I am thankful for so much. In fact, even on the not-so-joyful days of this month, it was easy to sit down and think of something I was thankful for to post as my facebook status — which, of course, is how I should measure my thankfulness.

I’m grateful my parents raised me to always to see the blessings around me: on the other side of my aching back is a life growing inside me, the causes of the mess around my house are my three favorite people in the whole world, mom’s chemo side effects are evidence of her winning the cancer battle, and my life is made busy by people I love and a job I adore. My thankful list is easy to make. But, perhaps since I grew up with the knowledge that Christ died for my sins, I find his salvation—if not forgotten—sometimes at the bottom of my list. It can become an afterthought of Christian-ease-Sunday-school language: “I’m thankful for this and this and this…Oh, and of course, Jesus!”

So today, I want to put it on top of my list. As I start to decorate my house for Christmas, I want to proclaim how thankful I am for Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection. I am thankful that God’s love is so deep and vast that he sent his only son to die in my place in order that I may have everlasting life in his presence—this is something that as a Mama, I truly cannot comprehend. Below is a poem I wrote when Liam was six months old about my love for my new son, and also the lyrics to one of my favorite songs about God’s love for us. As deep and overwhelming as my love for my children is, it is but a glimmer of God’s love for you and me. Happy Thanksgiving and Christmas season!


Napping With Liam

Breathing sweetly-milkily against my neck
My hair curling from his moisture

Weighing into me, melting into me—we are one again.
Our hearts beat in tandem as they once did
when his kicks, stretches and hiccups were my constant companions,
my distractions in cultural anthropology,
my bane and my joy in the middle of the swollen nights;

before nursing, crying, cooing;
before I knew the curve of his delicate ears,
the bow of his miniature mouth—so like his father's—
the unconscious fluttering of his strong, small fingers against my chin;
before I knew that my love for him would be like the feeling of his perfect body
weighing, melting against mine:

warm, heavier than expected, full;
before I knew my favorite moments of my entire life from my own birth
until now
would be like this one—
my little son, sleeping innocently against my chest

breathing sweetly-milkily against my neck.


How Deep The Father's Love For Us lyrics (by Stuart Townsend)

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory
Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that left Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom