I just spent several minutes standing over Matthew's crib, just watching him sleep. I watched as his tiny chest rose and fell in a rhythmic pattern, stared at his small hands folded over one another, took in his soft, wispy hair. I breathed in his baby scent, accentuated by the bath he fought me on earlier this evening. I just stood there and drank in his very existence.
Watching my babies sleep is an amazing experience. I can stand there and experience forever in a moment, just staring down at this tiny, complete person that God has placed in my life. In those moments, I can see the love, joy, pain, hurt, triumph, and failure to come in their life - all the ups and downs that will define who this small creature becomes. I can see their first step, their first bike ride, their first broken heart, their first hard-earned A, their first driving lesson, their first real encounter with God...I can see them in worship as a young adult, in despair as a struggling teenager, celebrating a marriage, struggling with crises of faith, rejoicing over the birth of their own little one as the dance of life continues on. The fullness of the destiny God has for them can wash over me in those few, forever moments as I stare down at them, watching their tiny chest rise and fall.
As I watch my babies sleep, breathing prayers for them and the life they have ahead of them, I am overcome with thankfulness that the God of the universe has allowed me to be a part of this incredible journey, the life and development of one of His children. I am bowled over with the enormity of the task laid before me, so aware of my inadequacies as a mother, and yet knowing that God has not called me to this place without equipping me and walking beside me every step of the way. I also realize in these moments as I watch them dream that my children are not my own - they belong to the Lord, and their destinies are ultimately His. I am just privileged to get to ride along the way and bear the all-consuming title of "Mommy" in their precious lives.
So much is ahead of us on this road of life. My oldest is only four, my youngest 5 months, and we don't believe our family is yet complete. My life as a parent has only begun. We have so much more to experience, so much more to come. I am humbled, blessed, and overwhelmed with the life God has given me with my family. It is a powerful responsibility, one that at times tries to knock me down. But the Lord has not abandoned me to this task, but has rather called me higher to walk through it with Him to see His purposes fulfilled not just for their lives, but for my own as well.
The best is yet to come.
For now, I'll just watch them sleep...