Lessons learned

This is amazing!

It has been only 2 years since I wrote for fun (compared to the 5-year hiatus I previously experienced). At this rate, by Summer 2018, I could be writing daily!

My world has changed significantly since my last post. For one, it takes me only 1/2 the time to make coffee in the morning; my kids still help, but they’re getting the hang of it. 🙂

We’re still in the same home (which, as some of you know, is a huge feat for us, although a bummer for our realtor), but there have been some pretty big changes since my last post:

  • Nate has been promoted to Engineer (i.e., full-time driver) and changed stations! (He’s loving this.)
  • Both kids will start new schools this fall.
  • My 16-year tenure at American Bible Society ended, and I’m currently unemployed. (A very weird feeling that surfaces when I, for instance, fill out a preschool application for my daughter, and I’m asked for my employer contact information.)

I haven’t been unemployed since September 1994 when I first moved to the Washington D.C. area. I spent 6 weeks temping and looking for a job. (Back then I used a newspaper and sent potential employers paper resumes and cover letters via this thing called the postal service!)

Job hunting has changed a bit since then.

Job hunting may be a different post, but for today, I’ll focus on two lessons learned this summer: Profound respect for stay-at-home-parents. And, my theme for the summer: People over Projects.

June 9 was my last day at ABS. Although I was sad to leave, I was also at peace. I truly believed (and still do) that God was starting a new phase, and my job for this summer was to get as much family time in as possible. After having traveled for work twice a month for more than a year, our family needed a time to re-set.

I had plans to swim with the kids a lot and fully embrace our planned vacations with zero guilt about work I would no longer be leaving behind. That all happened according to plan.

The part of the plan I got wrong, however, was anticipating how much time I’d have to do what I wanted to do: organize our house, work on some pet projects, prepare to search for a new job, re-structure our home budget process, and write for fun.

I thought that, without that pesky job that had dominated my time 10 hours a day, I’d simply fill that time with all these glorious projects! (Nate even predicted, “Knowing you, by the end of the summer, everything will be organized, in a clear plastic bin, with a label. Even I’ll have a label. Husband.“)

It turns out, however, that not having a job doesn’t magically give you oodles of free time–especially over summer vacation with kids. All those daily chores that I used to cram in between conference calls or after work (or before work, which began at 5:30 am) still needed to be done. And I finally had time to exercise, but Nate’s 24-hour shift schedule didn’t change, so finding a consistent time/location with 2 kids was still a struggle.

Many days, after the kids would go to sleep, I’d think: “What in the world did I do today? We swam and played a few games, I ran an errand, prepped meals and fed my kids, and I think I paid a few bills. How did that take all day??”

I fought it for a while. I slowly began to get bitter about not getting my own project time. Funny thing about dedicating time to your family for the summer: it actually takes precious time!

That’s when it hit me:  this summer, it’s about my kids, Nate, family, and friends.  If I want to focus on the people who mean the most to me here in Colorado, it means I have to rein in the part (majority) of me who always wants to work, organize, plan, do, and accomplish things. Instead, I had to intentionally pause, look at the people around me, and make a concerted effort to spend time with them… on their terms.

People over projects.

As a result, I have a new appreciation for those around me. My son loves making up board games and card games. My daughter loves playing horses and “pencils” (where all the pencils & crayons are put into families and have neighborhood BBQs). One night, when my 13 yo niece was staying with us, I opted to make popcorn and watch a silly movie with her (instead of attending to the perfectly good laundry and stack of bills that were vying for my attention). I’ve gone swimming w/ my nieces, stopped by to visit my parents for no reason, and I even started scoping out how I could begin serving at church (for the first time in . . . yikes . . .  a long time!).

It’s safe to say I’ve had a change of heart and attitude about the summer, but that leads me to my second lesson learned:  Profound respect for stay-at-home parents.

This is way more work than meets the eye; alone time is still scarce. I now understand. I get it. I have more empathy and significantly more respect for stay at home parents. You all are rock stars!  This is not for the faint of heart.

I also now understand why stay-at-home-parents are so excited for their kids to get back into school.

Holy smokes. I kid you not. I’m literally counting the days.

August 21, the day of the solar eclipse, will be the first day both kids are in school for the full day. And Nate will be at work.

I will be alone all day!!*

I find myself staring at that day with one thing on the calendar: “Solar eclipse” from 11:30 – 12:30. And it’s like I can breathe more easily than I’ve breathed all summer.

