Friday, December 13, 2013

Victoria Gayle

It was the first time I ever heard the voice of God, maybe the only time I ever heard it so clearly that it seemed like it was actually with my ears.

"You will have a daughter," the voice said as I sat in the passenger seat next to Neal riding down the 57 freeway.

"What did you say?" I asked Neal.

"Nothing," he told me, shaking his head.

It was a moment as I sat there and the realization came to me about Who and what I'd heard.

I was childless at the time, and convinced I always would be. It was a self=imposed pity part that the voice broke me free from. And I say dumbfounded, a new baby Christian who didn't know enough about God or the Bible to be certain - I couldn't be certain that God would speak to me, but neither could I be certain that He wouldn't. I just didn't know.

The place of blind faith can be a blessed place to be, taking God at His word.

It was nearly ten years and definitely two sons later before the little girl God promised me was placed in my arms. In the intensity of delivering into the world my doctor whose hands eased her through the process called out to me and said "look at your baby!" as he lifted her up on to my belly and I met her for the first time.

She was this little round, pear shaped bundle with short little stubby legs. My very first thought about her was that she looked like my mother-in-law. I instantly fell in love with her. She showed up just before midnight, and we called her grandparents and her brothers to let them know she was here.

I can hardly believe that tomorrow will mark a dozen years since that spectacular day. God's first promise to me was fulfilled, and as I look back now, I do not believe He could have done it in a more perfect way.

As I look at my darling girl who looks so much older than 12, I can honestly say she is everything I never knew I wanted in a daughter. She's a perfect mix of the sensitive "girlie-girl" that I never was. She is tenderhearted and thoughtful in ways that far exceed her years. But she also makes this pendulum swing to the other end of her personality that can play hard and loves to be on the move. She has an athletic power and a lithe grace all at the same time. She is everything I ever wanted to be at her age.

Victoria's laugh is one of my favorite sounds on the whole planet. Her baby laugh was priceless, but even now as a big girl her laugh is infectious and contagious, and her whole countenance lights up when she lets it go. My whole warms up when I watch her smile and laugh.

I am amazed by my daughter as she is moving into adolescence. A lot of struggle and difficulty over the last few years dealing with difficult peers has developed in her a kindness and compassion for others that makes it completely worth the struggle, because from the cocoon of trial and difficulty, I see emerging a beautiful butterfly.

Her name, Victoria Gayle, is one the Lord gave me for her over the years while I awaited for him to fulfill his promise - Victoria, the victorious one. Her middle name Gayle meaning festive party. God really named her perfectly.

I cannot believe it's been nearly 22 years since God first whispered into my ear the promise of a little baby girl. I find it even harder to believe a dozen years will have passed by before midnight tomorrow night. I am so grateful for my precious princess.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Prince of Peace

Holy flip flops Batman - is Christmas really less than two weeks away? (I don't know why, it's just what came to me...)

The weather outside is frightful - we Californians have been suffering fear of frostbite with arctic temperatures in the 50s the past couple weeks. I know, I know, I can hear people know with tales of 17 degrees and ice falling off buildings and smashing cars, but let me just say, there's a reason I live in So Cal and there is a reason I will probably die in So Cal - and there will be no slowing of the aging process courtest of icy temps. My family can't even get me to drudge up to Big Bear Mountain for a weekend - I DON'T DO COLD.

Of course I wasn't thrilled to hear it'll be in the 80s by this time next week. I'm extremely temperature specific in my desires. 60s for "winter, 70s in fall and spring and a good upper 80s summer speaks right to my satisfaction meter (if I had one.)

I can't believe Christmas is less than two weeks away. I can say so far only two members in my family are getting any gifts from me, and only one has actually arrived, and it's not even wrapped. It's actually in plain sight in a particular place that I cannot divulge but let's just say my eye wanders to it repeatedly during the week between the hours of 9 am and 3 pm.

We don't have a tree yet... We went last Sunday, piled the family in the car the way I talked about in the last blog, but we hit the one Christmas tree lot where we have had such success the last two years and I think we arrived just after the entire crowd that had picked the lot clean. I saw a guy holding up my perfect tree but thought better of tackling him for it because I thought my success of making a run for it through the large payment line was slim, and his legs looked long. SO yeah, we bailed.

That was when I diverted the family. I wooed them away from the idea of checking out another lot (becaus eI am convinced last weekend was THE weekend to get your tree. Instead I got them to travel over the river and through the woods... ok, not really, more like down a couple freeways - but we wnt and saw a living nativity in Claremont. It was pretty cool - we walked a long pathway that stopped at different "scenes" of the Chritmas story. We saw Joseph freak out in front of a rather comedic innkeeper (I struggled with that one a little) and we saw the shepherds shocked by angels, Herod manipulating Magi - there was about 10 scenes in all.

The final scene was the little stable where MAry and Joseph sat, a perfect little baby laying asleep in a manger before them. It was a beautiful little doll, so lifelike and perfect, but it couldn't be real because it was perfectly still in the midst of a lot of chaos. Horses and Roman soldiers riding about, fussy kids in the crowd, a sheep here, a donkey braying there. There was this sweet little representation of peace in the middle of it all.

I was shocked to find out the doll playing Jesus really was a real live baby. He was so quiet and still. Peace personified...

The Prince of Peace.

That's what I'm looking for. It's why shopping and shopping and spending and wrapping just don't appeal to me.

I don't want Christmas to be an event.

I want it to be a Person.