I grew up in a big family. It was full of adventure and I was proud of it. But I was second youngest.... so I never knew how it had been for my elder siblings. Until recently. My sister told me a different story. Not quite so cheery. People had looked down on our growing family.... five, six, seven, EIGHT?! It was an interesting conversation. It made me more aware of what others think. I hadn't known.
Pegging up clothes on my sister's clothesline, I pondered it. Why would they see it so negatively? The previous evening replayed.
I put my precious nephews to sleep. After singing through all the scripture songs that I remembered falling asleep to myself... lullabies popped into my head. Memories flitted back to when the music disk had arrived in the mail, as a five year old. My favorite song from back then came into my mind. "Children are a gift from the Lord, babies are his reward, children are a gift from the Lord."
I'm hanging up the last few garments. Everything was so innocent back then. But now that I realized the common opinion, I queried that Bible verse. Were children really that special? a gift from the Lord?
My precious little sister. Jana. Number eight. God's gracious gift. That's what her name means. Then I came to see it. What if my parents were sterile, infertile? They weren't, but what if she had been miscarried. She almost did. My dear sister- almost died. But she survived. She could've had complications... or even been stillborn. But she lived. What if her plight had been the same as my dear nephew, Samuel's? Who had a cot death at three months. Or if, as an infant she caught a virus or disease, we would've lost her? When she fell from the tree at six, her arms hit the logs below, instead of her head. But it could've been the end. I was finished now. The washing. I stared into the sky, grasping the awesome reality. The odds were so high, for losing my sister. But God decided to bless us with....
.........a precious gift.