Month: August, 2011
“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” James 1:17
I met the most precious little blessing yesterday. When I thought about the gift that she is to her sweet family, I also sat in amazement that our God gives so freely such astonishing beauty. We should stand in awe of it all. Everyday. And meeting her yesterday caused me to take a step back today and give thanks more than usual. When I saw the cherry tomatoes harvested from my garden today, I thought of her again and again remembered that all of these gifts are works of God. All of the beauty that we take in daily (sometimes unthinkingly) is all from Him. “………what do you have that you did not receive?……..” (1 Cor 4:7)
Thank you Jesus that this little one’s parents believe and rejoice that she is a blessing from You.
While on vacation a few weeks ago, I woke up one morning and told Dave that I wasn’t going to take any photographs that day. I was taking the day off. You see sometimes it does feel like a job. Sometimes, when you’re on vacation you might feel like you just want to be on vacation. You might feel like you just don’t want to capture the moments.
I made it half way through the day before I ran back for my camera.
When I look back through my files, I am exceedingly grateful that I’ve worked so hard to capture our life as a family. Yes, I said work.
Friends, the work is worth it. Bring your camera everywhere. Leave it on your kitchen table. Take it to every event – even if you don’t take any. Please. Do it. While it is work, you won’t regret it. I promise. And never – ever – ever – say to yourself “I just don’t take good pictures.” That may very well be the case right now but if you work at it, you will eventually take photos that you like. Again, I promise.
Freshman year is something I remember like it was yesterday. Yesterday, I tell you. All the rest prior to freshman year is a jumble of memories but freshman year is vivid.
I’m grateful that you are nothing like me when I entered freshman year. I drop to my knees every morning grateful that the Lord reached out and grabbed a hold of your heart. Keep your eyes on Him and you’ll be just fine. Better than fine.
Your kindness, self-control, tenderness, modesty, love and generosity make me the good kind of proud – the kind that recognizes that God has done a work in your life.
Last night, on our way home from an evening out, we stopped by the grocery store and purchased junk food. We ate some of it last night and then I brought the chips on the boat with us this afternoon. As we were finishing that bag of junk food, you looked at me and said “mama, I’m so glad you don’t buy this stuff normally”. Now it may sound silly, but that struck me as a really mature thing to say. You know the bad stuff tastes good for a little while and at the same time you recognize that it will make you sick if you eat it too often. Life is like that, sweetie. The bad stuff may seem enticing but in the long run, it will make you sick. I love that you are a deep enough thinker to understand what I’m saying.
I love that we can sit and talk for hours. I love that we can laugh with one another until tears are rolling down our cheeks. And I love that we do that almost everyday. I love that when we hurt one another, we apologize quickly. I love that we totally enjoy shopping together. I love that I can hold an outfit up from across a store and your eyes will light up and you’ll shake your head yes with much enthusiasm. I love that you trust me. I love that you trust your papa. I love that you’ll hold his hand, still. I love that you want to be with us. I love (capital L here) that you never ask if you can stay home when we go somewhere that might not be that fun for you. I love that you want to download the songs from MY iphone. I love that you pin my pins. I love that you’ll play piano and sing for me whenever I ask.
I could go on forever, girl. Forever, I tell you.
Love (and adore and love again),
Today we cleaned closets. Not fun. No. Not one bit. I made you try on all of your clothes to see what fit and what didn’t. To make matters worse, I pulled out all of the bins containing Mak’s clothes and made you try on hand-me-downs too.
You worked your little self into my heart deeper than you already were by the way you behaved today. You jumped for joy for hand-me-downs. You modeled them and you twirled in them. You were so very excited about the “old clothes”. Oh how I rejoiced in your thankfulness.
To top it off, you had a great disappointment as well today and you handled it like a rock star. The one thing you wanted when we went school clothes shopping today was a pair of RED cowgirl boots. The store didn’t have RED cowgirl boots that fit you. God bless you for trying on the ladies 8M, determined that they would fit your little girl foot! You smiled through your sadness when I said we would go home and order them online. I know, baby, that sometimes it is so very hard to wait for what you really want!