I still do want to go back to work one day–not to avoid stay-at-home-ness, but because I truly enjoy having a job that involves working with crazy-smart people to create something that’s never been created before. But that time will come when it comes.  In the mean time, I’m going to make the most of this family re-set summer: enjoy the moments with my family and friends, and put people over projects. . .

. . .until Aug 21. . .

. . . then, I’m going to bust out that label maker!

*I was going to be alone all day, but I now have a meeting scheduled with two people from church to create a communication piece for the children’s ministry. You can take the girl out of work, but you can’t take the work out of the girl! 😉

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Making coffee

Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.

It has been 1,294 days since my last blog post.

That’s 31,056 hours

Or 1,863,360 minutes

Or 111,801,600 seconds

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve written. I’ve written lots of emails, to-do items, project plans and reports, budget analyses, holiday and life event cards. But I haven’t written.

Thanks to the encouragement (and care package) of a good friend, I’m taking out time to do something I’ve missed for 111 million seconds: writing for fun—for pure enjoyment. No intended audience. No deadline. No pressure. And the result?. . .No idea what to write!

Writing feels like a muscle that must be exercised, and my blogging muscles have atrophied severely. So please don’t make fun of the flabby sentences or jiggly thoughts; everyone’s gotta start somewhere.

Instead of re-capping the past 3 ½ years (which include: moving homes, adopting a daughter, changing roles at work 3 times, and changing churches twice), let’s just get the workout going with some slow stretching:

How it took me 30 minutes to make a cup of coffee

Anyone with two or more small children may already know this routine, but I’m convinced that one day, I’ll look back to this time in my life and wonder, “Why was I so tired? Look at these perfectly framed professional photos of these adorable kids. Why did I ever use words like exhausting? Or life-sucking?”

Here’s why.

My kids love helping me cook, which is great, right? There are loads of reasons to involve your kids in cooking (they eat a wider range of foods, they grow up understanding how to prepare a meal, and even how to work veggies into a meal in a way they’ll like). Well, when they’re 2 and 6, they’re also a teensy bit accident-prone.

For my 40th birthday, my thoughtful husband bought me a Nespresso. I’m the only coffee-drinker in our family, so it’s perfect for my one cup a day habit. Of course, the Nespresso can make a lovely cup of iced mocha, but to my kids, it’s a beautiful wondrous contraption with red, blue, and green buttons that make noises, and they always want to participate in the process.

Here’s why it took so long this morning:

  • Both kids sit on the counter (that was my first mistake).
  • Both kids argue over who gets to do which part of the process (I say they’ll take turns).
  • 6 yo puts a little half-and-half into the milk frother.
  • 2 yo yells because she wanted to put half-and-half into the milk frother.
  • So I pour part of the half and half back into the bottle so she pour a little bit.
  • Then all 3 of us pour the milk.
  • The 6 yo drops a small glass container that had cinnamon and sugar in it—shattered glass all over the floor.
  • Clean up commences while the 6 yo cries because he thinks we’ll never have cinnamon and sugar again.
  • I tell him a story about why the container was sentimental to me, and why I’m bummed he broke it, and that he can’t stand up on the counter.
  • Meanwhile, the 2 yo gets antsy and pushes a button on the coffee maker, which starts shooting hot water (thankfully into the pod holder… not on her).
  • I explain (again) that she’s not allowed to push buttons on the coffee maker unless I’m there.
  • Glass is cleaned up, we resume coffee making.
  • The 6 yo puts the pod into the coffee maker.
  • The 2 yo screams because she wanted to put the pod in.
  • I tell the 2 yo that she can close the top.
  • The 6 yo drops his cup of juice all over the floor (thankfully, not glass this time).
  • Clean up commences… again.
  • I tell both kids they have to get off the counter.
  • Oops! There’s only one stool, so they fight over that.
  • I go upstairs to get a second step stool so they can both reach the counter.
  • Coffee making resumes.
  • The 2 yo pushes the button to make coffee (woo hoo! I see the sweet elixir of life beginning to pour into my cup! We’re on a roll now.)
  • The 6 yo gets his turn to push the button a second time for another shot of coffee.
  • The 2 yo pushes the milk frother button “until mommy’s thumb turns blue,” (the button turns blue—not my thumb—but I like her description).
  • The 6 yo helps pour the frothed milk into my cup.
  • Then both get to put 4 ice cubes each into my cup.
  • The 2 yo screams because she wants to put the lid on.
  • The 2 yo helps put the lid on.

