Saturday, September 27, 2014

6 Months and Counting

Dear Fiona,
You are 6 months and I want to remember you just as you are, right now:

I love seeing your smile engulf your entire face.  You light up with a huge dimple on your cheek when you see your mama and that makes me full of joy.  

You love to be talked to, to see your brothers googly eyed in your face, and to play peek-a-boo.  You love to be tickled roughly and sung to.  

I am in love with your rolls.  Girl, I love your chub.  It is beautiful and you are healthy and I will snuggle your little pudge with delight.  I love feeding you right before I go to bed.  All soft and cuddly, and quiet, you are peaceful and it is my 'sigh' at  the end of the day.  

But that's the calmest you get.  Most of the time, you are the wiggliest baby I've ever seen.  You are aware, alert, and trying desperately to crawl and grab at everything.  You are a pincher!  You turned over at 3 months and since 4 months you ALWAYS turn onto your tummy from your back.  Now, you push yourself up and back onto your knees and are trying desperately to pitch yourself forward.  A few weeks and you will be everywhere, I just know it!  

You love to be spoken softly to but have a deep, throaty giggle that I think is adorable.  Your brothers are sweet on you.  You are adored.  You are beloved.  You are sweet.  But I do wish you would nap.  This whole '15 minute napping at a time' thing is getting old.  However, I will carry you as long as my back allows and enjoy our long walks in the stroller.  

You are a gift.  You bring joy to my heart.  Thank you Jesus for sending us this sweet girl!

Help! Silas is holding me!

It's okay.  He's got this.

Night time snuggles.

Finding my toes!

Always have my mouth open!

She's got a bit of red hair but it will probably turn out blonde.

Lovin the ride!
In my laundry boat

Ready to explore the world

Mama's girl!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Questions of a Sufferer

Why me?
Why now? 
Why this?
How long?

The rantings, mumblings, prayers and petitions of a suffering person.
The deep, throaty cries of someone enduring unexpected trauma, hardship.

Our prayers start with these questions. 

But it's an interesting journey, this suffering thing.
We start with angry shouts, which turn to mournful laments, which end (if we let it) with quiet sobs and submitted hearts.  And the questions change.
We stop asking why and how long.
And we start asking, 

"Who else?"

Who else is sitting with head in hands, tears streaming, and life heavy on their backs?
Who else is crying out and moaning, writhing and weeping?
Who else needs comfort, needs encouragement, needs a hand to hold and another to believe for them: that it will be okay in the end?

The journey of an afflicted one: why me....becomes who else?

And this, this is how the world will be changed.
This is how bad and evil is redeemed to good.
Because all of a sudden in our deepest sorrows, when God gives us more of His grace and His comfort and His strength, we see others with new eyes.

Where there was once 'othering' and 'discriminating' there becomes compassion and empathy.  One-ness.  Unity.  We are all experiencing the broken-ness of this world in some way.  And we need each other.  We need to be Christ to each other.  Enduring with, walking with, journeying with, each other.

And though suffering can harden and embitter, it can also bring about community where there was once isolation.  Like a hot fire in a dark and cold night, it can draw people together to sit around it, shoulder to shoulder and share stories.  Hard stories.  Good stories.  Real stories.  

So I choose to continue to be purified by this fiery furnace of affliction so that I can journey with others who are walking under heavy loads.  I choose not to be embittered.  Not to withdraw.  Not to wallow in the questions (any longer) of why me, why this, and why now.

And instead,
look around.

Who else?

Friday, September 12, 2014

On Facing Giants

I see you there, Giant.
And I am trembling.
I am quivering because, you see, I know your height.  I know your strength. I see you rage against me.  
We are well acquainted, you and I.  How long's it been?  Five years already?
I see your armour, I know the jab of your spear.  
I have felt the blood trickle down my face from another blow to the head.
Your fists have pummeled, your breath has been hot against my cheek as you've fought against me.
I see you standing there, all haughty and proud.  You think I'm defeated.  
And I have believed you for a long time.
Too long.
So long.
You have stood in my way, I have been a slave to my fear of you.
The landscape behind you is hidden by your shadow. 
I cannot see the view because of your stance.
I have long stood before you, timid and low.  Beaten and broken.  Bloody and raw.  
I am afraid because you, my enemy, know me well.
You know that I am weak to save myself, and my heart is heavy.
You know that my determination is waning and I am bone weary.
You know that I am still little, you are still big, and you won't back down.
But, Giant, you are in my way. The only way past you, is to defeat you.
I can't do it.  I can't fight your way any longer.
And do you see that?
My weaponry has changed.  I have shed my previous armour.
See behind me?  See around me?  See before me? 
My God is with me.
You don't stand a chance.
I have a stone.  I have a sling.  And my arm is positioned to strike.
And He is able.
He is able.
He is able.
I am still trembling.  
I have fought you for 5 long years.
But this time will be different.  
It will, because my need is great and my Savior is bigger.
He will save me from your hot headed accusations.
He will save me from the fear that grips me in the night, every night.
He is mighty to save
I am just a girl.
A small girl, with a small stone, and a sling.
But you, Giant, you are defeated already because my God is bigger.
And I will face you.  This time I will face you.  
I will not bow low to you.  I will not kiss your feet.  I will not tremble.
Steady now, heart, I will not tremble.
I will trust.
I will believe. 
I will walk forward, believing my path will be made smooth.
And my enemy will be trampled under my feet.
With my foot on your face, I will view the horizon and walk forward in strength.
Be still, trembling feet.
Be steady, galloping heart.
The journey awaits.  
The fight must begin.
Don't back down.
Because Your God is able.

