God and i had a daily chat for 9 months… all the days… and the moments within the days… and the seconds within those moments.
i reached out and begged God for a son.
a healthy son that would love and know grace and mercy. that would have a heart filled with Jesus. that his words would speak truth. that his mind would be filled with curious wonder as the earth unfolded in front of his eyes. that he would be strong and courageous. mighty and soft spoken. with gentleness he would do great things. as a mighty leader he would be revered.
i bartered. “God if you give me a son, i will raise him to know you. & then i will return him to Your Kingdom for Your will.”
his name is Jack. he’s 8.
God is faithful.
when Jack was 3 he attended the most wonderful pre-school i could ever dream of. the class was taught by betsy… if you know this woman, you know exactly why it was so dreamy. during late fall that year we learned a verse that has stuck by our little family as a reminder to give thanks in all things.
every morning we head to school, every afternoon we go to soccer practice, every sunday when we’re driving to church… i ask the question, “what are 3 things you are thankful for today?”. we verbalize our thanksgivings. by putting words to those things we give thanks with our hearts and minds. we recognize that we are thankful to God in all things.
jack & abigail take turns.
then one of them prays.
& we begin.
last friday we were on our way to school and asked our question… “what are you thankful for today?”
abigail went first.
“i am thankful for mommy and jack… i am thankful for nana and papa… i am sooo thankful for the trees and the birds and the flowers and this big huge gigantic earth that God created. mommy, it is so beautiful here. and i am thankful for my teacher and for our new real cousin. he is just so cute. i love him so much…..”
then, i asked jack if he wanted to take a turn.
while abigail had been sharing, jack was looking down at the closed book in his hands, fumbling mildly with the cover as though deep in thought; as he often is.
“bub, your turn… what are you thankful for?”
he replied in a soft, steady voice, “i am thankful that you married our dad………….”
… LONG QUIET PAUSE…
“if you didn’t marry him, you wouldn’t have abigail or me.”
… ANOTHER LONG PAUSE…
grasping for words while my mind was racing i blurted out, “but we are divorced now. how does that make you feel?”
he looked up for the first time since we began our ride and boldly proclaims, “that’s my #2.”
“oh!” i exclaim.
jack continues, “… we are lucky that you married him or we wouldn’t be here. my second thing is that i am thankful you are divorced. i am glad we don’t have to live with him anymore.”
wait. hold up. what?! he doesn’t hate me. he’s not sad. he’s not angry. i don’t understand. my mind is numb. racing. tired. my brain is not registering.
he’s thankful for our divorce?… oh… he’s thankful i married their dad?… oh…
i sat in stunned silence for a few minutes when the heaviness in the air was broken by jack’s offer to pray. he didn’t have a #3.
as he prays, i listen intently with his heart sharing. he prays boldly – thankful that there is a heaven where no one has a sick body – thankful for dreams at night so he can imagine heaven and see himself there someday with God – thankful for extra money that we can give to help other children eat a good breakfast – thankful for his sister – thankful for his mom – thankful for the blue skies and living here and for friends at school and good teachers and a hot breakfast…
he is thankful in everything.
we pull into the school drop off line and as the kids prepare their bags to get out of the car.
jack looks up with his eager eyes and his big amazing dimply smile and says, “oh mom. my #3… you are the best mom ever.” and then a mild pause. as i begin to thank him.. he says, “thank you for marrying dad so you could have us.”