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365Expressions

Writing these "letters" has helped me to process life as a new mother, remain thankful, and come awake to the little moments that make this pretty challenging season simply wonderful.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Day 86...Let's talk about Jesus

Dear Sadie,
One day you struck up a conversation with me, as you love to do, being the talker that you are.  I asked, "Well, what do you want to talk about?"  And you said, "Jesus."
"Okay!" I said.  I'm always up for talking about Him!
I can't remember if it was you or me that asked where Jesus was.
But I do remember you recalling that Jesus is in our hearts, and we are in His hands.
When talking to you about Jesus as a toddler, I've tried to keep to simple truths, and these are two things that have stuck with you.  You know that Jesus is in your heart!  You really believe in Him, as you show us with your relationship with Him, asking Him for things, talking to Him throughout the day, talking about the cross.  I can't help but ponder what you're going to be like in just a couple of years!!  While I know that your parents and grandparents have planted the seed, it's so much fun and very inspirational to watch it grow inside of you.
I look forward to you teaching me in return, more and more as you grow.  I pray that you will ever love Him and know that the loving and learning of Jesus never ends, it just goes deeper and deeper and always satisfies.
Love,
Mommy

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!" 1 John 3:1

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Day 85...My From-the-Heart Girl

Dear Sadie,
The other day you said to me just out of the blue, "You're a good mommy.  You're a good cooker and cleaner."  
I can't tell you how much that makes a mother smile.  First of all, it's just so cute that a three year-old would recognize the hard work that a mommy does.  Second, I know I will not get to hear such things from my kids for very long, such open and honest feelings.  I hope I do!  But since the chances are that you will not be as complimentary when you grow up, I will take all I can get! :)  You just bless my heart so much.  You're not trying to get anything out of these compliments, you are just speaking from your heart, and that's what I love the most.  Keep it up girl!  Not only for my sake, but for Jesus, for others' sake, and for your own life.  Because as you water others, so will you be refreshed!
Love,
Mommy

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."  Proverbs 4:23

"A generous man prospers, he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."  Proverbs 11:25

Day 84...Painting the town!

Dear Sadie...
Tonight your daddy and I painted the town.  What does that mean anyways?  And why do people say that?  :)

Yes.....Daddy and I got to go out on a date!  We almost forget what time alone felt like!  Haha!  That happens.  Funny thing....we always miss you rascals whenever we go off.  No matter how hard you try, the conversation always comes back to the kids.  We love you that much!

Just a note today: put your marriage first.  Make time to love your husband; make time to get away.  Do what you did at first.  Because if you wait too long, and you let too much time go by before remembering and cherishing happens, it takes a long time to reconnect.  Family life with children always poses a threat, but it doesn't have to compete like that.  We nurture our relationship with our spouse because we remember that it's that love that gave birth to the family in the first place. :)
Love,
Mommy

"wives should submit to their husbands in all things...Husbands, love your wives..."  Ephesians 5:23-24

4.28

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day 83...Noah's Ark

Dear Sadie,
Today we went to a community, free zoo called "Noah's Ark."  It took you awhile to understand that we were not going to see Noah and we were not actually going onto a big boat. :)

It is such a friendly place, Noah's Ark.  It's funny because I think the moms are always slightly more excited about the animals than the kids.  We went with two other families; there were eight kids and three moms in all.  When we got to see the bear and the tiger rolling around together and playing, we were amazed!  How cool is that?!  And you know what?  You kids were whining, "I want to go to the playground!"

I'll hand it to you kids though.  You know what you want and you're not afraid to say it!

I don't have much else to say today.  I just got to enjoy you kids in the beautiful outdoors with God's wonderful creation of animals.  It was truly a privilege.

Love,
Mommy

"All things were created by Him and for Him."  Colossians 1:16

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day 82...not sure what to call this one

Dear Sadie,
So I guess it's time for a recap.  I don't want these letters to come off so pompous and know-it-all.  I hope what I'm trying to convey comes through, and just in case it doesn't....

I want to make sure you know that you don't have to be like me!  When I give advice, it's just me sharing my heart, not so you can do what I did, or love what I love.  I know I share a lot from my own experiences through these letters, but these letters are just as much for me as they are for you.  You can take them as you will.  I learn through expression.  Writing helps me to name what's going on in the chaos.  Writing helps me to get out what's in my head, and makes things a lot less crowded in there.  So in doing this for myself just as much as for you, I hope you know that I don't have all the answers....I'm simply processing through life in this season.  I'm paying attention more, now that I'm writing you.   I'm being present more.  I'm not hurrying to the next thing.  (i never liked hurrying anyways!)  I'm not looking to be perfect.  Writing is helping me to embrace life and trust God.  There's no way I'm going to be able to summarize all of the reasons why I'm doing what I'm doing.  I just wanted to reiterate, again, because this is a journey, that I will always be learning and growing forever, right along side of you.  And you will continue to teach me things I could never have learned on my own, which is one of the many reasons I am thankful for you and adore you so much.

Today I had to get out of the house again, so I took you both to my mom's where Daddy joined us and took you from there to home to put you in bed.  This all so I could "get away" for a moment!!  Desperate measures! :)  Why so desperate?  Just a full day, actually a full three days of poops and spills and "mama!s"  I needed a break, what can I say?  I got a little short with you when you wouldn't stop talking to Tabby while she was talking.  So when I came home this evening to re-tuck you in bed, because you're always throwing the covers off through the night, I stopped for a moment to drink you in.  You lied there so peacefully, so pretty and small.  As I tucked you, kissing your soft cheeks, I apologized to your sleepy head.
After seeing you so innocent and sweet, I was transported to seeing you and hearing you the way you were meant to be received again, cherished.  I'm sorry for every time I lose my patience with you.  I know I will do it again and again, but I cling to the Lord to increase to the fullest measures in me, so I can completely love you at all times.  You are worth every break needed.

Love,
Mommy

"May grace and peace by yours in the fullest measure."  I Peter 1:2

4.25

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Day 81 Mr. Butter-Fingers

Dear Sadie,
Today I captured a sweet moment of you and your brother, one of many that I long to capture and keep in my pocket like a boy's treasured frog he caught on a whim.  Today's moment is a picture of you side by side, cozy and comfortable, getting along, happy and content.  My precious babies.  Here is the actual picture I was able to take of you two doing one of your favorite activities together, eating popcorn and watching a movie  (Gah goan!....is Titus' way of saying popcorn).....You wanted to smile to be nice, but really you preferred to keep watching Beauty and the Beast.


I like to call myself "prone to wonder" or even "prone to wander" as I'm pondering these words.  But then it occurred to me, more than anything, I'm prone to blunder!

