Today I’m celebrating Lily- just because.
It’s not her birthday. According to her, that date is classified information.
Still, I find myself reflecting gratefully and often about her beautiful life unfolding.
Her real birth day stands distinctly in my memory, like summer sunshine, warm and bright after a cold, dark winter of grief, and ever since, she’s added a pop of color to my world.
I delight to hear her in the kitchen these bonus years, the mixer whirring and the aroma of fresh baked bread, gourmet cheesecakes and avocado egg rolls.
The squeaky excited pitch of her voice after the back door slams and she greets our puppy tenderly as he bathes her cheeks in kisses, “Hello, Bubbs, I’m glad to see you!”
I respect my girl’s endurance, perseverance, work ethic and her brute physical strength, it’s my salvation!
And how does she manage to remember all of the complexities she’s learned about the human body?
And more bewldering than that, how does she get out of bed EVERY morning and do what she has to do, no matter what?
First, she studies bones and muscles, brains and hearts, under microscopes and bare handed, wondering at their intricate design.
Then she wipes and washes and brushes bottoms and backs and teeth giving wrinkly, tired men and women the gift of dignity and respect. She laughs at their jokes, listens to their stories, over and over, validating their value as exquisite image bearers of God.
She lives real in the conundrum of balancing the broken-beautiful in life and death.
Lily doesn’t ask for much, never has; but she prayed for a room with a view and a Michigan address and now that she has it, she treasures it, living content with her shoestring adventures- the joy of bonfires and buddies all intermingled.
She takes care of what’s hers, meticulous care. She’s growing in self-restraint and diminishing inflexibility, even with her stuff, though I dare anyone to mess with Winston, her Honda CRV.
Lily’s life learning is taking her to a place of greater humility, vulnerability, and receptivity to the love and wisdom of the people God’s written into her story. “Be Kind” replaces harsh words and angry stare downs at least 51% of the time and she’s won the trust, respect and admiration of everybody who bumps up close to her story, even her younger sisters- and nobody hides from their younger sisters.
It’s an undeveloped storyline, her life, her very own epic, with all sorts of unanticipated plot twists yet to be uncovered. I feel the adrenalin rush just wondering at the thrill and danger of it all. But for today, I’m doing the happy dance, savoring this chapter with all it’s fresh new mercies. Grateful to the God who’s get’s all the credit.