Thursday, September 29, 2016

Much Preciouser

Dear Pascal,
There will probably come a day when you doubt that your big, beautiful, smart, funny, amazing siblings like you.
At some point you might feel like they see you as an annoying little brother and not much else.
I get it.
I'm the fourth too.
So I thought I would take a picture of this moment to remind you.
Because you probably won't remember the way they all cluster around you the moment you coo or gurgle.
You will likely never hear them fight over whose brother you are.
You won't hear Kachi's soft baby voice gasp "baby Pa'cal so coot!"
You won't hear Vava declare "my baby brother is just adorable!"
You won't hear Sam exclaim in all sincerity, "babies are much preciouser than phones!"
And if there comes a day when your heart feels lonely, I hope you look at this picture and remember.
You are coot.
You are adorable.
You are much preciouser than phones.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

His Banner Over Me is Love

A few weeks ago I was driving a friend home when we saw a woman standing in the middle of the street. It's not terribly uncommon for prostitutes to hang out in the crosswalks in our neighbourhood, so I thought she was likely just working, but she had a glassy look on her face, and it took her a long time to walk to one side. So instead of just nodding hello, we rolled down the windows to make sure she didn't need help.

"Am I alright?" she repeated back to me, one eyebrow raised.
'Yes - do you need help?' I asked.
"Noooo ... I don't need help ..." she replied, looking both defensive and bewildered, "are you going to throw eggs at me or something?"

We assured her we weren't, and told her we were glad she was okay, and drove on.  It was an awkward, heartbreaking exchange.

As if life hasn't been bad enough.
As if the circumstances that lead someone to prostitution aren't enough of a painful mess.
People feel the need - or the right - to add to that and attack hookers.

Someone in our neighbourhood painted a gigantic sign, complaining about the fact there are hookers on the street. One entire side of a garage screamed a complaint against prostitutes (not johns!) in big ugly letters.

Today, I saw a different sign that someone put up, right where 2 or 3 prostitutes can be found almost any time of day.

A sign that declares what God thinks of prostitutes. Johns. Angry neighbours. Haters. People who want to help but aren't really sure how. What He thinks of you and me and why He sent Jesus to bear the punishment for sin.

A sign that declares the truth in one simple Word.

It's beautiful, isn't it? :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Messily, Gratefully, Mama

Today, the bags under my eyes could have their own postal code.  Pascal was awake so much last night. Kachi was up coughing and sneezing. Vava had a bad dream. And Sam needed a cuddle. That all added up to me getting less than three hours of sleep by the time our morning alarm rang. 

And because I am no longer in my first bloom of youth, three hours of sleep does not quite equate to a coherent mama.

This was one of those mornings where Patrick cemented his rock star status by sending me back to bed (I really wasn't functional) and staying home to get the big kids ready for school and onto the bus before going to work. (Two extra hours! God bless that man!)

Kachi spent the rest of the morning playing by himself, while I dozed off and on, feeding Pascal. 

I am not worrying about the toys all over my living room floor or the furniture we pulled out to make a fort. I am ignoring the mountain of unsorted toys and clothes that need to make their way into dressers or donation bins. I am just fine wearing my hoodie and cut-off stretch pants and will probably stay in them all day.

Because no matter what supermoms tell us and no matter what post-partum magic celebrities use, the hard work of bringing a baby into this world lasts much longer than a contraction.  True labour does not end in the delivery room.  No.  That's where it begins.  

The other day I texted my sister that I was embarrassed because I opened the door to receive a friend who came with presents and food, and I was wearing my spit-uppy pjs, my carpet needed a vacuuming, and Kachi was running around in a diaper.

And my sister (with her own quick wisdom) pointed out that it shouldn't be embarrassing to have a life where I'm able to stay home and cuddle my baby, stay in my jams, and have a relaxed morning with my toddler while a friend thinks of me and brings me gifts. This is something to be grateful for. 

She is, of course, beautifully right.

Because God just keeps teaching me this, over and over, that gratitude isn't a matter of perfection, but perspective.

From the world's baggiest eyes, and a pretty lucky mama,