Yep, it's just like me to leave my kids alone with bowls of popcorn while I'm in the next room, thinking they're 10 and 12, and look what happens...


One cute moment turns into another.  Lesson learned.  I find myself saying to myself daily, "you live and learn."

Hey, it took about 10 seconds to sweep up.  No harm, right?

You were so engrossed in your movie (having moved to the couch), you didn't even notice!

I had to laugh.

Life is full of unpredictable moments.  I can be a little bit too loose when it comes to structure and rules (I attribute that to my upbringing...thanks, Mom).  But sometimes, like today, it turns into pretty funny memories.  Sometimes I create more messes than would have been necessary, but out of those, I get a good laugh.  And laughter is good for the soul, right?  I love being a mom.  You guys keep me young and grounded....and cleaning constantly. haha (that's probably just as much my fault as yours, I have to admit)

Love,
Mommy

"She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."  Proverbs 31:25

(4.24.12)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 80...Apples of Gold

Dear Sadie,
The other day I kept running things through my head over and over, without trying, that I had said earlier to family members.  Why did I say that?  Was that really true?  Should I go back and try to explain myself more--I don't think I gave them the right idea.  It was really kind of torturous when I think about it.  Getting stuck in your head like that?  Yuck.  Then I began to think, Why am I dwelling on this now?  I'm sure they have forgotten all about the conversation.  Isn't this my pride I'm talking to here?  Should it even matter what others think?  So I came to the conclusion that, no matter the cause of these cumbersome thoughts, I would have to simply let it go.  Then I felt the Lord saying something to me, in essence, and even now as I write this, Make each word count.  


In the Book of John it is stated repeatedly that Jesus only said and did what He heard and saw the Father doing.  Oh, how I long to abide in His work and rest in His ways.  I see myself nestled up against His chest so close so that I can catch every whisper, and tie my wrists to His so that I can move where His arms want to move.

The Book of Matthew says "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.  The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good."  (12:34-5)

Words really do count for everything.  It would take me a long time to type every verse on the importance of words and the mouth.  I, unfortunately, have to just learn the hard way, over and over again, that my words really do bless and curse.  They really do matter.  Truth matters.  Honesty.  Being slow to speak.  Each word matters.  It's something I'm only beginning to grasp.  I used to think I could just say "sorry," and it would be okay.  I still think if I could just "say one more thing," then the last sentence would be rectified somehow.  But there are times when, like recently, I just know that I need to ask the Lord's help in remembering that each.word.counts.starting.now.  I can't go back and change what I've said.  I can start fresh every time I am aware, and be careful to listen to Him as I speak, and listen as He makes impressions upon my heart.  The more in tune I am to the Spirit, the more good treasure will come out, just as 12:35 says.  I love it.  It's a hard and humbling lesson to learn.  But it's a good one, and I hope to allow and work with the Spirit to show me what He's doing, and not doing....and say what He's saying...and be silent when He wants me to.

Love,
Mommy

"A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver."  Proverbs 25:11

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day 79...Where is your hope?

Dear Sadie,
I just had these thoughts about stress, fear, unbelief, anxiety, depression and HOPE swirling in my head today.  I'm inspired to write you about hope, and how our hope in Jesus is the foundation for true happiness on earth and beyond this material world into eternity.  And just as I began to sit and write, I landed on a song from iTunes to play as I write, and look what I chose unknowingly.  How perfect!  I don't think I could say it any better, so I'll let you read the words first and then I'll comment.


In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless Babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
'Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From a life's first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from His hand
'Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I stand

Sadie, Sadie, Sadie.  I get to see you now, a three year-old, not a care in the world.  How I long to see you never lose your carefree child-like spirit!  Trust me; trusting in Jesus, this is possible to keep!  I have not arrived, but I have left! (as they say)  It is truly the tastiest life to put your hope in Him!  While it is not a life absent of trouble, it is a life full of unending peace.  Without first tasting Him, you cannot expect to share Him, as I am learning.

Today my thoughts for my own life I share with you, as I contemplate hope.  Where do I put my hope and in what do I trust?  Hope and trust go hand in hand.  What is hope? It's an expectation of something to come.  What is trust?  Belief in something or someone to come through.  I want to always have my expectations resting in Jesus.  I want to always believe in Jesus.  Both continually, not just once.  Jesus is the place we want to rest both our hope and trust, and not pick it up.  eing the answer for both in my life, I have let striving for perfect cease, and I have become like clay in His hands.  I am in good hands!  I trust in His Goodness to me.  I hope, expect, Him always to move on my behalf, to be with Him in heaven one day, to fulfill all of His promises to me.

Everyone hopes in something.  There are superficial hopes that can rule your life if you let them.  There are solid hopes of well-meaning expectations.  Here are a few you might have yourself or hear around you:
I hope I can maintain a healthy weight.
I hope I can stay looking young.
I hope we can pay the bills and even go on a vacation one day.
I hope this job will sustain us.
I hope to have a good marriage.
I hope my kids follow Jesus all of their lives.
I hope I can design my house someday the way I envision.
I hope we can do some more serious traveling again someday, even on the mission field.

No matter how small or how big, the answer is always Jesus.  How?  Because a hope deferred makes the heart sick. (Proverbs 13:12)  And guess what?  Jesus will never disappoint you.  If you put your hope in Him, trusting (again, hand in hand) in His goodness, your heart will not fail you.

Every day, people choose stress over hoping in God.  They choose to stress over expectations not met, essentially.  Plans not going accordingly.  If you figure out early that they rarely ever do, and so put your hope and trust in God who does not change, you will ride the waves of life, rather than being tossed around by them.  I didn't say it first, God's word did.  It's just something He's teaching me, and I HOPE it means something to you one day.

In Christ alone, my hope is found.  And not just one day I'll be in heaven because I have been redeemed, hope.  Yes, that is truly a blessing and where it all begins.  That is the answer!  But also hope for the now.  He is here.

Love,
Mommy

"those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."  Isaiah 40:31


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Day 78 Turn your eyes...

Dear Sadie,
Every now and then, lots of days even, you will peer into the window of someone's life and say, "I want that life."  Something about them will become so appealing to you.  Whenever you feel this urge creep up, stop, and wait.  Think and capture.

It's not uncommon to think the grass is greener on the other side.  Sometimes I get this stirring when I watch a movie, read a book, or read a good blog from a creative and talented mom.  Then I have to regain my focus and see that what God has given me right now is the very best, and what I can do is live a life of gratitude right where I'm at.  While I'm looking through windows, I should probably remember that those are stained glass windows I'm looking through.  Things are never as they appear.  They are stained with lofty ideas, false notions, sin, jealousy, the need for perfection, longings and desires, etc.  Most likely people are watching your life and thinking the same thing!