Whew.

I have my coffee, finally, around 7:45 am. And that was the short version!

It’s now 8:40, and I’m thinking that I should really make some breakfast.

If I start now, it might be done by noon.

Post script:

Another note to future-self, if I ever wonder, “Why didn’t I write for fun more?” Here’s an example of why. This post took 12 days to complete between a full-time job, child raising, managing a home, and somewhere in there, trying to actually have enjoyable down-time with my family and a bit of sleep.

Today alone, this post was interrupted by 4 water / milk / food requests, 7 minutes of the 2 yo whining about wanting to sit on my lap, turning on two episodes of “Dora,” and my favorite moment: hearing one of my children say “Mommy, I need your help. I had an accident. I was playing under the couch, and I got my head stuck between two bars, and I pooped.”

(glorly days)

An open letter of thanks

This morning, my first vacation day of a long Christmas break, I was plowing through a week’s worth of mail:  Christmas card, Christmas card, Christmas card, Christmas card,  . . . survey from our local Fire Department?

I almost tossed it, actually, thinking it was one of their fire prevention brochures, but I opened it up.  60 second questionnaire.

“Why am I getting a questionnaire about their service?”

Oh. Right.

Nearly 4 weeks ago I made a 911 call, and they were the ones to arrive.

Something hit me right then, and I burst into tears.  I cried for about 5 minutes then texted Nate because I needed a virtual hug.  Then, amongst the Christmas cards were very thoughtful sympathy cards. . . oh . . the tears came again.

After I caught my breath and interrupted Z playing Super Why to steal a hug and kiss, I started reflecting back to all the cards, texts, voicemails, blog/Facebook posts, and emails friend sent us the days after Susan passed away.  We heard from friends and family in Virginia, Kansas, New Jersey, Indiana, Florida, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, California, New York, Georgia, Arizona, Illinois, Texas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, England, Australia, and of course — Colorado as well.

I read and re-read emails, Facebook posts, and texts, but didn’t often respond.  I saved voice-mails, and listened to them a few times as well, but again, didn’t have the energy to respond. I still have all the cards too, and a couple definitely deserve some thank you notes!  But I just haven’t gotten to them yet.

God has blessed Nate and me with a ridiculous amount with friends and family, and I had wanted to contact each person to let them know how much their thoughts, prayers, donations to Life Network, words of encouragement, and thoughtfulness meant.  But here I sit, realizing that it’s still hard for me to talk about, and it takes an inordinate amount of energy to keep composure when someone asks how we’re doing–and really means it.

So, for now, I hope you will all accept this open letter of gratitude for you, our friends and family.  Your thoughtfulness is still making an impact even today.

Susan, in Nate’s words

At Susan’s celebration memorial on Saturday, Nate and each of his siblings had the chance to share about their mom.  I don’t know how Nate made it through, speaking these words in front of hundreds of people, but he did a great job. If you know Nate, you can hear his voice so clearly; this is all straight-up Nate.

I used to joke with my siblings that I was my mother’s favorite, and in many ways, it was true.

I was my mom’s favorite son named Nate. My older brother was my mom’s favorite son named Aaron. My younger brother–the favorite named Matt. Julie was her favorite daughter, and I’m pretty sure that my dad was her favorite husband.

My mom had a lot of favorites because she had a lot of love. Love that was rooted in her simple, yet profound, faith in God. That faith, which was instilled in her by her parents as a child, bore fruit throughout her life by inspiring the love that impacted so many people around her.

She always had a kind word for others and was always willing to help whenever she could. So many times she put others in front of herself that it never seemed like a remarkable thing; it was just what she did.

She was the rock on which our family was built, and the legacy of her kindness will live on for many years.

My mother passed away on Thanksgiving, so I thought I would continue a family tradition of sharing things that we are thankful for.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to grow up with parents that loved me unconditionally. I’m thankful for a family full of laughter and love. I’m thankful that the last time I saw my mother alive, I hugged her and welcomed her to my home. But perhaps I’m most grateful that there are no unkind words or unresolved arguments that I’m left to feel guilty about.

My mother is still full of love, and I’m confident that I will see her again someday. Until then I will miss her, but not hopelessly. I will joke and laugh with my family, because she loved to see us together having fun. And I will pass on her legacy to others in the love that I show my family and those around me.

