Table of Thanks

“Now Presenting… Table of Thanks” 

In the midst of putting together a Thanksgiving table centerpiece and feeling the holiday whirlwind pick up speed… I regain focus, contemplating what matters most, as I reflect on this past year.IMG_8558

I have to confess, I forget far too easily. I am 9 months removed from an experience that changed my life, but it feels like 9 years.

This becomes clear when I follow a link shared by a friend. It is a video portraying a preemie being held for the first time by his mother. I shed a few tears as I watch it. I break down the second time I watch. I am taken back. The fragility of the baby portrayed. The tubes, IV’s, machines attached. The monitor alarms sounding. The face of the mother when she first holds her baby… beginning as a smile and then turning to a painful cry as she looks away pressing the back of her hand against her mouth. I remember this feeling. A feeling of guilt. Why did I do this. Why couldn’t I hold on longer and protect my babies from immediate struggle. IMG_7537I then reflect on something that calms my thoughts. Something I would tell myself over and over again while on bedrest. These aren’t your babies.These are God’s babies. Addressing my desire to be in control, I have to continuously remind myself… I am NOT in control.IMG_8512 IMG_8542

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IMG_8948IMG_9933 IMG_8904I am blessed to host Thanksgiving for my family this year.IMG_8701 IMG_8935IMG_8740 IMG_9985IMG_9053 IMG_9087IMG_9119IMG_8945 IMG_8721Baby Inspiration: The babies were “presented with” the SPACE of the outdoors, near a wheat field.IMG_8572 IMG_8541 IMG_8516IMG_9319 IMG_9312While on bedrest, I remember talking with several doctors about the phenomenon of labor. Despite medical advances, the verdict still seems to be out in terms of knowing exactly when labor will occur and what causes it. I look back on the day I went into labor.

As noted by my “Birth Story”, it was on the 6th day after the 28th week, one day shy of 29 weeks, that I started to feel unusual cramping in the afternoon. This cramping developed into minor contractions… While things seemed to subside toward the evening, I fell asleep only to awake an hour later to escalating contractions. I can’t describe the feeling of unwillingly going into labor.  Something that should be so special felt so terrifying.

More accurately, I wanted to fight it. For the short moments between contractions, I would try to convince myself and even suggest to my doctor that maybe ”I was just fine”. Maybe all of this would subside… and I could keep these fragile babies inside. Then… another terrible contraction would come on.IMG_9298

I look back now and realize, I couldn’t control when I would go into labor. I couldn’t control time, specifically what happened on the platform of time. As the seasons are changing… and we approach Thanksgiving… I think of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die*,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.”
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, NIV – *Research should be performed on literal and/or figurative meaning of this text.)

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For anyone who takes the time to read this…
As the days open and the days close…
As the seasons change in your life…
I hope you find or continue to find REFUGE.

I so easily forget, but it is for this Refuge I am thankful.IMG_8548Happy Thanksgiving.IMG_9036

♥ Tera