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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

HOT AUGUST NIGHTS

This post is part of the CW blog chain. Our theme this month is “august.” Not August, the month; but “august” as in majestic, powerful, imposing, dignified, distinguished, solemn, stately. But here I’d like to combine the two meanings as I celebrate the life of my son.


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Hot August Nights.

That phrase has a special meaning when you’re nine months pregnant and don’t have air conditioning. That was me 25 years ago, awaiting the birth of my firstborn—our awesome son, Doug.

Yep, I was miserable before his birth. But remember John 16:21?

“A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.”

I’m not sure being hot is the sort of pain John was talking about. But back to the topic of august, majestic, dignified, solemn…

Let’s face it. There’s nothing dignified or solemn about giving birth. But the new life a child brings with him into the world is nothing less than a real and powerful example of God’s majesty. A baby is new life; a perfect child; a precious gift to the world. 

A Perfect Child


Like every new parent, the first thing I did when Doug was born was count his fingers and toes and thank God for giving Doug ten of each. In every way, my tiny baby was physically perfect. He was a true miracle; made no less miraculous by the fact that perfect babies have been born every moment of every day of every century since the beginning of time.
 
No doubt, Jesus’ earthly mother did the same as I did and as every other mother does. She counted Jesus’ fingers and toes and thanked God for the perfection she held in her arms.

A Precious Gift to Us 
After the counting, I thanked God for the gift that baby Dougie was to hubby and I.

At the same moment, I was overcome with the responsibility—the deep understanding that God had entrusted this child to our care. As stewards of his life, we had better do a good job of it. Our son was a precious gift to us—a gift that needed care to ensure he was healthy and loved.

How much more must Mary have sensed her responsibility to care for the God of the universe?


A Precious Gift to the World


Doug was a gift to the world as well. A person couldn’t help but look at little Dougie and smile. As a young boy, he was perpetually joyful—singing, whistling and laughing nonstop.

As a teenager attempting to live with angst, we could effortlessly annoy him by simply telling him “not to smile,” at which, of course, he grinned helplessly.

As a young man, discerning how to make his mark on the world, we know that whatever path he chooses, he will be a gift to those he encounters.

Just like Jesus is a gift both to us personally and to the world.


God’s Majesty in the Form of a Babe


Jesus was God’s most majestic gift to the world. He came in the majestic form of a tiny baby. Perfect physically. Perfect spiritually. Loved by his mother and earthly father. Loved by his Heavenly Father. Loved by the children who would become his bride—the church.

How does God’s august gift have to do with the month of August other than it being the birth month of my son? It has to do with living with thankfulness.

My internal thermometer is perpetually set on “high.” That means I’m always hot—especially in August. Once God sent us our Doug, though, my focus for the month of August was changed forever.

No longer does August mean the hottest month of the year. Now August means joy because I celebrate the month God blessed this world with our son.


By being thankful amid all circumstances –even the 110 degree temperatures of August, God reminded me that August doesn’t have to stand for the last big heat of summer. Rather August reminds me that the coolness of autumn waits just around the corner. So does the cool serenity of God’s love and grace wait for me every moment of every day.


God bless you, Doug for the child you were and the man you have become. May God actively pursue your heart. May you seek and find Him. May you follow Him all the days of your life.

  

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for showing us your majesty in this world. Thank you for your august nature, displaying it even as a tiny babe. Show us how to live with a happy heart, focusing on thankfulness in every situation. Amen.


WHAT ABOUT YOU? Do you love the month of August? What about August do you think is most “august”?

18 comments:

Victor Travison said...

August marks my mother's birthday (the 24th), which was also her second wedding anniversary. It would have been her 20th anniversary with my stepfather, had he not died last September. Of course, I've also had several friends with August birthdays, particularly my college girlfriend.

August is the only month without a national holiday, and I'm not sure I could pinpoint anything "august" about August, but it certainly is a significant month in my life.

Great post, Carol.

~ VT

Traci B said...

Excellent post, Carol!

I also have August birthdays for which I am thankful: my mom's and her mom's. Mom, youngest of 7 (!), was born two weeks after Grandma turned 39. If it weren't for these two strong women and their influence in my life, I a)wouldn't be alive, and b)wouldn't be the strong woman God is making me to be.

Tracy Krauss said...

My second daughter was born during a heat wave during late July and the AC in the hospital wasn't working. I can relate!
This was a lovely tribute to your son. thanks Carol.

chris vonada said...

I do think of the heat in August and looking forward to the fall... now I will surely think in the terms you've spoke here Carol, and be thankful. Reading John 16:21 here did make me think of so many sharp contrasts in life when we face difficult pain and amazing joy in what seems at times to be from one breath to the next. Happy Birthday to Doug!!

From Carol's Quill said...

@ Tracy - no A/C in the hospital? You'd think that was part of the official life support system!

From Carol's Quill said...

@ VT and Traci - I love hearing about the August birthdays in your life. My August calendar page is filled with them.

@ Chris - thank you for pointing out that pain often comes with joy.

Terrie said...

Another great post! I know I sometimes forget the pain and anguish of life's struggles, but when that time has past and I have an opportunity to reflect on what those struggles have produced in my life. It think it's strange how the Lord compares pains of childbirth with the expression of renewed hope and a new life-- but that is really what trials produce: a reflection of His Majesty and our newness of life.

From Carol's Quill said...

@ Terrie - well said: trials produce "a reflection of His majesty."

Christine Henderson said...

Thank you for showing the honor of being a mom and caring for and molding a precious gift from God!

From Carol's Quill said...

@ Chris - Wow. You're right. It is an honor to be a mom. To be entrusted by God. Thank you for that insight.

Jami said...

What a precious comparison, Carol, and what a great honor to your son. Happy birthday to him! I'm sure he's a blessing.

From Carol's Quill said...

@ Jami - Yep, he's a blessing alright. Thanks for the birthday wishes to him.

lynnmosher said...

I'm with Jami...such a precious comparison! I loved your post, Carol. Tell your sweet boy happy birthday! Blessings to you both!

From Carol's Quill said...

@ Lynn - thank you, my friend.

Cindee Snider Re said...

Carol, there could be nothing more majestic than celebrating your son, such a precious gift from the Hand of God. What a truly beautiful, "august" post!!

From Carol's Quill said...

@ Cindee - thanks. You are sure right. God's gifts are magnificant!

Scott Fields said...

In answer to your last question: I now think the most august thing about August are the wonderful posts people like you are generating around a word that’s really just a fancy way of saying “big.”

Women have a unique point of view when it comes to the birth of Christ. You’re all able to see an aspect of the event that we, as men, can never fully experience. It also gives you special insight into the verse that says Mary took all these things and “treasured” them in her heart. Thanks for sharing your treasure with us, even for such a brief time. We know you better for it, and through you, we know Him better for it too.

From Carol's Quill said...

@ Scott - Thanks for the kind remarks. Am chuckling about your insight that "august" really just means "big." Yep, God IS big!