A Few More Tears

Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.
Psalm 126:5

Now that you know that my elder grandson’s saga to birth ended well and that he is absolutely thriving, let me tell you about his little brother.

Though there were no indications that he might arrive early, we worried just a bit. Mommy seemed to have reached “capacity” a few weeks early. She also began weekly doctor visits earlier than usual. Still, all seemed well. Then, on a Saturday night just two days shy of being considered full-term, labor began. Grandpa and I drove over to watch Big Brother while Mommy and Daddy headed to the hospital. I admit that after we all settled into bed, I shed a few tears reminiscent of Danny’s arrival. “Please, God, keep that little guy in place until it’s time and I mean the right time!” With that, I sniffled my thanks and went to sleep.

The nest morning, Baby made his appearance one day prematurely. He weighed an amazing 6 pounds 3 ounces and he scored like a stellar newborn on the at-birth assessment. This time, it was through tears of joy that I turned my eyes heavenward. “Thank you,” I prayed. “I shouldn’t have doubted you for a minute!”

Every time I see Danny with his little brother, I can’t help tearing up a bit. Babies in utero have tough journeys. Even in the best of circumstances, we can never be certain of what lies ahead for them. Still, God takes care and things go as they are meant to go.

As I consider the trials and triumphs of all of our journeys, I wonder. Finally, I ask The Almighty how it’s possible to watch over and attend to all of us twenty-four/seven for eternity. I imagine God smiling as God responds, “It’s love, Mary. It’s all about love.”

Dear God, thank you!

©2018 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

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A Miracle Revisited…

From the depths of my despair, I wept before you.
You heard my voice, dried my tears and responded.

Inspired by God’s Absolute Love

We’ve just celebrated my grandson’s birthday. Danny is 3 years old! He’s also Big Brother to sweet Little Brother and all is well. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to revisit the journey from despair through hope to absolute joy which accompanied Danny’s arrival…

Because his mom’s contractions began during Week 26 of this pregnancy, reaching Week 32 proved to be a major milestone. Another two weeks would bring Baby close to typical newborn size and development. A day into that week, the telephone rang at 1:00 AM. I heard my husband repeat, “So your water broke?” Tears flowed as they spoke further. My prayers began.

That morning, we learned Baby could remain in place for two weeks while his mom remained in the hospital. Precautions would slow progress and assist the baby’s development. Later, my husband and I headed to church and our usual Sunday morning routine. I admit to complete distraction from everything except my prayers for Baby and his mom. My husband-the-deacon remained to perform baptisms and I returned home. On the way, I called my son. I heard the concern in his voice as he reported that his wife was experiencing a lot of pain. Because my daughter-in-law is healthy, athletic and incapable of complaining, I took this news to heart. It was then that my prayer changed…

I wept as I drove home and when I arrived. I wept as I changed my clothes. I wept until I found the courage to look heavenward. I wept bitterly as I spoke… “Dear God, I can feed the hungry and be there for the lonely. I can listen to those who need me and I can mourn with those in pain. But this? There’s nothing I can do about this. I can’t stop the contractions. I can’t keep that baby in place until the time is right. Only you can fix this. So I beg you for a miracle. I beg you not to allow this baby to be born until he is ready enough. Please give them a miracle because I can’t. This is all up to you.” And on I wept.

Our son called an hour later to report that things had settled down. Three hours after that, he called again: “He’s here! Daniel is here!” All tests indicated that Daniel was behaving like a mini-full-term newborn. His color, weight and reflexes amazed all concerned. Though he would remain in the hospital for a few weeks, there were no indications that Daniel was anything but “ready enough.”

Loving God, I humbly thank you for allowing me the courage to pray as I did and for responding with nothing less than that miracle which continues to bear the sweetest fruit!

©2018 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Once Again, I Thank You, Dear God…

From the depths of my despair, I wept before you.
You heard my voice, dried my tears and responded.

Inspired by Psalm 130:1-2 and God’s Merciful Response to Me

Our little grandson recently celebrated his second birthday. What a celebration that was! It was with deep gratitude that I rejoiced with Daniel because…

Daniel’s mom had experienced productive contractions from Week 26 of this pregnancy. Week 32 marked a major milestone. Another two weeks would bring him close to typical newborn size and development. A day into that week, the telephone rang at 1:00 AM. I heard my husband repeat, “So your water broke?” Tears flowed as they spoke further. My prayers began.

That morning, we learned Baby could remain in utero for two weeks while his mom remained in the hospital. After praying the morning away, I called my son. I heard the concern in his voice as he reported that his wife was experiencing a lot of pain. Because my daughter-in-law is healthy, athletic and incapable of complaining, I took this news to heart. It was then that my prayer changed…

I wept until I found the courage to look heavenward. I wept bitterly as I spoke… “Dear God, I can feed the hungry and be there for the lonely. I can listen to those who need me and I can mourn with those in pain. But this, there is nothing I can do about this. I can’t stop the contractions. I can’t keep that baby in place until the time is right. Only you can fix this. So I beg you for a miracle. I beg you not to allow this baby to be born until he is ready enough. Please give them a miracle because I can’t. This is all up to you.” And on I wept.