Jesus rebuked Peter when he asked about John's future death, after hearing about his own, and Jesus basically said to him, What's it to you? ... You follow Me!  (John 21:22)  It's pretty clear throughout Scripture that we are accountable to God first and foremost, and have Him to follow and keep our eyes fixated upon.  Go ahead and look.  There's no harm in that.  But as I have learned, be mindful of the looking that stirs up discontent or ingratitude in your heart, for that is where the sin develops.  I want to make an impact on the world, and the only way a heart can love a hurting person is if it is full of Christ's unwavering peace, where Contentment and Confidence abide.  Keep the eyes of your heart fixed on Jesus, and your heart will remain pure, I promise!  You will know when that anxious discord and unrest comes a knocking.  Don't answer!  Only invite Jesus to dine once again, and you will see just how green you have it.

Love,
Mommy

"Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."  Revelation 3:20

A song we sang today:


  1. O soul, are you weary and troubled?
    No light in the darkness you see?
    There’s light for a look at the Savior,
    And life more abundant and free!
    • Refrain:
      Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
      Look full in His wonderful face,
      And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
      In the light of His glory and grace.
  2. Through death into life everlasting
    He passed, and we follow Him there;
    O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
    For more than conqu’rors we are!
  3. His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
    Believe Him, and all will be well:
    Then go to a world that is dying,
    His perfect salvation to tell!



Friday, April 20, 2012

Day 77...You have lost your muchness

Dear Sadie,
Today we watched Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, the very first movie I took you to in the theater.  It reminded me of my very first baby shower for my first baby...you!  Tonight I am reminded of how perfect of a theme choice my family and friends came up with for this special event.  I felt it that day.  The tea party in the yard, the "Eat Me" cupcakes.  The book theme of Alice made having my little girl feel even more like a fairy tale.  This new beginning and new chapter in my life felt like I was entering a wonderland myself!

The Burton version we watched tonight is very funky and radically weird and artistic of course.  I like it, and I usually don't like too weird of things.  This one has a different depiction of Alice, yet she is the same girl.  It's  Alice coming of age, girl becoming woman.  Unlike the original story where Alice is a little girl and Wonderland ends up being a dream, this new one has a deeper inspiration that leaves you to an open interpretation, if you like.  Really, whether it is a dream or not, Alice comes out of Underland a new, better version of herself.  She becomes stronger, more self-assure and confident, and finds her will power.

One of the best scenes is where Mad Hatter says to Alice, after she says she couldn't slay the dragon,
"You're not the same as you were before.  You were much more...muchier.  You've lost your muchness."
Sometimes I feel as though having children has cost me to lose my muchness.  I used to be much more muchier.  Really, I hate to say it, but sometimes I like the before-kids Christy better.  Probably because I had a lot more going for myself.  I feel bad and selfish even saying it now.  Even with all of the WONDER-ful aspects of motherhood, it's the most challenging role in life to give oneself over to, without losing yourself, your muchness.  Now I'm coming through the fog and learning that I can be Christy the Mom, and Christy the Wife, and still just Christy...in Christ, for without Him I am nothing. While there's still a lot more of me left to be discovered, I'm okay with that now, this side of Wonderland.  I don't have to let one role dominate the rest of me, as if that were all to me, like Motherland.  Rather than being down on myself or self-critical, I can rest in the assurance that the dragon HAS been slayed, and there's much freedom and wide-open space to be who God made me to be, without working out every self-improvement strategy there is out there, or putting impossible expectations on myself. I am not confined and I will not conform.  I have the Christ-confidence to be me in whatever roles God places me in, allowing His Spirit to dwell in me.  He makes me ready.

And as cheesy as all of this may sound coming from an Alice in Wonderland analogy, I'm telling you, losing and finding yourself will happen more than once in your life.  I want you to be ready for it, and know that we've all been there.  There are many lessons to be learned in the process, ones which you will have to learn on your own.  There may even be a Mad Hatter by yourself there to say "You've lost your muchness."  But take courage, God equips you with all that you need.  Be brave!  He is with you.  Let yourself off the hook, for if you try to slay them all on your own, you will never win.  There are weapons to hold and there is armor to wear.  Just go one step at a time, and only let Him define who you are, not what you do.  I love you.

Love,
Mommy

"Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."  Joshua 1:9

"...that you may filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:19


Day 76...Pandemonium and Praise

Dear Sadie,
Sitting down to the piano felt good.  It doesn't come high on my priority list these days as I know it should.  My guitar, too, sits idly in the corner behind our nifty handed-down orange rocking chair.  Today I find time and I sit.  "His Name is Wonderful."  That looks like a good one, flipping the pages of my favorite tattered red Marantha! Music Praise Chorus Book.

I start.

"His name is Wonderful,
His name is Wonderful,
His name is Wonderful,
Jesus, my Lord."

Kids are now sitting on both sides, banging along with me.

"He is the mighty King,
Master of everything,
His name is Wonderful,
Jesus, my Lord."

I sing out with boldness, playing the notes as I see them.  I smile at how bad we sound, and how glorious it feels to not care.  His Name is wonderful.

"He's the Great Shepherd,
the Rock of all ages,
Almighty God is He."

Titus is off playing now and you are twirling behind me.

"Bow down before Him,
Love and adore Him,
His name is Wonderful,
Jesus, my Lord."

Yesterday I may have huffed and given up because of the kids in their distracting and interfering ways.
Today I am delighted that I can praise, and play, and glory in my God, a midst the mess and noise of life with kids.

Now I know not to worry if little hands are blocking my reach to the low C.  I just keep going.

Nothing can block my heart from reaching

 His

Wonderful

Name.

Push through the pandemonium with praise.

Next song....

Love,
Mommy

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Day 75...Life in Season

Dear Sadie,
I'm so glad life happens in seasons.  That way, if we start to get overwhelmed with this one, we can just say, "Change will come again soon," or "This, too, shall pass."  It seems I always reach a point of saying Enough!  when it comes to actual climatic conditions.  Like when our hot and sticky Georgia summer lingers and I am sick of hibernating indoors in the luxurious AC.  Then Fall swoops in to save the day, my favorite hero of all seasons, cooling me off to the fresh outdoors and blowing my mind with colors so vibrant it's unreal, yet not  so cold that I want to be bundled up inside.  Change is always around the corner, which is why we have to strive so much to remain present in our present situation and atmosphere.  These conditions will never be the same.  So look around and pay attention, and gather it all up before it is gone.  Just about anyone able to express it would say the same thing.  I've even heard of a 1st Grader, in passing the Kindergarten classroom, and in essence he said, "Those were the days."

