams and know that many of them will come true if we never plant seeds of doubt into their fertile minds. Freedom.
Apparently there is a “look back and compare an old picture of you and your spouse to now” thing going on over on facebook. So, for fun I decided to do just that. I practically died when I pulled out this doozy of a photo from nine years ago! Matthew had been sick for about a year and a half, was on high doses of toxic meds, and I was barely surviving as a mom of three. How incredibly blessed and grateful I am for the road we have traveled, and for the way the Lord has helped us navigate the stormy path. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
We don’t even know how many prayers have gone up for us on Matthew’s behalf. So many. There were times we literally felt like there was no way to go on. We praise the Lord for the gift of health. We know we are never guaranteed another breath. But for every breath we are given, we praise Him! Matthew is out running right now, his reflective vest on, heart pumping, lungs breathing, windpipe open. Not something we would have thought about before. It is the storm which has made our love so strong. It is being in the pit which has made the air above so clean and worth savoring.
We pray for open hands to receive both the sickness and the health. The richer and the poorer. Til death do us part. In doing this, there is great freedom.