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Posts Tagged ‘#birthdaygirl’

cris bdayIt was a trying time, when I was in my years of having babies … dreaming of … praying for babies.

You were the seventh confirmed pregnancy … I knew better than to imagine your future, my future with you, your future with your one older sister, your dad and I. It was always a tentative dance between excitement and frailty.

Sure enough, there was nothing confirmed about your future through all nine, nail-biting, knees bent in prayer months. Even your first breath was delayed … eternity in those moments.

Your first two years were like a smash dance of smooth public appearances mixed with screamo music coming from your lungs deep into every night. You had a voice, and you were not afraid to use it … when you chose to.

Then, you turned two and life with you went from,

a time to weep to a time to laugh
(Ecclesiastes 3:4a)

And your laughter was endless, rockus … and like your cries, it was loud and very much self-determined.

I recently looked back on pictures from the years of childhood of you three siblings, of your childhood, and I was astounded by how many I have of you dancing. You, mid-spin, in the midst of movement, of expression, of dancing.

And, my dear, life itself is a dance.

I did a little investigation in dance.

There is little known about the origins of dance, as it need only involve one’s body, mind and soul … no tutus have been unearthed in archeological digs of the middle east. Certainly there have been paintings in caves that show how dance was used in rituals, religions, cultures and events in early Egypt, Olympia and in early Hindu temples.

But dance, movement of one’s body, incorporating our souls (as in that naked dance before God, performed by David the King), is something that words cannot describe. It is an event, an experience that is innate, what we are made to do, as an expression, as a reaction to having been given breath, life.

As with David, it is an expression of truly getting it … understanding that to dance, like that, is what we were created for, with and by.

To dance, with abandon, is:

  • the butterfly, emerging from it’s cocoon, stretching it’s wings
  • those videos of cows, released from the barns in the spring
  • the baby (maybe delayed) but stretching out it’s lungs for that first breath
  • the little girl, or boy, twirling in circles … moving without a care in the world

I want this for you. This no-care-in-the-world freedom.

The thing is, life is made up of two parts, freedom and survival.

In the midst of life we need to strive for our very survival. We need to work, and struggle and sometimes it is just hard, it just hurts. We want the unabashed, joyful movement of being free indeed.

They go together … freedom and survival, tripping over ones feet and twirling on our toes, holding our breath and breathing, standing still and dancing with wild abandon. The parallelism from those contrasting verses of Ecclesiastes (3:1-8) reminds we mortals that we were created to do it all … in the right time, but also that we do not walk either contrasting life experience without the ability of joy … without the ability of dancing through it all …

for it is what we were created for,

for it is how my mourning was turned to dancing (v. 4b),

in your delayed first breath, eternity in that moment.

So dance, birthday girl.

“I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances, but they’re worth takin’
Lovin’ might be a mistake, but it’s worth makin’
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance”
I Hope You Dance

 

 

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ed

Happy birthday to my first born!

It’s been another year of what we take most for granted … life and breath.

Life and breath. They go together, they need each other, yet, we easily forget the blessing that they are, until we risk losing them.

I remember well your first breath, and the cries that followed. They were the best sounds I had ever heard. They proceeded tears and smiles and laughter from your dad and I.

I had waited and worked hard for that moment, and not just in pushing you out and into this world. From your conception, there was the threat of loss (as had happened before you) that I was determined would not occur.

As if we are able to will our days, our breath, let alone will it for another.

“For the Spirit of God has made me,
and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”
Job 33:4

And here you are, all these years later.

You have an education, and you are ready to break out onto your own … if only the one right job would come along (as opposed to the three that are paying the bills).

It is hard to be in a place of waiting, especially when you have been waiting all throughout your years of study. You are ready to go, to do, to really, finally live the life.

Even in this valley, that seems so shadowed, there is life and breath:

God, my shepherd!
I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
Even when the way goes through
Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure.
You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.
Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
for the rest of my life.

You have worked hard, and you are waiting. But, you are being nourished and cared for even in the waiting.

As I waited for you, I also waited in the valley. It was not where I wanted to be, yet it was where I needed to be, to repair and prepare. To breath, to re-learn how to live again.

You were so worth waiting for, and your breath took mine away.

 

 

 

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