3131. Sam and Vava's adorable happy morning hugs and hellos.
3132. Playgroup being back in session.
3133. A picture-perfect (if freezing) morning at the beach - sunshine, birds wheeling through the sky, and Sam and Vava with their heads thrown back, laughing on the swings.
3134. Painting with Sam, and his hilarious Space Friend.
3135. Sam helping me make 2-ingredient cookies.
3136. Vava waking from her nap, wearing a hat she hadn't gone to sleep in ;).
3137. The furnace repairman absolutely making our day ... and loving the kids' excitement at his arrival.
3138. Patrick manning the kids' supper and bedtime.
3139. My luscious massage.
3140. Crockpot potato soup with bacon bits and cheddar cheese. Mmm.
Thursday, September 18, 2014
3131. Sam and Vava's adorable happy morning hugs and hellos.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
3121. A delicious quiet morning with Patrick.
3122. Warm breakfast - sweet comfort on a dark and rainy day.
3123. Happy hugs from my darlings.
3124. Playdate with nice friends.
3125. Cinnamon banana muffins.
3126. Sam and Vava eating lunch like pros.
3127. Cuddling with a beautiful brand-new baby.
3128. Sam's adorable tenderness with baby Colby.
3129. Patrick doing the dishes and picking up the toys for his unwieldy wife.
3130. Getting some freezer meals all prepped. Ahhh.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
3114. Baby K.
3116. Sam and Vava pretending to be puppies.
3117. Vava making a play picnic of old sponges and inviting us to eat.
3118. Sam's response when I told him to go back to sleep: "my belly is a stop sign and my heart says No Thank You."
3119. Pizza & spinach smoothies for supper.
3120. A quiet evening in with Patrick.
Monday, September 15, 2014
3101. A roof overhead.
3102. Hot coffee.
3103. Good morning kisses.
3104. Food in our bellies.
3105. Vava blowing the competence tests out of the water.
3106. Sam singing and dancing "I Love You!!!!" with me.
3107. Patrick forgiving my braindeadness.
3108. Cow candies.
3109. My so-understanding np.
3110. Vava, tenderly feeding her toy bottle to the stegosaurus.
My dear friend,
You had a rough beginning.
Broken, like glass, sharp edges that pierce and sliver.
More than anything, you long for wholeness,
You try with all your blessed might to shield your children from anything that might give them the same broken lessening.
You don't see
The because-of beauty in their mother:
Her gentle kindness
Her deep-heart softness
Her careful thoughtfulness.
Qualities etched into broken glass by tumbling waves.
My dear friend
You are precisely you
Because of your broken beginning
Not in spite of it
(God doesn't deal in spite)
And your wholeness
Is the wholeness of a life worn well.
You will be granted eyes to see
That what you think made you less
Has been used to make you great
And your well-worn dust
Has been filled with the breath of God.
Sunday, September 14, 2014
3091. Sam and Vava playing together first thing this morning in baby K's room.
3092. Baked peanut butter oatmeal for breakfast.
3093. Our loving church family.
3094. Patrick giving me a footrub.
3095. A gigantic, brilliant rainbow.
3096. Vava feeding her babies.
3097. New twinkly lights for our living room.
3098. Sam thanking Patrick for his new water gun.
3099. Vava wanting a kiss and cuddle from Sam before bed.
3100. A tear-jerker picture of my beautiful mama and sister.
But add a hint of animosity to the slightest touch, and he will wail at full-volume, with crocodile tears and drool and chest-heaving incoherence. It's not the pain he can't handle, but the possibility of malice.
When he's naughty and I put him in timeout, if I'm angry at all, he will shriek "owwww!" There isn't any pain to protest, but the anger - that's what hurts. If his sister accidentally steps on his toes, he doesn't even blink (well, she is a featherweight ;)), but if she is angry at him and stomps her foot and accidentally steps on his toes, he will burst into a torrent of sobs.
I've discovered lately that if I hold him close and look into his eyes and say "I love you and I care that you're hurting, Sam," the sobs will instantly stop. That's all he needs to know - that I care. Then he can bear the timeout, or whatever is causing him to cry.
Because that's the thing about love - when we know we're loved, we can bear almost anything.
I've been reading in the book of Daniel lately, and was struck with the phrasing used to comfort him. Daniel was a man of great faith and courage and he did not fear the punishments of the king, even to being tossed in a den of lions. But when God sent him visions, he was terrified and did not understand. He fell down on his face in sheer fear.