What if…

What if every person you encountered had just lost a loved one?

The Starbucks barista who made your iced Americana.  The lady at the grocery check-out. The person for whom you just held the door open. The person who just cut you off on the road.

As I’ve gone through the past few days, I keep feeling like everyone should know what has happened in the last week and that a truly dear and cherished loved one has unexpectedly passed away. But they don’t know it; they don’t know that our world has just done a complete 180.

When I was driving to the hospital last Thursday, I passed by a house in our neighborhood where people were outside on the patio, enjoying drinks and laughing.  All I could think was, “Why are they so happy? Don’t they know?”

I know, of course, that Susan’s passing doesn’t impact every person I see, but it has certainly impacted the way I perceive people.

Acts of kindness are received 100-fold.  The gentleman who held the door open for me while leaving Starbucks this morning melted my heart.  When the lady at the hotel front-desk heard about our situation, she gave us a free room upgrade; I choked up.  (The room upgrade, by the way, has made our sleep arrangements with Zack so much more manageable!).  I’ve received notes from friends who are going to make the 90-minute drive down to Colorado Springs on Saturday, but they’ve never even met Susan. They’re coming to support us, and the reality that people care that much makes me cry.

I haven’t encountered a mean person yet, but that’s probably because I haven’t gotten out much. 🙂  But honestly, I don’t relish the first person to be rude or dismissive; in my current state, that could be crushing.

This all brings me back to my first question, which may at first sound like a bit of a downer, but it’s worth asking:  What if every person you encountered had just lost a loved one?

Would you treat them differently? Would you give the guy who just cut you off a little more grace? Would you offer an extra smile to the person behind the register who seems to have missed a detail or two?

Based on the events from this past week, I feel challenged in the way I look at people.  Jesus said to treat others in the way that we would want to be treated (Matthew 7:12 ESV), and I’m seeing a more tangible application of that now.

Even if every person I meet hasn’t lost a loved one, perhaps they have financial troubles, or they’re feeling overwhelmed by life. Maybe they have a newborn and have not had much sleep.  The point is, I’m challenged to be less quick to get angry or feel slighted when people don’t act exactly as I expect, and I’m challenged to take an extra step to be kind, extend grace, and offer more warmth when I can.

Grace and kindness:  You never know when someone you’ll never meet again just might need it.

Susan

I’m told that today is Sunday.

That would make Thanksgiving about 3 days ago– a day for which, I have to admit, I’m not thankful.  It has been a very blurry few days, but I want to share what happened on Thanksgiving and share about an amazing woman who loved and was loved so tremendously.

The day started out happily enough: I woke up early to prepare for the invasion of 20 family members.  I took a risk and tried new, un-tested recipes for both the 2 turkeys and stuffing, so I was in my own little joyful world—crossing my fingers as I experimented.

The family started arriving around noon-ish, the turkey we were roasting was in the oven—cooking a little faster than expected, but all was going well.  Nate’s sister and her family came first and—with the addition of 3 kids along with Zack, the energy level escalated about 20 times.

Nate’s parents showed up next.  With a quick peck on the cheek, a hug, and a “Happy Thanksgiving,” we all got to work on the various side dishes and appetizers we were each in charge of.  Nate’s mom, Susan, hugged and cuddled with all her grandkids, and Nate’s dad, Mike, was assembling some munchies.

The next few minutes are still very blurry.  We were all working on our various tasks, when Mike asked, “Where’s Susan?”  We thought she was outside with the grandkids, so we kept on working.

A few minutes later someone else asked, “Where’s Susan?”  It did seem a bit odd that none of us had seen her. Someone else said, “Maybe she went to make a phone call.”  Again, that answer seemed sufficient.

The third time was not the charm.

A few minutes later, we noticed, she wasn’t outside, and something was off.  Mike asked, “Really, where is Susan?”  I can only share my perspective of course, but there was this sudden feeling of dread; something wasn’t right, and we knew it.

Someone noticed the light was on in the bathroom.  *Knock knock knock*  Susan?  No answer. *knock knock knock* Susan?! No answer.

Mike grabbed the bathroom key, opened the door, and Susan fell out, unresponsive.

I ran outside yelling for Nate, who was just lighting the gas for the turkey we were going to deep-fry.  “Nate! Your mom collapsed. Get in here!”

