Thursday, August 22, 2013

Week of (too many) Firsts

There is so much meat to this post but in lieu of winding up a puddle of sweet tears during my one smoke break during the day - I may just lean towards a picture and blurb type post. After all, as I have come to realize - I dont care how often a little old lady stops me to remind me to enjoy this....I WILL FORGET less than 2 weeks. Moms, can I get an AMEN? For example, Bradford has been semi-walking not even a week and now today my brain can't even drum up what that pitter-patter on all fours looked like. A WEEK AGO! And by the way, I don't really smoke. Yet.

To start, the oldest son started real live school. No more glorified babysitting here with an occassional Christmas program attached. Our boy wore an equally adorable and hideous outfit and walked himself into his classroom by himself. It's the big leagues now, kid! He came home that first night and this is what we got.....I just love him!

Later that evening he started to tell us about an old old old man who was about to die but made "booooootiful" music for God. His name was "CHE-KO-SKI". Let's just say in one week he knows more about the classics than I've ever known. I am excited to learn again through his eyes.

Certainly, the other boys were missing their ring leader. On our first day alone (sans the Big Brother) I thought I would be super mom and make up for all the turmoil I caused over the summer. We dropped off our boy and headed to a local toy store. Ahh, isn't that just precious. Well, friends, it was. And it is but not when your sweet middle boy exclaims to the store "MOMMY!!! After you buy me toys will you change my poopy diaper!!!!" Oh buddy, you haven't worn a diaper in 2 months! Needelss to say, I was quickly reminded that 2 little people in tow still requires a diaper bag and mom essentials. Having one boy in Pre-kindergarten doesnt quite let me off the hook yet!

That precious, pooping little child celebrated his 3rd birthday last week! I can see how we have a 4 year old and a 1 year old but it just doesn't register that my once "baby" isn't a baby and is in fact 3. We had an impropmptu celebration with the best kinds of friends - the ones that will come celebrate your boy with a few hour notice. He picked out a scooter (thanks Grandma!), a guitar (oh boy!), and a trip to the zoo (thanks Nise!) for his 3rd birthday and all he wanted was "panilla" cake with icing. This boys could eat his way through a birthday and not think twice about a gift or a candle or the happy birthday song. We had all his favorites on his special day - chocolate chip pancakes, quesadillas, and pizza all topped with a little cake and icing! It is fun to celebrate this wee one...he makes it easy for sure!

Then, not to be left out, the baby took his first steps. You would think we hadn't witnessed this before with the commotion around our house as our proud nearly 15 month old stomped around the kitchen with his hands high in the air. Everything this one seems to partake in is lively and full of laughter. His expressions are as delicious as his thighs and I can honestly say we are finally enjoying the littleness about little people. I think for a few years we were just trying to survive and keep humans alive and now we finally aren't alarmed by anything and we can see that this thing called parenting....flies! I have enjoyed even the little moments with this baby and I am grateful that he has redeemed my feelings about toddlers. (Pardon the obnoxious mom in this video)

As you can imagine this week (as all the fuss happened last week) we have done a whole bunch of nothing. It's crazy how the emotional stress at times is enough to wipe a woman out. My heart is so full and I am grateful to be the mom of these three little men. What an honor!

Monday, August 12, 2013

What do you have for me today, Lord?

I asked this question first thing this morning. In my heart, silently, but on this morning I really did ask it before I even checked the time or put my feet on the floor. And then like it was His perfect answer I heard the whimper of our newest boy through our shared wall. On any other day, apart from this light but loaded question in my heart, I would have felt violated by the baby's early morning cries. Don't I have a right as an overworked mom to just a few minutes of quiet before the saturated day begins? Isn't there just one morning I can get up before the crazy begins? I used to be a morning person. The kind that bother non-morning people. I loved the world that existed well before 6am and I was completely comfortable with a little less sleep but a whole lot of stillness before the sun was up.

