Sunday, January 27, 2013

My Brother's Poem about Samuel

While we were in Disney at the beginning of the month, my brother gave me this poem he wrote about Samuel.  Of course it made me cry.  It's beautiful and moving and deeply touching to me.  And Matthew is a seriously gifted writer.  He gave me permission to share his poem, so without further ado, here it is:


She was given a perfect incarnation.

A divine commingling of mother and father,

holy silence.

And I have read that the Name of God,

was inhale and exhale both,


the sound of breathing.

Not so much unutterable as un-unutterable.

And so came

a boy with no breath of his own,

all seven pounds prostrate

before the only true breath.

The membrane between him and the rest of us perfectly incomplete.

Maybe as an example to her,

to show her how to live in reckless vulnerability, every rigorously honest gasp.

Or maybe as living sacrament,

ripening its terrible gift

for her.

And so when he died,

when it seemed that our prayers had decayed into cricket noise,

a setup waiting for a punchline,

we mapped the silent corners.

Our ears only needing time

to adjust to the new light.


all along,

her cries had been harmony, pure and unmeant,

for a new song entirely,

echoing now under the yellowed grass, now the trees,

now the slow water.

And she would never have known,

if not for Samuel.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Be Rich 2012

I've been meaning to post this for awhile but kept forgetting.  Here is a video of what our church did in November and December.  Bryan has the amazing privilege of heading up the Be Rich campaign; it's simply amazing to be a part of.  (And I am over the moon proud of him, his hard work, and his leadership of the team of people who worked so hard to organize and execute this campaign.)  You seriously won't regret watching this 7 minute video.  Our Atlanta area congregations along with 20+ other partner churches in the US and 1 in South Africa raised over 5 million dollars, gave 32,000 hours of service, collected 87 tons of food for local food banks, and put together 20,000 Operation Christmas Child boxes.  Every penny of the money went to non-profits who serve the poor and broken in our communities and across the globe.  This video documents some of the giving of that money (makes me cry every time) and celebrates what God has done through the generosity of North Point ministries and partner churches.  I seriously love this video.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Magnificent, Beautiful, Perfect

On Friday, Bryan and I went to see Dr. Videlefsky, Samuel's pediatric cardiologist, so he could look at Belle's heart.  (Have I mentioned that the boys nicknamed this baby Belle?) We were both really looking forward to going because we love Dr. V and hadn't seen him since Anna was born.  His office staff is wonderful too, from his mom who works the front desk and always lights up when she sees us to his ultrasound tech who is kind and friendly.  They all remember us, too, which amazes me.

Belle was extremely cooperative and let the tech (whose name I'm bothered I can't remember, so I will call her M since I think her name begins with one) get pictures of her heart with no trouble.  She is a calm baby in my womb, so I'm not surprised she was easy to work with.  Before calling in Dr. V, M let us just watch Belle move for several minutes.  We watched her try to suck her thumb, open and close her hand finger by finger, yawn, stick our her tongue, and even move her eyes.  I was touched that M would spend her time letting us just peek into Belle's secret world in wonder.  It was so delightful to witness her movements and not have the ultrasound wand swirling around everywhere trying to get a look at some new organ or some new angle.  Just to sit and watch the inner world of my womb.  I marveled at it and still do.  I've had countless ultrasounds in my 5 pregnancies, and this was my favorite one ever.  It made me think so much of Psalm 139:

   "For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be."

For a little while, we peered into that secret place and saw with God what He is creating.  Amazing.  

When Dr. Videlefsky came in, he was full of warmth and kindness, as always.  We have so much respect and admiration for him, not to mention gratitude.  My OB called him "a prince of man" once, and Bryan and I refer to that description often as it so perfectly suits him.  He inquired after our church, Bryan's job, and Anna, and he told us that he thinks of Samuel often, which was very touching to me.  He looked at Belle's heart for awhile and used the words "magnificent" and "beautiful" to describe it.  Bryan says it was a worshipful experience for him to watch Dr. V marvel at our tiny baby's heart, still forming in my womb -- to witness Dr. V's awe for God's creation and his ability to see beauty in something 99% of the world can't begin to understand.  It brought Bryan to the verge of tears.  And then Dr. V told us that her heart is "perfect."  He said there is no such thing as 100% certain, but this is as close as it can be, and if it was his child, he would believe it was 100% perfect.  Welcome news to our ears!  He proceeded to offer to make our appointment free if insurance wouldn't cover it (which it does)-- yet another example of his princeliness.  Seriously, we are so thankful for this man.

And needless to say, we are grateful for our God who has given us another undeserved blessing and kindness in making Belle's heart healthy.  No matter how He knit her together, we would fall on our knees and give praise, but we are overjoyed that He created a "perfect" heart.  Thank you, Jesus, for this little life growing in me.  Thank you for blessing us with her.  We are humbled and honored and so very thankful.  We love you.  Amen.