I look back already, the newness of thirties now wearing off, no outstanding wrinkles to loathe or gray hairs to color just yet.  Just old enough, I look back to my childhood when playing outside with the neighborhood kids was like breathing air.  I look back to high school when I walked the halls concentrating on not looking like I was concentrating on anything or anyone.  I look back on college when my ties to home were cut suddenly and the freedom which led me to strange places and wandering choices.  I look back on my days overseas teaching foreign faces and walking beside cars stuck in traffic on narrow streets that smelled of sesame oil and pharmaceuticals.  I look back on the newlywed life of no necessary budget and dating all of the time.  Now I look at this season, and if I had to call it anything, it'd be Spring, and how timely, too.  Spring because my heart is coming alive to my circumstances.  Spring because finally the flowers are blooming, and I take notice long enough for it to bring a smile to my face.  Spring because the early days of motherhood can seem so cold and dark and lonely, and I'm now warm and able to see enough to appreciate the blessings it brings amidst the untrimmed flowerbeds that have sat all Winter.  It's not all fun and games like Summer, but it's a time for transformation, and my heart knows it.

I hope you too can look around and pay attention to the atmosphere around you, whatever season you are in.  There are always things you want to change, some things you are grateful for, some people you will struggle with.  When looking back, out of all of the stuff I miss most about each season, it's the people my heart aches for the most.  Girlfriends...teachers...boyfriends...mentors...family members.  Too far in distance, some seemingly from a former life.  It's the people who made each fragment of time unforgettable, and now in corners of my mind, even mythical.  I can't go back, but framed in my heart, I cherish what each person brought to who I am today.  No, I can't go back, but I can squeeze the sponge of today and promise myself to not miss a drop.  For each one, each person and each moment, watered my thirsty soul.

This Spring, I hope to make you laugh as much as I can when you beg me to play with you, to make your Beanie Babies talk to each other, because one day you'll want me to leave the room so you can talk to your friend on the phone.

This Spring, I hope to pay attention to my babbling Titus every time he wants to look and point and talk about everything he sees when he's resting on my arm, because one day he will want to internalize it all, and I'll wonder about his thoughts when he finally can make verbal sense.

This Spring, I hope to love and support my ambitious husband who is growing every stronger as a leader in business, community and home.

This Spring, I hope to pay attention to every person God plants in my life, every moment a seed for me to attend to, for they all serve a unique purpose and hold special places in my garden.

I will hurry up and slow down so not one miracle will be missed.

Love,
Mommy


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day 74...Weakness

Dear Sadie,
Today was "check out" day.  Whether it was the wrong thing or the right thing to do, it was the needed thing.  Seriously, I felt all energy leave my body today, mental and physical, and I had to literally distract myself from you kids for awhile to muster up any mental or physical capabilities.  Pizza and The Apprentice while you guys played in the living room.  Taking a break for giving Titus a drink and a diaper change, I literally had to check out and let you know I was watching a show, and we could do that later.  I had a little guilt, and still do, to be honest, but what's more, I didn't know what else to do.  There are days when I, because I'm a mom 24/7 and I work almost every hour I am awake, just need a break.  If no one else is around to help me, I just feel like I need to go to my last resorts, and rest assured that you two are going to be okay because in the end, what's a couple of hours? In the end, you two need a mom who can be recharged on emergency, however that needs to happen. I was impressed that you even went upstairs and cleaned your room like I asked you to during that time.  You are amazing.  I like to think I have some credit to take for your amazingness, but really I know that it's just you.  Moms have to have moments when we are not on our "game" so-to-speak, and that just means we are weak.  I'm not too proud to admit I am always learning.  Hopefully, I will learn my way out of checking out mode, and when I get the answer, I will give it to you.
Love,
Mommy

"When I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:10

Monday, April 16, 2012

Day 73...Sleep!

Dear Sadie,
Sometimes sleep needs to take precedence over all else, because it is river from which all strength and creativity flows. Haha.  I think about writing a letter tonight and all I can think of is one word, BED.  So with that, dear daughter, I say good-night.
Love,
Mommy

"I like down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me."  Psalm 3:5

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Day 72...This season

Dear Sadie,
Tonight as Daddy and I were praying together (something we want to do more!), I became overwhelmed with thanks for this season we are in.  It brought me to tears.  This non-perfect, glorious season I do not want to end.  This season of watching my two little flowers growing and sprouting up into such beautiful, fragrant kids.  This season of being with you all day, knowing it will pass before I can say I've had enough.  This season of playing on the floor, cutting and pasting, baking cookies, pushing strollers, bathing tiny bodies, and good-night kisses.  An old friend of mine used to say, and I'm sure it's well-known, "I don't know what tomorrow holds, but I know Who holds the future."  And I can honestly say I've never been more at peace, right here in the midst of uncertainty.  The light shines on us, pouring down to our feet.  We see just enough.  I rest in my bed knowing I don't have to know.  I slow down my heart long enough to feel the goodness of God and His Gentle, Giant Hands resting on our shoulders like a loving parent.
Love,
Mommy

"Find rest, o my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him." Psalm 62:5

Day 71...A Process

Dear Sadie,
I feel like I need to say something.  I hope it's not coming across that I think I know everything.  More than anything, I know that life is a learning PROCESS.  Writing to you is helping me process through the truths God is teaching me right now.  One of those truths is, I do NOT have everything figured out.  So while I'm writing you letters, I want you to know I could very well change my mind about anything a day, a week, a month, or a year from now!  The point is, it's all a learning process, and I am not too pious or blind to recognize a lot of things you have to learn for yourself.  At the very least, you will have shared with me a year of our life together by the end of this, and the struggles and intentions I held during this year.
Love,
Mommy



Saturday, April 14, 2012

Day 70...Minor Moments Matter Majorly

Dear Sadie,
Being a stay-at-home mom has shown me, more than anything I think, that life is made up of moments, and if I slow down enough to take them in as they come, I will be a much happier person and mom at this stage.  If you're not careful, you can end up chasing things that will never be caught, like keeping a house perpetually perfect, or keeping your kids acting perfect all of the time, or like trying to figure out what your purpose is while simply trying to maintain your sanity.  All  just leads to stress, anxiety or depression without the proper perspective.  Two powerful pills for fighting the battles of a stay-at-home mom, 1) let it go 2) be present.  If you do those two things, you will be able to see what God is doing, moment by moment.  Fear, anxiety, anger, loneliness, depression, etc. has to flee when we see God right now.  His presence causes the heaviness to lift.

