The seasons change, each dramatic in its on way. Each forced eventually to give way and succumb to the unrelenting cycle. It's not like the Pacific North West, where the seasons gently give way to one another and the year ebbs and flows it's way around.
No, here, suddenly summer is gone and there is frost and ice on the animal's troughs. Nasturtiums, just yesterday vibrant and green, are brown and dead overnight. Then a wild windy day and most of the leaves fall off the trees.
Summer is over for this year. But if the world stands, it will come again on the other side. After the long winter, where my heart begins to ache for the warmth of the sun on my skin. Where it seems so distant a memory that I wonder if it is only a heavenly thought that I once sat in the sun with warmth seeping into my body so that even my bones felt warm within me.
But this year, spring will come early.
Lord willing, sometime in early February, a precious new baby will come forth from my womb and the Lord himself will visit us and bestow upon our child the breath of life. Even now I feel this little one moving and growing, and I rejoice in the promise of good things to come.
It has been over three years since we've had a new baby in our house. I'm only 35 and Blue eyes is 39, but somehow I feel like we're being especially blessed as those bearing fruit out of due season. It feels like this baby is being born into such a good place on our life's journey. A place where life experiences have taught us to embrace the gift of parenthood, where the heart of our family so passionately awaits the welcoming of this child, where pregnancy makes me feel young and healthy and beautiful.
I know the childbearing years don't last forever. I know that children are the heritage of the Lord. To me, it seems that a new baby is tangible hope in the faithfulness of God. An assurance of His promise to give me wisdom and grace to raise up the soul He has created, if I will but trust Him.
This afternoon, we drove thirty minutes to the nearest wooded walking trails. Just to hear the leaves crunch under our feet and as my little girls say, "to find nature" and I thought about these things. While holding Lucy's hand and listening to her three year old chatter, oh, my heart was so full of thankfulness for the good things God has given me. What would my life be like without them? Who would remind me to look at the ants? Would I ever hold a ladybug or stop to examine the pine cones or stoop down to collect every lovely leaf?
Meredith too, she was skipping along with us singing her little heart away. "Mom," she said,"every morning I wake up and sing. I sing everyday. I love to sing!" Who else could remind me that life can be so uncomplicated and pure? We talked about heaven and how we will sing there, songs that are beautiful and new. We both agreed that heaven will be a wonderful place.
The boys had their mountain bikes so they were off on their own adventures. The big girls were paired off with friends, deep in girly conversation.
And me? I was blessed. With beauty and tranquility. With autumn woods and prairie sun. With rosy cheeked, healthy children who call me mama. With a round pregnant body and the hope of good things to come.
"Praise to the Lord, the almighty, the King of creation!
O, my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near,
Join us in glad adoration.
Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee!
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee;
Ponder anew what the almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.
Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him!
Let the Amen
Sound from His people again;
Gladly for aye we adore Him."
Joachim Neander, 1680