Tuesday, May 27, 2014
The above song, Dancing In the Mine Fields, has quickly become a favorite song of mine. As Curtis and I continue on this adventure of marriage, I see more and more how the lyrics are very true.
"I do" are the two most famous last words
The beginning of the end
But to lose your life for another I've heard
Is a good place to begin
'Cause the only way to find your life
Is to lay your own life down
And I believe it's an easy price
For the life that we have found
And we're dancing in the minefields
We're sailing in the storm
This is harder than we dreamed
But I believe that's what the promise is for
In the past several years, Curtis and I have been blessed to have several couples come into our home. These couples have encouraged us, helped us, made us smile and become a part of our children's lives. They've babysat, come to baseball games and soccer game, done crafts with us and have just been apart of the daily life of our family. Our desire and goal for these friendships is to encourage these young couples as they head toward marriage.
Friday, May 23, 2014
My, how much has changed since then.
Our family looked something like this 8 years ago...
And now we look something like this...
While doing lawn work earlier this week, I caught myself think back to how different life looks these days. I don't have a baby in the house. I'm not tied to the house with nap schedules and nursing schedules. I can say "get in the van!" and know that they all will and more than likely, they'll all have shoes on. We don't have potty accidents. I don't feel like I'm as anxious of a mommy as I used to be. I get to have interesting and entertaining conversations with my children.
And while a lot of these changes are good, there are some that aren't necessarily bad, but are challenging in their own way. My kids have opinions that they readily share with me. I'm responsible for the three older children's education. The hurts and sadness and fears that big kids face are real, not as imagined as the fears of my toddlers.
I'm so in love with this stage of motherhood!! I love seeing the people God is growing my toddlers and babies up to be. I love that even though they're becoming their own little people, they're still my kids. They still need me, want me around, sign "I love you!" from the outfield, get a little teary when I won't be around. I really do feel like I might be in one of the best stages of parenting.
And when the days are long because I don't have a napper and my kids don't go to bed till almost 9, I will remind myself of that. Because I know it's only by God's grace that we've made it this far!
Friday, May 09, 2014
Tonight, three very sweet, very handsome little boys took me on a date. Someday, a day that will probably come a lot sooner than I'm ready for, one of these handsome, sweet boys will take you on a date. Tonight on my date, I thought about you. As I watched the way my boys treated me, I saw glimmers of the young men they are becoming. Even though my boys will change a lot in the next decade before they get to go on a date with you, I hope there are some things that don't change.
I hope that they open your car door, just like they opened my car door.
I hope that they tell you look pretty, like they told me I looked pretty after they asked me to dress up for our date.
I hope they dress up for your dates, just like they picked out "handsome" clothes for our date.
I will confess something to you, daughter-in-law. I'm very nervous about the relationship that you and I will have. As you will find out, my mother-in-law passed away after Curtis and I had been married for only 15 months. So though I know a bit about navigating the waters of a mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship, I don't know much. Our relationship will be a lot of trial and error. Please know that if I mess up, if I'm over bearing, if I over step in areas, that I'm trying. Know that I love my son more than you can understand, at least till you have a son of your own. Know that I've been praying for you since I found out I was going to have a son.
The Lord has blessed me with many woman who've had sons and are successfully navigating great relationships with their daughter-in-laws. One piece of advice that I've repeatedly received is that I have to become the second most important woman in my sons' life. I want your marriage to my son to be successful! And for that to happen, I am fully aware that even though I've been the number one woman in their lives, that will change. I want it to change. But it's truly hard for me to imagine at this point. The deep love that I have for my sons (as well as for Elizabeth!) is a very precious, special, but kinda mysterious thing. Feel free to gently remind me of the position I meed to take if you see me struggling to hold on to that number one spot.
Also, though I think my boys are pretty awesome, and though I'm doing everything I can do raise them to be godly men, remember that they aren't perfect. They're sinners and will need your grace and forgiveness. Grace and forgiveness is an invaluable part of marriage. If you both keep that in mind, you will be well on your way to a successful marriage.
Your hopefully not wicked, Mother-in-Law
Friday, May 02, 2014
Those words are from a very sweet book, You Are Special, given to us as a baby gift when Timothy was born. When the book was given, the giver didn't realize that Timothy had a cleft lip. A couple weeks later, after she met him, she came up and apologized, afraid that she had overstepped a boundary. I told her I thought it was providential and that we loved the gift!
This month marks the 4th anniversary of Timothy's cleft surgery. I found myself choked up more than once while reading You Are Special, especially as I read the last sentence. I know my God is good. I know my God doesn't make mistakes. But as a parent of a child with a very obvious deformity, I did find myself questioning God's wisdom in giving Timothy a cleft lip, especially after the road we walked with Benjamin's deformity. But even as I handed my three month old over for surgery, I knew there was a reason. And I prayed this verse over my son, hoping that the Lord would be displayed in his life and in our walk.
Monday, April 14, 2014
12 years ago, Curtis and I said good bye to his mother. I watched my husband of just over a year do something no 23 year old should have to do as he leaned over her body that was riddled with cancer and said, "It's okay to stop fighting." We knew it was coming. She had been fighting for 10 months. We were praying for God's mercy to end the pain. But nothing could have prepared us for that moment.
Today, I reflect on her passing, the past months we had with her, and the memories Curtis and I have of her. I will talk with the kids about their Grammii and share those memories with them. I will tell them how much she wanted to meet them! I will tell Elizabeth about how much her Grammii longed for a granddaughter. I will tell the boys about how much their Grammii would have loved watching them play sports.
And more than anything, we will rejoice that we will see her again! How thankful I am for that hope, a hope that points me towards heaven.