Finding God's grace in normal life

Monday, November 19, 2012

No Regrets

 My kids teach me alot about life.  

Recently, I've been learning more about forgiveness.  I read that if I continue to ask for forgiveness from the Lord over and over then I believe that I am doing my part, but that He isn't doing His part.

 Sometimes I think I ask and ask because I want to forget.  

It's kind of like if you got back in the shower after you just got out...why?  You're already clean.  Did you not think the soap did it's job the first time?  
Silly.  I know.
Occasionally, I have to ask one of my kids to forgive me.  We talk about how I didn't choose God's best way and then I ask.  
They reply, without fail, "I forgive you Mom."  
(As I have taught them to do with each other and friends.)

I had to do this with Princess K and almost before I was finished with my confession she reached up and gave me the sweetest 4 year old hug and said, "I love you mommy and I forgive you."  
Even though I've heard them respond accordingly to each other countless times, it still holds meaning when you are on the receiving end of forgiveness.  

Later that day, I was tempted to bring up my infraction again and ask for forgiveness again.

I think it's my human heart wanting to also erase any damage done by my wrongful actions...

I stopped and remembered, I was given forgiveness in love and we've moved forward.  To ask again, could mean that I didn't really believe I was forgiven the first time.  As much as she knows about forgiveness, she turned the other cheek and went on.  
Instead I prayed that any residual evidence of my words would be washed away and not hurt anymore.  How quickly do I forgive?  How long do I hold something against others?  

One of my favorite songs reminds me "He loves us, oh, He loves us...I don't have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way...He loves us."  Thank you Lord for loving me and reminding me not to continue to have already forgiven me.  I don't have to live in regret.

No matter how many times Baby K hits at Princess K or breaks Little K's lego creation, they forgive him.

And want to be near him.

No matter how many infractions in one single day all three of them do to each other, they forgive and want to be near each other.  Those moment that I see Princess K gently guiding Baby K up the stairs to the slide, or when Baby K runs to sit by Little K when he's waiting his turn during the game...they want to be near each other.  

They forgive and want to be near each other.

This sounds familiar.

God forgives and wants me to draw near to him.  I don't have time to maintain regrets, just to think about how He loves.




He loves.

You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
    abounding in love to all who call to you. (Psalm 86:5)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Imago Dei

 A recent Sunday at church, I found myself listening with my ears and responding with my heart...

"No human can actually give another human worth...that's God's job.  And better yet, He's already done that.  He created you, each of you in His image," said my attractive pastor while sharing his heart to our church.  (whom I have the privilege of being married to). 

I heard what Handsome K had to say, I began to think of the times, especially in my youth, that I struggled with allowing humans to give me worth or take it from me.  I remember the mean words that I would hear and sometimes speak about people to fit in.  I remember my best friend and I encouraging one another that these light and momentary troubles are not too big for God to handle and help us through.  In my naive young life, I couldn't imagine anything harder than not making cheerleader or not having a date to 9th grade prom (that is way to young to have a prom, right?).   I couldn't imagine anything worse than seeing some friends I love become distant in my life later in high school.  I let people give me worth off and on (and still can) in my life, then I would hear the words of my best friend spoken from an encouraging heart that would help me to remember, "the world doesn't give us worth."

I thought about my past.

I thought about my future.

I thought about my precious innocent kids' future.

I prayed that the Lord would protect their passions and their purity; their innocence and integrity, as I often pray every night and each morning.  

I added something that I will forever be praying for my little loves from now on...

I prayed that they would understand that they are Imago Dei...the image of God, little bearers of God's image, made in His human can really give them their worth or tell them who they are...God has already decided that.

I thought about the ramifications of knowing and believing that God is the only one who can tell us who we are.  I thought about how different their future decisions and confidence will be if they move and grow and believe they are made in God's image, He gives them their worth and tells them who they are.

I pray that Little K, Princess K, and Baby K all believe deep down in their being that they are made in the image of God, they are indeed Imago Dei.

Little K has been participating in communion with our church, after accepting Jesus, for a couple months and this week happened to be one of those weeks.  Handsome K lead us to take a moment while we were taking communion and use the marker to write "IMAGO DEI" on our hand to remind us about our identity in Christ.  I jogged out to get Little K from his classroom to join me as usual.

When we got to the front at the communion table, I knelt down to explain to him what the marker was for and ask him if he wanted it on his hand.  I told him that people don't get to tell you who you are, God does.  This will remind us how we are made, who we are made.

He looked in my eyes and said, "Mom will you write it on my arm so it will stay longer."

With tears in my eyes, I wrote IMAGO DEI on my 6 year old's arm and prayed with all my heart that he learns what this means and it affects him the rest of his earthly life.

I pray the same for each of my children, that as God said long ago, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over...all the creatures that move along the ground.” (Genesis 1:26)

That my children believe in the Lord and are saved and believe that no human can give them their identity or worth.

Hear my heart Lord, my forever prayer.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Go Daddy Go

So Handsome K does many amazing things, and he just did another.

He rode his bike 204 miles from Seattle to Portland.

Months ago when he said he'd like to do this, I really never wondered if he could. I may have wondered why?

He sets his mind, and his heart, and focuses on the prize, the plan, and goes for it.

I almost didn't travel with him, but I am so glad I did.  For my heart, for the kids to see their dad, and hopefully for Handsome K to feel supported by us.

