Friday, May 27, 2016

We make our plans.....

But the Lord determines our steps.

This has always been one of our verses as a family.  A large family often means our plans change at the last minute.  

The last few weeks have just been.....full. It just goes to show the nature of our life when almost daily, our 3 year old asks if we have an appointment.

Between the allergist and testing for Caleb, as well as the endodontist and periodontist, the orthodontist for the 3 bigger ones, the dermatologist (2 more skin biopsies this week for me, and one is possibly infected), the neurologist next week for my migraines, and that's not even counting all of Elijah's doctors and appointments!!!

All this to say, I had planned to make a grocery list and go shopping so that we wouldn't have to worry about groceries this weekend.

But instead, I needed to take Judah to the ER.  Even Dermabond couldn't handle this one.  It was deep and gnarly.  The subcutaneous stitches weren't holding how they wanted, so they just did the outside stitches. Judah was a champ, and after a tetanus shot, we set about getting some treats for a quiet afternoon at home.

I'm tired. But today, I'm choosing thankfulness.  Thank you Lord, for really awesome doctors at the ER today. Thank you for the numbing medicine that made stitches on a 5 year old possible. Thank you that the injury wasn't much worse.  Thank you for an amazing daughter who didn't complain a bit about babysitting while I was at the hospital.  Thank you for each and every one of these kids. Thank you for the story of Halfway Herbert, which we read while we waited, which reminded us of how God wants us to love him with our whole heart.  And thank you for some special time with Judah today.  Thank you that even when things don't go according to "plan", You are right there with us.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Braces off!!!

Sweet Noah got his braces off!!! He got a bunch of goodies including microwaveable popcorn. Too bad our microwave is broken.... ;-P 


At Judah's co-op class, they were working on a craft to give to their moms on Mother's Day.  His teacher came and told me this funny story.
She asked him what he was going to do for me for Mother's Day.  Judah responds with, "Huh?"  She explains that Mother's Day was coming up on the Sunday following our co-op.
Judah asks, "Is it EVERY Sunday??"
His teacher tells him no, just once a year, and it was this coming Sunday.
He responds, "I don't think my mom knows about that."

As I was cleaning up the counter this morning, I found the card Judah had made for me (but didn't give me because he couldn't find it) :
I love her because: because she loves me.

Oh.  My.  Heart. 
I may feel like, in this crazy season, I am getting a lot of things wrong. My husband is doing more dishes than either of us would like (and that's with the paper plates!!).  I end most of my days, having accomplished less than half of what I planned or desired.
But my five year old understands something so beautiful and profound.  He loves me because I loved him first.  And I love him because God loved me first.

I spent most of Mother's Day in bed with a gnarly headache. I did get some snuggles. :). And my lovely daughter let me borrow her skirt and her boots. :-). This picture of me with all these amazing people that I love SO much, just reminds me of how God is always the Initiator. He loved me first. It is how I know what love is.

"In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."
1 John 4:10

Friday, May 06, 2016

Don't listen to them, Birthday Girl....

My darling Emma Faith,
     I remember 13 years ago, being so naive and unaware of what this whole "mothering" thing was all about. Oh, I wanted to be a mother so badly. And I was full of so many ideals, but very little practical wisdom on how to be a mom.
     When you came into this world, I was changed forever.  Your tiny, 6lbs and 1 oz. brought a force to be reckoned with as I was almost instantly aware of love that my heart could barely contain, and an awareness that I was not nearly well enough equipped for the task ahead of me.  The selfish entrapping of my heart was slowly ripped away, one feeding, one nighttime screaming session, one bath time, one bedtime story and prayer and song at a time. 

     Fast forward 13 years!!!! How did this happen?  You yourself have heard so many people who when you were 12, would say, "Oh, just you wait until next year!"  You have asked me about this, wondering why everyone seems to equate being a teenager with rebellion.  You were with me when one woman, so insistent upon the trouble that lie ahead for me and the "teen years", that I answered her quiet and steady, "I am not afraid of our future."
     And I'm not!  Emma Faith, don't listen to them.  They don't know you! They haven't watched as compassion and sympathy so deep and beautiful has blossomed in your heart.  
(When you were 10 years old, and so excited to finally get a sister!!!)

     I remember being at the County Fair one year, and as I was pushing around a double stroller, my back started bothering me.  I never said anything, but I must have winced at the pain. You caught a glimpse of my face, and as we moved along, you came and put your arm around my waist. You told me, "I'll push for a while."  You looked at me with such compassion and grace....far beyond your years.
     You are extraordinary.  You are brilliant, relational, beautiful, and your tender heart is such a treasure.  I cannot take credit for any of it.  Oh, I may have planted seeds, and prayed and watered, as was my privilege, but it was God who gave the growth. Every bit of the beautiful woman you are becoming is God's precious grace poured out upon me.

     Oh, I know we will have difficult conversations ahead, as we have behind us.  I know there will be moments when emotions get the better of one or both of us at any given moment.  There will be times when we don't get along as smoothly as we normally do.  But by God's grace, we will always find our way back to communicating lovingly and submitting to one another out of reference for Christ.  And forgiving each other when we don't. :-)
     And so, my dear. Don't listen to the world that tells you that turning 13 is entering into a world of strife and difficulty at every turn.  There will be hard times ahead in this life. There will be moments where you aren't sure which way to go.  There will be times when you want more freedom then we will allow.  But at the end of it all, you are one of my favorite people in this entire world.  I love being with you.  I love your stories, your dancing and singing heart, and I love how God is at work in you. And we both have His promise that what He has begun in you, He will carry it on to completion until the day Jesus returns.
     So, keep on being you. My prayer is that you would know how deeply your Father in heaven loves you, and how much your family loves you.  I pray that you would never doubt that I am your biggest fan--even when we don't see things exactly the same.  I pray that you would continue to dance and sing and live a life of worship before the Lord. I pray that you would continue to see the world with such compassion and sympathy.  I pray blessing upon overflowing blessing upon you because that is what you are to us.
     Happy 13th birthday, my beautiful teenager.
All my love,
(In Central Park)