05 October 2010

Remember last week when I shared photos with you of Hazel with her adoring brother in her lovley blue headband? Well I have to tell you, the pretty felt bloom was only a fraction of what motivated me to haul the kids out onto the back patio that morning to photograph their little blonde selves.


Truth is, I was getting them dressed after breakfast that morning and just got all sentimentally caught up in how much I adored them. In that moment, I could think of no task more important than capturing their sweet faces on that day and at that time so I could freeze the moment and remember what it was like to be the Mama of Oliver and Hazel on that day.

{Fortunately, I have Oliver to help me keep Hazel's face looking at the camera. He really just wants to help. And gets a huge kick out of being strong enough (at least in his estimation) to move her around. She seems to be a pretty good sport about it.}


Yes, it was just a Thursday morning. And yes, I have plenty of photos of both of them. And YES, it's true, photos aren't going to make them stay any smaller or remind me of how Hazel smells right after a bath (or BEFORE a bath!) or the way Oliver says "ambliance" instead of "ambulance". But it's what I've got. And I'm always so grateful to have pictures to look back on.

On Saturday Ry caught me turning Oliver's still-slightly-baby-puffy hand back and forth in my own. I was eating it up (so to speak...) wishing his little wrist creases and knuckle dimples would stay there forever. (They won't, I know. It's best.)

Last week I worked in the kids' room for an hour pulling clothes out of their closet and drawers that they've outgrown. By the end of my purge I was feeling a little sad that the little people that once fit into the clothes in my pile were no where to be found.

These days are joyful. These moments of my two babies laughing together and rolling around on the patio furniture are what I've waited so long to enjoy. Now these days are here and they're just going by way too quickly!

I'm trying not to blink but my eyes are getting awfully dry.


I'm not sure I'm ready for my six-month-old to be trying to walk. I don't want my 3-year-old to become a 4-year-old next week. And I certainly hadn't planned on Hazel outgrowing all her adorable little-person clothes before she's gotten a chance to even wear them all more than once!
I'm asking the Lord to teach me to breathe this all in with His peace and joy. To be thankful, yes, but take away the sense of urgency to freeze every moment in my mind lest it be lost.

I am so grateful for my children. So humbly grateful for God's sweet gift of motherhood. I'm loving the raucous joy of having a son and the perfect delight of having a daughter.

In some ways it's taken losing a child to become the mother I am to the children I have - to appreciate them and breathe them in, in the way I know I will never be able to enjoy the daughter I ache for.

I've wondered to myself though, "Is this consuming delight in my children and their little lives putting too much focus on them and distracting me from the One Who made them?"

I have been seeking the Lord about this this week. Clarifying my thoughts with Ryan and seeking the counsel of wise friends to consider this little part of motherhood.

Just this afternoon I sat down to lunch with a group of lovely ladies and one in particular who lost her husband nearly three years ago to a car accident. Diana is recently remarried and shared that she finds she is in many ways a better wife because of her loss. I related to her new clarity and gratitude but asked her if she also struggled with finding delight in the ones she loves versus the One who gives.

Now, when Diana speaks, you listen. She has a lot of wisdom and I'm grateful for the time she took to talk with me today. Her answer made so much sense and I want to share it with you because I think it will be an encouragement for you as well. She said:

"Think about someone that loves you preparing a really delicious meal for you. You're eating it up, enjoying every bite and asking for more, please! So, the cook happily gives you another serving, glad to see that you're enjoying what they've made for you."

Now, think of the food as your children (or your family or any good gift from the Lord) given to you by God. You are gobbling them up, savoring every minute of the precious, delicious gift that they are to you. You adore them and revel in them. In delighting in the meal, you're giving glory to the meal's maker. And when you're shoveling it down (forget the caloric implications, here...), saying "what a phenomenal meal!", you're more than appreciating the meal, you're appreciating the Maker.