Four hours later, our son called: “He’s here! Daniel is here!” All tests indicated that Daniel was behaving like a mini-full-term newborn. His color, weight and reflexes amazed all concerned. Though he remained in the hospital for three weeks, Daniel proved that he was indeed “ready enough”!

Loving God, I humbly thank you for allowing me to pray as I did and for responding with that miracle.

©2017 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

A Lasting Miracle

From the depths of my despair, I wept before you.
You heard my voice, dried my tears and responded.

Inspired by Psalm 130:1-2

Today, we celebrate our grandson’s first birthday. The past 365 days have been filled with blessings great and small and today we give thanks for the little boy who started it all…

A few weeks and one year ago, I was distracted from everything except for Baby-to-be and his mom. Productive contractions had begun several weeks early. We held our breath and prayed in unison that baby would remain in place a bit longer. Because our daughter-in-law is healthy, athletic and incapable of complaining, I didn’t worry until our son called to say that Kim was in a lot of pain.

I wept until I found the courage to pray. I wept bitterly as I spoke… “Dear God, I can feed the hungry and be there for the lonely. I can listen to those who need me and I can mourn with those in pain. But this -there is nothing I can do about this. I can’t stop the contractions. I can’t keep that baby in place until the time is right. Only you can fix this. So I beg you for a miracle. I beg you not to allow this baby to be born until he is ready enough. Please give them a miracle because I can’t. This is all up to you.” And on I wept.

Early that evening, Tim and Kim called: “He’s here! Daniel is here!” they said in unison. Daniel behaved like a mini-full-term newborn. Though he remained in the hospital for three and one-half weeks, every day of the year that has followed has confirmed that Daniel was indeed “ready enough”!

Happy Birthday, Danny!

Loving God, thank you for the gift of Daniel and his wonderful mom and dad.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Tears of Love

Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.
Psalm 126:5

I admit that I have shed many tears as of late. I wept over the impending birth of our little grandson who seemed intent upon arriving a bit too early. God graciously endured my mournful onslaught and then responded with great love. I wept when Little Daniel arrived. He weighed an amazing 4 pounds 5 ounces and he scored like a mini full-term newborn on an at-birth assessment. Though I maintained my composure when I first saw him, I shed tears of joy on the way home. Though I smiled broadly when I first held him, I cried later in the day when I was alone with God. I could not contain my joy.

With each passing day, I worry and I rejoice over Daniel’s progress. Both elicit my tears. As I consider the trials and triumphs of loving my own little family, I wonder. Finally, I ask The Almighty how it is possible to watch over and attend to all of us twenty-four/seven for eternity. I imagine God smiling in response. “It’s love, Mary. It’s all about love,” God tells me.

Loving God, of all of your gifts, our capacity to love is the greatest. Painful as love sometimes is, I thank for this heartfelt miracle.

©2015 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

A Miracle

From the depths of my despair, I wept before you.
You heard my voice, dried my tears and responded.

Inspired by Psalm 130:1-2 and God’s Merciful Response to Me

Now that my little grandson is here, I find the courage to share the depth of my fear regarding Daniel’s arrival…

Because his mom’s productive contractions began during Week 26 of this pregnancy, reaching Week 32 marked a major milestone. Another two weeks would bring Baby close to typical newborn size and development. A day into that week, the telephone rang at 1:00 AM. I heard my husband repeat, “So your water broke?” Tears flowed as they spoke further. My prayers began.

That morning, we learned Baby could remain in place for two weeks while his mom remained in the hospital. Precautions would slow progress and assist the baby’s development. My husband and I headed to church for Mass and our usual Sunday morning routine. I admit to complete distraction from everything except my prayers for Baby and his mom. My husband-the-deacon remained to perform baptisms and I returned home. On the way, I called my son. I heard the concern in his voice as he reported that his wife was experiencing a lot of pain. Because my daughter-in-law is healthy, athletic and incapable of complaining, I took this news to heart. It was then that my prayer changed…

I wept as I drove home and when I arrived. I wept as I changed my clothes. I wept until I found the courage to look heavenward. I wept bitterly as I spoke… “Dear God, I can feed the hungry and be there for the lonely. I can listen to those who need me and I can mourn with those in pain. But this -there is nothing I can do about this. I can’t stop the contractions. I can’t keep that baby in place until the time is right. Only you can fix this. So I beg you for a miracle. I beg you not to allow this baby to be born until he is ready enough. Please give them a miracle because I can’t. This is all up to you.” And on I wept.

Our son called an hour later to report that things had settled down. Three hours after, he called again: “He’s here! Daniel is here!” All tests indicated that Daniel was behaving like a mini-full-term newborn. His color, weight and reflexes amazed all concerned. Though he will remain in the hospital for a few weeks, there are no indications that Daniel is anything but “ready enough.”

Loving God, I humbly thank you for allowing me the courage to pray as I did and for loving me enough to respond with nothing less than that miracle.

©2015 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved