Can it get any more precious?

Michael walked out to the car, said to me "I'm going to give her to you, then drive the car around." What? Oh, we were at the airport last night to pick up Beth and Bre. It was late, and you know the airports - they don't let you wait by the curb for your arriving party. So, we were across the street in the waiting lot. He walks over, as I open up the door, he hands me this bundle that turned out to be Lily. Lily was sound asleep. I mean she didn't even feel the cold air when he walked outside.

The beauty about little children sleeping so soundly is that you see every little detail of their face, their lips so pressed together, their eye lashes glued against their cheeks, their hair in a tussle. At this moment especially, they are so kissable! As I'm cradling her in my arms she has no idea that I'm holding her. I kiss her forhead and tell Michael how precious everything about her is, to which he agrees, but adds "she's getting so heavy!" He had been inside the airport holding her for some time while waiting for the bags. No, she's not the tiny baby she once was, she's growing up so fast. Even upon arriving home, Lily was still sound asleep. So, guess we'll have to wait until she wakes up this morning.

We are hoping she likes it here, in Maine, where there's snow on the ground, there's little Maxx to nip at her slippers, where it's colder than at home. Either way, we're so thrilled to have her visit us. And we're so glad she brought her Mommie and Auntie Bre. so Romantic.

It all starts here. A quiet moment, the smell of baby lotion or baby powder, the warmth and softness of their skin and the fact that their head can rest under the chin with such a perfect fit. Motherhood is a very romantic time. The best times were in the evening,  dinner and dishes done, baby bathed and in snuggley pj's, cuddling, rocking, until their body relaxed into that limp, lifeless, sleeping posture. Their breathing slows and you can just tell they are in for a deep sleep for the night. And, following without a beat, your own spirit settles softly into an "eyes at half mast" feeling. Wanting to wait until you know for sure the angelic being you are embracing is indeed asleep, you wait 5 maybe 10 minutes before arising to lay them down in their crib.

I feel very fortunate to be among the elite category of women, those who hold the title of Grandma or Grandmother or Gramma. Whatever you call it, it can also be a romantic time as well. As I watch my daughter gently loving her son, caring for him, nurturing him, comforting him, it's as if the time machine turns back by quantum leaps to the exact moment I was doing all those things for her. It's a time when you know that you know that you know what love is. God has given us this wonderful time to enjoy and if we're still enough, His still small voice will instruct us and remind us that He loves us even more. As a mother and a Grandmother, we can't imagine that there is anymore love than this. But then, with one little grin or smile, or the reach of their hand towards your face you fall in love all over again.

Right now, I'm so thankful to have photographs that capture that moment in time for my daughter and her son. They are priceless. I have to admit there is a twinge of regret that I didn't have them for those same moments when she was his size. If indeed I can find anything remotely close to it, I'll share them at another time. But the truth is that they are all still in my minds eye. I am thankful for those moments, thankful she is able to have her own moments and thankful for the special feelings that being a mom and Gramma has brought to me. It is so romantic!

~photo by Jami Dale~

Another Rendall-Daniele Wedding?

Perhaps there is something in the universe I'm not aware of, allowances that are hidden, or rules that haven't yet been published. Or perhaps it's social dynamics evolving and morphing into something meant only for fiction. I don't really know. Maybe, just maybe, it was always meant to be, that somewhere in the architects master plan, somewhere on the blueprint there were two places and times there would be Rendall-Daniele lines intersecting. If this were a highway and they were coming to the same intersection at the same time, you might expect a terrible crash. Actually, there was, and all of us still have injuries that are healing. Some injuries are more obvious and more talked about, some injuries are deep within and will heal inspite of others. But the reality is that since I took on the Daniele name 2 years ago, there is a Daniele that will be taking on the Rendall name sometime in the near future. Stranger than fiction, this is the stuff that tv talk shows thrive on. But I wouldn't want a talk show made on this part of my life. Not exactly.

If I were on a talk show about the whole strange turn of events, I would want the important messages and lessons learned to be brought out. Not just the angst and feelings that have gone along with the entire process. The accurate truth, not just one sides version needs to be told. One side is only half the story. The truth is that one side of the story would not exist without the other side. Realizing there is way more to it would be a key to understanding the whole story. Then, not as much blame would be laid, not as much anger would be tossed about and, as well, there would not be as much disrespect given to those who are presumed to be at fault. The truth is that we are all at fault, we have all made mistakes, but we are all forgiven.

One important lesson, perhaps the most important lesson, is that God is in control of all things. If God's plan is used to explain half the story, then it must be used to explain all of the story. Otherwise the logic doesn't add up and you end up limiting God. God answered my prayer for someone to love me as much as I loved them. God answered Michael's prayer for someone who he could deeply love. Now, He could have answered those prayers in a million different ways, but He chose to answer them in the way that He did. Fingerprints were left about for us to find, the path was drawn and permission was given to make the choices. And we know this for sure. There is no question, no doubt, no regret. Following God doesn't always look the way you think it will and for us, it was not what we would have planned for ourselves. God saw Michael and God saw me, both broken spirited, broken hearted people, longing for relationships grounded deep in His love...and He said "oh, this one is easy." This was not a problem too big for God, nor was it a request that He could not honor. His graciousness and mercy poured out on us and we felt His hand of favor moving in our lives, expanding our borders, prospering us and protecting us along the way.

Now, practicing what I preach, I have to add that if God can bring together two people, a Rendall and a Daniele, to love each other, then I have to say that He can bring two more people, a Rendall and a Daniele, as well, to love each other. Not what we might plan, surely not what society expects. But God has a plan that trumps our plans most every time. The truth is that because Michael is in my life, I am a better person, he brings out the best in me and I feel deeply loved. And he has told me, almost without ceasing, that he is a better person, the best is being brought out in him and feels deeply loved because I am in his life. We would not want anything less than what God wants for our lives. So, looking to the other side, if Dennis brings out the best in Lori, which Michael could not, and Lori brings out the best in Dennis, which I could not, then all the glory and credit to God for bringing people together who belong together. He is a good God and knows us better than we know ourselves.

The residual issues that will present themselves will be something that the four of us, as adults, will have to address. Not in a spirit of anger, hatred or resentment. But instead, in a spirit of reconciliation, a spirit of friendship and a spirit of grace and mercy. If they choose not to contribute to this strange configuration of relationships, that would be unfortunate. They have been working on their relationship as long as we have, since around September of 2006, so their strength as a couple should be mature to the point where this could be possible. For all parties involved, meaning the children and grand-children, we are praying for a spirit that can only be from God and the one that will surpass our own desires and abilities. It might not seem possible that a friendship could be an end result to all of this, but if that is God's plan, then we will have to find in within our hearts to make it happen.

I'm guessing it can work, another Rendall-Daniele wedding/relationship/marriage. If God is at the core, if love is at the core, if only the best intentions for one another are at the core, then I believe it's possible. And on some level, it feels good to be a catalyst, to have blazed the trail, to be the ones who said "I do" first. But this isn't a competition. To God it's just a plan. I can honor and respect that and be proud that we serve a God big enough, who is a Master Architect with a blueprint large enough, to draw a plan especially designed for all of us. He widened the circle for some reason to encompass us all under the same arc. I'm sure, I'm confident, he'll show us how to coexist under it. May God reign and may peace reign, in the hearts of both of the Rendall-Daniele's and most of all for all the Rendall-Daniele children, Sara, Ben, Chris, Beth, Bre, Lily and Wyatt.

~Photo by Loriann Lessa Molhotra~