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Great is Thy Faithfulness

As I write this it is almost midnight, June 24th. Two years ago at this time, I was in the final stages of labor, after more than a day of working to get that baby out of me.

This morning, after his bath time, I watched him running through the house naked, that same body that tore out of me has now lost its chunky baby butt in favor of the skinny boy butt. Those fat thighs gained three inches in the past month, I swear. The kid’s a giant (Hohorst genes). And I feel continually shocked that the fuzzy memory I have of participating in August’s introduction to the world actually took place two years ago.

“What’s tomorrow, August?” Chris asked tonight when he got home.

“AUGUST TWO!” our little boy shouted.

He’s pumped for the first birthday he’s aware of. Last year, our boy turned one while he and I were at Young Life camp for the month of June. I spent the month running from costume to costume, working as part of the entertainment for the groups of kids that came in each week. August was in the care of my mom while Chris worked in Philadelphia, driving up for visits on the weekend. He couldn’t be there for August’s birthday. On the actual day we found a chance to pull all the staff and their families together for a round of “Happy Birthday” and some cupcakes. The miniature party was interrupted by one of the most beautiful rainbows I’ve ever seen, stretched out over the lake, shimmering. (The cynic in me says: Seriously? A rainbow? Are you seriously going to point it out as a gift from God? Yes, I don’t care what you say, my skeptical brain dweller, I saw a rainbow and it was beautiful. And it was a promise for my boy.)

That night I prayed for August in the midst of watching a lot of high school kids silently sort through the story they had heard that week: that they were loved unconditionally, that God wanted to rescue them from the brokenness in their lives. It was easy to pray for my baby as I watched them, knowing what I’ve seen in the lives of young people: the pressure, the feeling of worthlessness, the destructive choices. I prayed for who he would be, that he’d love well, that he’d be the kind of friend everyone searches for, that he would know his value is far deeper than what can be assigned by any person or accomplishment. I prayed he would know that the lavish, difficult, inconceivable love of Jesus Christ is real and is his to take.

Chris put August to bed tonight as I cleaned dishes and finished baking the cake for tomorrow’s party. But, after getting cozy in his covers, I was called in. A song was requested. I have my typical brain-stored-mix-tape of songs for the lullaby moments I’ve shared with August in these two years of babyhood. Most fall out of my mouth without thought. I decided long ago that I wanted August to know the sweet Invitation hymns of my Baptist childhood, so those are what I focus on. My favorites are “All to Jesus, I Surrender” and “Just As I Am.” Tonight, though, in the dark, with my near-two-year old snuggled under the cover of his blanky, I sang the first song that came to my mouth: “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.”

As he eased off to sleepyland. I felt as though its words were incense rising from my chest on behalf of the boy I praised God for.

And then, its last verse:

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

I’m sure by now you’re tired of my motherly ramblings. And mostly what I say here is that I need more “strength for today.” But, I don’t say enough about the “bright hope” I carry in my gut, that shining orb I hold on behalf of a life God somehow saw fit to place inside me.

So, while I chase August through the zoo tomorrow (his request) and prep for the picnic party tomorrow evening, I pray to hold his future in me with the glow of such a remarkable hope.

Happy birthday, August Henry.

  • Maureen

    Happy Birthday August!! How blessed are you to have 2 of the greatest people I know as your parents. Can’t wait to see you guys in a month!

  • Janna

    Happy Birthday to your baby!

    (Great is thy faithfulness is one of my all-time favorite hymns!)

  • Janna

    Happy Birthday to your baby!

    (Great is thy faithfulness is one of my all-time favorite hymns!)

  • http://www.atimetodance-amanda.blogspot.com Amanda Kolman

    Happy Birthday to August!…and to you, Elaine, as I know so well how a child’s birthday marks a day of becoming for us moms as well. The day we became moms, which is something wholly different than anything else we were before. May you be blessed today as you thank God for the gift of your son and for the gift you are to him!

    And…isn’t it funny? Loren and I decided we wanted our kids to know the old hymns, too. We have sung different ones every night since Hope was born. I love hearing what their favorite ones are. One is “O the deep deep love of Jesus”, although we just found out recently that they thought for a long time that it was called “O the Pee Pee love of Jesus” No wonder they snickered and requested it so often. :)

  • http://www.atimetodance-amanda.blogspot.com Amanda Kolman

    Happy Birthday to August!…and to you, Elaine, as I know so well how a child’s birthday marks a day of becoming for us moms as well. The day we became moms, which is something wholly different than anything else we were before. May you be blessed today as you thank God for the gift of your son and for the gift you are to him!

    And…isn’t it funny? Loren and I decided we wanted our kids to know the old hymns, too. We have sung different ones every night since Hope was born. I love hearing what their favorite ones are. One is “O the deep deep love of Jesus”, although we just found out recently that they thought for a long time that it was called “O the Pee Pee love of Jesus” No wonder they snickered and requested it so often. :)

  • Campbell

    Beautiful reflections for a celebratory day! Yay, August! And good work, Micha, two years ago, and every day since.

  • Campbell

    Beautiful reflections for a celebratory day! Yay, August! And good work, Micha, two years ago, and every day since.

  • http://mommymonk.wordpress.com Micha Boyett Hohorst

    Friends, thank you for the birthday wishes! August had a wonderful day, full of the zoo and legos and a birthday party at the park. And we even survived his biggest tantrum so far…whew. It was great.

    Oh the Pee Pee Love of Jesus,
    Micha

  • http://mommymonk.wordpress.com Micha Boyett Hohorst

    Friends, thank you for the birthday wishes! August had a wonderful day, full of the zoo and legos and a birthday party at the park. And we even survived his biggest tantrum so far…whew. It was great.

    Oh the Pee Pee Love of Jesus,
    Micha

  • Pingback: Grape is Thy Faithfulness! (aka Thankful Tuesday after Easter Sunday) | mama:monk

  • Pingback: Grape is Thy Faithfulness! (aka Thankful Tuesday after Easter Sunday) | mama:monk


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