Friday, January 23, 2009

Flashback Friday Foto

Happy 13th Birthday, Landen Paul!

This photo was taken a little over 11 years ago. I was pregnant with Luke and we were vacationing in Missouri. I remember we took him to Bass Pro Shop that trip and he looked up and screamed, "Momma! Look at all deez Hooge Fee-yush!" I think he wore brown suede hiking boots and this baseball hat the entirety of his next three years on earth. He was THE cutest little man cub I knew.

So, I'm typing this post late Thursday night. Thirteen years ago at this very hour, Philip was hanging up the phone with our friend, Bruce, saying, "Dude, I gotta go. I think Cari's fixin' to have the baby." We drove to the hospital and, by 9:10am, Landen had brightened our world forever.

When he was just a day old, I was sitting up in the hospital chair holding him. Philip had walked down the hall. The nurses were gone. The visitors had left. It was just he and I. He was crying and I couldn't really get him to stop. I felt so unprepared to parent this precious [slightly squealy] baby.

His crying continued as mine began. I was awestruck at this life that God had created, overwhelmed by my newly felt responsibility, and greatly saddened by my obvious ineffectiveness. I knew I would never be able to meet my child's needs without the Lord's help.

All I knew to do was praise Him and wait for His help. I tearfully whispered a song as I rocked and swayed with Landen. It was the song I had sung for months as I rubbed my swelling belly - praying for the life within. In broken phrases, my emotional voice uttered the fruit of my overwhelmed heart..."You are beautiful beyond description, too marvelous for words. Too wonderful for comprehension, like nothing ever seen of heard. Who can grasp Your infinite wisdom? Who can fathom the depth of Your love?"

Our hearts and cries were lovingly quieted in one harmonious moment. Landen rested peacefully in my arms as I felt the loving arms of our Heavenly Father draw us both a little closer to Himself.

Today, I was resting on the couch after lunch. Landen came over, sat beside me, and took my hand. He smiled. With his other hand, he reached across his chest and began to rub his bicep through his shirt...just a habitual gesture when he's "talkin' grown". He soothingly said, "Mom, I know how much you've thought about this, but tomorrow IS happening. I AM going to be a teenager."

He offered a confident nod and a thin, straight smile - as if to say, "There, I said it." Then he was off to do "last day to be a kid" things.

Dear Father, thank You for holding me so close. I cannot parent in my own strength. You've seen me try. It's pitifully wretched. Thank You for Your promise to finish the good work You've begun in our family. Thank You for Your patience and for Your Presence. I feel it. I need it. I love it. Thank You for LP.