I'm a very reflective person by nature. I learned this when I was student teaching and in college. My supervisors and professors pointed this quality out to me. I guess then I didn't realize that it was a gift I possessed, I merely thought everyone did it, but I guess that isn't the case.
I often spend my quiet moments reflecting on the day or the week. What we've done or not done. Saying small prayer as I think of a person I talked with or a need someone expressed. I also reflect on what I've got coming up ahead and how it's all going to work- filling in my mental calendar.
My favorite moments to reflect on are the one with girls and life with Matt. The sweet moments of love that glue our days together as a family. Looking at pictures throughout the house always bring me back to when...
I think of the mountains overcome and valleys of days past. I think of how God was there with us through it all, in our hearts and alongside us.
So as I've gone through this third pregnancy I do the same. But not with a picture, with toenail polish.
This summer my Grandma Rose passed away. This happened at the end of July/beginning of August. After an already emotional spring and summer the girls and I traveled home to honor her life and memory with our family. While we were there Lauren asked me excitedly one day to paint our toenails. I took a mental look at our week and told her that one afternoon while Olivia slept her and I would paint our toenails.
We were both excited to look through Grammy P's stash- all new colors to us making the special moment all the more fun. I found this really pretty and deep lavender and Lauren picked out a pink and blue. Then I noticed a sparkly one I could use as a top coat. We enjoyed our moment in the quiet small apartment. Grammy and Aunt Shauna were gone, Olivia was sleeping, and cousin Finn and Papa were out in the pond fishing so we had the place to ourselves. I think this was the only quiet time we were able to have together all week.
I'm not sure what brand polish I used but that polish stayed on and looked great for a few months. Then as time went on and I became pregnant with the bundle of joy I'm carrying now, I was too sick/preoccupied to remove it. Summer turned to Fall and the once opened toed shoes turned into sneakers and flats as the days got cooler. So I saw even less of a reason to remove the polish. It worn off most of my toes or grew out but hung on strong to my big toenails.
I started noticing the polish in those few brief moments when my toes were uncovered and reflecting on the time I put it on. The tough emotional spot I was in then, filled with loss and sadness. Yet I also think about the sweet moments with Lauren when her and I put it on- the joy we shared together in those few short minutes of quality alone time and pray for us. I think of the baby we lost just a month earlier and then pray for him/her. I think of the baby, the life, I have in my body right now and pray for her. I think of all the love that filled our days since then and pray for it.
Although at first I just didn't remove the polish out of pure laziness now I leave that last little strip on as a reminder- a reminder of my journey, the mountains and valleys. I think of my Grandma up in heaven.
When my mom called me and told me that they were with Grandma Rose and it wouldn't be much longer before she passed on I cried and thought of how joyful she was going to be in heaven and I asked my mom to tell her something. I ask her to tell Grandma Rose to "Hold my babies in heaven tight for me and give them lots of kisses." My mom later told me she whispered that into her ear as she lay there waiting to walk through heaven's gates. I know she is. I know God is too. With tears in my eyes I pray for them.
What a journey this pregnancy has been and still is. So when the day comes to deliver her into this world I plan on having my itty bitty strip of nail polish on to remind me of the journey God took us on to get to from the ashes of last spring/summer and onto the life of this spring.
I know the day it finally is gone I'll be a bit sad but I know that it will be God tell me it's time to build some new moments worth reflecting on. Add a new color to garnish those open toed shoes that will come with me as the journey of life continues.
"He replied, 'The LORD, before whom I have walked faithfully, will send his angel with you and make your journey a success...'" Genesis 24:40a