Coming to Life


Sometimes everything comes to a mental hault, and I don’t hold my breath, but rather I close my eyes, and I slowly breathe in and note in my spirit’s longhand: I deserve death, but look what’s instead.

How did I get chosen to have four boys? Feel the weight. No really. Feel it. Canon balls of education and discipline, the universes of sex and money.

How did I get Seth? Picture him, in the middle of that wedding party this weekend, hands in pants pockets, tweed jacket. He was smiling at me, way down there, as I stood with two plates of cake on the balcony desperately searching the crowd for his dark hair. Our eyes still lock.

So much of even my complaints are blessings.

I’ve never written about cocaine here or any of the other drugs. I’ll never write about the soul-ties that weren’t mine to make. None but Seth is true. There are dark corners and addictions passed from every generational direction, and I have felt the pulse of lust turn my eyes red. I’ve gone nearly out like a gray coal. I’m not sure any of that will ever come to more words.

But today, the boys get out of bed, slapping their feet to the floor, squinty morning eyes, and batman characters in hand. They walk out and declare, “This morning we’re going to share.”

My insides twirl, and I might explode.

Make them men of prayer, discipline.

The rain will keep us in today. It’ll wash the pollen from the air. We’ll read the Bible like it’s urgent, like it’s literature, like it’s our future-tense, real life.

My firstborn son put his 6 year old body in the water yesterday, and his daddy cried in front of a crowd. He called him his brother and dunked him under, baptism, symbol of death. Raised to new life, we all felt the siphon of rebirth, the mirror unclouding a bit in the praise.

There are many resurrections before that final rising.  Flip-flops to work after years of suits. Wine in bottles years after the tree has died. Some days I wake up, and I know that Jesus is alive.

Everything that moves us toward Him is life.

My firstborn son, Isaac, was baptized yesterday, October 9th. His story so far is incredible, and I’ll write about it soon, but here’s the video. It’s a funny one.

amberhaines
About me

23 Comments

kendal
Reply October 10, 2011

we're going to share today. oh. that got me, amber. yesterday my younger went to youth band practice for the first time. my older is the leader. i expected disaster but hank walked in from driving them home (which i still can't believe) and declared, "i. am. impressed." yeah. twirls inside.

    Amber
    Reply October 10, 2011

    You're just in that one next phase, and I'm so thankful for how you encourage me toward it. I sure hope you have someone a little farther down the road cheering you on too.

Carissa
Reply October 10, 2011

That picture of you two is adorable.

You are beautiful.

I am SO happy for Isaac :) That video... oh, my heart is just happy :)

    Carissa
    Reply October 10, 2011

    (and now you have me dreaming of and praying for a day like that for my own sweet boy...)

Kelly Sauer
Reply October 10, 2011

I like that last hug best. Oh I love that.

Becky Walker
Reply October 10, 2011

How wonderful!! I loved the video! Such a special day

Jennifer@GDWJ
Reply October 10, 2011

"So much of even my complaints are blessings."

Ain't that the truth? {Shakes head here, knowing those words deep. Right here.}

Thank you, Amber.

nic
Reply October 10, 2011

Yes! What a beautiful baptism. That just made my day.

Aimee
Reply October 10, 2011

How precious! I love that hug after, too.

Linda
Reply October 10, 2011

I think I'll have to reread that a few times to get all the layers of beauty, fear, death, and rebirth that you write about...like poetry prayer.

Sara Sophia
Reply October 10, 2011

I scroll past and rush by all the other comments because I need to tell you quick.

You. help. me. live.

Sara Sophia
Reply October 10, 2011

Also, Wolf baptized our two oldest boys.

There was never such a day.

Danelle
Reply October 11, 2011

You bolded it Amber, so I know you realized it was special. . .
The idea of many resurrections before the final rising. Flip flops after years of suits.
That made me stop.
So thankful for all the deaths and rebirths before we go home. . and our sons dunk us under the water many times as they grow to be men.
Love to you!

Carolyn
Reply October 11, 2011

Amber, everything you write is poetry. Intimidating as all get out to a very new writer like myself. But I always come back for more.

Thank you for sharing that video. I have tears in my eyes. The angels rejoice and I cry. Please tell our new little brother in Christ, Isaac, welcome to the family from some folks down in Texas.

Carrie&Troy
Reply October 11, 2011

Oh wow! All of that amazing and beautiful! Isaac, the shopping cart overflowing with boys, and your wedding pic. You guys are really doing it! Living life with, and raising 4 boys well! We love you guys!
Carrie & Troy

Lindsey
Reply October 11, 2011

I love everything about this! Sunday was such a joyful day, and we prayed for many more such days for each of our other children!

Brandee Shafer
Reply October 11, 2011

Your video made me cry. My son's baptism is on youtube, too. I cry everytime I watch it. There's nothing like that feeling, is there? I can't say I felt the same blossoming on the day of my son's birth as I did on the day of his rebirth...knowing that he would live forever, in Jesus.

Janelle@GraceTags
Reply October 12, 2011

Brother, wow, breathtaking and mind-bending.

Janelle
GraceTags

Charissa
Reply October 12, 2011

Oh I so want to see life as a gift everyday- I deserved death and now look what I have!! Thank you Jesus

Kristen@Chasing Blue Skies
Reply October 12, 2011

Oh my word, that is too wonderful for words.

The post and the video. What a precious family you have, Amber.

Prudence
Reply October 12, 2011

Lovely. I have tears rolling down my cheeks.

Charisma
Reply October 18, 2011

i love the whole story, very colorful life of a wonderful family.

Caroline@carolinecollie
Reply October 28, 2011

Oh that was wonderful! I have not been back to visit for a while, Amber...congratulations on your fourth son! And the rebirth of the first! My second son was born not too many months ago and this warms my heart incredibly! To God be the glory!

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