1,096 Gifts.

by Lauren Goldbloom

Every day counts.  Every last one.

Our 55 foster children taught us that.  The phone rings and we scramble, make beds, pull out plastic bins of clothes and whisper a prayer for the little one who has been torn to their rescue.  They walk through that door with any mix of hope and fear, longing and loss, confusion and understanding.  Then a chapter begins, but will it be for a few hours?  A day?  Two?  Will days turn into weeks, weeks into months?  Seasons may even pass, but in a single moment the page can turn, and we will be scrambling, packing, sometimes shouting our prayers and… saying goodbye.  Even our goodbyes have no definition, our parting no foresight.

That is the story of the hellos and goodbyes but the real story is in those days in between.

We had just begun our most difficult goodbye yet.  I ached with the pain too many mothers know.  In those precious in-between moments, not by planning or the words of the law but by one of Love’s miracles they had become in my heart my daughters.  And in my heart I had become a mother.   But the story wasn’t what we had drafted in our minds and we were broken.  The grief swelled and the emptiness burned.

What do you do when your plans fall apart?  I wish I could say I knew.  I just remember scrambling from thought to thought, looking for some escape, some new plan to make sense of this heartbreak.   Foolishness, thinking that I who was not in control could find something new to hold on to and control on my own.

Ah, grace.

Grace found us.  Here in our scurrying, in our doubt, in our indignant anger, Grace had a plan all of His own.  Even now, thinking of it, I am humbled to tears.  Because Grace gifted us with a son.

He turned three today, that sweet child of mine.  So much life, joy, hope, and love we see in him, this little bearer of God’s image.  He is three with all of the things that normally go with it… the tantrums, the (especially) messy potty-training, the embarrassing public behavior.  But this day, each one, is a gift.  A grace-filled, messy, God-given, beautiful gift.

                        Every moment’s a chance to love you

                        Every day a new day to teach you that

                        Every good and perfect gift comes from above…


So with a full, grateful heart I say thank you to the Giver of these good gifts.  For these 1,096 days with my precious son.

                        So even when time seems to fly right by us

                        Even when heartache comes to try us

                        I will hold you

                        And we’ll hold on to Jesus

                        With every little moment I’ll love you, little one.