Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Lonely choices, and the "better thing"

As a parent, you want good things for your kids.  The best.  You want them to have lots of friends and to see them playing happily with people that love them and help them grow and encourage the best in them.  Well...don't we all want that?  To be loved, to enjoy relationships, to feel like you are surrounded by those you can trust and depend on.  
But sometimes-not all the time-but sometimes, life requires lonely choices.  These are really hard.  The choices where everyone in that moment is going one direction, but you know, you "feel it in your heart", that you must go another direction.  I have had to make a few of these, and I confess that there are probably many more times that I should have made them but didn't.  What has been unexpected for me, has been watching my children have to make lonely choices sometimes.  These should probably be the moments that evoke the most pride and joy as a parent-when you see your child make a choice that is good, despite it being very costly.  But it is painful to watch.  
It is even harder when it isn't that they are saying "no" to a wrong thing, but saying "yes" to a right thing.  Emma and I recently had a situation where we needed to make a lonely choice.  Not because anything bad was going on...but simply to honor and submit to the right thing.  It was hard.  We both cried.  But at home, in the comfort of her room, Emma and I had the sweetest conversation about faith.  Even as an adult, I find myself at times wanting to be part of what is going on around me...but whether it is because my life circumstances don't allow for it, I'm just not asked or invited, or I just know that it isn't the right choice for me given my current life season...sometimes, it is still hard.  But part of faith is trusting that God always has my good and His glory in mind.  He is so faithful to bring along friends, companions, kindred spirits at just the right time.  And the even sweeter times have been when He doesn't bring companions, but instead satisfies me and makes Himself known to me in a new way.  And sometimes, He does both!!!!  

"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."  Hebrews 11:6

For 3 or 4 years (??), we were part of a co-op called Group Solutions.  It was so fun!!  The kids loved going to their classes.  But for me, it was a lot of work.  Packing lunches, preparing for classes, making sure the kids had their homework done...not to mention loading everyone up, the long day, and going without naps.  This past year, when it was time to renew, we really felt the Lord saying, "No, I have something better for you."  
I can remember the last day of groups, last May, when we were driving home.  Caleb said, "Mom, remember when you said that God has something better for us?  Well, sometimes, I just wonder what that something better is."  
The only response I had for him was, "Me too."  It was hard for me to let go of the co-op.  So hard, {true confessions}, that I had to have my husband call and tell them we weren't returning.  I couldn't disobey the Lord, and Ben, who had both said "No.", by paying money and signing up for classes. I also didn't quite have the heart to say no.  But, I knew that I couldn't take hold of the something better without letting go...
So.  This past month, holding and cuddling, and enjoying Lady Evelyn, it was fun to declare and rejoice over her: "This is the something better!!!!"  And sometimes the "better thing" doesn't look like a better thing.  A pregnancy with scary complications and difficulties perhaps didn't seem so much "better" in the moment.  But the fruit of that....not just Evelyn, but the hard work and patience that was required by the kids...the humbling and breaking that was necessary in me...these are all better things!!

Oh Lord... I pray for my kids, and for my own heart...that by Your Spirit, we would have faith to believe that You exist, and that you reward those who seek You diligently.  May we together, have faith to believe that You are enough when we need to make lonely choices.  And may we rejoice in the friendship and relationships You have given us.  May we be an encouragement and a blessing to those around us.  May we trust You enough in the moment to let go of one thing in order to take hold of a "better thing."  May we seek to be satisfied in You, O Lord.  =-)

"Princess Ev-lyn"

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

"Danger Zone"

This is my four year old. Four. Enough said.

Monday, May 13, 2013

One month...

I know they say time flies. I know it has gotten faster with each child. But my word!! How can she possibly be one month old?  Evelyn normally goes to bed about 10pm, wakes between 2-3am sometime for a feeding, and goes back to bed until about 6am or so. This is amazing for a newborn. :-)
She is fussy most evenings, but luckily we have an abundance of people willing to hold her. (Emma!!)
She is a joy and a treasure. We love you Evelyn!!!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

To my mom....

Okay, total side note....but doesn't the second picture baby (me!) look quite like Evelyn??!!
Dear Mom,
     There are so many things about one's childhood and their mother that you never really understand until you become a mother yourself.  
     I never really knew all the times you guys probably worried about money, but never let us know. I never knew how exhausted you must have been...especially when working two jobs to make sure ends met. I never knew how it may have physically hurt your heart when I cut my own hair. ;-p. 
     But there are some things that I always knew...and perhaps it is for those that I am most grateful. I always knew you would take care of me.  I always knew you loved me, and still do...even when I made it quite difficult. I always knew that there was a God, and that His Son, Jesus, purchased my right to be called a child of God.  I always knew that even if I didn't get it right, you would still love me because you're my mom. 
     There are some ways in which we are very alike, and other ways in which we are quite different.  But God, in His perfect wisdom, made you my mom because He knew you were just what I needed. And I'm so glad He did. Thank you for the many sacrifices you have made and continue to make on my behalf (I know my diet has really put a cramp in our eating out). Thank you for the big and small ways that you love and care for me even now. I'm so glad to call you mom.
With love,
Your "favorite" daughter

Wednesday, May 08, 2013


"Mom, when you run with your arms out like this, it's like hugging God's creation!"

Innocence. Childlike faith.
For Emma's tenth birthday, we did a girl's trip to Pismo. It was a sweet time. At the last minute, grandma was able to join us, which was so great because both Emma and Evelyn needed their share of attention. 
We are really working on spending more one on one time with each of the kids, and it really is a blessing.  Emma has an amazing and tender heart.  She is so in love with Evelyn.  It was really neat to get away and celebrate the ten years of life God has given her.  I got to run with her on the beach, help her look for shells, and pray over her.  These moments were just that-moments.  Not even the bulk of the time we spent on the trip...but hopefully, these moments, along with others, will be what stays with her.  It is a good reminder for me.... It doesn't have to be huge, or expensive....sometimes it is just those moments, that all add up into a lifetime of memories.  I'm so thankful for every memory, these ten years of special is truly a blessing to be a mom to Miss Emma Faith.  

3 weeks....

Normally, our kids have no trouble packing on the weight once they are born. I was a little more concerned with Evelyn, mostly due to the changes in our diet in the last couple of years. So the two week check-up, they want to see a baby back to their birthweight.  Evelyn was a week overdue on her appointment, but weighed in at 8lbs., 5oz. The doctor was very happy (maybe even shocked?) with her growth. So, no meat and no dairy seems to be working okay for both of us.:-)

Monday, May 06, 2013

Emma Faith....Ten Years

Oh, my sweet girl. I cannot believe you are ten years old!!!! The time has passed so quickly! You are such an amazing young lady.
You have such a special way with Judah, and now Evelyn as well. You are learning so much! I have really enjoyed the time we have spent together with Keepers of the Faith. I am so proud of your hard work in earning your pins.
Oh Emma, I am just so thankful to have you as my daughter. I am praying that we will grow closer and closer, be able to talk and laugh together, and grow together in our love for Jesus. I pray that just as "Emma Faith" means "complete faith", that you would have complete faith in the goodness of our God. I pray that you will seek God diligently and love His Word fiercely. I love you so much Emma. Happy birthday to my sweet girl.