Thursday, July 13, 2017

June

This morning, Facebook re-told me the story of  June.  It showed pictures and words that highlighted the events that I had decided were worth mentioning.  A slideshow of happy faces and pretty places was on display, reminding me of how much fun the month was.  And the truth is that the month WAS great.  and yet... I also knew that it wasn't ALL great.  I knew the truth that we had endured some moments in June that didn't get posted; hours spent in places that I wanted to hide from the world. I had cried countless tears,  and prayed innumerable un-posted prayers.













 Social media is an interesting thing.  On the one hand, it keeps a record of the wonderful moment we have.  It holds the memories of what we felt worthy of sharing.  What isn't posted, doesn't get shared; in fact it's as if it never happened.    But that doesn't mean it didn't, doesn't mean we don't remember.  We just bear it without audience.  Many times, I will be with a girlfriend and she will mention something I posted and ask a question or make a comment.  But where is the platform to share the un-postable stuff?  The things that nobody would want to press "like" on.  I find myself staying silent more than I want to.  Keeping the hard things close to my chest.  It isn't that I want people to only think that my life is grand, or delude folks into thinking that my days go by trouble-free.  Surely, we are all better in touch with reality than that.  But I think that I imagine sharing my sad heart and then I entertain the thought that in sharing my burden I will experience rejection.  Sadly, this has happened before, and in the back of my self-protective mind I hear "You're too much... You're too sad... You're too... TOO."  So I stay quiet with only my thoughts to accompany the moments that don't deserve a "like", wishing that I didn't feel TOO much; hoping that I'm wrong when I do actually send the text that says... " Please pray - I'm hurting".

Don't get me wrong... in the last month I HAVE sent the SOS text, I HAVE made the phone call hollering "HELP"!!  I have first-responder -folks, and I am eternally grateful.  But as I walk out my front door into the real world, I feel like I need protected.  Protection from what people THINK life is like, unless they know.  Protection from the assumptions and the ideals. Protection from my own disappointment from the truth that life isn't what I thought it would be.  As I read one of my favorite passages, Psalm 121, I find that the Lord Himself is that protection.  It says

"The Lord watches over you - the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.  The Lord will keep you from all harm - He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

I read a post on Instagram that challenged me.  It was a picture of medical supplies that live in this dad's house, supplies that help his sick son to take breaths.  In this post, highlighting the medical supplies sitting in his kitchen, the writer said...

 "These are not the scenes in life you plan for, but if you stop trying to control them, they'll tell you how they are beautiful."

While I am not yet as progressed as this dad, I am daily trying to be thankful for the unplanned scenes in my life. Interrupted sleeps, trips to the ER, heartaches and heart breaks.   I'm not great with the unplanned, with things that take me by surprise.  I prefer some prep-time for most of life.   I'm behind in my goal to be "ok" with things; chastising myself that I should feel better by now.  But if only you could see my efforts.  I am trying, hoping, asking for God's strength to carry me even in the things that are unplanned by me.  

Deuteronomy 31:8
The Lord Himself goes before you (PREPARATION!!)
and will be with you.
He will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid;
Do not be discouraged."

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

It's five short weeks until school is officially out!!  The list of things to do is longer than the days we have to do them! Concerts and projects, meetings and deadlines.  We have a reading log that might NEVER be finished because it's for my youngest child, and well... I'm not going to lie - I am pretty tired of signing my name to a reading log.  Must press on... Must press on... 

Two major endings are upon us.  We have one mini who is graduating from elementary school, and one mini who is graduating from high school.  Both occasions call for great celebration and We. Are. On. It!!!!!  The years that the kids have spent at both schools have been been full of things that have educated their minds AND shaped their personalities.  

When Marky first stepped onto the high school campus, I wouldn't have ever imagined what blessings were coming.  Dance team, jazz choir, concerts, friends, opportunities for travel, games to attend.  It has been 4 years of constant go-go-go, and we have loved it.  Now, this child is ready.  Cooked.  SUPER ready for the next phase of life.  Adulting.  Just like high school, I'm guessing that she will find it mostly fun, sometimes challenging, and always full of growing opportunities.  She was born for greatness and this is such an exciting time for her.  






