We are counting down the days until we have our only child: 9 to be exact. We are super excited! I remember praying for the blessing of this pregnancy long before I ever took a positive test. The possibility of a child was such a joy. Now, as I work to wait patiently for these final moments to come to a close, I find myself daydreaming about the sweetness I will hold in just a matter of days. This is all new to me.
You may wonder at my sanity if you read my above paragraph and happen to know that this is my eighth child. The two appear to be diametrically opposed. But they aren't. And the perception that mothers with larger families cease to view their children as individuals and instead begin to morph them into the Borg is one I run into often. The enthusiasm used for welcoming the first born is replaced with a nonchalant acceptance - sometimes only a tolerance - for additional children. It saddens me. And it makes me wonder at our culture.
Now, there are obviously certain things that hold true for a mom of many. I don't worry about every twinge and flutter throughout gestation. I am fairly level-headed about what needs to be set up for the baby's arrival and what doesn't. I don't follow a daily "here is what's happening to your baby today" book or blog. However, just because the enjoyment of pregnancy is mellowed by experience doesn't mean the anticipation of an entirely unique human being entering our world as my child holds any less thrill because this isn't my first time giving birth.
I don't think God ever designed welcoming children into our lives to become something... ordinary.
Think about so many of the other amazing things we get to participate in time after time, but which never grow old. How many poems are written about sunrises, seasons, friendships, love? Why do we still stop and gape, open mouthed, when an act of kindness really expresses sacrificial concern? Have we never before seen these things? Hardly. But their reminder that we have a Savior who is beautiful, tender, giving and full of hope simply overwhelms us in the moment. We enter the experience as if for the first time - relishing in the swell of our hearts. In fact, this repetition of "first time experiences" is so important to us that we actually grieve for people, or ourselves, when bitterness steals the joy of this unique privilege. The hardened, contrary person who constantly belittles the beauty of a fresh encounter with hope earns our pity. And rightfully so.
Newness of life is something we are meant to wonder at time and time again. Whether it is the budding of spring blossoms while snow still covers the ground or the quiet dawning of a day filled with promise we are designed to be amazed by the never-ending offer of life given by our Creator. What could possibly encompass a greater opportunity to see hope set itself against the hardness and coldness so often seen in our world than the beginning of life?
John 10:10 ~ The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.