Nate ran in and got his mom to the floor.  Over the next 7 minutes, I called 911, talked them through what was happening, while Nate performed CPR in the hopes that she’d be one of the small percentage of people for whom CPR actually works.

Only a moment or two after Nate started, his older brother and family showed up.  We quickly told them what was happening and shuttled their kids outside with the other cousins who were blissfully unaware of what was going on inside; they were, thankfully, enjoying the gorgeous sunny day and playing on the playground.

The medics showed up and took over.  Nate was amazing: a calm force in the midst of a horrendous storm.  He knew exactly what to do, what to say, and what to delegate. When the medics showed up, he told them what they needed to know, immediately, then stepped back and let them do their job.  In the mean time he calmly explained to his dad what they were doing, what they would try, and what the next steps would be.

In all his training, he never expected to be an emergency responder to his own mom.

It may sound cliché, but time really did stand still.  I have no concept of how long the medics were actually at our house, but eventually they left, and Susan was taken to the hospital.  Mike, Nate, his brother, sister, and Susan’s two sisters went with them.  A few of us stayed back to watch the kids and wait for the rest of the family to arrive.

At some point, I realized the turkey was done.  At some point, I realized the potatoes were still boiling. At some point, I realized I should probably turn the gas off from under the turkey stock. At some point, the last 4 family members arrived, including Susan’s parents, and we filled them in.

Then we waited.

Every phone call made us jump. The first several were “We don’t know. She’s in the ER operating room.” I received a text from a neighbor down the road saying she noticed the ambulance, and was everything ok.  Another call, “We still don’t know anything.”

Eventually, we decided that we should probably feed the kids, so we carved the turkey to make some sandwiches when the call we all dreaded came in.

Nate called me.  He told me the news.  I hung up, looked at Susan’s mom, and just shook my head with tears streaming down my face.  My voice could barely squeak out the words, “She didn’t make it.”

Nate’s brother-in-law came upstairs with a table:  “She didn’t make it.”

Other family members rounded the corner: “She didn’t make it.”

I went outside to find Nate’s sister in-law: “She didn’t make it.”

I wish I knew stronger words than shock, grief, anger, dismay, and confusion, but those are only ones I have in my vocabulary to even attempt to convey what we all felt.  We prayed. We hugged. We cried. We tried to figure out how to tell the kids.  We had to figure out what to do next.

We ended up getting all the kids in one room, ages 2 – 7, and told them all at once, “Nana got sick, and she went to the hospital.  The doctors did the best they could, but they couldn’t help her. She’s in heaven with Jesus now.”  The oldest one got it, and she didn’t want to hear it.  As the ages decreased, so did the understanding, but kids are still smart – all of them seemed to know that something was very very wrong.

We told them we were all going to the hospital so we packed up some of the food, printed off directions, and headed out. (In hindsight, I’m not sure why we packed food, but it made sense at the time – thinking maybe the other family members might be hungry? I don’t know. Logic was not my strong suit at the moment.)

Once at the hospital, some family members went to say their good-byes, and others of us stayed with the kids in the hospital lobby.  The juxtaposition of adults and kids was pretty stark. None of the adults had eaten much during the day and had a full understanding of what was going on.  We were in a daze just trying to take one moment at a time. The kids, however, were running on no-naps, and the only food they’d eaten was licorice, fruit snacks, and juice, so they were wired!

After there was nothing more to do, we all headed back to our house.  Even though none of us felt like eating, we knew that our bodies needed some sustenance, and there was certainly plenty to be had back at the house.

During the whole process, we tried repeatedly to get a hold of Nate’s youngest brother who is in China, teaching at a university. After many emails, calls, and attempts to contact him, he finally got a hold of the family about 6 hours after his mom had passed.  Although it was obviously a shock to all of us, we had been here, been together, and been a part of it.  He heard it for the first time with no processing time, and no family around, 1/2 way across the world, through a choppy Skype connection.

He’s on his way home today; he’ll arrive tonight. I think we all look forward to him being here as well so we can continue to process, mourn, and celebrate her life, together.

Although there are some clearly less than stellar memories from that day, my last memory of Susan was not of her falling out of the bathroom or of the medics and the defibrillator.  Although I certainly remember those things, my mind’s freeze-frame of Susan on that day is of her saying hello to her youngest grandson, 4-month-old Eli.

