Tuesday, April 30, 2013


In 5 days, on 5/5, my baby girl is going to be 5. I cannot even begin to wrap my mind around that. I was going to write a blog post all about the twins latest and greatest shenanigans, but this quickly approaching birthday has left me in quite a state. I am not a prolific linguist, but even if I was, I'm not sure there are words that describe the joy and sadness you feel as your child grows. I am slowly watching the dynamics of our household change as Ella is about to finish her preschool years and the school age years are quickly approaching.

For almost 5 years, I've secretly longed for the day that my children were a little more independent. Don't get me wrong,  I love caring for them. They are not a burden by any means. But, I'd be lying if I didn't say that Andrew and I haven't looked at each other and wondered how much longer before our kids can at least brush their own teeth.

So, when Ella started brushing her own hair the other day before school, without me even asking, you would think I would have done a little happy dance...a leap for joy if you will.

But, I didn't. I felt sad. And I still do. Yet, I felt proud and happy too. So, you'll have to forgive me as I figure out how those two things in motherhood coexist...how you can feel so proud, happy, and sad all at the same time.

She is the loveliest of lovely little ladies. She is emotional...and while other parents may feel annoyed by a girl's emotions, I just love that she is so passionate about life and compassionate towards those who are hurting. She is polite and kind. Beautiful inside and out. And although I'd like to take credit for how wonderful she is, it's actually amazing how wonderful she is in spite of my less than stellar parenting moments.

She is creative and artistic. Her drawing abilities already exceed my own (not that that is hard to do). I love listening to the stories she comes up with when playing with her dolls. She is definitely a little mommy in the making. The way she cares for her brother and sister has been by far one of the most enjoyable things as a parent to watch. (And just to keep this realistic, I will confess that there is also some fighting...sigh)

She loves the water and she loves to dance. Every non-moving object in our house is a ballet barre. When she isn't drawing pictures, she is creating a new ballet dance. I am often made to be the ballet student while she plays the part of the teacher.

I am so thankful that she still is happy and willing to come snuggle in my arms with a book or a movie and a bowl of popcorn. She still loves princesses and Barbies, but I've suddenly seen her mind mature as she will occasionally request to watch/read "Little Women", "Meet me in St. Louis", and "Heidi".

I love her so much, my heart could burst. And yet, I know she is only mine for such a short time. She is on loan from God and ultimately it is Him that she will listen to and obey, not her mother...and it should be that way, but that doesn't make it any less bittersweet.

The Lord has been good to us. She is proof of that. He did not have to give us a child despite our desperate prayers. But, He did. And we are so grateful. I can't imagine my life without her sweet smile. I'll never forget the day she made me a mother. Before we know it, she will go out into the world and spread God's truth with that passion and joy that He has given her.

5 more days of being 4...excuse me while I just soak in these final preschool age days.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


I feel like I've fallen a little silent lately. It certainly is not because of lack of writing material...as we speak I'm listening to the sweetest, most gentled spirited child pray in her room alone. No one asks her to, but even at the brink of her 5th birthday (yes, 5 years...can that be true? It's so cliche to say, but where has the time gone?) she knows the Lord and I can see His Spirit pursue her little heart.

On the Eve of Easter Sunday, she asked me to read the story about Jesus on the cross "one more time". And although we had already read it twice since her bath that evening, there was no way I was going to deny her little ears from hearing the Truth one more time before slumber.

And she asked me lots of questions that night. Hard questions. Questions about life and death. Heaven and Hell. Why do we sin? Why did Adam sin? Why did Jesus have to die? Why were they so mean to Him before He died? Why did they beat Him? Why didn't they believe Him? One and a half hours worth of questions.

It was hard for my 32 year old mind and tongue to articulate. How do you explain grace to a 4 year old? How do you explain the love of Christ when it's only something I've only in recent years even begun to semi-understand? How do I explain that we are no longer under the law, but we live in grace...yet, God still tells us to sin no more? I didn't start asking these hard questions till I was an adult.

However, as I reflect on the last few years, Ella has watched Andrew and me in our deepest despairs and cries to the Lord. She has seen people pray over us and with us. She has watched them pray over my health and the health of her brother and sister. She heard us pray night after night after night for a miracle.

And she saw that miracle. I just didn't realize the impact all that would have on her. At a very tender age, she saw a community of believers fervently pray for months over her mother and those babies. And she saw us rejoice and give thanks for all that He gave us and continues to give. She saw as blessing upon blessing was bestowed upon us in our weakest hour.

And that girl...she left me speechless that night of Easter. I wasn't prepared for her maturity. She put her hope in Christ that night. Now, we could sit and intellectualize that she is way too young to understand such a thing, but I felt a gentle nudge from the Lord to trust that He was doing something great in her heart.

"Mommy I want to pray...I want to pray to the Lord tonight." 

 Ok, love. What do you want to say? 

"I don't know how to pray. I only know the thank you for our food song. But I want Jesus to know I said thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. And I want Him to know I don't want to sin anymore. Can you help me pray to Him? I don't know the right words."
Ok. I can do that. But, I just want you to know that God knows your heart. It's ok if you don't know what to say. God knows. What you just told me is exactly what you can say to Him.

"He listens to my brain think?"


And she thanked Him. And she prayed He would help her not to sin. She said other things that my mommy brain does not quite remember. But her heart of gratitude...well, let's say this girl understood the magnitude of what the Lord did better than most adult believers do. Her heart just burst with thanksgiving for what He did for her.

I left trembling that evening. Only God knows our hearts, but I believe God is dwelling in hers. I am not so naive as to think that she will have harder questions as she grows and even times of possible doubts, but I know what I saw and heard that night. And I have no doubt that He who began a great work in her will continue to work until the day she meets Him face to face.

And the world...it's fierce. I have been bullied and ridiculed for my faith. I have begun to understand what it means to give up everything for Christ. And this world that these young children are coming into...they are going to have to have the heart of a warrior.  I am fearful for what they will endure for being believers and followers of Christ. 

I have felt burned out by the bullying via the media...news, facebook, twitter, the blog world, etc. So burned out, that I have found myself withdrawing from those platforms. It's sad the harsh words that can come simply from quoting the Bible.  I am beat-up and tired...yet, I totally understand now why God wants us to commune with other believers...we desperately need each other for encouragement. Yet sadly, even the divisiveness amongst Christians has left me exhausted. It seems, these days, even Christians can't live in harmony with each other. 

But that prayer the other night...

that was hope.

That although darkness abounds on this Earth, that God is still pursuing our undeserving hearts. 

And although my hope is in Christ and not a 4 year old, I know that the Lord has not given up hope on us. 

"Mommy, will God let me take my baby doll to Heaven?"

 I think God will give you what you need to be happy in Heaven.

"Will I fly?"

I have no idea. 
"I think Heaven is going to be awesome."

Wouldn't you love to have seen the Lord's smile that night?

Hope. She's going to go out and fill this world with joy and hope...and hopefully she'll teach me some things along the way. Someday I'm going to have to let her go, but in the meantime, I am raising a warrior for Christ.