Our newest granddaughter was born this week.  Her name is River.  She is unquestionably adorable!  I’ve longed for her arrival and this past week we met for the first time.  My heart is beyond full.  Absolute wonder, this little one.

Teri got to be in the delivery room with Ashley & Eric as she was born.  I am grateful that she was invited into that most intimate time.  I was back at the kids’ home overseeing things with Opal, River’s big sister (who is almost two now).  I hung by the phone, waiting for updates, praying for good health and tender care.  The texts started arriving after 10pm.  “Baby just born!!!”  (10-minute pause).  “She has Ashley’s nose!” (1-minute pause) “Ashley is good, they are doing something to her now, not sure what…they don’t seem alarmed…” (5-minute pause) “Baby is crying and it’s the sweetest sound!”

Those hours alone, while Opal slept soundly and I waited anxiously for news, they were hours I prayed great prayers of simple faith.  Please take care of her, God.  Please take care of my baby girl, Ashley.  Please take care of baby-girl.  Please give Eric extra courage and strength right now.  Please give Teri extra sensitive awareness to know what to do if, and when, asked.

That was my role that night.  To pray.

It’s not an easy role.  The best I had to bring to the prayer was that I was nervous, anxious amidst being excited and hopeful.  And then the texts came in from my wife.  River was here.  Ashley was OK.  Eric was awesome.  I was so grateful to hear from Teri.  I loved the exclamation marks in her texts, as they underscored the reality of things.

The prayers are not over.  The anxiousness is not done coming, nor is the excitement and hope.  River is here now and her life will bring with it all measure of reason to pray and ask God for help.  *Even as I write this from the living room of Eric & Ashley’s home I can hear Eric pacing the floor of their bedroom with a tiny little baby in his arms who doesn’t seem to know that staying up all night is not the rhythm that her mommy and daddy would prefer!  I’m sure he’s praying that she’ll go to sleep.

Oh, little River.  You are such a gift to us.  Your life causes us to celebrate, to come together, to pray.  And that brings us close to God, close to Him with our needs, our profound need for help as we seek to protect you, provide for you, grow in our ability to guide you, mature in our appreciation for truth, beauty and hope.  We cannot do this alone, this life.  You, your mommy and daddy, sissy, Papa, Mimi…none of us can do this life alone.  Life comes from God and flows both to and through us.

River – such a beautiful name.  Living water, flowing and abundant.  Your name is so very special to me, little one.  It will forever remind me of both my love for you and God’s love for you; a living, flowing and abundant love that brings us what we need.  I am so very grateful that you’ve come.  The world is changing yet again before your Papa.

We all are precious little children to God.  There’s a river of life in each of us, a river that comes from God somehow and flows to the world.  No one can put together the words to fully describe such transcendent beauty and mystery.  But we can stop and share what we see along the way.

Today I see a little girl named River, helpless without her mommy and daddy, yet full of power and life as she is already being used to change the world for the better for all of those around her, simply by the fact that she was born and breathes and brings life to us.

You were this little baby once, and so was I.  We still are that vessel of life meant to bring a flowing abundance to the world.

May it be so today.

Flow abundantly.

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