Today, there were a couple of moments that stood out to me, among many.  I am thankful for these letters that have helped me see them and then give them a name.  I am glad for this opportunity to remember them as well.  One was when you stopped me for a moment and said with a squinty-eyed, cheesy-smile face, "I like that, Mommy, when you smile at me big like this."  I could see my face in yours, and it made me feel so proud to see that you were that familiar with me, and could express it to me with such joy and adoration.  It was one of those awe moments that makes me full of gratitude for the quiet moments like these, where we have time to sit and do something like learn how to use scissors together.  In this busy, fast-paced, media-spinning world, little moments matter all the more.

The second happy moment that made an impression on me, shining even brighter than the hot April sun, was when I brushed Titus' tiny, almost two year-old teeth.  This is probably the third time I've brushed his teeth, and he was the one that reminded me as we passed the bathroom.  Pointing to his teeth, he said, "Tee!  Tee!"  The moment the brush touched his mouth was the moment the giggles came.  As I attempted to clean those new, pretty little teeth, he scrunched up his face like a little old Muppet man, giggling all the while.  Definitely the cutest moment of the day.

As I said before, life is made up of moments.  I take little snapshots in my mind, as full-time work as a mom has taught me to do.  With a paused gaze I like to breathe in and say, "Yes, Lord, this is worth it."  Of course a lot of sacrifice happens with staying at home.  It has its pitfalls as anything does.  But what's amazing to me is all of the "behind the scenes" things that go on, that only moms (and dads) know about, that just take your breath away.  The smallest, most insignificant, non news-making, never flashy moments that no one but stay-at-home parents fully get to experience.

Love,
Mommy




Thursday, April 12, 2012

Day 69...Elephants and Butterflies

Dear Sadie,
Who knew someone would make up a game of an elephant blowing butterflies out of his upright trunk for you to catch with a net!  Well, someone did.  You love this game, and you are very excited to play it when we get it out.  But the excitement is short-lived, as you start to get pretty frustrated. Catching those light-as-a-feather paper butterflies shooting out the top of the four foot elephant's trunk is a feat even for me!  I watched today as you became more and more frustrated at the unpredictability of the game, eyes glued, net in place, ready to snatch. I couldn't help but think about how life brings us to feel this way so often.  I am excited and thinking I'm up for a new challenge or a new opportunity, when the butterfly that seemed to be easily landing ever so gently into my net, suddenly and unexpectedly darts a slight right.  Oops.  Missed that one. I try again.  I fail again.  I look down with shoulders slumped.  Meanwhile, other butterflies are darting out the top, falling this way and that, and I'm missing my next chance because I'm defeated and discouraged.  Why try?  While I watched you give it your all, over and over again, I cheered you on, 'You can do it!'  'Keep looking!'  'Here comes one!'  I kept encouraging you not to give up.  Soon you were hunched over again, and you would take your eyes off the target, missing the opportune butterfly waiting to fall your way.  I could feel your pain.  Trying to encourage you that it was only a game, and to try and have fun going for it, I thought to myself how typical this felt.  How many times do we feel like giving up?  Not every butterfly works out the way we want it to.  Some get carried away on purpose and were never meant to land in our net.  That's God's way of looking after us.  Some get stolen by the enemy's schemes.  Some are missed because we weren't paying attention, but looking down in disappointment over the last failed attempt.  We have to be ready for what God has for us.  Looking up.  This is what it means to enter into God's rest.  We have our eyes fixed on the right "place" (Jesus), and our hearts are in the game, not lost.  In other words, we don't lose heart.  We have to work in cooperation with the Holy Spirit to catch all that comes to our way in His grace and favor and time.  Every opportunity to love, to minister, to serve, to work, to enjoy comes in seasons and in waves.  Not everything will happen as we expect it to, but in our trust in Him we find rest.  Always.  Period.  This peace surpasses what our mind can comprehend when we set our hearts like flint.  like Jesus.  We work and strive, but with joy and with gratitude.  We fall down sometimes, and moments are stolen, but we keep going forward, protected by His wings of grace.  As I cheer you on, in games and in life, I will strive to stay in this rest myself, for I know it's the best kind of dwelling.

I'm glad you we got to play this game together.  Even though you quit after 3 rounds, I know you'll want to play again. And I'll be there rooting for you.


Love,
Mommy

"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Day 68...Patience

Dear Sadie,
As a parent, you will find your patience is a virtue that will be tested over and over again.  Today was one of those days.  Alone with three little ones, by 6pm it takes its toll.  At the dinner table, I inhaled my food so I could get past the noise.  There was an energy, a loud energy, running through and bouncing off of each one of you, and mommy had reached her limit.  Trying to remain calm, I just didn't try to micromanage every little thing.  This is what they call survival mode I guess.  Then Daddy came home.  Phew!  What did I do next?  I head out the door!  I took you with me, but I really needed separation from our little guy.  It's not that I don't love everything about him, he just has days, more and more of them, that he gets loud and kind of hyper for no reason.  He's becoming more a boy every day!  I'm not sure if I'm ready for this yet!

So you and I went for a drive, and already the peace and quite of the car ride was soothing to my soul.  We went to my mom's for a couple of hours.  Then by the end of the evening, you put up a little fight about not wanting to use the potty.  At home, Daddy is dealing with a wound up, tired boy, not wanting to go to sleep.  This is crazy!  He is usually pretty much putting himself in the bed almost every night!  Both daddy and I felt like saying, "I'm done!"

I'm so glad our Father never quits on us.  He is always patient.  His faithfulness and love never tire.  Never does His patience run out.  Aren't you glad?  He never cries out, "I'm done with you!  I've had it!"

I pray to be more like Him.  I long to show you patience beyond what I can do, letting His strength and power flow through me.

Love,
Mommy

"The Lord is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression..." Numbers 14:18

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day 67...Money Talk

Dear Sadie,
I don't think you are ever too young to begin teaching your children about money.  Here we are with one income, and it's no secret that we struggle to pay the bills.  Without showing you stress and anxiety of our situation, I try to be an open example of gratitude for all that we have, as well as wisdom in how we spend what we do have.  On days like today, I take the opportunity to paint a realistic picture that we have certain limitations when the money isn't there.  It was funny, really, when you asked could we go to the zoo tomorrow.  I said no.  Then you said, "No, but can we go another day soon?"  As I explained to you that we won't go for a little while because it costs a lot of money and we just don't have it," you replied, "Oh, but we don't have to take the zoo home with us!"  Recalling the movie trailer for "We Bought a Zoo," you thought I meant that buying the zoo to take it home with us would be a lot of money!  "No, Mommy.  I love the animals, but I don't want to take them home with me."  I tried to clarify the whole ticket concept to you, and then reassured her that when we did have the money, we would go to the zoo as soon as possible.  Such an animal lover you are.  I hope to always convey to you that while money isn't everything, we will always do what we can, not fret about what we can't do, and certainly we can work to find other more simple ways to entertain ourselves. I know you are only three, but like I said, the earlier you find out about money, the more wise with giving and spending you will be.  I was reminded tonight about how we can't just know about "plenty" and "in want" theoretically, learning to be content in whichever circumstance we are in.  We have to experience both to appreciate it all.  The Giver of all.

