Born nearly two months early, my little man made his appearance in a rush. Taken quickly in an emergency c-section and then whisked away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, it was nearly 11 hours before I was allowed to see him and two days before I was allowed to touch or hold him. I awoke Christmas morning, aching to hold my little man for the first time. After the long walk from my recovery room to the NICU; I approached the security desk. The nurses greeted me with big smiles, encouraging words, and beautiful gifts: a photo Christmas card of my little man in a stocking and hat, homemade cookies with an encouraging card, and last but not least, a tiny little cashmere puppy dog blanket purchased and donated by parents of a former "graduate" of the NICU. In that moment I was overcome with emotion that was topped only by the tremendous blessing of holding my son for the first time.
Two days ago, my Little Man turned one year old. He is a happy, healthy little boy with an infectious laugh and twinkling eyes. He takes his “lovey” everywhere and falls asleep at night stroking the soft fur of the special blanket. Looking back on that day, I have so many treasured memories: the stolen moment with my son and husband, opening presents with my entire family stuffed in my tiny little hospital room, the visitors, the calls, and of course the generous gift from complete strangers. I’ve thought about that day a lot over the last year and feel compelled to bless others in the same way that we were blessed by the generosity of strangers. Yesterday our little family made a trek out to the NICU where my little man spent the first month of his life to provide gifts for the families in the NICU in a tradition that we intend to make annual. I don’t share this story for a pat on the back but to recognize how truly blessed my family was by a seemingly small gesture. Every day we have the opportunity to bless others with seemingly small things as well: kind words, encouragement, cards, prayers, even a smile. How have you blessed or been blessed this holiday season?
But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
2 Corinthians 8:7
2 Corinthians 8:7