Today was payday, and I needed a few craft supplies. After Bible study I loaded the kids in the car and headed to the store, hoping that the babies would sleep while I shopped. Well, no such luck. I must have been quite the sight. JZ and JM wanted to touch everything on the shelves. Amazingly they exercised great self control. We have a no touching without asking first rule, and they both did great. Still, they pointed to almost every shelf and asked about something they saw. Walking down one aisle took over ten minutes. The stroller contributed to our slow pace, since it isn't exactly compact.
As I was checking out everyone was at their melting points. The babies started fussing. JZ and JM started fighting over who got to stand where and touch what. I busily tried to sooth the babies, put my items on the conveyer belt and keep JZ and JM in line all at the same time. After receiving my change, loading my bags into the stroller and struggling to hold the door open while pushing the stroller out, I stopped on the sidewalk outside the store and looked at my four precious boys with tears streaming down my face.
These weren't tears of stress or frustration. These were tears of thankfulness. I don't know why I have been so blessed with four healthy little guys. I certainly haven't done anything to deserve this life I have.
This morning I received a call from my sister. She told me our friend who was six months pregnant with twins lost them and was about to be induced. Last year around this time my sister lost her daughter 22 weeks into her pregnancy. When I was pregnant with JZ one of my best friends who was due just four days before me gave birth to a full term, stillborn baby girl.
I believe God is sovereign and in control, but I will never understand why these women had to go through these losses. I'll never have the answer why. What I do understand is that I need to be the best mother I can be to these children God has entrusted me with. They are an amazing gift, and the very least I can do is raise them right.
When my friend lost her daughter just before I gave birth to JZ the song Blessed Be Your Name continued to ring in my head, specifically the lines "You give and take away, you give and take away. My heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be Your name." Regardless of what happens to us here on earth it is our job to continue to trust and praise Him. I watched my friend and her husband continue to lift up the name of the Lord and trust Him despite their grieving. My sister and her husband were an incredible inspiration to me last year after losing their daughter.
If they can praise Him during such devastation then I should be standing on the roof tops declaring how awesome He is. He has blessed me beyond what I could have ever imagined, and I don't want to take one single moment for granted.
People often ask give me pitying looks or make comments about how busy I must be. I hear the phrase "You have your hands full," more than once a day. It's true, I am busy, and I do have my hands full. This is the best possible way to have my hands full. I couldn't ask for more.
"Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him."
Yes I still slip up and lose my patience or get caught up in woe is me moments, but then I get right back up, confess my shortcomings, and get back on track.
Tonight as I tucked my little stinkers in bed (believe me, they were little stinkers this evening) I gave them an extra cuddle, stared at their beautiful faces a bit longer, and thanked the Lord for this family of mine.
My prayers go out to those who have suffered such losses. Only God can heal the pain of losing a child. Let Him be your rock.