Wednesday, June 28, 2017

In the waiting


For years, I've prayed.  I've often asked God for advice, or help, or clear signs, or reassurance, you  name it.  I've had countless requests.  Sometimes, I feel like I hear him clearly. Sometimes, I think I might be making it up in my head.  It's really hard to tell sometimes.  Generally, if it's based on good, it's from God.  But that doesn't mean it's always God, either.  Sometimes, we have good intentions or a good heart, and often the enemy can twist things that make them seem like they could be from God. I run into that a lot, actually.  Fortunately, I've found a safe space in a friend or two and can check in with them when I get confused, and they can help me seek Godly clarity.

That said, every so often, I believe God clearly directs me, and it can take me by complete surprise.

Currently, I'm in the middle of a period of waiting.  I've become quite familiar with these periods, as they've happened intensely and frequently over the past few years.  This one is different, though, because it is a period I sought out, in a way.

A few months ago, I felt God leading me down a path I never expected.  I took a leap of faith, leaned in, and pursued.  And now, I'm waiting. I could be waiting indefinitely.  I could be waiting days, weeks, months, years.  I'm not even sure what I'm waiting for.  I'm not sure if I'm waiting for a direct result, or if I'm just waiting for Him to tell me "well done, my faithful one.  You followed where I led, and now you can rest easy in me."

It's really hard to say.

It makes me anxious.  That's another test in itself.  God tests me on my patience and the anxiousness in waiting. I've noticed a theme.  I don't necessarily think it means that I've been terrible at it in the past, but clearly, he has more in store for me.  

And I have no idea what it is.

So, here's to more praying, in the waiting, to to wearing my favorite shirt as a personal reminder while I wait.


For now, I'll leave this as it is.  God will let me know if and when I should reveal more.  But for now...

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

She opened her window.


My beautiful Sweet Pea has been emotional for the last 10 days or so, quite clingy, and not quite herself sometimes.  I've been wondering what was going on, but was unable to pinpoint it.  Tonight, I think I am better able to understand. Tonight, after bedtime prayers, my sweet, sassy, perfectly quirky little princess opened the window to her heart for me, for one of the very first times in a way that both nearly broke my own heart, and amazed me with the depth of her self-knowledge and ability to articulate her emotions with clarity beyond her young three-years.  I had kissed her goodnight, as she said to me (roughly, edited to remove some names), "Mama, my friends don't see me anymore and play with me and don't like me anymore.  They're my best friends and I love them and I miss them."  

You see, almost two weeks ago, she went through a big transition at daycare, where she spends the majority of her time.  She moved from one floor to the next, from young toddler rooms to older rooms where the preschoolers are growing up.  And, while it isn't a big deal geographically, or in many ways, it dawned on me tonight, that it's a big change to her.  

She's been making it seem pretty breezy and not that big of a deal, even though her mama was sad about it at first.  She loves the kids and staff upstairs and will thrive and flourish in the new environment, and I haven't been worried about it at all.

But tonight, as I tried to calm her fears that her friends do in fact still like her, love her, and even miss her too, I realized that she was feeling her first real insecurity.

That time and distance mean people don't care, don't like you, don't miss you, or don't love you.

It's a common thought, even for adults, so I was blown away by her innocent little saddened heart.

After comforting her and reassuring her that she is loved, that her friends miss her, and some will soon be back in the same room as her with the new schedule, teachers, friends, and environment, I left the room and began thinking about what had just occurred.  I understand where she's coming from.

Her previous transitions at daycare have all been on one floor, with schedules that are relatively similar, where she would see the same people passing in hallways.  Her last transitions were done at a younger age where, while still forming attachments to teachers and children, she wasn't as mature and able to process and fear things like she does now.

So this was her first big change at daycare.   She still sees some of her most beloved people on a regular basis, but there are a lot of empty spaces in her day that used to be filled by people she had grown exceptionally close to.

Not only that, but on another level, I can feel her equating that to some of her past experiences where he dad was absent from her life.

And I can understand why she may feel that gaps in time and distance can affect relationships.