Love,
Mommy

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." Philippians 4:12

Day 66...Two Words

Dear Sadie,
Today was a day of last-minute planning and spontaneous family fun.  My kind of day!  I had a babysitting job fall through this morning, and so plan b was underway.  We decided to head to one of your favorite places in Atlanta, The Children's Museum called "Imagine It!"  Knowing that we'd soon be at the moon sand table and playing at the special Clifford exhibit put your excitement over the top.  As we headed out the door, you struck me with another "from the mouth of babes" God-moment.  It came to my remembrance this evening while I was at a women's meeting at Touching Hearts.  Two tiny words from your terribly cute tiny mouth: "Be still...."  You looked up at me as we were stepping into the garage to leave the house, with eyes and tone that said, "I'm so happy I could burst!"  Between the lines I heard you saying, "Help me finish the sentence, Mommy.  This one you're going to like!"  I taught you Be still and know that I am God weeks ago.  I can't even remember when.  It came out of nowhere the day I taught you, and today it seemed to come out of the blue once again.  We finished the verse together, slowly and deliberately, and I thought to myself what a blessing it was to be reminded by your three year-old that no matter what we're doing, on the go or in the quietness of our home, we can be still in our hearts in a place of trust and rest before the Lord.  Christ, in you, led me to worship in the rush of the day's activities, and I believe it caused the success of our little outing, and more.  As I reflected later this evening, I sat in awe that you could so unknowingly encourage your mama with those two little words, be still.  God is leading me through you, and I want to catch all of the moments I can.  For they lead me to Him, and He is where I want to remain.

Love,
Mommy

"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

Day 65...Scraped knees

Dear Sadie,
Outside on a bright and sunny April day, we were playing in the grandparents front yard, grassy hills below and vibrant blue sky above.  You in your little navy blue with tiny flowers dress.  I was camera-ready.  You were walking along a shallow wall of gray cement bricks laid along the flower bed, the newly acclaimed play area for you and Titus.  Suddenly you picked up the pace and decided to run along the wall, before I could even yell, stop.  With no traction under your silvery sandals, you slipped and scraped your knee on the side of the brick, sadly ending your joyful excursion.  Most of the time when blood is shed you simply become undone.  And not in a I need you or Hold me kind of way.  You almost just want to cry about the fact that something went wrong.  You don't want hugs or consolation or affirmation.  Well, sometimes you do when it is really bad.  But with a scraped knee, you really just want to dramatically cry out all of your frustration and wail how unfair it is that something like this happened to you.  It's pretty clear that you just want things to be back to the way they were.  Well, the truth is, mommy's and daddy's (and everyone else, for that matter) would love to help you dodge all kinds of pain, too, if we could!  I think a lot of us are like this in life.  Whenever we are confronted with something uncomfortable, we get on the justice track where we want to rant about why this or that should or shouldn't be happening.  We may take it to God, or complain to our friends, but one way or another, we're going to let our confusion or frustration be heard.  We are all guilty of this, and sometimes it's not a bad thing!  Tonight I was reminded how while God doesn't cause every bad thing to happen, it's in those moments that we grow the fruits of the spirit, into His likeness, developing intimacy with Him.  Therefore, whatever my circumstances, scraped or polished, I will keep on learning what it means to keep looking at Him.  Keeping my eyes locked on His will ultimately mean not sweating the small stuff, knowing I am safe in my Father's hands.  Those insufferable things will become dim as they should be, miraculously, because He's got it all.  I hope you learn to let me hold you, let me kiss those boo boos away.  I want to help you through hard times.  But most of all, I pray that you will let Him be your comfort and cry out to Him when you need your Heavenly Daddy.  He is strong and capable.

Love,
Mommy

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of various kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4


Monday, April 9, 2012

Day 64...New ways


Dear Sadie,
Easter has come and gone, and I think this one was my favorite one with you yet.  I’m learning, now after three years, that less is more, and that if you follow your heart (where Jesus is) you will have fun, and you won’t be running on empty.

Where do we get our traditions if not from the ways of our parents?  As branches of them blossoming into our new families, we honor them by taking those things we did growing up with us and we continue in some, leave some, adding to them or altering them in some way.  The most important thing is that the truth and beauty in them are preserved, assuming that there is any in them already.  As you know by now, I prefer the ordinary and everyday miracles that come to us unexpectedly over annual holidays.  The value is in the remembering, whenever that takes place for you, daily, monthly, and annually.  Remember Him as much as possible!  Whenever we plan there’s a pretty good probability that it’s going to be somewhat of a less than magical experience.   There’s a lot of good that comes out of planning and traditions, if you have the one key: the freedom to follow your heart. If your planning or tradition holds you back in some way, locks you in, makes you feel anxious, tied down, busy or overwhelmed, consider doing away with it.  Decide which systems soar into your heart with truth and beauty and cause you to glorify God, filling your heart with gratitude towards Him.  Personally, I find changing things up regularly keeps my heart in God-drive.

I grew up doing the Easter bunny thing, dying eggs, baskets full of goodies.  These were great memories for me.  My mom would go to great lengths hiding those eggs, and we greatly anticipated finding them in our rooms.  Fun is a good thing!  But today as a grown woman, my heart longs for more.  I do not want to get on a soapbox about a holiday or prove to anyone they are wrong in what they do.  I honestly believe that Jesus wants us to live freely and in accordance with His truth, and not much good comes out of arguing anyways.  So as my mind dwells on truth, beauty, glory and gratitude to God, I think it is safe to say that God inspired my heart to do a kind of unique activity with you that I think we will keep for now, as it helped me remain free and at peace during this holiday, simply fixing our eyes on Him and allowing Him to be all of the excitement we needed.  It is something that I think can grow with you as well.

We took a boiled egg and water-colored it black on “Good Friday.”  Symbolizing that Jesus bore all of our sin, sickness, death, disease, and darkness, we bruised the egg with our fingers and pierced it with nails.  Next we wrapped it in paper cloth and buried it in a shrub.  We told you to wait and see what happened to our “Jesus” on Sunday, Resurrection Day.  We waited with anticipation for that day to come, and see what we’d find, or not find.  You didn’t mind waiting two nights because you knew something special would happen on that third day.

