It's a Wonderful Life.

I'm moving forward. Some days I cry, some days I laugh. Most days I do both. I am adjusting to not being pregnant anymore and I'm adjusting to going from happy to devastated at the drop of a hat or the kind words of a friend or the sympathy card in the mailbox. I am moving forward through grief and loss, but I am also embracing joy and hope.

Christmas is almost upon us and the tree is up. The twinkling lights pull me right back to childhood. The familiar carols that never grow old brighten my spirits and bring movement to my feet. There are so many happy moments in this season that keep me smiling. The tears are still never far, but lately neither is the smile--and for that irony, I am thankful.

My hands are always full with my three wonderful kids. I love them so much and even more each day.

My hubby and I watched "It's a Wonderful Life" the other day.  I hadn't seen it in years. As we sat down to watch, the first thing I said was "Why don't they make a new one of this movie? It's so old!" But then as we got into it, I realized I know why they haven't made a new one. They don't need to. It's so pure and raw. It's so well done. I found myself getting so lost in it. And now as a parent, I understand so much of George Bailey's feelings all the more.

When Bryan and I met, we were at missions college. We had big dreams and big plans. We wanted to travel the world, preach the Gospel, get our hands dirty. We kept those plans and dreams well into our first years of marriage. We faced set backs and redirections but we kept the same vision. "Take the Gospel to the ends of the earth." And then we boarded that plane for South Africa. We landed and we hit the ground running. But an unexpected second child was on the way and the bank account was emptying. Our dream crumbled to dust right in our hands and we were lost. We came back to the States with a couple of suitcases and a couple of kids. We were confused. This wasn't the path we set out on. Bryan took a job he never wanted and I settled in at home to raise our kids. Far from the African continent and further from our starry eyed dreams.

A couple states and another kid later, and we still aren't where we thought we'd be. I don't know if the dreams that were whispered to our hearts will ever come true, but we are waiting on God. We have a lot of nights like George Bailey had. A lot of nights where everything goes wrong and we ask--just like George-- "Why did we have to have all these kids" and  "Why do we have to live in this crummy little town?"

But what if we didn't have it? What if the mess and the cribs and spills and the crayon covered walls and the dirty diapers and the crying at 1 am.. what if it was all gone?

What if Peyton with her clear blue eyes and her wild blond mane and her constant questions and her never ending passion and her constant asking to paint and her forgetting to pick up the crayons and her getting up seven times out of bed to ask for water and her "I love you Mommy" and her helping with cooking and her caring for her siblings and her dancing around the house with her party dress and her bouncing curls and her graceful movements... What if she was gone?

And what if Britany with her pudgy little hands and her smooth olive skin and her "mommy, help!" and her tearing of books and her spilling of milk and her smeared banana hands and her deep chocolate eyes and her full pink lips and her running nose and her little accident prone body and her slobbery kisses and the way she curls up in my arms and melts into me.... What if she never existed?

And what if Hunter who pulls at my hair and wakes me at 1 with his constant demand for my attention and his fussiness when I'm my most tired and his big blue eyes and his charming big grin and cuddles and his squirming and his putting everything in his mouth that he shouldn't and his screaming at me from across the room to hold him when all I want are 5 minutes of peace and his happy little face when I reach for him and the feel of his silky soft cheeks and the joy I feel when he reaches for me from across a room.... What if I'd never known him?

See, my life may have turned out quite differently from how I thought, or planned, or even dreamed. But my life is wonderful. And I wouldn't trade any of it for all the lofty dreams and sparkle in my teenage eyes. I never knew then what I know now. Love. The love of a marriage, the love of a family, and the wonderful life that those things have brought me.

God knows what He's doing. And, for the most part, we don't.


Hannah said...

So good. I know how you feel, for real! Thanks sharing your heart so honestly.

Emily grapes said...

aww, I love this post so so much. I almost don't want to admit that I can't stand that movie! but how you relate to it is beautiful.

I'm in the same boat but different circumstances. I'm not where I thought I'd be, but it truly is a wonderful life that I need to be more grateful for.