Sweet, little cowgirl……..your thankfulness and heart attitude even in disappointment makes my heart sing. I could feel my heart swell even bigger when you were happy for your sister’s score today. She bought lots of school clothes, didn’t she? She found everything she wanted and you found nothing you wanted. What amazed me is that you were thrilled for her. You were not one bit jealous.
All of this, my cowgirl, makes you mighty special. I hope you know that.
Love (oh, so much love),
I was 8 years old in 1976. We went outside from morning until night, played softball in the street and came in when the street lights came on. My mom stood on the porch and called out our names when it was dinnertime. If we fell down and scraped our knee while we were playing, we looked at the blood running down our knee, smeared the blood with our hand and kept right on playing. Our gym shoes were from Venture and our bikes were from K-Mart.
I had a glorious childhood. Glorious, I tell you.
Our 8 year old recently saw an announcement at our healthclub that a Jr. Triathalon was being held this Saturday. She begged to be in it. I looked at the requirements – and Dave and I discussed it and knew that she could certainly swim, bike and run the distances required. We took her on some dry runs and yes……….she went through the entire thing without stopping. One day, I was up in the exercise area looking over the lake that Dave and her were riding their bikes around. I saw her coming on her little pink bike and realized that her bike may not work for the triathalon. And I got concerned. Dave and I talked again and I expressed my concern. I was concerned that she didn’t have the equipment she needed……….not a good enough bike. But we decided she really, really wanted to do it and we would let her.
And then she had a bit of a heartbreak. She didn’t make a team that she tried out for and she was crushed. Nevermind that all of the other girls were 10 years old. She was in tears. She’s competitive, you see. Very competitive. And that got me to thinking about the triathalon. We logged on to the website from previous junior triathalons and noticed children came from all over to compete. And then we noticed the equipment that they used. And then we thought about our little girl’s heart. And how much she really, really wanted to be in this competition.
And then I got really sad that it isn’t 1976 anymore. As parents we are out of control. By that I mean, we can’t just let kids have fun. We have to outfit them with the best of everything. It’s like we parents compete with one another through our children. It’s insanity. And I won’t be a part of it.
Anyone want to set up an 8 year old race complete with Barbie bikes?
This is my 8 year old and her bike. This is for real. My for real is really, really sweet in a 1976 sort of way.
As the summer begins to wind down, I have turned my attention to the routine of school and everything that entails. And when this mama turns her attention towards the new school year, inevitably she begins thinking about how to guide the girls and navigate the school year. As a couple we begin praying about how to keep the girls from getting sucked into too many activities and how to keep a balance that must have Jesus in the center of all of it.
Looking toward this school year, I began searching my heart about how to pray for the girls. Often times I think we parents tend to focus on the things the world would have us elevate to important: good grades, sports, music, social activities, community work, etc. None of which are bad, however, I’m settling on this: none of which are all that important either. Blasphemy!! Right?!? Unfortunately, it’s counterintuitive for me to let all of those things go.
One of my children recently announced that she wants to pursue a vocation that, quite frankly, is akin to running towards being a starving artist. And this is what I’m talking about when I say my mama skills need to become counter-cultural. Recently I am forcing myself to rest in God’s plan for my girls – not mine. I’m going to breathe in the breezes that these girls’ dreams produce against my mama-ness, rather than trying desperately to repel and redirect. I’m going to pray more for strength to guide them into truth and let God do the rest. I’m going to let them be and encourage them to run after God’s plans for them and not the plans this world has for them.
If she wants to be a starving artist what an atrocity it would be if I guided her into securing an MBA! The world would have us think that life is easier with lots of letters after your name because then at least there is financial security. However, what kind of security is that, really? Is there security in that while your soul slowly dies because you haven’t fed it as you should have?
I choose to be the caboose on this train. I’ll always be here guiding but I’m finished directing. God laid the tracks & I’m going to trust that they are going somewhere pretty great. At the end of the journey, He’ll be there. And all of that stuff in between better have been used to glorify Him and His name or else what use is it all?
Mak took this photograph and I’m smitten with it. Livy had just been in the water wakeboarding and I think she took a hard fall. What she wanted when she got back in the boat was a cuddle up with mama. When I look at the photograph I feel how relaxed I was: because she was in my arms………in the boat………on the water………..with my hottie driving………..and Mak in front of me capturing it all.