Chronicles of Sadie

Precious Thoughts

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(originally written on July 16th, 2008)

I write to you from the hospital room again tonight. Tired. My beautiful wife, the real hero of this whole adventure, is beyond exhaustion and still trying to recover from her surgery. Together, we are attempting to learn the art of parenting a newborn.

Sadie’s doing great! She hasn’t a care in the world. I kid you not when I say that the child could win a gold medal in pooping! She literally is the most beautiful little girl you’ve ever seen–and I dare someone to dispute me!

I’m sure that I seem quite silly to “experienced” parents because I really do still listen for her little breaths and I stir when she fusses. I’m religiously keeping up with her “diaper reports,” along with the amounts and times of her feedings down to the minute and ounce. She’s worn three different outfits today and I’m pretty sure she’s discovered that her fist is edible. When she’s calming down, she coos and fusses as if she’s almost talking to you. The tone of her cry is lower than a lot of the other babies around here who sound like little miniature ambulances. Yeah, I’m pretty sure she’s going to have quite the strong singing voice.

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There are a million other details about her day that I could share in such exact detail that you would probably find it comical. Subtle shades of eye-color. Tiny, dark hairs spread out across her delicately soft little head. Feet the size of afour-year old and ears the size of a mouse. The fact that her eyes are most open in the middle of the night and she often only opens one eye at a time during the day. The list is already endless.

“Precious” is an adjective that Laura and I repeatedly shower upon our little darling. I went home today for a few minutes to check on things and grab some stuff for Laura. In the process of the short drive from downtown Nashville to Mt. Juliet, I bet my mind produced a million thoughts about Laura, Sadie, and our life together. Some thoughts were the anxious apprehensions of a clueless new dad. Some thoughts were the pragmatic mental lists of the thousands of little details ahead that are still left to be accomplished. Most thoughts, however, are just of Sadie herself and the wonder of her new little life. Endless thoughts.

I am not “amazed” or surprised that she has toes, but I am intimately aware of each wrinkle on her new little feet. Technically, I have not learned anything profound about parenthood from her crying, but my mind can replay her little voice as if it were recorded in a studio and set to repeat in my brain. My thoughts about her are more than informational. They are… well, precious.

… how precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me! Psalm 139: 17-18 (NLT)

When I read Psalm 139: 17, I begin to see God as so much more than just “God the Enforcer,” “God the Creator,” or “God the Savior” (though he definitely is all of things.) I can see him also as “God the Daddy.” Yesterday I was cradling Sadie, basking in her glow, and I actually prayed to myself, “God, is this really how you feel about me?”

Honestly, I hesitate to even mention these thoughts because so many parents have mentioned these kinds of things about God and parenthood to me. I don’t want to be trite or unoriginal, but I genuinely pray this concept jumps off the pages of scripture and into the very room of your heart that is currently most vacant and in need of occupancy. God is crazy about you! It is not just a cool metaphor or an effective sermon illustration; it is plain as day right there in his words!

“… how precious are his thoughts to us–too many to be numbered.” Most of us cringe at the idea of actually knowing God’s thoughts about us. We assume he must be disappointed in us—that he is shaking his head in disbelief over our constant stupidity—that he’s waiting for our next moment of misstep. As a man who has recently broken the plane of parenthood, I can assure you these are not the kinds of thoughts I have for my little girl.

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I do not want to paint a portrait of a God who is perpetually elated to be the parent of a generation of whining spiritual newborns who never grow up into maturity. Trust me, I do not want to be changing Sadie’s poopy diapers when she is fourteen. Is God disappointed in us at times? Sure he is; all good parents are. But there is a huge difference between disappointment and disenchantment or detachment. Our faults do not separate us from the love of our Father—this kind of spiritual love is preciously biological in nature.

Tonight I stood over Sadie’s bassinet and just watched her sleep. Protecting. Watching. Listening. Smiling. Planning. Dreaming of her future. She had no idea I was there, but I most certainly was. And just as the scripture says, “when she awakes, I am still here with her.”

When you awaken from whatever sleep you may be in—temptation, insecurity, condemnation, fear, difficulty—rest assured your Father has been watching you. Patting your back when you stir. Whispering in your ear when you cry. Making sure you are safe from outside dangers. That is the love of the Father.

How precious you are to him! Just imagine what thoughts he may be thinking about you right now.

Sweet dreams.

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