My daughter had a baby boy! The little fellow kept trying to come early and the doctor kept trying to keep him in a little longer…but on Sunday, December 9, he decided he was ready to make his grand entrance – a couple of weeks early! Rowan Knox Kirkpatrick was born at 4:04 pm – 7 lbs, 3 oz, 20 inches long with a dusting of blonde hair with just a tinge of red. He is beautiful! And I am one proud grandmother!
A baby changes everything, doesn’t it? Rowan’s big sister, Lucy, now has to share Mommy and Daddy. She’s already discovering that she isn’t the center of the universe any more. She moved out of the nursery into the spare bedroom, and her once girly room will soon become a room filled with trucks, cars, cowboys and superheroes. A baby changes everything.
When we arrived at the hospital shortly after Rowan’s birth (we didn’t have enough notice to get to the hospital in time for the birth), we were impatiently waiting for our daughter and grandson to come from labor and delivery to her room. There wasn’t much activity on the floor at first, but suddenly people went into action everywhere. Nurses and assistants started darting in and out of the room that was assigned to her, and we knew it wouldn’t be long until we saw our daughter, son-in-law and new grandson. Suddenly the elevator door opened and there was our daughter on a stretcher cradling our grandson with proud dad walking along side. I walked toward the stretcher and the nurse asked us to wait just a moment before we entered the room. I couldn’t wait to hold Rowan and to kiss my daughter, but I did manage to steal of glimpse of his sweet little face. A baby certainly changes everything – perspective, priorities and plans. A baby also creates a sense of urgency and expectancy.
I couldn’t help but think about another birth over 2000 years ago. I’m sure Mary and Joseph had a sense of urgency and expectancy, especially since their delivery room was an animal stable! There were no doting grandparents waiting for the first glimpse of their beautiful grandson. No sterile equipment or attending nurses or doctors to assure a safe delivery, no clean bed linens or pain-relieving drugs. Only a starry night sky, animals, angels, shepherds and the cry of a baby that pierced the stillness. God went into action that night – He became a man and forever everything was changed.
Yes, this baby certainly changed everything.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
Every time I walk to our pond, a few hundred feet downhill from our house, I ask myself why I don’t go down there more often! It’s so beautiful and peaceful, quite a retreat really, and I rarely walk down to it. I’m usually just too busy – what a terrible excuse! During the fall or winter months, when the leaves are falling or gone, I can see it from my kitchen window as I wash dishes. During the spring and summer months, when the trees are loaded with leaves, I can’t see it – but I know it’s there. The pond is constant, tranquil, beautiful and quiet. It never calls to me through the kitchen window, “Please come see me!” It’s simply there and when I want to, or the occasion calls for it, I walk down.
Today was one of those occasions. We have just over a month until we move out of our home of nearly 18 years, and since the whole family was here, I wanted all of us to walk down to the pond. I was very nostalgic, knowing it was the last time we would take this trek as a family. So down the hill (“over the river and through the woods” comes to mind right now) we walked to the pond. One of our favorite spots is a clearing on the back side of the pond where a huge tree stands. We buried our dog, Harley, under it when the kids were younger. Today, the grandkids tried to climb a vine that had grown around the tree. We all enjoyed the fun, even though I had to fight back tears thinking of leaving this place.
Then I stood and just looked at the pond. Hardly a ripple marred its smooth, glass-like surface. I was reminded of the first day I saw it and fell in love. I spotted my husband and oldest son across the pond standing on the levee. He later told me they were reminiscing of times spent there fishing and camping. We took lots of pictures and then started our walk back up the hill to the house. I stayed a little behind the others, turning around from several different angles to catch final glimpses of the pond. I was taking mental snap-shots to tuck away for future use. I didn’t cry, but I wanted to. I thought of how much I would miss that pond that I rarely went to see!
Walking back up the hill, the thought came to me that my relationship with Jesus is much like my relationship with our pond. He is constant, ever present whether I can see Him or not. I know He calls to me, “Please come see Me,” but I don’t always listen. Of course, I go to Him when there’s an occasion – like a crisis or a problem. But just to sit with Him and enjoy His presence – I’m usually just too busy. What a shameful excuse! When I do spend time with Him I am awestruck at how beautiful, tranquil, loving and glorious He is!
Today I was also reminded of the first time I fell in love with Jesus, how I couldn’t wait to spend time with Him. Slowly things changed. Life happened. Ignoring Him during the week, I was content with just a weekend love affair at church. I had turned away from my first love.
I want that ‘first love’ relationship again. I want to see Jesus more often. I remember the times that He has come to my aid and seen me through difficulties and times spent with Him in worship. But I want to make new memories – to see Him in His beauty, majesty and glory in a fresh way. I don’t want just mental snap-shots to tuck away for future use. I want an active, on-going love relationship with my Savior. Lord, may it be so!
I guess it’s time to say goodbye to the pond. I am so thankful that I will NEVER have to say goodbye to Jesus!
We moved to our new home in late December of 2010. Guess what? There’s a pond just down the hill from our house that we have access to whenever we like! I’ve only been there once…some things never change.
Have you ever had to say goodbye to something you hold dear? I’d love for you to comment.