Today marks 3 years since we held and said goodbye to our daughter, Mia. Today was not an especially sad day nor was it an "ordinary" day either. It is a paradox of sorts and honestly it is a paradox that I truly live in daily. Here's what I mean.
Our days look a lot like many of yours...feeding children, playing with them, teaching and training them, bathing them and over-all tending to them. In each day of ours there is laughter, singing, dancing, crying, wiping runny noses and praying. There are moments when I wish I could sleep in till whenever and moments that I crave stillness. I am wiped out by the end of every day and am happy to have a quiet home. But there are some things that the Lord reminds me of daily...literally, daily, that I was taught through Mia.
The theme of it all is found in these simple words, "I get to be the one that..." Fill in the blank! "I get to be the one that rises early to snuggle with a little one. I get to be the one that grocery shops for a family of 5. I get to be the one that teaches a soul how to pray. I get to be the one that cleans up after the juice spills. I get to be the one that is the bottom of the priority list for a shower :)" ...get the idea? Here is one way Mia has taught me this:
3 years ago, as Brian and I held Mia, there were certain things that have been branded into my memory. One of those things was wiping Mia's precious nose. She had a little speck of blood and I wiped it off. I remember saying to her how I wish I could do that for her more as she grew up and I would miss that. I am weeping now just writing that out...but that is the paradox that I am speaking of. Every day, when I am tempted to be too tired or too pitiful or too lazy or too self-focused, I remember things like Mia's nose or the shock of sudden loss or the gift of my 3 children.. and all of the sudden the very thing that seemed taxing becomes a deep treasure.
I have experienced the tension...the mystery...the paradox of living fully alive in the moment and yet longing for our home in glory. I am glad the Lord made it that way, aren't you? So I encourage you, in whatever season that you are in (student, friend, room-mate, co-worker, wife, mentor, mother, daughter, teacher), to live fully in the moments that you are given because we don't get them back. Let's simply make our prayer "teach me to number my days that I may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12. I am reminded of the old song:
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
So...today we went to Mia's grave as a family and released balloons, prayed and remembered.
And two beautiful paradoxical moments were the girls laughing, giggling and playing while we were there among the graves. And this precious picture
...so much to look forward to in this life and the one to come