I mean, really, they often do.  Only the strong ones survive and grow, I suppose.  It's amazing to me that she is so young and already experiencing these sort of friendship quandaries. 

So, to my darling little three-year-old, her heart is in some sort of jeopardy, and it's my blessing and burden to calm her fears and speak life, truth, and love into her heart, just as with her brothers.  I try to build up their store-houses with these things, to help build their self-esteem, knowing that the way of the world is often to bring you down.  I never want my children to feel worthless, unloved, or anything other than of exceptional value and worthy of the deepest, most sincere love on earth.

They're treasures, and they should know it.

While this moment where the window was open was over an insecurity, I am so fortunate that she chose to open up to me, share her deepest fear at this moment with me, and trusted me with her heart.  I wish I could make her feel better, but aside from praying, which we did, only time will heal.  

And, my darling, my sweet, sweet girl, I can assure you, you are worth missing, and you are loved by those that you  miss right now.  

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The first to first.

Today was a day that sort of snuck up on me, even though I've known it was on the horizon for months now.  Today was my first child's first last day of school.  Now, my first child is going to be a first grader.

That sounds unbelievable.  It seems like just weeks ago (I guess it was if you want to be technical) that I was sitting here, tears falling, after dropping him off for his first day of kindergarten.  Today, I dropped him off at school like it was no big deal, and wished his happy little self a wonderful last day of school.  
"Have a wonderful day too, Mom!" he called as he ran off.
I picked him up tonight, and he told me how his last day was awesome, and how he's now going to be a first grader.  

We didn't make a big deal out of it, like I know some people do. Maybe we should have.  I don't know.

We took his photo in his graduation year shirt, which he wasn't a fan of because it's too big, and I tried to explain how I want him to wear it every year on his last day of school so I can take his picture and compare.  He told me I was silly, but agreed to it anyway, and I hugged him, telling him I was so proud of him for all that he's learned and accomplished this year, for how brave he's become, and how joyful he has been.  I commended him on his perfect attendance, and his love for school, telling him how I loved school as a child as well.  He didn't have much interest for sentimental time and just wanted to have a little down time in the living room by himself reading one of his newer books from his last book order while his younger siblings enjoyed a big of fresh air before supper and bedtime.  
And that was that.  

Now it's our first summer vacation.  And next year, I'll have a first grader and a kindergartner and I don't know how my heart is going to handle it.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Football with Momma

Tonight, I had the pleasure of escorting my soon-to-be kindergarten graduate to a football game- a privilege he earned for perfect attendance at school this year.



I'll be honest. I accepted the tickets out of pride on his behalf, but the closer to the game we got, the less excited I was getting. I didn't really know why, but I just wasn't really excited about it.

I wasn't going to let that stop me, however, and I surprised him with the knowledge that we were going to his "first" "real" football game. (He actually attended a game for this team as an infant but we decided it didn't count, as he doesn't remember it.)

As we drove to the game, it started to dawn on me why it was I wasn't looking forward to it as I thought I would. We drove by his dad's place of employment, where he was working at the time, and it hit me that somewhere, deep down, I imagined this would be an activity that the two of them would do together, not me. Because, stereotypically, it's a guy thing. His dad certainly enjoys the game more than I, not that I dislike football. I've just never felt a connection to a specific team outside of my high school and don't follow it as a hobby.

So, I think, part of me was sad for my son that he was "stuck" going with his mom.

Silly me.

It didn't take long after arriving for me to realize that was just in my head and my son didn't feel that way. He was thrilled to just be going to a football game, and he was overjoyed that I was with him. In fact, while he asked if he could sit next to some of his friends from daycare, and I said yes, knowing I could sit there alone, but it wasn't minutes later that he was back up in our row, by my side, chatting away about the game that was about to happen.

He had so many questions about the game.

And wouldn't you probably expect it, but I had answers.

Sure, I'm not a football expert by any means but it turns out- I know enough. 

And, since I know him best, I was able to answer his (countless) questions in ways he understood easily, or clarify if he didn't understand.

And a bonus- I was able to relate quite a bit of the football knowledge and rules to our lives.