I'm enjoying these sweet babes of mine like the most delicious meal the Lord has made for me. Such sweetness. Such flavor.


Now friends, as Diana said to me,
"Go! Suck the meat off the bones!"
(or if you're vegetarian-
have a second helping of the lentils of life) :)
Always giving glory to the Giver of all good things.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,
who does not change like shifting shadows."
James 1:17


DeborahRobson said...

This was so good to hear! Your babies are precious!

poofergirlsperspective said...

I love this post and I can totally relate to it! I have two babies, our oldest is 20 months and our little one is 6 months and I couldn't love them or enjoy them more! Some people think it is odd. We had a doctors appointment for our son today and we were sitting in the waiting room with all the attention on these two little loves and I mentioned that our daughter is a great littel girl, in addition to being adorable. The receptionist said "well that was sure nice of your Mom to say ... I don't know that I have ever heard someone say that before". And I thought "what?! how sad is that!" but then I got to thinking about how negative people are about little ones and it made me love and appreciate these little souls all the more. I am blessed beyond measure. Thanks for letting me ramble. :)

Lauri said...

I so enjoyed this post. I could relate to every single word! Thank you for sharing Diana's wisdom and for reminding me to cherish each moment of yumminess while I still can! ~Lauri :-)

About Us: said...

Beautiful post. Thanks for sharing and love those pictures. Hope you can suck all the wonderfulness out of this Wednesday! Cheers.

Chelsa said...

thank you so much for sharing! i needed it! all i seem to do is eat up my sweet little family. i can completely understand it taking losing a child to be the mother you are. i am the exact same way. it makes me realize exactly what the gift i've been given is. and i appreciate it so much more. i soak up every second. i love that you said you are asking god for peace on the kids getting older and maybe missing a momemnt... i needed to hear that too, i needed to know that i'm not the only one struggling with this (a good struggle, but it's hard to let them grow up so quickly when we just got them!).

Beth and Shelby said...

Beautiful post Raechel ~ thank you for sharing! Have struggled with this myself (trying not to greive that time is passing so quickly, yet savoring and enjoying each moment), what a great analogy your friend had.

Melissa said...

I am so glad I stopped by your blog today and read this. I have not experienced losing a child, but I do love my two (3 yrs old and 10 months old) just as you describe. I yearn to freeze time yet am so curious to see what they'll be like as sisters through the years. I am so blessed to be a mom!

Natalie Whisler said...

Just wanted to say that I really appreciated this post this morning.

dkeeton2009 said...

I love my brown-eyed babies, but those blue peepers just pop right out of the photo. I may have to go find me a blue-eyed man! jk

Brittanie said...

I was thinking just what Diana said as I was reading that. It was good to have that reinforced. I, too, just delight in my babies. I don't think I would as much if Cora hadn't died. I'm grateful for the gift she gave me: the gift of being able to appreciate each moment as it comes, and just revel in my babies for who they are instead of being upset that they aren't this way or that.


Heidi said...

What a lovely post! Your kids are adorable! I like Diana's thoughts, too.

When I think about my son and how much I love being his mother, I also think about how much God, with His perfect love, must love me. I find those moments when I'm so enthralled in motherhood end up pointing me back to Jesus, not away from Him. And I think it's such a wonderful image for children - when we deeply delight in our children, it helps put a real image to the idea that God loves then and delights in them just as much (and even more)!

Christine said...

James 1:17 is my favorite verse ever. It is my balm and my armor, all at once.

debra said...

i hear you sharing the same sentiment me and a lot of my friends are working hard to remember each day. it's the little things.

Lexie Loo & Dylan Too said...

This was a wonderful post!!!
Enjoy your babies. :)

Julie said...

I love this post!

I also love that Oliver's bandaid matches their outfits:)

Your kids are beautiful!!

Erin said...

love love love it! Love them :) they are stunning little ones!! I would glady buy or take some of those clothes of hers off your hands. You should have a blog sale or something ha ha!!!