Friday, May 1, 2009

Quick Takes, Ponderings

Due to a caffeine-induced rush of mental mania, I'm itching to write down some thoughts that keep buzzing through my head. Bear with me (or close this window now and spare yourself). :)

1. A lot of my "attitude of gratitude" is relative to my awareness of what could be, ie, the struggles of other people's lives. I believe I have been blessed with a deep awareness of gratitude for the large and small blessings in my life, but I need to improve my awareness of the silent "because" statements which follow my grateful praises. Examples:
- I am thankful that Iain is not a picky eater. Because if he were there would be no feeding him anything, thank you allergies.
- I am thankful that I am married to a wonderful man. Because our world is full of not-wonderful men and many of them are husbands.
- I am thankful that I have a doctor who is on top of my pregnancy and knows how to care for me and my baby. Because a lot of women have doctors who don't care or aren't as knowledgable.
This leads me to this conclusion: my prayers of thankfulness and prayers for the less-fortunate should probably go hand-in-hand more than not. I hope I do a better job in the future of not only being grateful but simultaneously interceding for those in less fortunate circumstances.

2. This is not an original thought, and I wish I could credit the person from which I first heard it, but I'm afraid that's lost information.

As I prepare to welcome baby #2 into my arms, as she is of course already present in my life, I recall how I felt shortly after Iain was born. He was a stranger. A needy, hungry, naked, ungrateful stranger. That sounds harsher than I mean it to, but at the same time, when you are sleep-deprived, the world doesn't look very rosy. Of course I loved him, but it was more of the "I choose to" kind of love than the "smitten" kind of love (a good life lesson on love, I suppose).

Having said that, a particular Bible passage comes to mind about welcoming the stranger, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked...etc. I'm sure you know the one. How much more clearly can this be lived than when we open our arms to accept a stranger into our very family, who will demand more of us than we ever thought possible to give...and then we do it all over again, (multiplied by ?).

I should add, on a positive note, that Iain paved the way of motherhood for me and I do believe I have grown quite a bit in the last year or so. When this little girl is born, helpless and demanding stranger though she will be, I am confident that my choice to love will come that much more easily because Iain has shown me where that road leads, and it is blessed!

3. There is a billboard not far from our new home that I absolutely love. Pictured on it is a large cardboard box and in it are 5 or so babies who look to be about Iain's age. The billboard reads "God's Stimulus Package." It makes me smile every time I see it.

I must've shared this before, but if not, I feel like I have to share this with everyone I know because our world is fighting so hard against it what with the bad economy, carbon footprints, and well, let's just be honest, selfishness: I become ever more convinced that people are our only eternally worthwhile investment. Let's break this down a bit:
- Can you take that new car, boat, house, to Heaven?
- What about that once-in-a-lifetime vacation?
- Well in your old age at least you'll have your prestigous position at that Firm that you worked for your whole life to keep you company and join you for Holidays, right?
- Or your generous retirement package, I mean, that will be honored in Heaven, right?
Ok, I think you get the idea: none of those things can go with us to Heaven. What can? Souls. So, let's invest in people: children, family, friendships. Let's all store up our treasure in Heaven by investing in the only thing that will last for all eternity: People! Besides, it's relationships and selflessness that brings true happiness, so what's to lose?


Adam said...

Some profound reflections there, Betsy. I particularly like the way you describe Iain's appearance in and effect on your life, and the way you tie this in with Jesus' exhortation of us to love and welcome "the stranger". There were echoes there of a book I read recently called "Misconceptions" by Naomi Wolf. Plenty in there which I thought wasn't that wonderful, but also some luminously beautiful descriptions of the journey to and experience of motherhood.

This, of course, runs very much to the contrary of the way in which babies are effectively, in many respects, treated by our society: as consumer items. Perhaps even more sad was a programme on TV here recently about teenage pregnancy which showed one young woman with remarkable candour and insight ascribing her decision to have a baby to the desire to have someone who would unconditionally love her...

Reenie said...

excellent, excellent post Betsy.