Thursday, February 19, 2015

his intentions for me are good

I was reading the book of Esther.

Because I was so. tired. of everything feeling so hard.

What was the call we received? Why isn't our follow through working? Why is our life like this? Are we living accidentally or intentionally? What if it is accidentally and we can't change it?

I was casually talking to a licensed therapist today about our life - she was at a Q&A session at MOPs - and she asked if I wanted to schedule a session. That really made me feel great about our life.

When I read Esther's story, I feel like a lot of things that happened to her weren't exactly easy.

Orphaned.
Virginity given to the King because he's mad at his wife.
King happens to be of skeptical character.
People are trying to kill her one remaining family member.
She doesn't know what to do.
She's of a race that someone is out to destroy. She has to keep who she is a secret.
She has to risk her life multiple times to try to save herself. Oh, and her entire nation.

I think a therapist would ask her if she wanted some therapy, too.

Honestly, I am not sure I would want Esther's story to be mine. Yes, it ends with a happily ever after, but those means aren't very pretty.

My means aren't very pretty these days.

I read the book of Esther over and over. There was a message that stood out to me went beyond the heroics of a faithful woman. The message that stood out to me was his intentions for me are good.

Joseph said it to his brothers - you gave me evil, God meant it for good.
At every hard thing in Esther's life, I see that God's intentions for her and for his people are good.

I am reminding myself of that truth as we face the hard things.

Surely, goodness and mercy will follow me.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

joe cried tonight when i put him down

Tonight, we did our bedtime routine, and then something remarkable happened.

Joe cried when I set him in his crib.
I cannot remember the last time he did that (except for in illness).
And since Joe does not snuggle or generally cry to be held, when I shut his bedroom door and heard him cry, "Mooooommmmmyyyy", I went back in and held him.

I sat in the rocking chair that we have sat in hundreds of times in the past year, and I let him snuggle into me and settle into sleep.

Tomorrow, Joe will wake up a 1 year old. And I won't have a baby anymore. I will be the mother of a one year old. So it seemed fitting that we would close out our year with this gesture, with this moment, with this gentle reminder that we are on the eve of the next stage.

I don't normally lean nostalgic, but this has hit me hard.

I held Joe tonight and thanked God for his life, I prayed for his future, I prayed for wisdom as a parent, and for the millionth time in the past year, my heart burst with love and thankfulness.

I felt the familiar relaxing and twitching of his little body, and I committed the moment to memory - every sound, warmth, sensation, smell, and closeness. These days of babyhood are so precious, because they are so few. I remind myself of what Jen Hatmaker wrote about children growing older - parenting is not an exercise in scarcity. Fear not, mommas with babies turning into toddlers, who turn into children, who turn into teens, who turn into adults; for the best is yet to come.

Tomorrow, I will be the mother of a one year old.
And the best is yet to come.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

what i've been reading

California, by Edan Lepucki
A friend gave me this novel to read. It's decently written and a fast read. I hated, HATED the ending. The whole book was really up & down. I would either be bored and racing through to something interesting, or I would be wrapped up and holding my breath,. As much as I hated the ending, I do think it asks the question about how brave we really are, and how quickly we would give ourselves a life of ease even if it meant compromising our values.

Divergent, by Veronica Roth
I am so late to this party. Don't judge. I'm not even going to write about this, since everyone is way ahead of me here.

Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty
I really liked this book. It's ultimately a book about domestic violence without being a domestic violence story. And it surprised me. I can't believe I didn't piece together all the clues... I'm usually always not-surprised in books. But this was a good one.

The Fault in Our Stars, John Green
Another party I am late to. I'm trying, people.

Tunnel Vision, Aric Davis
I have no clue why this book had such good reviews. It was awful.

Gideon, Priscilla Shirer
Our women's Bible study did this study this fall. I liked it. I appreciate Shirer's writing and depth and ability to get so much out of a story I've hardly thought about. It did bounce around a bit, so it may not be for everyone... but I did get a lot out of it.

You Are Your Child's First Teacher, Rahima Baldwin Dancy
I'm not quite as devoted to this book as I should be, but I am enjoying it. It has made me think a lot about what I do with Joe and how to translate it through a more educational lens. And it doesn't stress me out.

So who wants to come over and watch both The Fault in our Stars and Divergent with me?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

what i've been thinking about

as the time goes much too quickly toward joe's first birthday, this is what i think.

i look at that little face; the wiggly, crawling away little bum; that crazy, out of control mop of blonde hair; those busy, sneaky fingers.

and i think
this is what i will remember.
when you are grown up and not a baby and independent
this is what i will remember.

i will remember how you loved to open every door, cabinet and drawer and smile mischievously when caught.

I will remember how you would crawl to the top of  the stairs and make faces at me as you waved down at me.

 I will remember how you got into everything, discovered everything, and always looked up at me with that grin that charmed the world.