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
Drops of radiant glory
Self-sufficient yet needy
Common and unique
Speaking constantly without words
Otherworldly piercing eyes
Offering smiles as if by surprise
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)