So already twice this week I've watched "It's a Wonderful Life".
Once with my Mom as a "new" tradition that we declared we would keep. We said that we would watch "It's a Wonderful Life"( and other old favorite Christmas movies) while we wrote out our Christmas cards each year as long as we live close to each other. Even as the family grows, this I hope will be a tradition my children will enjoy partaking of with their Nana.
The second time this week was with Shaun's daughter, Cheyanne who visited this weekend and had never seen it! Can you imagine? We had to correct that!
Both times I tried to hold back my tears and both times I cried through the whole thing. I just LOVE that movie!
I couldn't help but think back about Shaun & I and how much I felt like I could relate. You see we feel like over the past year or so (but even farther back) we have felt so often like we were living in some way that scene at the end ... you know the one where everyone comes in and starts pouring money on the table for George who had up until that point felt so alone?
That's what we feel like our life is like! Truly we are blessed with wonderful friends and people in our lives who have come together SO many times to pour out goodness on us in such a way that we could never repay it. We can only recieve in gratitude. This type of scenario has happened to us over and over.
It happened to us preparing for our wedding when so many friends came together to help us get ready and do everything they could to make this day one that I would never forget. Then it happened on January 1st, 2011. On the day of our marriage I have such a strong memory of stepping into a church filled to the brim with faces very young and very old, rich and poor and everyone in between ...of people I loved. Faces of those who our lives had intertwined with over the years and who I was overjoyed to see all in one place to share in our joy and the fruition of many years of waiting. It happened when we read through card after card and found that to our surprise at the end of opening them all our Wedding was completely paid off.
It happened again when we were blessed with little Ava Marie and we were so well taken care of again by friends and family that we barely needed to purchase a thing for her! Again God took care of us through the hands of our friends.
It has happened more times than I can possibly count and each time it does I am moved more than you can imagine and I reflect often over how undeservingly blessed we are in our beautiful little family.
Ava has taught me each day how much happiness it gives those who love you when you just recieve their goodness and love they want to give with joy and simple trust. I feel she will help me to be a better daughter of God and recieve all that He desires to give in his goodness not because I deserve it... but because ...I'm His daughter and he loves me. And Shaun is his Son. And boy do we feel loved!
I think of how little Ava gives me such joy when she lets me care for her and she just repays me with a smile or snuggles in tight after my meeting some need of hers. Or when she sleeps in my arms with complete trust knowing that I will take care of her no matter what. It makes my heart burst for joy that she lets me love her. If I could only allow myself to be so easily loved by God. I'm trying, though, for I see every day how much he loves us and wants to care for our every need.
"Consider the Lilies..." I remember Him saying. And I also think of His reminder that I am worth more than a million sparrows.
I am trying to remember this Advent ...with Christmas quickly coming to me... that He always keeps his promises and He is "worthy of our trust". Over the years whenever I was tempted to doubt that He still had a plan for me and remembered me... I thought of all that He had done for me ...and on a larger scale what he has done for all of humankind ...and I would always force myself to remember His love and that he had already done everything to show me that he was "worthy of my trust".
And after years of doubting and wondering why God wasn't hearing my prayers or was making me wait ...God was also waiting ...and waiting ...and waiting some more for me to figure out that His plan was actually already happening and indeed right in front of me. Shaun had literally been in front of me the whole time. I FINALLY figured that out.
It's like how George finally figures out that he just needs to see his life differently. He finally gets it!
I also couldn't help but think this time when I was watching "It's a Wonderful Life" (and I've never thought this until now) that the scenario of what's "Missing" in the world when George gets to experience what life would be like had he not been born... is actually a lot like the tragedy of abortion. That's in fact what happens at every one. All those lives that would have been touched go untouched. Those they would have married never marry...
at least not them.
Children they would have had are never born.
Lives they might have saved go unsaved.
Parents they would have perhaps brought joy and help to...
live lives without every knowing them.
And the differences they might have made are never made. All of it... all of it is gone! Because those poor mothers cannot see at that moment that the situation they have suddenly found themselves in may not actually seem so bleak if they were able to see it "differently".
I wish they could have their own "It's a Wonderful Life" experience.
After reflecting on this, I looked at Miss Ava and thought to myself how many lives she might touch in the years to come. This is just the beginning for her and I have the responsibility to help her to become the beautiful person she has been brought into the world to be. What a responsibility! What a privelege.
In the years to come (especially when I fulfill that new "Christmas" tradition with my Mum) I hope Shaun & I will always remember that we have had a wonderful life and at this moment I am truly looking forward for the Wonderful Life we still have yet to live.
- Marijanna and Shaun
- We met over 8 years ago at church as Shaun was walking in and I was walking out. The few words exchanged sparked an interst that kept Shaun coming back. When we FINALLY began dating 4 years later we soon knew there was something special here. Our first year quickly flew by and we both decided we never wanted to spend another year with anyone else or without each other. We married in the place where it all began on January 1, 2011 (1/1/11) and gave birth to our beautiful daughter Ava Marie on September 22, 2011 our next little one, Clara Rose came 16 months later on February 11, 2013. This blog began with our preparation with our wedding and has entered into recording the days and events of our newlywed life and new motherhood.