"He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together."
Today is all about moving forward. Of being launched forward whether I want to go or not.
My baby is one today. And we are heading to my dad's farm to pack up my mom's quilt room today.
Moving forward. And definitely looking back. Sometimes you have to look back to savor and cherish and celebrate all that you're saying good-bye to.
And it's an interesting set of emotions because these two tremendous people that I'm focusing on today never got to meet each other. But they would have been so very in love with each other. Grandma Pam would have been here many many times during Griffin's first year, to hold him, hear him squeal, give him bottles, rock him to sleep. Her heart would have been filled with more joy than she could handle at the sight of his huge blue eyes and the mischievous grin he flashes when he is about to slobber you with open-mouthed kisses. And he would have loved her so much...her energy and her presence and her youthful heart. She would certainly be crawling around the floor with him, as he squealed at her extremely loudly (louder and happier than any baby ever), tackling her with open mouth kisses. He would be sleeping under a quilt she had made him.
But these two lives never intersected. They kind of do today though. Both lives are launching me forward today. My baby is our last baby, unless God surprises us (which He obviously has full authority to do). My mom's quilt room is the epitome of who my mom is. Packing up her fabrics and patterns and thread means accepting that she is really gone. The quilt room hasn't been used in over a year. It's time to move forward.
Today is the "end of an era" in both lives.
My baby's first birthday marks the end of the baby era for Paul and I. Four beautiful babies in the span of seven wild years. Seven years with little sleep, lots of puke, bed-time bottles, lullabyes, squealing babies, late-night cuddles, having my earrings pulled out of my ears, four c-sections, 40 months of pregnancy (and crazy wacked hormones), open-mouthed kisses, mashed sweet potatoes being spit in your face, shirts drenched in formula spit-up, and love that just about explodes out of you as you stare at a baby sleeping.
Packing up the quilt room ends an era too. No more will she show me the gorgeous new fabric that "I just had to buy; I have no idea what I'll do with it!" No more will she show me a new pattern, or critique another pattern explaining why it wasn't designed quite the way it should have been. No more will she sit at the sewing machine or stand at her long-arm quilting machine making this amazing art. No more will she giggle as she gives away some of her art - usually a beautiful quilt, but also a quilted handbag, a wall-hanging, an apron for grand-daughters that love to bake, an embroidered stocking cap for her favorite son-in-law, a new Christmas stocking for the newest family member, or any other creative quilted item she could come up with. This quilt room was the home of thousands and thousands of hours of brilliant, creative artistry.
It was also where she prayed. My mom told me that she doesn't understand why people say you should close your eyes when you pray...she said she can't close her eyes when she's praying because she usually had needles in her hands at the same time. She talked to God all the time when she was quilting. I wonder how many conversations between her and God in that quilt room revolved around my kids? The power of a praying Grandma is more than we could ever comprehend. And, I wonder how many conversations in that room between her and God were about my sweet little baby boy who is turning one today, that she didn't get to meet.
So, forward. I am so glad that Jesus goes ahead of me. Forward can be scary. It brings tremendous peace when we accept the fact that we have to go forward. But it's still scary. I am so thankful that Jesus goes ahead of me and holds it all together. He's got the future. He knows what is in store for those who are willing to let go of the past (cherish it, but let go), and move forward. In Jeremiah 33:3, God says, "Call to me, and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things that you do not know."
Moving forward means discovering new great and mighty things that God has for us. I'm ready.