Finally, Sunday morning arrived.  We walked down to the end of our driveway to the shrub where we left the battered egg buried.  Unlike the women at the tomb full of despair and grief, we looked with joyful anticipation, as this is the story we love to tell all year long, the story that set our hearts free!  We found the old egg gone, and in its place, a new and beautiful large plastic egg lying in sparkly iridescent grass with a silver crown lying beside it.  I could hear the words of the angel in my mind asking, “Why do you look for the dead among the living?”  Even though I was the one to replace the egg when no one was looking, I felt the power of those words sinking into my meditating heart.  The egg, clear on one side, was packed with silvery kisses, symbolizing His love for us, and a note that read: “Dear Family, I am alive!  I love you!  Now live freely in my love!  XOXO, Jesus.”

I love knowing that you will grow up and can be free to form your own traditions as the Spirit leads you.  I love knowing that if we don’t do exactly the same thing every year, God is not going to care.  I love knowing the fact that His love endures and He is not concerned with our doing, rather He cares about the state of our hearts being fully His.  I love that we don’t have to spend a lot of money and fill our calendar to have joy in the presence of God daily, filled with His everlasting love. 

Whatever traditions you choose, and daily living for that matter, may you follow His voice into truth, beauty, and live with gratitude to the glory of God.  Enjoy the journey, my special girl.

Love,
Mommy

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Romans 6:4

Friday, April 6, 2012

Day 63...Jesus is here!


Dear Sadie,
Tonight you were jumping up and down when I found the story about the Resurrection on a VHS, way back behind all of our tapes.  We had been talking about Jesus and his death and resurrection, with the coming of this weekend’s celebrations, and so when we stumbled upon it, you were ecstatic. But you took it to another level that blew me away.  Maybe it was tiredness.  Maybe it was your three-ness.  But I happen to think it was more.  When I said we were going to watch it, and watch it right now, you started jumping up and down and said three times in a row, twice, “Jesus is here! Jesus is here!  Jesus is here!”  Your jubilant exclamations blew me away and lifted my spirit, even though it was not heavy, as I thought, Yes He IS!  I felt a cool breeze in my spirit.  No matter what the reason your childlike faith had for exclaiming these words, your mommy was blessed.  And I know you know, without the need for rhyme or reason, that Jesus is here.

We watched the video three times and I got to watch the story unfolding in your little heart as you took it in each time.

Love,
Mommy

“…to give His life as a ransom for many” Mark 10:45

Day 62...Influence


Dear Sadie,
I’ve had a lot of thoughts lately on impact.  That is, on the idea of personal impact that we can have.  Influence.  Purpose.  Are we here just to dwell?  Live in the land?  Then what?  Personally, I have no doubt that we are here for a purpose.  Scripture lays that out for you pretty well.  There’s a broad sense of purpose, but too, there is a specific kind of personal, focused impact that individuals are to have on their circle of influence.  I think sometimes we get caught up comparing ourselves to the “greats” that we miss out on opportunities for impacting others with the love of Christ (something all believers are called to).  If I look at the big successes of our day, or even days past, I could say, “I’m never going to be that influential,” and then wonder what I’m supposed to be doing, because I will never get there.  I realize this rambling is very vague.  But what I am trying to say is this.  The love of Christ is powerful.  And if you focus more on the quality of love, rather than the quantity of love you are able to spread, you will have made a huge impact on this world.  Having our gaze fixed on others can sometimes suck the life out of our own lives, what we are supposed to be doing.  Who we are to be.  Whom we are to live for.  We are to be salt and light…love your neighbor…give freely…spread the gospel…lay down our lives…walk in the light as He is in the light.  All of these you will soon discover in your own time.  But what I want you to grasp is that if your lens is focused on the amount of people you can influence with your life, your art, your love, you may never take the first step.  Always intimacy with Christ comes first, for without Him there is no flow.  Then out of Him, shower those you are intimately connected to; do not skip those for a larger number of recipients, nor give them the scraps.  Invite them to dine at the table of your heart.  I think you’ll get what I mean as you go along.  If you only love one person deeply and greatly and with your whole heart, as opposed to a million just grazing the surface with them, I think the one is better.  Jesus looks after the one.  And if we ALL take care of the flock God gives us, a LOT of people will be coming into the Kingdom with this sweeping love anyways, won’t they?

Love,
Mommy

“And when he finds it he joyfully puts it on his shoulders.” Luke 15:5

Day 61...The cool kid


Dear Sadie,
The other day I was looking at your brother standing there looking very cool in his dark cargo jean shorts, gray skateboarding t-shirt, and black & white slip-on Adidas. He looked like a true “cool kid.”  But he’s only one!  I think about just how great it is to be able to dress you kids in whatever we think you should be wearing, and you just have to wear it!  You don’t really have a say in the matter.  Even at three, you never really have an opinion.  You have things you like more than others, but you never complain or fight me.  Yet! J  I can’t help but think about how this applies to other areas of parenting.  How long can I portray you in the colors and lights that I choose?  For now, I am the one who interprets your talents, your personality, your likes and dislikes, and just about everything about you.  But soon, you and Titus will be standing on your own two feet.  No longer will we dress you, literally or figuratively.  You are going to shine in your own true colors.  And it may not be what I would choose, but you will wear what Christ has put in you and your differences will make you unique in Him.  I will encourage this in you, and pray that you will be true to yourself, not conform to what others think you should be, and show yourself as hidden in Christ.  Because it is there that you will shine the brightest in all of the colors He has chosen for you.

Love,
Mommy


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Day 60...Mom Mania

Dear Sadie,
Three days in a row of three small children and not much adult interaction.  Not my first choice, or my cup of tea.  But...it's not about me, and I don't drink tea anyways.

On our way home from a much-needed "jumping place" outing I get the urge to call my cousin and check in, and I get this crazy idea to ask her if she needs me to take her 3 year-old off her hands.  Her very adorable, very curious 3 year-old.   Some might call her high maintenance.  But I say you basically have to just make sure you are watching her every moment.  What is wrong with me?!  I'm totally drained from three very full days of baby-watching, baby-feeding, baby-juggling, etc., and now I'm giving up more of my time to watch yet another kid, and for free?  Just for fun?  And not only that, I agree to let her spend the night....for the first time!  This is the first night you've ever had anyone sleep in your room!  Talk about unknowns.  Talk about tiresome.  Talk about crazy!

Call me spontaneous...brave...stupid.  Daddy called me a glutton for punishment!  Hey, wanting to help is a good thing, right?  And you could have a playmate--you love playing with each other!  I can handle it, right?!