Facing a big personal Giant right now.  Pray for me!

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Blah.  Okay Moms, this post is for you.  Ever just feel like your senses are overloaded with noise and you literally have no more attention to give, to anything or anyone?  I need noise canceling headphones.  I need a nap.  I just need peace and quiet.  FOR FIVE MINUTES.

Am I alone here? Maybe it's just me, but lately I am just frustrated.  Does everyone need my attention, at every moment?  Oh yes.  Everyone does.  

I mean, I'm only human, little dictators!  Can you not see that I currently am up to my eyebrows in baby poop and simply cannot watch you do the same trick, for the 50th time, and provide any additionally useful commentary?  "Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy."  "Watch me!  Watch me!  WATCH ME!  MOMMY" 

Child, I cannot.

And watching WHILE multitasking does not count.  Why is that?  I mean, can't I kind of watch you and also change a diaper, or chop something for dinner, or fold laundry?  


My children are onto me.  They need me to have my entire body stilled with my eyes, unblinking, watching their every move in case I miss one millisecond.  Or else they must repeat the same stunt all over again. "You are not watching,"  "You are not listening."  YES I AM, but I am also needed elsewhere at the same time.

"You're not watching."  
"Yes I am, I am staring at you, I have remained looking in the same direction for 2 minutes" 

Help. Me.

There's the baby not sleeping, ever.  There's the boys fighting with each other "that song is sad," "no it's not, it's happy."  "Mommy, Toby says it's a sad song and it's not!!!"  Toby, "No.  I am not listening." Snarl. Growl. Pout.  Groan.  Cry.  [Toby starts hitting himself, cause that's his new thing.  Yup, you read that right.  He gets mad so he starts hitting his leg.  Why do children do this?]  


Can we really not fight about this, please?  Cause Mommy is tired.  TIR-ED and I simply cannot pay attention to all of y'all at the same time.  

Don't you love how children have NO ability to notice the fact that you MIGHT actually be occupied by something other than themselves?  Like, I could be in the middle of a life and death situation, or in the middle of cleaning up another puke disaster and Silas would still be like "mommy, mommy, mommy, watch me.  I'm doing this cool trick.  Watch, WATCH."  

I have started simply just saying "no."  Isn't that terrible?  "No, I can't watch you do that trick."  "I am busy." "Show your brother."

But then, said brother, purposely looks away, runs away, covers his eyes "I WON'T WATCH."  Oh joy. Let's fight about that now, shall we?

Then I'm having to make Toby watch, "watch Silas, Toby, WATCH HIM"  

Oh my.  We're falling apart in here.

Attention, attention.  Everyone needs it, simultaneously. Meanwhile, I am stressing internally about the fact that my kitchen is infested with fruit flies, that I have to make a major decision about when and where I'm going back to work, and I have had to pee for over an hour, and why does Fiona still have a cough after 3 weeks, and when am I supposed to get her to the doctor for immunizations, and...

GAH.  I just want to escape.  Tune out.  Disengage.  

But no.  I need to do the complete opposite.  Throw myself back in the ring, pick myself up off the ground and face another day, another moment, another hour of careful attention and discipline.  Pick up baby, re-insert soother, wonder why she is STILL not sleeping after another crappy 15 minute nap.  Watch the trick again and again, with applause and 'oohs' and 'aahhhs.'

Lord have mercy.  I'm learning how to love these little ones but it's gonna take every ounce of me.  I'm being trained to love, to give, to provide, even when I don't want to.  Loving hurts, it costs, and it strips away self. Painful, but good.  SO good.

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