Grace Gift

"The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;    surely I have a delightful inheritance."  [Psalm 16:6]

Some of the best gifts in life are the gifts you didn't think to ask for.

The thing about Henry is, I didn't plan him.  I wanted a third child, definitely, but I didn't want to find out I was pregnant on the day we told our church/town/family that we were moving states.  Or the month I accepted a 3-book offer from a publisher.  Or before Sam's first birthday.

But the thing is, if I'd gotten pregnant a year from now, there is no guarantee that our chromosomes would have matched up in exactly the right way to bring me Henry.  I would have had another child, but he wouldn't have been Henry.

Henry was chosen for me; he is my grace-gift.

And now, I can't believe I didn't think to ask for him.  He is my favorite thing.  Holding him on my chest and nuzzling his baby hair while he snores is my favorite thing.  Why did I not think to ask for this?  To beg for this?  If I had been in my right mind, I would have begged.

What I've found is that this grace-gift sucks every opportunity to whine right out from under me.  Because no matter how many children are crying all at the same time, I can never say, "Why did we think we could handle this!?!?"  Because we didn't.  God did.

In my most blind, frustrated moments I still cannot say "We made a mistake with this three kids thing!"  Because we didn't.  This was not shortsighted planning; this was in spite of our planning.  This was an "I know better than you do," straight-from-God gift.  There is no room left for frustration - only gratitude.  Because what if we had not been given this gift?

Some might say "I can't imagine my life without him," but that's not true for me.  I can imagine my life without Henry, and it makes me sick with anger.  It turns me inside out with ache and longing and loss.  That life would have less love in it, and how could anyone ever go back to less love once she's tasted it?

Henry is the good thing that I did not deserve.  He is the good I did not foresee, the good I did not think to ask for, but was given because God has lavished sweetness on me.  Lavished.

He handpicked these babies for me:

Madeline, my wild little sparkle.

Madeline's Egg Hunt 004

Sam, the baby I asked for.


Henry, my grace-gift.

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The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.