What We Missed with Our First…

21 Jan

We watched her crawl around the room the other night. Polka-dotted pajamas. Unruly hair. She’d grab her blanket and roll around on it. Jeremy and I laughed outloud. She is Christmas morning to us every day.

And I said to Jeremy, “We missed this with Stephen.” Because we did. We were so caught up in figuring things out. I was so managed by all the books I had read. And to think that then there wasn’t Facebook or blogs or all the other condemning resources that tell us the “right way to do things.”

So I’m writing now (as before) for all the first-time Moms. Breath deeply. You can’t do this perfectly. Your baby isn’t perfect. Some days you will wonder at this wonder of a child God has given you. Some days you will wonder if you’re really cut out for Motherhood. You will tire and get mad and leave the house more times than not without makeup or clean hair.

We’re only 8 years in but already I long for the moments I missed with Stephen. I’ve been told time only moves quicker as they get older. Heaven help us.

May we see these children as blessings from God. May we admit when we’re bone-tired. May we let His grace flow into us and through us.

God, help me not to miss these moments.

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” (Psalm 127:3)

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Always at Capacity…

14 Jan

My new phrase to Jeremy-“We are always at capacity.” No matter what season of life I’ve always thought I was at capacity; living a whirlwind pace and never quite being in control.

Married without kids-Busy with student ministry
Married with 1 kid-Busy with that kid (and redefining my identity)
Married with 2 kids-Busy with those little guys
Married with 3 kids-Busy figuring out how this all work (and praying desperately for the adoption)
Married with 4 kids-Busy embracing today (and waiting on #5).

And every season…I felt at capacity. Just the other day Jeremy and I went on a date. Why? We only had Esther. When did 1 kid become a date night? That used to be my capacity.

I believe God gives grace for every season. He gives grace for every child He blesses you with. He gives grace for every year full of job changes and moves and death…and all the things that push us to “capacity.” He doesn’t leave us only. He’s constantly giving grace; no matter my level of capacity. No matter if I “can’t take anymore.”

So now I say to Jeremy “We are always at capacity,” and he knows what I mean.

I may feel maxed out. This moment may feel like pure craziness. But God is never at capacity. He is always offering grace. I can breathe and embrace now…right now…as straight from His hand.

“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22,23)

photo 2 (15) Ya’ll, she has pigtails!

photo 1 (16) Geocaching!

Christmas: Realistically Speaking

24 Dec

Here’s to a realistic Christmas where:

-There are more ornaments on the floor than on the tree.
-I will wear the same maternity jeans every day.
-The boys whisper in their room til I nearly lose my mind.
-Our presents are covered in gift tags I cut out from wrapping paper.
-We cook store bought cookies instead of homemade.
-Esther eats at least 2 lollipops a day while I’m helping one of the boys.
-Jeremy comes home pooped from Christmas at DPAC.
-Our family rocks Christmas the best way we know how.

It won’t be perfect. But it can be beautiful.

Bethlehem was no fairytale. Mary had her first baby in a stable. There were animals. And poop. And no epidurals.

Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect to be special. That’s not how it started.

So let’s take what comes. Embrace the life season that we’re in. And rejoice with the imperfect. The Perfect One has come!

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

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I Will Not Be Moved

19 Dec

It’s nearly midnight. The house is quiet. I’m downstairs sitting by the fire typing away on this keyboard. The words from a song I heard tonight are running through my mind…

“I will stumble, I will fall down
But I will not be moved
I will make mistakes, I will face heartache,
But I will not be moved
On Christ the Solid Rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand
I will not be moved.”

My last few posts have been heavy. There are seasons like that. And we all stumble. All fall down. All make mistakes and face heartache.

But Christ is a rock that stands strong.

“I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:1,2)

Stronghold. He doesn’t tell me every day will be easy. He doesn’t tell me life will be a breeze. But He says He will be my rock.

He was humbled…born low…laid low…for me. And because of that I will not be moved. What a reason to celebrate this Christmas!

photo 1 (15) She makes me smile like that!

photo 2 (14) Before bed pic

photo 3 (14) He brought me these…for no reason at all

He Loves Me Like Christ

11 Dec

I lay in bed til early morning watching shadows on our bedroom wall. No sleep came. After my last post, I’ve slowly felt myself “thawing out.” Maybe I’m not quite as numb as before. Maybe writing is my release.

Parts of this early “un-numbing” process have been fun. Laughter has been neglected around this busy house lately. How often do I go throughout the day offering the boys half-hearted smiles? When’s the last time I (you) really laughed? I’ve intentionally looked for joy.

I’ve also allowed myself to cry. Ugly, curl up in the corner of the closet cry. It’s been a long time. My emotions, laughter and tears, have been bottled up. Afraid to release. Afraid to enjoy life. Afraid to admit pain. The floodgates have opened!

It’s weird. All of it. I feel a little psycho writing this. But it’s a journey. And like all other journeys we’ve been on, I’m finding Christ’s presence sweet and His love consistent.

I’m also writing to share a little love with my hubby. Over the past few months he has lived with an emotional mess. I can’t count the number of times I’ve clammed up and chosen silence. Or the number of times he’s held me while I fell asleep. Just this week he’s put things aside to be near me; to be close when I needed it.

My natural inclination has always been to run. That’s why there’s numbness now. But Jeremy has always ran after me. He’s turned the car around and drove back home. He’s called me back on the phone. He’s never given up on me; on our marriage.

No, life hasn’t been easy. No, our marriage hasn’t been a bed of roses. But Jeremy has loved me faithfully. He’s loved me like Christ. I’ve seen the Gospel in him. He’s lived Ephesians 5:25 for our kids-“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

This quote from Ann Voskamp has spoken volumes-“The way to experience unlimited elation may be to imagine unexpected limitation.”

For Jeremy’s consistent love…for the Father’s perfect love…I am so thankful. They are gifts from above.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)


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