Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday Encouragement

jesus storybook

Forgive the terrible quality of this picture.  I took it on my phone straight out of the Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.

I was reading through parts of the storybook Bible the other night while Andy was bathing Liam (Liam isn’t quite old enough yet, so we stick with the Jesus Calling Storybook Bible and Tiny Bear’s Bible for him), and I nearly came undone. 

Because in spite of everything, God loves his children—with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.

Oh Lord, that you would create in me a heart that yearns for a heavenly home.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Weddings are important, but anniversaries are better

This is a little different for me, but I’m going here.  I have been thinking about this for a while, and in honor of my own 6th anniversary and my sister’s upcoming wedding, I had a few things to say.

(Please note that exactly nothing I am about to say applies to my sister…she is probably the very first bride I have ever in my life met who has a right and true perspective on her own wedding day and isn’t taking anything too seriously.  Me six years ago could take a lesson from my sister)

Weddings are important.  Weddings are awesome.  They are an incredible day, and a fun time for all.

But then they are over.

And I feel like we might forget that.  A wedding is a day.  And I think some people might think too highly of their own weddings.  I think it’s cultural.  It’s become a phenomenon, this outdo everyone else’s wedding competition.  This need to have the best, the most, the greatest of everything.  The need to have a dozen showers and an entire bachelor and bachelorette weekend getaway.  It’s reached a level of crazy.  Andy and I sat down and tried to calculate how much we had spent on tux rentals, bachelor parties, dresses and shower gifts since we’ve been married.  The number was pretty ridiculous….and our friends tend to be more on the conservative side.  I know a couple who between the two of them probably spent close to five grand on bachelor/bachelorette weekends alone last year…with the same group of people over and over just for someone else’s wedding in their circle of friends.

Weddings are important.  Weddings are awesome. 

But they are one day.

I think anniversaries are getting the short end of the stick.  Anniversaries are important.  Anniversaries are a thing to be celebrated.  Anniversaries are awesome.

You want to know why?

Anyone can get married.  Not everyone gets to the anniversaries.  Even fewer have fun and happy anniversaries.  Look at the Hollywood portrayal of weddings.  Then look at the Hollywood portrayal of anniversaries.  We have a real problem.  Weddings are fun and fantasy like…anniversaries are treated like a waste of time, or made into a joke….”Oh look, this man forgot his anniversary again.  Slap to the head…D’oh.”

But anniversaries are so much more than that.  An anniversary is a celebration of the year you just lived together.  Some years, it might feel like a celebration of a year you survived.  Others, it’s a toast to the best time of your life.  Often, it’s both at once.  But it’s a celebration all right.  A celebration of what you have done together.  The battle scars you have gained together, the joy you have celebrated.  The ways in which your marriage has grown, and changed, and molded, and shaped everything.  You, your spouse, your family, your lives. 

Anniversaries are important.  Anniversaries are awesome.  Anniversaries celebrate everything.

So let’s hear it for anniversaries.  Because they rock.

I started writing this the day after my own anniversary, back in May, but it got lost in the shuffle, so I’m posting it now.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

For 15 to 20 years from now

Dear girls who might want to put their mouth on my son’s mouth in fifteen to twenty years,

First off, if you are putting your mouth on my son’s mouth, you had better hope I like you.  I’m just saying.  I went through hell when that boy was born, and I fully intend to vet any girl who has the nerve to put her mouth on his mouth, because I’m his mama and I can.  So remember that.  Crazy mom.  Are you sure you want to put your mouth on his mouth?

If you’re still around, and still trying to put your mouth on his mouth, then I have something to tell you.  Liam ate a worm.  Just bit it right in two.  Also, he drinks dirty water from his water table and I think I caught him licking a car bumper recently.  Also, he eats dog food.  So think about all that before you put your mouth on his mouth.

But, if you still want to put your mouth on his mouth after all that, you might be all right.

And bonus, he is likely to have a great immune system.


Liam’s mom (the crazy one).

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Our day in moments of grace

I have been in a super contemplative (and admittedly emotional) mood lately, and I wanted to record a few moment from today.  Mostly they were moments when I bowled over with grace.  I have been trying to take a step back and examine lately, instead of allowing myself to flit about and end the day with little recollection and very little grace or kindness.  I have been struggling a lot lately, for a variety of reasons, and have been trying to refocus and see the blessings God has placed in my life.  So here are a few of those moments from today:


At a little after 7 this morning, I heard the door across the hallway slowly creak open.  It was followed shortly by a tiny giggle and the pitter patter of our sweet boy coming to join his mommy and daddy in bed.  He crawled in on Andy’s side (as usual) and snuggled in tight between us, taking a minute to give each of us a kiss.  He discovered Ollie with his feet, and lifted the blanket to give him a kiss.  He curled up in my arm and we started to watch Mickey Mouse on Netflix on my phone so I could have a few minutes to stretch out and wake up and smell his sweet head.  He put his hands behind his head and crossed his ankles…the exact position his sweet daddy watches tv in.  It was lovely and perfect and the nicest way to start a day.


We spent most of the day outside, the way summer days are meant to be spent.  Liam spent his time filling cup after cup from his water table, and racing to new parts of the yard to water it.  He is in a helper phase, where he tries to do what he sees adults doing—dishes, laundry, watering, vacuuming.  It’s so sweet.  I love watching him race with his cup and watering can, spilling half his bucket on the way there.  The look of utter joy and pride and satisfaction in his eyes makes my heart feel like it’s going to burst into a million pieces.  There are some moments when his independence makes me utterly crazy, and I need to remember this feeling in that moment. 


After dinner, the day was winding down. Liam had bathed, and we were in the last little patch of time between bath and bed.  Andy had out his guitar and was singing praise songs, I was singing with him as I put away the toys that got pulled out in the forty minutes we played indoors today.  It wasn’t the sweet magical moment I envisioned when we were dating, or even the one I thought of when people talked about family devotions or singing together.  Because only Andy was still, and focused.  I was moving and cleaning, and Liam was running through the living room shrieking and flying his airplane while my mother-in-law pretended to be an airplane chasing behind him making whooshing noises.  Every time she stopped, he shouted “Eemie, shwooosh” (Eemie is the way he has begun to pronounce Grammy…and I love every bit of it.  It wasn’t what I imagined, but I loved it.  Our wild boy, our imperfect little family, is way better than the serene cookie cutter I imagined.  I’m sure some day we will all be still and sing together, but I bet when it happens, as much as I enjoy it, I’ll be nostalgic for now.