“In tribulation immediately draw near to God with confidence,
and you will receive strength, enlightenment, and instruction.”
St. John of the Cross
We are a measuring sort of people.
We measure heights, weights, sizes, shapes, lengths, distances, amounts, numbers,
comings and goings…
You name it, we’ll measure it.
And we particularly like to measure time…
We enjoy measuring time so much that each year we mark time with a New Year’s celebration.
Just as we mark days of birth.
Any kid will tell you just how important the marking of a birthday really is…
And so it is that I am bittersweetly reminded that this time last year, on March the 10th,
we marked Dad’s 89th birthday.
You may remember he was gravely ill but was so excited to have “lived” long enough
just to have one last piece of cake.
Dad loved his sweets—chocolate especially.
He was born on his mother’s birthday in 1928 and died just hours before what would
have been his brother’s 97th birthday–
a brother who had preceded him in death by 8 years.
Dad died just 9 days after we celebrated his birthday.
The passing of a year’s time has brought with it a great deal of change.
All from one March to the next.
Seasons have come and gone… just like they usually do…
but within those seasons there has been a great deal of measuring…
both pluses and minuses.
This time last year, here in this house of my youth, we held a vigil for a life slipping away.
This year, 365 days later to the very day, we joyously mark a 3 week birthday of a new
life full of expectant hopes and dreams.
I find myself sitting in the same room that I once called my own, rocking a
young new life blessedly to sleep.
One who now claims my old room as her own.
I sit in the dimly lit room, illuminated only by a single bulb closet light
that cuts softly through the slats of the closet door. A small projected patch of stars
dance across the ceiling emanating from a novel little owl nightlight.
The sound of crickets and tree frogs gently pierce the silence, also coming from the
little owl nightlight.
The walls are the same.
The windows are the same.
The closet is the same…
Gone is the carpeting, long since stiped away, now exposing the original hardwoods of
this 1950’s house.
Gone are the gossamer sheer drapes, replaced by white wooden shutters.
The colors of paint have evolved with the changing times.
My thoughts drift back and forth over the near 60 years that I’ve known this house.
With memories and feelings being mixed—some pleasant, some not.
There is an unsettling mixed with a calming sense of hope.
My prayer is that for this new precious child, this house, this home, will be one of
I am reminded of the prayers and anointing of both house and crib.
The imploring of God’s grace to be poured down abundantly upon this family’s
So happy birthday Dad and happy birthday to your new great-granddaughter…
a great-granddaughter who now calls the house you were so proud to purchase so long ago,
A house you and mother were so proud to have for your own young family.
As a new generation calls it their own…
By wisdom, a house is built, and by understanding, it is established;
by knowledge, the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.