We've spent 13 consecutive years with 4 kids at our elementary school.  All of the kids walking the same halls, driving the same route to school, sharing many of the same teachers year after year.  We've had amazing years here and we have had some years that we just had to get through (4th grade girls - ICK!!!). There have been 4 different principlals, and so many teachers that we adored, (also too many substitute teachers that the kids did NOT adore!!) jump rope competitions and ECO week, talents shows, book bowl competitions and too many concerts to count.  Year after year, the kids have duplicated drawings and repeated school projects, each one designed to be the same yet finished with their own unique touch.  No two have looked alike, all four done completely different, yet all meeting the same criteria - DO YOUR BEST!  And this boy has!!  He has made some amazing friends and accomplished great things, and now he can't wait to join sister #3 at the middle school.  



We're leaving these schools better than when we started them.  This oldest child and this youngest child, saying farewell to  all of the good that they've done, and carrying with them all of the GREAT things that they have been entrusted with.  Strong character, great minds, and memories for a lot of tomorrows.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Motherhood



Tomorrow will mark my 18th Mother's Day.   My first thought after child number one was born was, “We're going to have so much fun!”.   Three more children and a bunch of fun later, I have arrived at a Mother's Day that looks differently than I had imagined it would some 18 years ago, yet I am grateful and humbled by the blessings that have been poured out on my life because I get to be a mom.    Being a mom doesn't make me a more superior creature than those who haven't chosen to be a mom.  It just so happens that motherhood is what God decided to use to continually sanctify and purify my heart, soul, and mind.  He has asked me to be more patient, through motherhood.  He has challenged me to die to myself, through motherhood.  He has encouraged me to surrender to His authority, through motherhood.  He has tethered my mother-fears to His sovereignty.  He has taught me to trust in His goodness, through motherhood.  He has taught me to love unconditionally, through motherhood.  He has carried me through seasons of grief and times of sadness, because of motherhood.  He has revealed my sin and selfishness, through motherhood.  He helps me with my control issues, through motherhood.  He has blessed me with joy beyond description, through motherhood.  He has taken me on adventures, through motherhood.  He has given me the opportunity to feel enormous pride in the successes of others, through motherhood.  He has allowed me to be overwhelmed with delight and overcome with frustration, through motherhood.  He has given me 4 disciples to raise to love Him with all that they are, because He chose ME to be their mom.  



Before I arrived at motherhood, I believed that hard things were bad things, so I steered clear of challenges, hugging the inside curve of the easy path.  However, once I heard the first cry of my oldest daughter, I knew that my heart was forever destined to love intensely, always thinking about someone else's needs before my own.  At that first-cry-moment, I took a sharp left turn onto a road unlike another I had ever been on:  a road that would curve sharply, detour often, and twist and turn like a winding river.  All of a sudden, I knew for sure that I would lay down my life for another person,  that I would give up sleep, sanity, and security in order to care for my kids.  What I didn't know is that  I would take on enemies and circumstances that were bigger than me in order to protect them.  I had no idea that I would enter courtrooms and classrooms, ready to fight for their well-being, or sit on a sideline or in an audience, fiercely believing that MY KID was the best player/dancer/singer in the bunch.  And through it all, God has been so good to care for this fearful, exhausted, imperfect, faith-filled, stubborn, head-over-heels-in-love with her children mom.  My mom-confidence does not come from anything that I can do on my own, it lies in the fact that God will never change; that He will be with me for the next decade, and the decade after that, and the one after that.  Because He gave me the privilege of motherhood,  I know that He will equip me and sustain me to be the mom that each one of my kids needs, whether the road is hard and difficult or easy and smooth. That's motherhood!  A journey of expected challenges  and unexpected joys.  One that has changed, grown and blessed me in countless ways.