This baby

One day God handed us this baby.

And God knew that we would fall in love with him so hard and so perfectly that we’d be totally suckered into adopting his two little sisters four years later. God is kind of tricky like that sometimes.

October 3rd, 2011

It looks like the girls’ adoption day will be early Monday morning, October 3rd. And then…more pictures of their faces will be posted here than anyone will even know what to do with. (Assuming I can find the time with four kids.) October 3rd is going to be a good day.

When love takes you in and everything changes
A miracle starts with the beat of a heart
When love takes you home and says you belong here
The loneliness ends and a new life begins
When love takes you in

– Steven Curtis Chapman

A long overdue Jackson post

Jack had a couple of big events in his life the last week or so. First of all, he’s been wanting a green faux hawk for like two years. We’ve done the faux hawk thing, but we’ve never given in to making it green. I decided to just go for it. He’s waited long enough. And that’s just one of the perks of being homeschooled…green hair, right?? My friend, Katelyn did an awesome job making Jack’s hair just like he wanted it. He was pretty excited about the end result.

Yeah, pretty sweet.

And the much bigger event in his life is that he got baptized! In fact we got the green hair just the day before. Because just in case you didn’t know, Jesus doesn’t care what color your hair is. Like at all. Of that fact I am sure! It was great! There were a lot of people there to show their love and support for Jackson. We’re very proud of him. He’s just an all around awesome kid.

That was cold!! Or so I heard. I didn’t get in.

Big but.

I wanted this, but it’s so stinking hard!

I need God’s help, but I don’t take the time to pray.

I love them, but I say things that hurt their feelings.

I dreamed of this, but now sometimes I dream of… not this.

I want great things for them, but I often put myself first.

I am their mom, but I don’t want my identity to be found in them.

They are so little, but I expect them to do everything right.

They just want me to be present, but I roll my eyes and walk away.

They are gifts, but I sometimes see them as burdens.

They are forgiving, but I am condemning.

I can do this, but only if I’m willing to let myself go.

I have to let go of the big but.

I wanted this. I need God’s help. I love them. I dreamed of this. I want great things for them. I am their mom. They are so little. They just want me to be present. They are gifts. They are forgiving.

I can do this.

I must be willing to let myself go.

Out of the Mouths of Moms

You are about as impatient as…. SOMETHING THAT DOESN’T HAVE ANY PATIENCE!!

I can take you out. I am meaner than you, I am stronger than you, and I am meaner than you.

I’m going to get some coffee, you weirdo!

Who is this mommy person you keep talking about? She sounds awesome.

You do not pee on the swing set! Come on!

BAD IDEA! BAD IDEA! BAD IDEA! BAD IDEA! (As I was running to the swing set to get Brittany off of the scooter that her and Mikey had put at the top of the fort.)

I don’t know how

Confession: I don’t know how to enjoy my kids. I don’t know what that means, practically speaking. I want to. I try to. Sometimes beams of light shine through and I catch myself enjoying them. People tell me to enjoy them. Let stuff go. They’re just kids. Relax. Have fun. Enjoy them while they’re little.

But I don’t know how. Maybe I used to know how. Now I don’t remember.

And too often, at the end of the day, I feel like I’ve failed them. I haven’t given them enough of me. They need more of me than I have to give. And I don’t know how to enjoy that feeling of being pulled in more directions than I can go. How do you enjoy that? How do I enjoy feeling like I’ve failed every day? Every morning is a new chance to wake up and do it wrong all over again.

Where is my heart anyway?

Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Luke 12:22-34

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

So what is my treasure? Where is my heart anyway? I feel like too much of my time is spent cleaning the floors, picking up toys, wiping tables, doing laundry, making beds, washing dishes. So does that mean that my heart is in my house? Is that my treasure? I don’t want it to be like that. I feel like I’m doing all of it for my family. So they’ll have a safe, organized place to live and play.

But is it really for them? Or is it for me? Is it for my kids if I’m ignoring and reprimanding them so I can keep their home clean? Their bodies clean…their toys organized…their tummies fed…but do they feel loved?

Or maybe my treasure is my business. Maybe my heart is there. Hours are spent taking photos, editing, thinking about what camera equipment I will buy next. I identify myself as a photographer more than I identify myself as a Christ follower. But I do it for my family. Don’t I? Don’t I do it so that we can have enough money? Or do I do it for me?

Is Christ my treasure? At this point in my life I would have to say no. “Me time” is my treasure. Working is my treasure. Keeping up with the house is my treasure. My kids are sort of my treasure unless they interfere with the business and housework. Phillip is my treasure when I take a break from the other things.

But this is the thing, my heart isn’t in any of it. Because my real treasure is living a life that points to Jesus Christ. And since I’m not actively doing that, my heart doesn’t want to do anything else either.

Maybe if Christ is not my treasure, then maybe I have no treasures at all. And maybe I’m just spinning in vain.

Out of the Mouths of Moms

“We all get wedgies. But we can’t just stick our hands down the back of our panties when we do.”

“If you need to puke, just puke in the grass. Homeless people do it all the time.”

“We do not cry about airplanes. Unless we’re on one and it’s about to crash.”

To the 19 month old…”One of these days you’re going to have to stop crying all the time. You’re almost two years old for goodness sake!”

“I’m not telling you not to be generous, but please stop giving your stuff away.”