Madeline

Madeline is 7 today.

She had breakfast in bed, a scavenger hunt with 3 friends and the girl siblings, a little party with gifts and cake, and she got her ears pierced.

She is a princess, and I must confess my undying adoration for her.

In a week filled with tragic stories, near and distant, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the love of my family, the health of my children, the comfort and safety in which we live, and the multitude of blessings that flow like breath.

We are blessed, amidst tragedy and sorrow. I am convinced all the more, over and over again, that circumstances are hardly relevant to the experience of joy and blessings. Of course, though, I say that surrounded by love and comfort.

When Madeline was approaching 2, I wrote the following after being inspired by the joy of her love:

Madeline, et al

Sunshine embodied

Drops of radiant glory

Self-sufficient yet needy

Common and unique

Speaking constantly without words

Otherworldly piercing eyes

Offering smiles as if by surprise

Heartbeats defined

Breaths of desperate joy

Totally exposed yet guarded

Base and wondrous

Loving fervently without intent

Abundantly outstretched arms

Dispensing grace through simple charm

But let me add, something far more profound from Psalm 127, penned with inspiration by King David a few millenniums ago:

If God doesn’t build the house, the builders only build shacks. If God doesn’t guard the city, the night watchman might as well nap. It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don’t you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves?

Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift; the fruit of the womb his generous legacy? Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth. Oh, how blessed are you parents with quivers full of children! Your enemies don’t stand a chance against you; you’ll sweep them right off your doorstep. (The Message)

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