Dear blog friends and followers,
We’re on the final countdown to our baby boy’s arrival here and I’m taking the time to finish up those last-minute preparations—like double-checking the hospital bag, stocking up on everything at the grocery store so I won’t have to shop the day I come home from the hospital, and vacuuming the floor one last time so no one thinks my house really ever gets as messy as it really gets.
In the meantime, I’ll be posting some letters to my children here–one for each daughter and then one for my son–and I hope they bless you, too.
You’ll see posts from me while I’m really still in the hospital, even perhaps when I’m actually delivering a baby! Don’t be too impressed. I’m not live-blogging during a C-section or writing elaborate prose from my hospital bed despite grogginess, hormones, and people coming to take blood samples at 4 in the morning (why can’t they do that during the day when you’re in the hospital?)
No, I’ve written all this in advance and scheduled it for the days I’ll be away. There, I’ve spilled the secret!
I’d love your prayers this week. We should be meeting our baby on Wednesday (October 2nd).
Many blessings to you while I’m away,
You made me a mom. God specially chose you for that purpose and what an honor and joy it has been from that first moment I held you in my arms after you screamed and a nurse toweled you off and handed you over to me, a brand-new, uncertain, clumsy, scared-out-of-her-mind, totally-in-awe new mommy.
But then, I’d been amazed at you all along. You taught me about morning sickness (and how you can have it all day, every day), about OB visits, about birth plans, about prenatal nutrition, and how there simply isn’t anything quite so miraculous as feeling a tiny life moving within your very own body.
I’ve been learning from you ever since. As you like to put it, you “trained me” to be a mom and all that it requires, not just the walking the floor at night with an inconsolable infant, or the diapering and bathing.
No, more than that.
You taught me how to care about another person enough to murder my own selfishness on a daily basis. You humbled me, showed me all I didn’t know, revealed all the ways I wasn’t perfect and didn’t have it all together.
Nothing in this world has taught me how to pray like being a mom, nothing drops me to my knees faster or more often than my children. That started with you.
You still teach me now.
How to be a good friend. How to make people a priority. How to give generously, unselfishly, and with extravagant joy to others.
How to always give your best effort. Many people may look at you and be jealous of your accomplishments, your God-given gifts and opportunities at church, at school, in music, dance and theater. Maybe they’d even foolishly call you “lucky.”
I see the time you spend practicing, studying, memorizing, rehearsing, performing, and working when others rush through necessary tasks to enjoy fun and relaxation. I know it’s never me pushing at you, reminding you, nudging you, or pressuring you.
It’s the way you set goals for yourself–like jumping rope five times in a row, then 10, then 15, then 20…..until you can whip that rope over your head and leap over it 50 times without stopping, all because you decided you would, you made a plan, you worked hard, and you didn’t give up no matter how many times you tripped and had to start over.
But the awards that sit on a shelf or hang from the wall in your room aren’t what matter. They never are. It’s about who you are, so much strength of character and the willingness to stand up for what’s right against all that is wrong. It’s your deep tenderness, the way you sob at sad movies and books and have a heart so compassionately moved by the hurting, the needy, the outcasts, the orphaned.
These lessons that I’ve been teaching you, my Victoria, are ones I’ve been stumbling my own messy way through for too long. When I speak these words to you, I’m giving sermons to myself reflected in you.
This is what I need you to know:
You are loved, deeply and truly loved. You don’t ever need to be perfect to earn that from us or from God. Your value is never about what you do; it’s who you are, and who you are is amazing.
We all need grace. You’re going to mess up. You’ll forget sometimes, make mistakes, choose the wrong answer, say the wrong thing, lose control, make a mess, and not be the best at everything. That’s what grace is for, and when you’ve received that kind of mercy, be sure to give it to others gladly, humbly, and without stinginess.
Don’t allow worry, anxiety, and fretting to steal your joy. You can trust our God. He really can care for you and every detail of whatever you face.
Before you were born, your dad and I prayed for you, about choosing your name, and how to be your parents. We prayed that God would give us a Scripture as a blessing for you, and I remember the night your dad opened the Bible next to me and read these words:
But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield (Psalm 5:11-12 NIV).
We do pray this for you, for God’s favor, His protection, His blessing, and that He will fill you with gladness and a song of joy.
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in the Fall of 2013! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2013 Heather King