Why is it so hard to score points? Because there are a lot of people coming after and trying to stop you, blocking you and trying to pull you down. Just like sometimes it is hard for us to accomplish what we want to, because there are blockages or troubles or things in our way or people trying to keep us from our goals. But, they keep on trying until the time is up, and they get multiples tries each turn, like we can.

Why is there a halftime? Because they need a little break to rest and refuel before continuing. Kind of like when we take naps, or quiet time at home.

Oh, that penalty flag for holding? Yeah, that's like when you and your brother were pulling on and  hit each other in the daycare vestibule, and just like you had the consequence of no tablet or Wii time that night, they had a yardage penalty. Maybe it was not planned or unintentional, but it happened.

Oh, the out of bounds? Yeah. They can't play there, just like when I say you can't play in the parking lot or the street.

Why do they wear helmets? To protect their heads, like your bike helmet. Remember, the head you have now is the only one you get so you have to treat it well, just like I tell your brother 32 times a week. 

Why are their uniforms red? Because it's a great color.

Momma win, right?

And, he thought it was super cool that his mom knew so much about football. 

I loved every minute of the night with him. He had the most intense expressions during the game (he doesn't get that from me, but I embraced it) and had the loudest, delighted squeals when our team did great plays.

And when the Kiss Cam came on? He kissed me, over and over every time someone on the screen kissed the person they were with.

Yup, momma scored kisses in public.

Guess he's not too cool for that, or maybe, I'm just too cool to not be kissed.

Either way. He didn't need football with a guy. He has me.

I'm so glad I realized that in time to enjoy the night, instead of how I felt driving to the game.

Friday, May 19, 2017

My second little Graduate


Dearest Collin,

Tonight, as your brother did a year ago, you celebrated your very first graduation.  You did it all in your own very unique style, with a lot of flair.  It's amazing how sometimes you can be so much like your big brother, and then other times, it's like you are complete opposites.

Because of your very special birthday being on the last possible day to go to kindergarten next year, you were not only the youngest in your class, but one of the shortest and spunkiest.   From the moment you walked into the sanctuary at church, you captured the attention.  My heart about exploded while you stood up in front proclaiming "I love you, Mama" in front of everyone, even if you were talking over the person who was trying to speak to the crowd.

Uncle Jesse, Auntie Sam, and Belinda all joined in the celebration tonight, and you were delighted to have them there to celebrate. You waved enthusiastically at both of your siblings, who were excited to watch you perform.  And... perform you did.  You were the loudest, busiest one in the group.  I wasn't surprised, and I was trying to hard not to stress out about the fact that you might have yelled at a couple people because you've definitely got a firecracker spirit and a mind of your own.

Your brother kept telling me how funny you were. Your sister kept telling me how awesome you were.  And everyone knew you were ours.

You knew all the words, and so long as your tassle and your sash were on properly, you sang your little heart out and did explosive actions.

You were thrilled when you received your diploma and went running to hug your teacher.

Thank you for the goofy, joy-filled memories.

We are so proud of you.  You've got big things ahead of you.  I know sometimes, I wonder if you're listening or paying attention, but you prove time and time again that you are.  You take after me in that you've got a vast expanse of trivia-type knowledge.  You love the sea, shapes, colors, automobiles.  You are stubborn though, so I never quite know what you know, because you only want to share on your own terms.  Remember when I asked if you could write a 'C' and you said yes?  I asked you to show me, you wrote an 'X' and I asked why.   You said "Because I wanted to write an X, not a C."

That's how you roll, Ollie Bear.

I'm a little nervous for you to become a big boy and join the realms of elementary school. I worry that your temper may get the best of you, and your teachers might be a little overwhelmed.  I hope they can give you hugs if you need, like your preschool teachers have learned to do.  It almost always diffuses the situation and brings you back down to earth.

I know you're excited to go to school like your brother, and I know you'll love learning there too.

You've grown up so fast.  I can hardly believe it.  You're a graduate.

I love you, Ollie Bear.  Thanks for all the joy you bring to my life, for teaching me unending patience and strength, and for not being ashamed to proclaim you love me, even when it's not perfect timing for the rest of the world.  I'll never grow tired of hearing it.