Remembering…

“If I could, I’d write for you a rainbow 
And splash it with all the colors of God
And hang it in the window of your being
So that each new God’s morning
Your eyes would open first
to Hope and Promise.
If I could, I’d wipe away your tears
And hold you close forever in shalom.
But God never promised
I could write a rainbow,
Never promised I could suffer for you,
Only promised I could love you.
That I do.”

I used to quote this every day to Stephen when he was a baby. Since August 27, 2007,  it’s sat dormant in my heart.

This past week’s incident with sweet Kenan’s fall was a reminder of sorts. And as I whispered in his ear, “I’m so sorry,” the words above came to mind.

I can’t always protect our kids. Not now. Not ever.

And wrecks, stitches, bumps, and bruises…they remind me. Every moment is grace.

“It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.”

Every day is worth celebrating.

I’ve gotten busy and missed it. Forgotten.

Until now…this time of year…when it hits me fresh like the warm summer sun.

Today is a gift from Him. The giver of life. The giver of second chances. Our Redeemer. Our Savior.  And if He was willing to die for me then surely today must be His best for me.

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17)

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“I Hate Being a Mom”

It’s nearly midnight. I may never push publish. But I’m writing. Wondering what you will think.

The other day I googled “I hate being a Mom.” Please don’t send me hate mail.

I love my kids. I do. I would do anything for them.

There are people who long to have kids and can’t. There are those who have lost kids.  I’m not discrediting that pain. I can’t imagine.

But I must be real. There are long days here. Really long ones. We’ve covered up this pain far too long with our Facebook pics, “I’m fines,” and cute outfits.

Can I be real? Am I alone?

You see…it’s not the kids that I’m “hating,” it’s myself. It’s the pressure I lay on thick. It’s the way I dread fixing another breakfast and changing another diaper and stopping another fight. Because I’ll never do it just right.

You aren’t the problem. I’m not worried about what you will say. It’s me. The “good mom” inside me that is constantly saying, “You are messing up.”

I can’t be all things to all of them. And if I try you’ll tag me as “helicopter parenting.” But if I don’t try I’ll tag myself as a failure.

Parenting is physically draining. It’s pouring out and going beyond. It’s loving and meeting needs and sacrificing. And somehow it’s an honor too.

I’m overwhelmed.

But He’s patient. He takes me in His arms. Holds me close. Listens to me whine and do unnecessary Google searches. “My approval is all You need. Accept you will fail. You already have. And let me fill you. Carve out time. Let me speak. Be still. Rest. I went to the cross for you. You are so loved.”

Maybe this post will officially push me into the crazy category. Maybe you’ll unfollow this blog. But it needs to be said. We need to hear it. And if confessing my questions and struggles nudges you toward Him then so be it.

Under grace there is no condemnation.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

He no longer condemns us. We can stop condemning ourselves.

Friend, fellow Mom, you are loved. Today may be long. You may want to crawl back in bed and pull the covers up tight. But He is close. He is loving You. And He calls You His own.

“God, may I please You in my parenting today…not myself.”

Today let’s parent under grace.

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31)

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Just a typical day in the boys’ room!

 

 

 

A Fair Trade…

What are we willing to trade?

-Am I willing to trade a clean house for more messy fun?
-Am I willing to trade gourmet meals for flour covered, little hands?
-Am I willing to trade “me time” for extra snuggles at night?
-Am I willing to trade my plans for His?

Some days…yes. But there’s more…

He traded His life for mine. He carried the cross when I should have. He was crucified when my sin was the one that required payment.

What was He willing to trade for me? Everything.

And I call what I do sacrificing. Pat myself on the back. Judge you for your indulgences.

Yes, we make sacrifices on a daily basis. Yes, trades are a part of parenting. But dare I pity myself. Dare I look more at myself than at Him.

No parent is the benchmark for another. No parent is the measuring stick for their kids.

Only He is.

He made the ultimate sacrifice. He gave up the most. And only He can guide us and strengthen us through the trades we make each day.

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)

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“God usually asks me to give up things that bring me joy”

He may be asking me to do something. Give up something. I want to say no.

When explaining this to a friend the other day I said, “God usually asks me to give up things that bring me joy.” My words. And I swallowed hard after. It fell out.

What a sad way of seeing God.

I read Micah 6:8 this morning. Trying to figure out what He “requires of me.”

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

I made a list in my journal. I’m a doer. Doing makes me feel loved.

Then I read a commentary on the verses. It said, “The Gospel is about taking not doing.”

What?

Micah 6:8 is only part of the story. It’s half. Later Jesus would come. He’d “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.” He’d do it for me.

Since Adam I’ve been failing.

Since forever I’ve been loved.

Today I choose to believe the Gospel all over again. To take not do. To rest in Him. In whatever choices He may be calling me to.

Grace…

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Open Adoption & Love

Esther and I were reading a book before bed. Then this thought…I love you enough to have had you. To have gotten big. And uncomfortable. And to have went through all the pain of bringing a baby into this world.

Then another thought…But I don’t love you enough to do what  your birthmom did.

I’m not sure that makes sense.

To the end of my days…as I watch Esther grow…no matter how our special open adoption plays out…I will always believe that Esther’s birthmom has a love for her that I will never understand.

It’s a love different that mine. Braver maybe. Willing to give up more maybe. A love I am struggling to describe.

And she handed her to us. Trusted us. Believed we would love her. Cuddle her. Read to her.

And we do…more than my heart can handle.

In the story of Esther’s already amazing life, I can’t forget her birthmom’s role. Won’t forget. What she did. How she carried her. Chose life. Then loved her enough to let me be her Mom.

It was God’s plan. And she was brave enough to follow love down the hard path.

If I thought adoption meant we were doing something speical…boy was I wrong.

If I thought the Gospel was about me doing something special…wrong again.

It’s all because of Him. All because of the cross. All because of His love.

And sometimes love does hard things. And sometimes love reads books.

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For M’s privacy I cropped this but see those hands holding tightly? Love…