Monday, November 29, 2010

For my mama*

It's a funny thing, the way God designed families. You're born, you grow up, you leave your mother and father and get married and start a new family. Generally, this means you also do not live with your siblings, because they have grown up and left and started families, too. And in effect, what this all actually means, is that no one who lives in your house when you are married and raising your own children knows that you have become your mother.

You sound exactly like her when you tell everyone that Cheerios are it and Do Not ask for anything else.

"Yes, you have to match up all the socks" rolls right off your tongue without a thought.

You find yourself tracing words over and over on scribbled lists and notes while on the phone.

You look at your hands...enough said.

However, your husband, your children -- they don't know that that's not really you. That's your mother. You know, the one you're so different from? She made stacks, you purged (but now you might need a stack or two from time to time...and don't touch it!). She forgot things, you remembered (except now, when you forget). She thought of her family first, you thought of yourself first (is that changing yet?!? Please change me Lord...).

Now though, to them, to your family, it is you. Because you are now The Mom. So thank the very good Lord that since we all become our mother sooner or later, I have a mother who gave me a full tank of love to pass on to my family and beyond each day. Because now, in many ways, I find myself becoming my mother:

I am so glad to see and be with my children and husband every day.

I laugh; at myself, at big things, but especially at the little things.

I am an optimist.

I do what needs to be done, even when I'm tired.

I am rejuvenated by and rely on music in so many ways. Passing that on to my children is so important to me.

I pat people.

I love Jesus Christ with all my heart. I will never give up on seeking Him.

I'm so thankful I'm becoming my mother. I love you, Mom. Happy Birthday.

*I never actually call her mama. It just sounded right for the title.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

On getting older: them, that is

Another birthday week has arrived. It's impossible to forget their arrival around here since they are anticipated and counted down with publicity from the very minute the previous-birthday-person blows out their candles. Besides, being the completely seasonal person I am -- a fact I have come to see more clearly and embrace more fully -- this birthday has too many triggers to be forgotten. Big Ten football, end of harvest, my dad and husband's birthdays...the impending Thanksgiving. Eleven years ago I had the 22nd circled on the calendar for 9 months, the boy stayed in me to grow even bigger, we induced, and my first child was born on the day before Thanksgiving (falls on the same day this year!).

We watched Toy Story 3 last night. In the scene where the mom sees Andy's nearly empty room before he heads to college and starts crying, Levi looks at me and says, "You're going to be like that."

"Yep," I replied. And then the next 7 years of my life flashed before me in a blink, and I just about started crying right there. SEVEN years?! Impossible. There's too much to do, too much to teach him, too many memories to be made to stuff into that short of a time. I love an essay I just read reinforcing that the "teenage" years don't have to be what the popular culture dictates - our kids can learn and grow and pull away and become young adults without buying into the world's idea of adolescence. I especially appreciated Neufeld's words of guidance: "I would suggest three words to guide child raising and education: expectations, responsibility and risk."

I know we need to add more responsibility and risk into our children's lives, especially Levi's. I don't want to just create "situations", either. I think we need to improve at seeing those naturally-occurring opportunities for them to take more responsibility and fail or succeed. I'm praying that my eyes will be opened to those and for the patience to see them through. We're starting to move into the next phase; I want to enjoy it and them as much as I am this one.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Where's my heart?

Better late than never...getting down notes on idols from my "get-away" conference in Sept...convicting!

"We make something an idol when we inflate it and ask it to be God-like"


- If I can't have it, am I still content?
- What do you organize your life around?
- What do you want or crave or wish over?
- What are you willing to sacrifice a large amount of time or money to obtain?
- What do you fear losing?
- What do you rejoice over?
- What makes you angry or frustrated?
- How do you define sucess or failure?
- Where do you go for comfort or safety?

Then, identify, confess, and repent; you have to replace the idol with God.

Monday, November 1, 2010


BIG birthday.
soccersoccersoccer (<-----typo? please? no? )
KID birthday.
Thanksgiving. And I will.
Thanksgiving II.