Okay, so sometimes I don't think things through. I like different things going on, anything out of the ordinary.
I don't like  to think things all the way through because that takes the FUN out of it, okay?  And besides, my cousin will benefit from a semi-night off (she also has a 7 month-old).

So how'd it turn out?  Awesome!  "Tangled" and popcorn, a venture to WALMART for a shopping spree for Lailey, a run in the yard, little play time and then nighty-night.  And it only took 30 minutes of good-nights and bedtime warnings.  Not bad!!!  So we did it!  Everyone's happy, sound asleep, and though I am tired, I am glad we had our fun.  These are memories we will never forget.

Hey, if you don't take risks, live on the edge, you don't have stories to tell.  Right?  What's the fun in that?

I admire my husband for knowing his limits and sticking to them (he does, except when it comes to eating food).  Me?  I jump in and then either laugh or cry about it later!

Tonight, I am full of joy and loving this season.  This fun, exciting, most challenging season of my life, EVER.

Love,
Mommy


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Day 59...Planted by Streams of Water


Dear Sadie,
I cannot believe that yesterday I was praying about and considering taking on another child…and a newborn at that!  A lady gave me a call a week or so ago, a friend of a friend.  She was looking for someone to watch her newborn when she goes back to work through the end of May.  We are so desperate for the money I actually considered it. I said, “I may be crazy,” as I was texting my friend for more details.  Because in exchange for money it would surely expend my sanity!  Today was “one of those days.”  Today must have been my answer to prayer.  I kept picturing a newborn in the mix of my three “three and under” children, stretching me as a thin as a sheet trying to be fitted on a bed one size bigger, saying to myself, “no way!”
The day began with a massive migraine and a step-up-to-the-plate husband taking care of you two exuberant and hungry kiddos early this morning.  We all awoke at 7:30am to the sound of Titus crying and wailing “wa wa” (water) because he had soaked his PJs through.  I could do nothing other than bury my head in the pillow and remind your daddy of my headache carried over from the night before.
I simply cannot retell all of the chaos of the day like I have many times before.  It was messy.  It was humbling. Tiresome to say the least.  You watched more T.V. than I care to admit.  I can hardly imagine any other type of work being as draining as mothering three small children.  I really can’t.  The part that makes me sad right now is that I want to be creative and do a variety of things with you, my little pre-preschooler, ready to run to the classroom in a matter of months.  You are growing up with each passing day and I just regret that I don’t get to sit down with you and create things that I know you’d enjoy creating.  It makes me sad.  I do get Thursdays-Sundays with you…but these days can seem an eternity long, and I can’t help but feel like we are missing out on precious time together.  When I see you having to play by yourself in the pool because I can’t be apart from the two babies, I just sigh and later console myself that it’s only part-time this way.  I have rarely felt so spent that I could not even put into words for your daddy just how exhausted I am.  The physical exhaustion is masked by the emergency mocha Frappuccino I had tonight, thank you, Lord!  But the mental fatigue I feel is the scariest part.  Feeling weighed down and disheveled by the unkempt house and the crowdedness of my heart, I seek to find rest and peace now in the nighttime.  Two tuckered out kids in bed, I long to be with the Lord and know His Presence afresh.  He is the only one that can center me and make me feel new again.   He is the one I need.  I’m thankful for a husband who stepped in tonight and helped with some chores.  If it weren’t for him I wouldn’t be finding the clarity to write right now.  I am mindful to be thankful for my blessings and not overwhelmed at the burden of child-rearing.  It is a joy inexpressible, and I wouldn’t change a thing.  I feel like the Psalmist who starts by writing, “Woe is me!  Avenge me and kill my enemies!” and finishes with “Thanks be to God!” 
No matter how dry or empty you feel, He can sustain you with water that never runs dry.  These are the times that fruit is born and character is produced.  I love my God and the fact that He never leaves me alone or empty-handed.  I always have the Word to ground me.  His love rooted deep.

May you always live in His presence, Precious.
Love you my girl,
Mommy



“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”  Romans 12:12


Also Psalm 1:2-3 "..."His delight is on the law of the Lord.  And on His law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.  Whatever he does prospers."

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day 58...Simply Blessed!


Dear Sadie,
Today I was just thinking about how I haven’t had many horrible stories to tell in these letters.  I haven’t had to recount sad tales.  I haven’t had a whole lot of frustration.  Although I feel it's kind of boring, from a writer's perspective, I really do feel so blessed to be in this life!  Sure, things aren’t all perfect right now.  But I guess I have come to the understanding that they never will be, so why sit around and wait for perfection? Not only that, I am overwhelmed by God’s love all of the time.  I’m enthusiastically mothering two wonderful children that continuously amaze me.  And I am learning (slowly) how to love my husband the way he needs and deserves, on a daily basis.  That right there is a lot to take in!  I can’t believe I don’t find myself just complaining and giving long accounts of trials or struggles.  The Lord truly has us in His hands, and I fully trust Him for salvation, deliverance, love, support and success.  I am a child of God!

Love,
Mommy

Day 57...Happy Trails


Dear Sadie,
Your daddy and I started off kind of rough this morning.  I had a spontaneous idea in the shower as we’re getting ready (and running late due to sleeping in) for our Sunday gathering.  Why not take a last-minute camping trip? We can throw things together and jump in the car and go!  Seeing that this was not going over too well with Daddy, I suggest maybe a day trip?  Maybe… Rolling the idea over in his head, we bounce ideas and opinions back and forth for about an hour.  I even get you kids in the car to go to church. Halt!  Stop!  We are going to go on a trip! –Daddy says, now.  Okay, now we’re getting out of the car.  I slam breakfast around on the stove, decidedly hungry and unwilling to postpone feeding my belly for one more minute over this drawn-out discussion.  Arguing can sure take the fun out of spontaneity! I don’t even have the desire to go—now I just want to go to church late!  So I finally settle down and realize I’m reacting from tiredness from having stayed up too late the night before.  Your daddy and I finally work things out, and then get things moving, packing, heading out the door for our spontaneous family outing.  It was a beautiful day.  The drive in our new van was comfortable for all.  The animals at Yellow River Game Ranch were friendly and happy to see us.  
It was rough getting there, but it was yet another learning experience.  Don’t try to be spontaneous when you’re tired.  Don’t spring things on your husband when he’s not awake yet.  Don’t raise your voice in front of the kids (or at all for that matter).  When you want to be spontaneous, give your calculating husband at least a day or two to think it over. J 

Love,
Mommy

P.S. The rabbits and chicks were your favorite!