|Another morning like this one...|
As I write this, all three of my children are sleeping next to me. One snoring, one sighing and one wheezing. One has pneumonia. One has a cold and fever. One is teething with a cold.
Some might think I am complaining: Three kids crowding my bed. None 100% healthy. All moving and making noises through the night so Mama could not sleep very well…
I am not.
I am happy. I am grateful. I am counting my blessings, bundled in the little sleeping bodies next to me: one, two, three and on and on to infinity.
Jack, Nina and Luke are my incredible gifts. They bring me some sleepless nights. And, they create countless challenges, forcing me to change my ways, winnow my selfish tendencies and learn new things on a daily basis, whether I am in a learning mood nor not. But, they also beget joy – immeasurable joy.
Even in the mundane parts of everyday life, my children elicit delight. Doing dishes can become an adventure in bubble exploration. Sorting cloth diapers evidences the pleasure of learning to read – “small” “petite” and “large”. Tidy time – after some complaint – becomes a game punctuated by giggles. Every day life transforms into something to appreciate moment by moment. Life lived with amusement and discovery. Life bubbling all about me.
So it is that this morning, as my three bundles of life breathe deeply in slumber beside me, I am ever so grateful.
Just a plane, train and bus ride away, in a place that I called home for several years, friends that I made and students that I taught are not slumbering in safety as my children are. They are embroiled in the aftermath of an earthquake and tsunami.
Many are without homes. Many are without knowledge of where their children, moms, dads, relations and friends are. Many would likely give anything to trade places with me right now, to experience a taste of the mundane parts of life rather than the unexpected – and devastating – exception they are facing
To them, my heart goes out. My prayers pour forth. My faith remains strong.
I trust God is with them. I trust He has a plan, even if I cannot fathom what it is.
I know God makes all things right – even earthly tragedies. I lean on hope through the heartbreak of hearing about the fact that many in Shichigahama and the greater Sendai area have died and that much of the place I once called home has literally been swept away. I remain faith-filled. I am confident that God loves each of us through every earthly moment to when we join Him heaven whenever – and however – that times comes.
Many are questioning, “Why?” right now. Their faith is tested. Their trust diminishes.
All the people praying throughout the world. Many people in Japan reaching out to God for strength. Numerous souls that have recently flown to Him. Focusing on these, I embrace solace and share faith: Each and every one of us is held in His hands from before we are born until we are united in heaven with Him after death. Of course, we want our lives here on earth to be long and as trouble-free as possible. We tend to thank God for the best of moments and cry out to Him in the worst. In all moments, He is there.
He is there in Japan right now. He is here in my bedroom, too.
And, thus it is, I pray for the comfort and faith of everyone touched by what it happening in Japan and I recommit myself to being the best steward that I can be of the three little people sleeping next to me.
I am honored to be entrusted with such an important responsibility; I gratefully accept it as the privilege that it is. I pray that I train each of my children well in the way the way they should go – straight to Heaven whenever it is that their time comes.
Dear God, my human heart says, please do not that time any time soon and please, please, please, make strong the hearts of those in Japan that are having to relinquish their treasures right now.
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, may God’s love remain increasingly evident in the earthquake aftermath.