As we were out on a walk, I was watching Judah and thought....sometimes life is like that. Just scooting along with your superman cape blowing in the wind. One foot in front of the other, one push at a time.
I thought about how interesting it is, that you gain the most speed....when you're going downhill. But for the most part, it's just like like this picture. Slow and steady. One step at a time.
Lots of little tiny choices that gather up into bigger choices that gather up into major life decisions that ultimately plot your course.
Oh Jesus. May you be the course of my life and every small step that brings me closer there.
Uh....obviously, Evelyn's birthday was a month ago. I started this post, but evidently never published it.....enjoy!
My baby girl. Tomorrow you will be a year old. I can barely believe how quickly the time has passed. You are spicy! We all cherish and treasure you. We are so thankful for you, Evelyn Hope. Happy birthday!!!
Our lives have been very different. Sometime after I became a mom....well, I think that is when you and I really began to appreciate the differences in each other. I remember the first time that I, as a stay-at-home mom, had to get my kids somewhere and pack them a lunch. It almost crushed me. I remember thinking, "How in the WORLD did my mom get four kids to school with lunches???"
Our lives may have gone in different directions, but truly, I have learned all the really important things from you:
1. Jesus is worth singing about....rain or shine. Even in the hardest times. I'll never forget, grandma's funeral, being in that small room with you....and even though you had just lost the most important person on earth....we sang in that room about His eye being on the sparrow. We didn't have to sing or play that day, but we did because Jesus is worthy, and because I'm sure it gave grandma joy.
2. A mother makes sacrifices. Most of them are unseen and unsung for all of life. I remember the late night hum of the typewriter, as you plunked away at your second job. Have I ever said, "Thank you?" Thank you for continuing to work when the day should have been done. Thank you for countless hours of tireless work, with very little of the deserved thanksgiving. Thank you for clothes and paper and everything I needed. Thank you for making me write Bible verses in elementary school when I didn't do the right thing. I still use that trick.😉
I never had any clue how difficult it would be to be a mom. That right there, is proof that you did it so well. You didn't spend time complaining about how hard it was. You just did it, most of the time without any recognition. I didn't know how hard it was, because you never told me. You were content to do all that work, and never complain.
3. Difficult circumstances do not thwart God's plans or keep us from His purposes. You have faced some really, really heavy and difficult things in your life. I know we joke about you, being the spoiled only child. And maybe you were. But that was only for the first 17 years. The next years were hard, and painful, and not at all what you expected. You never let the pain keep you from the God who had great plans for you. You never let the "what if's" keep you from now, what is.
And because of that, I'm here! :-) I know it didn't go how you thought it would go. But I just want you to know, that you have been part of changing the world, by the way you love me and my six children. From Emma, all the way through the boys and down to Evelyn, they all know that grandma loves them.
They are better because they are loved. Thank you for loving them.
There are so many more things that you have taught me. But it's late and in the middle of the night, and perhaps, even more important than all that I learned from you.... Tonight, I want to thank you for how you've loved me. This is maybe the most important thing I learned from you anyway. Mom. You have loved me extravagantly. It is because of how you have sacrificed and loved me, that I have known and been sure of the love the Father has for me. And every place where your love has not been perfect, has been covered over by the Savior that I desperately needed, the One that you made sure I knew of.
And in the end, this is what I hope my kids get from me.....extravagant love that points them to an exceptional Savior. I pray that I would work so hard, and with such joy (not complaining!), that my kids never have a clue how hard it is.
Thank you, mom, for loving me. Thank you for working so hard. Thank you for being my mom.
I can't believe you are eleven years old. It is an amazing privilege to be your mom. It is quite challenging at times- only because I love you so much and I want to be faithful to what God has called me to as your momma. Some (most!) of my hardest decisions have been in mothering. I want you to know, from the deepest places in my heart, that you have borne the weight of those hard decisions WELL. Not perfectly, but SO well. It is never easy making the lonely choices. It is never easy to stand alone, simply because what God has asked of you, or your family, is different than what He has asked of those around you. It is painful to have convictions sometimes, isn't it? A wise friend of mine likes to say, "In the absence of Biblical convictions, you will always go the way of culture." (Sally Clarkson) It is so true! And so, my dear girl...this is my prayer for you: that you would be a young woman of His Word. That you would not base your direction on the way of culture, or even on the way that fine young women seem to be going. Emma Faith, I pray that you would never settle for anything less than Biblical conviction and the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you make your decisions. I pray that in the loneliest of times, you would find that there is One who is Faithful--He will never leave you or forsake you. I want you to know how proud I am of you. You have watched me make some of these lonely choices on your behalf, and even though we have cried and been sad and bruised because of them at times....we have cried and been sad and bruised together. And Jesus has met us there. I have seen such strength and integrity growing in you. By God's grace, I have seen you accept very difficult things in pursuit of what is greater, what is excellent, what is worthy of praise. I am just humbled to have you as my daughter, and I honor you in the Lord for the ways you are growing and maturing. It is natural to chase after the affection of the world, and compromise....but it is supernatural to stop, to think deeply on the Truth and His Ways, and then walk in them.
My lovely girl. You won't always get it right. You won't always make the lonely choice. When you don't, you will find that His grace is deeper than your mistakes and His love is better than life. And when you do, You will find His joy made bursting-at-the-seems full in your heart, and you will dance the dance of angels here on earth. There is NOTHING like knowing and loving Jesus. He is worth every sacrifice, big or small. He sees you Emma, and every lonely choice you make in His name. He delights in you just as you are, and yet in His kindness, He is making you to be more like Jesus.