Loved

In this childbirth, the tender days, the silent darkness of night,my heart, my calling of mother has been reborn yet once again.

I've found myself in these reflections every time my children have been born, tucking the thoughts of sufferings and joys of their delivery deep within my oh so full heart, writing furiously in snippets of time between the whirlwind of needs of the newborn days. (Thoughts over Lucy's arrival here and the welcome when we became six here.)

And these last seven days since our daughter's birth (See Rosie's birth story here.) have been no different.

Because while my belly was swelling, it was not lost on me for one second the humbling journey that is the role of mother,

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one I will never take for granted in the conception and carrying of life.

rosiegraceloved_0057 And yet still, it's a time of pouring out.

rosiegraceloved_0061 As mothers, our physical body has been stretched, marked, broken again and again for those who will perhaps never know the suffering.

rosiegraceloved_0058 The laboring is not just for hours, but throughout the wholeness of motherhood.

rosiegraceloved_0060 And yet, just as resurrection's miracle is found in death,

rosiegraceloved_0059 hope not known without despair,

rosiegraceloved_0062 light brightest within darkness, how reminiscent it is all of True Love.

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And what a privilege to be a transparency of our Heavenly Father's story.

rosiegraceloved_0064 Because they will see His love within us as their mother first.

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“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!

rosiegraceloved_0068 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; Isaiah 49:15-17

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Within the heat, the blood of our wombs they grew,

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in secret, sacred communion with us alone.

rosiegraceloved_0071 And then, whether in bedrooms or hospitals or operating rooms, whether caught by skin or gloves or water, we alone brought them into the world.

rosiegraceloved_0072 A job only a mother can do.

rosiegraceloved_0073 Even if we wanted to run in those moments, we can't.

rosiegraceloved_0075 But we don't want to.

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"Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders...

rosiegraceloved_0077 and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us looking to Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith who for the joy set before him

rosiegraceloved_0078 endured the cross" Hebrews 12:1-2

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For the joy set before us, we long for them,

rosiegraceloved_0080 to deliver them into our arms,

rosiegraceloved_0082 against our heart,

rosiegraceloved_0083 to feel their sticky warmth, wet hair under our chin,

rosiegraceloved_0084 salt tears running down our cheeks onto, into, against theirs.

rosiegraceloved_0085 And then together, to breathe oxygen, to breathe what we were fashioned for.

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“For through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— Everything was created through him and for him. Colossians 1:16-17

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All was created by Him. Spoken into existence. Miracle upon miracle.

rosiegraceloved_0091 And yet, we, as His very good creations, were fashioned. Love product.

rosiegraceloved_0092 By hand. With intention. With purpose.

“You alone were formed by a huddle of hearts. 

rosiegraceloved_0093The authority of God made all of creation. But it was the affection of God that made all His children.

rosiegraceloved_0094 The three persons of the Trinity- Father God, Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit- gathered close together to imagine you.

rosiegraceloved_0095 And God in three persons, uncontainable affection, knelt down and kissed warm life into you with the breath of His love.

rosiegraceloved_0097 You are made of the dust of this earth, and you are made of the happiness of heaven, and you are flesh and you are spirit, and you are of two worlds longing for the home of forever and Him.

rosiegraceloved_0098 No matter your story before, this is your beginning now:

rosiegraceloved_0099 you were formed by Love...for love.” -The Greatest Gift, Ann Voskamp

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Nurtured from the start by sweet life from us, we created for them, them created for us, in harmony.

rosiegraceloved_0104 And as they hold on to us through dark, sleepless nights, furled fist clutching safety and provision, there's joy in the sacrifice, for this is what we ourselves were created for. To live out the love so lavishly poured out on us.

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And so, through these short years, I will hold them, guide them, nurture them,

rosiegraceloved_0106 and then, in order to hold them closest to my heart, to let them go. rosiegraceloved_0105 Equipped, empowered and encouraged, rosiegraceloved_0101 I will let you go,

rosiegraceloved_0108 my loves. rosiegraceloved_0107 I will give you all I have so that you can take it all and live in freedom. rosiegraceloved_0112 Freedom. The antithesis of all fear. rosiegraceloved_0109 You have no fear my darlings.

rosiegraceloved_0110 You will not fear expectations or shortcomings or danger or safety,

rosiegraceloved_0111 so live alive, live and thrive, live in fullness of what is assured. rosiegraceloved_0113

rosiegraceloved_0114 And that is,

rosiegraceloved_0081 my sons, my daughters,

rosiegraceloved_0116 that you. Are. Loved.

rosiegraceloved_0117 By me. Beyond me. By the Creator of all of Heaven and Earth. The Author and Perfecter of your story, the story, your faith and fulfillment of all faith.

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"The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me" Psalm 138:8

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Your stories have just begun, my loves. But already they bring such joy. And we are so thankful to witness them.

Sincerest thanks to our dear Allison Wollenhaupt of Allison Marie Photography for her tender documentation of the day we introduced our seven. Our hearts are so full, and her photographs embody our joy.

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