Thankfully, the Lord has been doing something deep in me about my rights and for once I didn't hear his cry as a personal assault against me as if the babe-child was staking his win over me once more. I heard it differently this morning. And it changed everything about the rest of the day. This must be the season for this weighty lesson. There's been a shift in my thinking and it has began to free me from so much disappointment and hurt and wounds and bitterness. If I'm honest with myself much of my day can be spent disappointed. By myself and by those closest to me who seem to run rampant on my so called "rights." The right to move quickly through the day. My right for a break from mothering each day. It's my right to be understood, right? The first time. The right to exercise. Daily. My right to have children and husbands and parents and siblings and friends who respect me and listen to me. The right to be thought of, delighted in, made to feel special. Whew. It's exhausting just writing these things that I so cling to. These things that if adhered to will bring peace to my day and my heart right? Right?

I've been going through a study called Stuck by Jennie Allen with some dynamic women this summer. I could write a series of posts over several weeks regarding this study but this has been the biggest thing for me so far - the loss of my personal rights. This truth couldn't be any more of an antithesis for our culture today where every segment of society seems to be fighting for their own little freedoms. But If I believe I am in Christ and He is also in me than ultimately I have lost my own rights and I take on His. Does this work for you? Does that make sense way way down in there to you like it has for me lately? In Galatians Paul said, "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

Jennie Allen said it this way. Wow. But let's start with your life, your expectations, your money, your family's approval, your right to a family, your right to move quickly, your right to be successful. I {God} know I am asking alot. But if you die to all of this....I will do things greater than you ever hoped, dreamed, or imagined. But you have to let go. You have to lay down the very things that are most valuable to you, if you love me. Do you trust me?

Do I? Do I trust you Lord with my time during the day if I really give up striving to make the day go my way? Can you fill me in those holes in the same way (or more?) that I think a quiet, early morning alone, a long run, or a break during the bath-routine can fill me? If I stop defending myself and stop fighting for my rights will you protect me?

I gathered the Mustela smelling child and immediately his right cheek fell on the top of my chest. We crept back in the roomy, inviting bed. Isn't the bed so perfectly comfortable first thing in the morning? For 20 minutes he let me hear the increase and decrease in his lungs while my hands were serenaded by the softest hairs ever made on his little head. I didn't want to stop stroking him back to sleep. He would look up at me occasionally as if to stroke my soul just a little bit by affirming me that this was good. I remember that feeling. My grandmother used to occasionally rub the top of my back with her fingernails in the rarest of moments. It was always a little uncomfortable. Maybe that's just my personality. I loved the attention and I never knew that touch could feel so deep down good but I also didn't want it to stop so I couldn't fully relax without thinking about how the tender scratching would have to end at some point. Certainly, this theme hasn't left me in this season of mothering. It's all so sweet, so good but I know it will end and how do I live with that tension?

I think that was His soft answer to my innocent question this morning. Be in the moment, Betsy. In this moment your perfectly rounded baby, the last of them thus far, is fully content laying on your chest feeling the touch of your fingers and everything else really can wait. But I left the washed clothes in the washer overnight. And we start school this week, albeit two half days of school. And I want to be the kind of person that gets up early again to take on the day. But you have a baby, and you wont always have a baby at home. What about the empty fridge warranting no breakfast selections for the Crazies who will soon be scattering about the halls, too? But the baby is asleep on your chest. He knows nothing else right now but the comfort of this moment. Can't you be like that, too? I'm giving you moments, Betsy, lots of them. They may seem inconsequential but I promise they'll go farther than checking the laundry off the list. Rest. You're gonna miss this. You're hidden in me and I will take care of even your deepest desires.

Then earlier this morning I saw this quote and I have no clue who wrote it but a friend reposted it just for me I think. Thank you, sweet friend.

As I grow in my understanding of the way Jesus lived his life, I find great rest in knowing I have more to "unlearn" about the way I think I need to live and lead my life. Help me "unlearn" quickly , Lord......I don't want to miss it all while I was too busy protecting my rights.