I held her in my arms last night, listening to her breathe heavy with sleep and watching her eyes dance with dreams behind tiny lids.
And in a split second, the panic set in.
How are we only a few months away from our tiny humans first birthday? What if I can't have any more and she'll be my only baby? How will I ever remember this curve of her heart shaped lips, the smell of her skin, the warmth of her little body pushed up against mine? Why is she growing so fast? Scarlett Grace, can you please just slow down?
As I sat on the couch, frozen in mom-fear, I remembered a book I read a few months ago, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. There's a chapter somewhere in the middle where Voskamp is holding her five year old, the youngest of her half a dozen kids, and she's asking the same questions. Why is it that God gives us something we love so very much, then makes us stand by to watch in helplessness as what we love the most grows up and away from us so quickly?
Of course those aren't God's intentions-to give us something that we feel is being taken away from us the moment they enter this world, or for us to panic at the thought of our babies growing up-but Voskamp offers an interesting idea of how to slow time down instead of watch it fly away.
Fill every second with gratitude.
Saturate each moment, name the blessing that it is, and fill it so full of thanksgiving that it becomes so incredibly heavy and has no choice but to slow, weighted down with gratitude.
So just as Voskamp did, I watched my baby sleep. And instead of longing for her to stop growing-to stay my tiny human forever-I shifted my thoughts and traced her full, dark pink lips. I smoothed her thickening gold and copper hair. I ran my fingertips over the fringe of soft eyelashes and rested my hand on the warmth of her flushed cheeks, drinking in the sound and smells of sweet baby breath, hot against my arm.
And I gave thanks.
By focusing on what was right in front of me, this blessing of a miracle baby that started as an impossible beta of eleven, I was able to push out the fear of tomorrow and replace it with a moment so heavy with thankfulness that it ceased to fly and instead, stood still.
I was reminded that all God gives is love. And there may be gifts that we perceive as hindrances from Him, but just like infertility, I'm learning to see the good in everything. The gifts in everything. The grace in everything. The thankfulness in everything.
And doing my best to slow down time.
"Time is what we all have, now, that which we never need to merely find enough of, but rather the gift we are given to make something of."