God sent the angel Gabriel to speak to him, and I would have expected him to say something like this: "O Daniel, remember that you are a man of great faith. Trust in God and fear not." Which would have been true, and reasonable. But what he actually said?
"O Daniel, man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage."(Daniel 10:19)
Greatly loved! That's the first thing, the first comfort - you are loved. Don't fear. Rest easy. Be courageous. You are loved.
Brothers, sisters - we are loved. Love bears all things. And perfect love - God's love - casts out fear. How can we fear anything when the deep underneath-it-all glad truth is that He loves us?
I've been feeling like a bad mom, like a failure - comparing myself to other (good, yes!) moms who do things differently from me. I'm not the organic mom, the homeschool mom, the cloth-diaper mom, the Pinterest mom. I'm not even the successful-potty-training mom.
But I am Sam and Vava's mom, and God assures me that I am indeed a good mom doing His good work. When I tell myself I'm a bad mom, I'm just speaking fear and lies - I'm not resting in Him. I'm not courageous.
These words to Daniel burst on my heart like a river, a sunrise. You are greatly loved. Fear not. I don't want to raise my kids as a mom who can't see past her own fear. No. I want to trust that God has called me, chosen me, set this task in my hands. He has given me what I need to complete it well. And when I find myself bowed, stricken with my own sense of inadequacy, howling crocodile tears like my tender-hearted Sam, I will listen to these words.
"At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved." (Daniel 9:23)
I don't know what your week has in store for you, but I want to write this in blazing, sure letters on your trembling heart.
You are loved. Fear not. Rest easy. Be courageous. You are loved.
Friday, September 12, 2014
3081. Sam, hearing the phrase "pedestrian crossings" explains "if you walk in the street a car can hit you." Patrick and I were so surprised ... smart kid. :)
3082. Remembering the bag of clothing donations in the trunk, just when Vava was sodden and yucky from spilled Yop.
3083. Finding my phone when I thought I'd left it at home.
3084. Patrick caring so much.
3085. Sam's shy phone-voice.
3086. Sam standing on his tiptoes, telling me excitedly "I so bigger now!"
3087. Moms' group.
3088. Vava snuggling on my friend.
3089. Doing something about a bad situation instead of just whining about it.
3090. YouTube and cozy blankets with Patrick.
Thursday, September 11, 2014
3071. Growing our baby ♥.
3072. Patrick taking the kids out for a quick errand and giving me a few minutes to miss them.
3073. Emails from dear friends.
3074. Sunshine on the deck this morning.
3075. Sam telling me the things he loved about his day.
3076. Vava asking me for dinosaur kisses.
3077. Pumpkin vanilla smoothies.
3078. Pulling off socks at the end of the day.
3079. Bedtime going so smoothly.
3080. News of a friend's baby arriving safely.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
3061. Waking up chilly next to a cuddly furnace. ♥
3062. Sam's gurgly belly saying thank you for his favourite toothpaste.
3063. Patrick and Sam helping me vacuum out the vents.
3064. Vava telling me she was a Princess Dragon.
3065. Chatting with my heart-sister.
3066. A morning movie date with friends.
3067. Wiggly toes in my ribs.
3068. Cozy socks on a chilly day.
3069. My sister's phone call.
3070. Receiving my cousin's gorgeous album in the mail.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
3051. Sam's beginner theology.
3052. Vava being excited to wear a 'pippy dess!'
3053. Talking with my sisters.
3054. Making glow-in-the-dark bedtime toys for Sam and his friend.
3055. Homemade pumpkin spice lattes.
3056. The softness in the air before rainfall.
3057. Sam 'helping' me mow the lawn.
3058. Vava's face lighting up when our neighbour gave her flowers.
3059. Vava asking to go in the potty!
3060. Sam going to sleep right away ... cuddled next to a squirmy, snuggly Vava.
Monday, September 8, 2014
3041. A productive early morning.
3042. Being awake when my kids woke up ... and much less cranky ;).
3043. Friends checking in to make sure I'm okay. ♥
3044. A houseful of kids.
3045. Sam's enjoyment of quiet time.
3046. Little guy falling asleep on the couch.
3047. Vava running for me with her tongue hanging out, looking like a joyful puppy, when I came back after a 10-minute errand.
3048. A little date with Patrick.
3049. Texting with friends.
3050. Chrissy, staying home with our kids, and loving them so much.