She was cuddling and rocking him with the biggest smile on her face! I remember seeing her taking such joy in Eli and thinking, “It’s so funny; it’s almost as if she hasn’t seen him in a year, when she probably sees him a few times a week.” But that’s who Susan was: she loved.  She adored her grandchildren and took such pleasure in all of them.  She loved her kids and their spouses. She loved her family. She loved and adored her husband and took care of him through thick and thin, richer and poorer, and sickness and health.

She devoted her life to helping others—her family, her colleagues, and the many many people who came through the Life Network pregnancy center.

I had the honor of knowing Susan for 5 years, and since the day I first stepped foot in her door to “meet the parents” while Nate and I were dating in August 2006, she welcomed me in. She welcomes everyone in. She loves without judgment. She supports without criticism.  No one is perfect, I know, but she came awfully close.

I just realized that my past tense turned to present tense, but I’m ok with that. In fact, I think it’s pretty accurate. Susan still lives.  I am truly confident that she is now experiencing a joy in heaven that is unlike anything any of us can fathom. Selfishly, I feel she just left her human shell 40 years too early.

 

 

 

The God of the universe found his feet

As a Christian, I’m not sure if I’m allowed a *least* favorite part of the Bible. I mean, we’re talking God’s word here, so it seems odd to have a part where you shrug your shoulders and think, “Eh, it’s ok.”

But I do.

Even more shocking is that it’s in the book of John. John?? How could I say such a thing about one of the most important books of the New Testament?

It’s not that I don’t like the whole book; it actually has some great stuff in it. The problem is that the first few sentences sometimes make my eyes glaze over.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:1-5)

It’s really quote profound, but I tend to just skim it and move on.

This morning, however, I was feeding Buddy, and as I was looking at him my heart swelled up! I can’t put into words how much I love this kid.

After he was finished eating, he started playing with his feet. Lately, he has been fascinated by his hands and feet! Then it hit me: Jesus was this age once. The Bible focuses on a few events of Jesus’s childhood, but not many. It makes sense, really, but — especially at Christmas time — we focus on his birth, then jump to his 30-year-old self doing ministry. So it’s easy to forget that Jesus. . . a member of the holy trinity. . . God incarnate. . . was–for quite some time–a drooling, pooping, completely dependent baby.

Nativity scenes paint a beautiful serene picture, but the reality is that the God of the universe–creator of everything seen and unseen–had to learn to lift his head. He had to learn to crawl. He spat up. He could communicate hunger only by crying. He could express joy with only a “Ba!” Wherever his parents took him, he had to go. He wasn’t a magical super baby who never fussed, nor could Mary and Joseph necessarily understand him better than any other baby.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

God became one of us. In every way — dribbly, messy, scared, cold, hungry, dependent, naked. And he had to learn in the same way we do. (Sometimes I wonder what Jesus’s first word was? 🙂 ).

It’s not very glamorous. In fact, when I really think about it, it’s really shocking. Why would he do that?

The only analogy I can come up with, naturally, comes from Buddy again. Sometimes–when he looks scared or nervous in new situations, or when he’s crying, and I don’t know why–I wish I could communicate with him in a way he would understand. I love him so much, and I want him to understand how much I love him–that I would do anything in the world to protect and nurture him. If becoming *like* him would accomplish that (and I had the power to do so), I would.

It’s not perfect, but it helps me understand a little bit more about why God would choose to come down to our level, make himself so vulnerable, and muck around with the imperfect, messy, needy, and selfish people that we are.

Thanks, God, for doing that.

The Promise, by Michael Card
The Lord God said when time was full
He would shine His light in the darkness
He said a virgin would conceive
And give birth to the Promise
For a thousand years the dreamers dreamt
And hoped to see His love
The Promise showed their wildest dreams
had simply not been wild enough
But the Promise showed their wildest dreams
Had simply not been wild enough

The Promise was love and the Promise was life
The Promise meant light to the world
Living proof Jehovah saves
For the name of the Promise was Jesus

The Faithful One saw time was full
And the ancient pledge was honored
So God the Son, the Incarnate One
His final Word, His own Son
Was born in Bethlehem
But came into our hearts to live
What more could God have given
Tell me what more did He have to give
What more could God have given
Tell me what more did He have to give

The Promise was love and the Promise was life
The Promise meant light to the world
Living proof Jehovah saves
For the name of the Promise was Jesus

At last the proof Jehovah saves
For the name of the Promise was Jesus