About two minutes ago I tucked my youngest son into bed and kissed his cheek and as I did a big fat tear hit his perfect cheek.

So much emotion in that tear.

I just returned from the hospital visiting my friends' newborn Son, just hours old. I held him and rocked him. Wrapping him in love and smiles. Breaking just a little when his mother asked if I was doing okay.

I was. I really was.

I had prayed for and rejoiced at the news of this little one. I had anxiously carried my cellphone into bed each night waiting for news. Yet holding him, cooing at him and looking into his adorable face was still a reminder of what I had missed the last 15 months.

As I held him I was so grateful for his sweet little life and overjoyed to see what changes he would bring in his parents. I remembered that couple who left the hospital after the birth of my first, was not the couple who had come in.

Mom and dad both bore that exhaustion and pride that come with the magic of holding your little one in your arms for the first time.

I am so grateful that my heart is not calloused with my deep pain, that it still opens so easily to this new little one. I was slightly afraid the emotions would be a bit too much, or too bitter. But holding that precious little one was enough to salve an open wound.

Then I came home to my own little one, hardly little anymore, awakened by hunger since he had slept through dinner. I reveled in the silence and a chance to hold him and smile at him. To nuzzle into his neck and make him giggle.

Then as I tucked him back into his bed I saw a glimpse of the baby he once was and my heart swelled to fill the painful parts in my soul.

Welcome to the world Caden, and thanks for sharing him with me Nate and Hattie :)
Sanctity of Human Life Week is coming. A time to stand up and be heard about the inherent value in all human beings. A brief moment set aside to, not just decry abortion, but to speak to the value of the life contained in the womb.

I remember the first time I heard about abortion and being horrified at the mere idea of it. I remember joining a protest on the whim. Just a child, not much older than my oldest son. I also remember that it sent a lighting bolt in my home. My mother not at all pleased that I would take a stand on an issue I couldn't fully understand.

She was right, I didn't understand it all. I didn't understand what would drive a woman to make such a choice, I saw a selfish desire to just "do away" with a mistake.

As I grew into adulthood and saw a more human face on abortion, my view didn't change much. The slogan "Abortion stops a beating heart" always rang in my ears. My heart broke for the desperation some women, some girls, felt when choosing to end the life of their unborn.

I listened as semantics were juggled and words like tissue, fetus, potential for life were used. I tried to understand the idea of a starting point for humanness... but still I saw the pictures I had seen as a young girl of discarded babies and brain couldn't understand how this choice would be good for anyone.

Then on May 17 2007 I was told that the baby I was carrying would die. I was encouraged to abort and everything I knew and believed and felt changed. I struggled through the idea that I may end a pregnancy of a baby not destined to live.

Once again though, I saw the pictures of those discarded babies and couldn't bring myself to make that choice.

In making that choice I discovered that my mother had been right all those years ago. That there was much to this debate I couldn't fully understand.

I also realized how sacred life really was. Eden, my baby girl, did die just 36 hours after her birth, but in those 36 hours I saw her fully realized humanness. That even as one profoundly damaged, her worth was immeasurable. Being her mother changed me in so many ways, changes I welcome and embrace. Eden's life changed many people and pointed to a God beyond description. Eden's short life, lived outside of my womb for such a brief instant, was a life filled with purpose and rejoicing. And I life that still effects people today.
With my husband home for a few weeks, Christmas revelry, and a wicked cold I never took the time to welcome in the New Year in blog fashion.

I have looked over the blogs of friends and friends of friends. I have read and been encouraged by their hopes and plans for personal changes in 2009. I have looked back, also, at this last year and where I have traveled with God, my friends, my family and myself.

Truth is I wasn't insanely pleased with how my year closed out. There was a lot of blessing and joy, but the end was just...not. I had to look and reflect on where I stumbled as well as what I had no control over.

Looking at the parts where I fell, or wallowed, was not easy and still leaves kind of a bitter taste in my mouth, but makes me even more grateful to a forgiving and merciful God who takes the confession and washes the ugly away.

I have never really been a Resolution type, mostly because the first of January never feels much like a new start. I have lived on an academic calender for my entire life, no the time of great goal setting and personal changes tends to happen for me in late August.

But today, flipping through a magazine and reflecting on the apparent crossroad set before me, I was suddenly inspired to make my list.

I am not going to vow to loose the last 40 lbs, or to be a better person, or to read my bible more... Not because these aren't worthy goals. Not because they aren't good things that should be done, that I hope to do.

This year I am going to put just one thing on my list... I am going to allow God to show me something huge. Something so far beyond my reach and imagination it would be fully impossible without Him... and I'm going to allow Him to move and make it happen.

Hows that for a list?