When her prayers were finally answered, she beheld a wee wrinkled bundle of flesh and frailty.
It was the first time she gave me life. But not the last.
Her true labor of love didn't take place beneath the bright lights of a sterile hospital room. But in the shadow of daybreak on a green velour love seat in the corner of our humble living room.
It was there, on that old green couch, with her coffee cup in hand and Bible spread open on her lap, that that my mother birthed her once-wee daughter into a large lover of Jesus. It was there on that old green couch in the dark hours before dawn that my mother gave me life for the second time.
I remember the first morning I witnessed her daily labor of love. I had been stumbling half asleep from my upstairs bedroom to the bathroom across the hall. Surprised by the soft glow of lamplight at the bottom of the landing, I had crawled to the top stair and watched in wonder.
Just four-years-old at the time, I was too young to understand the grandeur of the gift I was witnessing, but old enough to be captured by its beauty.
My mother was wrapped in a ratty blue bathrobe, her dishwater blonde hair askew. And she was talking to Someone. I could see her lips moving, her eyes aglow as she spoke.
I didn't fully understand what was happening on the edge of that old green couch, but I knew my mommy wasn't sitting there alone.
Part of me wanted to slide down those steps, climb onto her lap and share the sacred moment. But I dared not move from my spying spot for fear of puncturing the peace that warmed me from the tip of my toes to the top of my sleepy head.
My mother's laugh lines weren't tucked subtly beneath her make-up. Her dark circles of fatigue weren't carefully powdered and camouflaged. But I had never seen her look more beautiful.
From that day on, I strained to hear her footsteps as I lie wrapped in the dark of dawn.
Sometimes I would patter out to my place on the top step and watch my mama fan into flame her love for Jesus.
Other times, I would just roll over in bed, content to know that all was right with the world because my mommy was on that ugly green couch.
Sometimes I'd listen to her muffled prayers as she stormed the Throne of Grace on behalf of her daughters. And other times I'd lie in bed and whisper my own.
I don't know what I said to the Savior in those precious moments beneath my Holly Hobby bedspread. All I know is that I wanted what my mom had.
I wanted to know the One who drew her from slumber before the sun even woke and wrapped her in radiance as she gazed upon His face. I wanted the unfading beauty that bloomed in her life from those rendezvous with Jesus.
In time, my mother's love for the Word birthed in me a love for the Word made Flesh.
From the edge of that ugly green couch my mother gave me the gift that no thief can steal and moth and rust cannot destroy.
From the edge of that old green couch, my mother gave me life.
As the tides of time rippled and swelled washing me from the safe shores of little girlhood to the lonely island of adolescence, she birthed through prayer a hunger in my heart for the anchor of the Word.
From the edge of that old green couch, she birthed a love affair with my Heavenly Groom long before I began my own adventure of marriage at the tender age of twenty.
From the edge of that old green couch, she birthed in me enduring faith as new life grew beneath my heart five times over.
From the edge of that old green couch, she birthed in me His strength when I realized that on my own I am totally incapable of being the mother these five children need.
That old green couch no longer sits in my mother's living room. But the woman who gave me life twice over still begins each day with a labor of love on the edge of a newer and not-so-ugly couch.
And just a few miles away from that not-so-ugly couch and that faithful mama, this thirty-nine-year-old daughter crawls from bed in the dark before dawn and begins her days, too. Coffee cup in one hand and Bible in the other, she seeks the One who captured her heart at the top of a gold-carpeted stair step long ago.
And as her five children sleep (or tiptoe up the hallway), she pleads for Him to birth in each one a hunger for the Word so that they, too, will know life, life to the full. And she humbly asks that by grace, He will continue the legacy of love that began on an old green couch.
The Overflow: Her children stand up and call her blessed... -Proverbs 31:28
Delighted to honor my mom with the 1000 moms project today and to count her as sheer gift as I number my blessings with Ann...
1054. Digging up tulip bulbs in the town square with my dirt-loving five-year-old.
1056. Lingering with my mom over a cup of coffee at The Brew. Sheer gift.
1057. A mother who prays fervently for me still.
1058. The privilege of Christ speaking through me at a Mother-Daughter tea; the humbling gift of being blessed to be a blessing.
1059. A paper flower bouquet set proudly on the counter for mommy.
1060. Serving my LAST nursery duty on Mother's Day after fourteen years of nursery assignments
1061. Bakery coffee cake on Mother's Day morning.
1062. A walk along the lake with my husband- time to dream and talk and wonder.
1063. The first bonfire of 2012. Gooey s'mores and charred marshmallows
1064. All seven of us on the trampoline-giggles galore!
1065. A hot cup of coffee and Jesus at my side.. the perfect start to a new day.
And linking again with these lovely grace seekers: l.l. for on, in, and around mondays, laura for playdates with god, ruth at the better mom, and jen for soli deo gloria