A Letter From Mom
We'll be meeting you for the first time in about three weeks. We're very excited about seeing you. You are our second child, and even though we've seen the miracle of a new baby once before, we are once again awed and thrilled to be allowed by God to experience the miracle another time..."
Penned almost 23 years ago in the lacy script I know so well, these tender words begin the journal my mother started before my birth and kept throughout my childhood.
For over two decades, the journal lived deep inside her dresser. Every now and then, she pulled it out and recorded the stories that she didn't want either of us to ever forget. I found it once, tucked away in a drawer where it hid between out-of-season sweaters. But after flipping through the first few faded pages, I stopped myself, realizing that what I held in my hands was something special, something Mom would share with me in time.
That time came a couple of months before Elisha’s birth, as our friends and church family gathered to give us a beautiful baby shower. She included the journal with her gift . . . but I knew better than to read her words then, with mascara on my lashes and friends gathered around. Late that same night, after Paul had carried in armload after armload of pastel gift bags filled with sweet baby things, I curled up in bed with the journal. I propped it up on my own pregnant belly and read. And read, and read.
I couldn't help but cry as I found precious details I'd never known, like how Dad helped her pass the last few long, uncomfortable days before my arrival by taking her and my brother fishing one day, and to see The Fox and the Hound the next. I laughed out loud as I read through her memories of my toddler days — like how I adored the show Alf and would run throughout the house shouting “ALP COMIN’ ON!” every time I heard the theme song. Or how every Sunday morning as we got ready to go to Sunday school, I announced, “Sun Cool! Fere my Bible?”
These everyday memories that flowed from a heart so like my own are priceless to this mama’s heart. She wrote these words with such love, before I ever even entered her world.
Elisha has a journal of his own, one that his daddy and I bought just a few days after we learned that he was on his way. We wrote in it throughout our pregnancy—right up until just a few hours before his birth.
Now, we fill it with our own everyday memories. We write about all of his “firsts.” First bath. First time to roll over. First time to crawl. First word (Mama!). First basketball game (he was terrified of all the noise!).
We tell him about how much we love him, and the fact that our love is not even a shadow of the love our Lord has for us all. We write about the miracle of the gospel, and the importance of carrying the truth to all the world.
They might just be words on a page now, but I believe that when Elisha reads them someday, perhaps when he is preparing for the arrival of his own little one, they’ll be a reminder of the important truths, for parents and for all people, that are found in Deuteronomy 6:4–9 (ESV):
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”