i've been feeling really good. It's like a lot of the shadows and sadness of the past year and a half are finally fading in earnest; and i can see the outline of the sun breaking through the clouds - and feel it's warmth.
Neil says it's because i have a baby growing in my tummy - and that tends to make me happy and grateful.
Maybe he's right.
But lately, it just seems like God refuses to allow me to wallow in my habitual rut of, "unloved"... Rejected? Maybe at times and in moments and in seasons... But not unloved. Never unloved.
So, this past Sunday, Cairo announced that Neil (who would be in Montreal) - was sending me and my oldest two daughters for pedicures for an anniversary gift. i thought it was a little strange - i've only had three pedicures in my life - but i was sure that it would feel good on my poor swollen feet. We packed up to leave the house and were supposedly dropping Peyton off at a friend's on our way. We waited for Pey to get to the door but as soon as she was through it, she burst back out and waved for me to come in.
"Oh, Barbie must want to talk to you. i'll wait..." Cai mumbled, looking at her phone...
i walked to the door and as it swung open, i saw that her house was full of people - my people - shouting, "surprise!"
i was totally overwhelmed... i thought i could feel just the biggest loudest sob coming up in my throat - so i backed up and blinked back the tears... There were flowers, and sweet butterfly paper bunting - a cake made out of fruit, all kinds of treats and prettiness crafted out of the orange and blue that i've been secretly stashing for this little one... They knew this was baby 8... my fourth son, third boy in a row... they knew there was no call for a baby shower at this stage in the game...
But a party was thrown anyway - and what a party it was...
The shock of it all was the strangest part - this wasn't something i would have ever expected in a million years - and yet this tender celebration spoke volumes to my mama heart (and my weak little human heart too) - it affirmed the value of his precious life (as well as my own), and was a sweet recognition that each one - number one... or number eight... is a gift from the Father of Lights - who just knows how to give good gifts.
And... for the rest of the day, the tears kept trying to come, all hot and unexpected and unwelcome.... my emotions teamed up with my hormones and my husband's absence and my expectant plodding slowness... and i knew i was no match for all of them combined.
i texted my discipler - who had to miss because she was away - and told her about it...
"It was very surprising... But also just... I don't know... Makes me cry... Soooooooo undeserved - humbling... Like grace."
"People want to bless you, crazy as it sounds to YOU..."
"i thought i was going to start howling. That would have been embarrassing... But i managed not to start... It made my kids excited for the baby too... and showed them that he is precious too... Even if he's baby eight and third boy in a row. A soft life affirming message that is not lost on me."
"God is using people to bless you and your family, it is humbling. And it would have been embarrassing and funny at the same time if you would have lost it. I would have handed you a kleenex and rolled my eyes."
"Haha. i still might. Tonight. After the kids are in bed."
"Ha! On your own terms!"
And maybe that's exactly what i did.