The three little Ks and I got up hours after the bikers and met him when he'd almost made it half-way. I can't really describe the emotion and sheer pride I felt as we drove to the stop. I told the kids (we traveled and saw him, then we went on closer to the finish to stay the night) "Everything we drive today is how far your dad will be riding his bike."

As we drove I was overwhelmed with excitement and surprisingly... emotion.  I got teary as we drove I-5. My husband had set a challenging goal and was meeting it that moment. All these cars around me had no idea that just beyond the trees on a path were some 10,000 bikes going for it.  The world was zooming by without even knowing they were missing something really big.  At least to those riding. And to this one proud wife.

It was a little moment like the first time you visit home after going to college and you realize that your family's life is going on as if you don't exist, not even noticing your absence.  Or so it feels.

Or one of the first times you interact with another culture around the world and you think, "hmmm, I'm living my life in the US and people are living their lives on the other side of the world." If I hadn't taken time to spend in another culture I would have never realized these wonderful people are just people, but now I know about them. They come into my thoughts years after I meet them.  I randomly pray for some of them by name or just face, no matter the passing of time I think about the faces and friends I met.

Like that. Realizing there are moments happening all around us whether we are aware of them or not.

Little K had the most questions. "what if daddy's tire pops?" "what if he doesn't know where to go?" "how will he know the directions?"

Princess K prayed the night before we left..."help daddy be strong and his bike not broke. Help daddy win the big trophy."

As we drove, Little K was pushing for daddy to win the race..."Will he be the first one to get there mommy?" Princess K would add matter of fact, "Daddy will win the trophy."

I  tried to explain that finishing this race was winning, that beating your body to just keep going was the prize.

They did not get that.

"But he'll get a trophy right mom."

(next time we will make a trophy to give him)

They wanted to know he'd win.  They were on his team, and they wanted their team to win.

I know what that's like to want my team to win.  I understand believing that your daddy is the best and always knows the answers and always wins.

I saw my daddy like that too.

I know what that's like to believe my Father in Heaven will always complete what He starts.  Always, even now when I feel defeated and like I fail more than I win.

We found a spot right by the path all the bikers headed down with the processional of people hanging on either side of the makeshift  tunnel to greet all the "winners".  Again I was overwhelmed with emotion, I felt like we should be yelling good job to every person going by.  But in reality, we were all really waiting on our own team to cross the finish line.  Everyone knew it when your team made it too.  It was phenomenal. 

Because it was true, they had "won."

We stood and we watched, then I saw him.  He looked great!  Not falling down or collapsing.  Not out of breath, but finishing strong and confident.  He looked wonderful and my heart was full of pride and emotion.  As if I had just won, because I am so closely knit to this other human, and our team just won!!!  I yelled and cried a little and couldn't get to the exit line fast enough. (the three k's weren't in as much of a hurry). 

I wanted to share a triumphant sweaty kiss.

I don't think anything I could have said at that moment would or did communicate all that I felt.  I should have planned that better, but it was raw and lovely, in my heart and I hope for Handsome K too.  I didn't say much.  I was there, to bask in the finish.  (thank you friends who listened and encouraged me to go).

To be there when He completed, he finished, it was done.

He did it!  And I was there to see it. 

God will finish what He has started in me, Handsome K's successful ride reminds me of that.  He will complete the task He began, He has begun a good work, and no matter how much He has to work on me to finish, He will.

When Handsome K meets Jesus, He will be told, "You kept the faith, you finished the race."

I'm sure of it.  I'm sure of Handsome K.

But Jesus won't be talking about Seattle to Portland. 

He will be talking about my husband's life. What an honor to move and grow, and fail and succeed in life with you my dear, it is an honor! 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

While on one of our many road trips this summer, we stopped at an outdoor mall. During one of the many waiting times/potty breaks, Princess K was getting antsy waiting and from her seat in the car said, "Mom, Mom, Mom, can I drive with Snoofie?" I did not understand and thought this was one of those times that my sweet daughter's unexplainable mid-western accent coming from a girl born in the northwest whose parents are from the south...was simply making up words that I didn't comprehend. 

"Mom, can I drive with Snoofie?"

Ok, think...think...

Context clues.

Where is she looking? Pointing?

I see a cluster of those ride on toys that used to cost 25 cents to "ride." If you are my age you remember the carousel with three horses, I liked the red one and would beg a 25 cent ride from my mom after she'd survived a grocery store trip and probably just wanted to get home and have dinner made while someone else put away all the food she'd just purchased.  Sometimes she gave in and it was always a little disappointing because it was super slow, but I'd sit on the red horse and smile.  

I don't see a three horse carousel, but I do see a "mail truck."

And driving it was none other than Snoofie, or better known as Snoopy.

I don't know why but on this day sitting in the car, that was hilarious!  I looked in my purse for what now costs 50 cents but didn't have it.  I said as much and she said "Mom, can I just drive with him?"

She was happy to get out and just turn the pretend steering wheel and talk to Snoofie.  

I laughed and laughed and Princess K drove with Snoofie. 

Sometimes I miss the little things, usually because I'm thinking of something entirely different than the little people in my life are. 

Am I content to enjoy the little things in life?

Driving with Snoofie.

Kids see the little things and they are easily appreciative of them.

Even without 50 cents.

I still laugh when I repeat her little voice saying that.

I want to be a mommy who laughs, who sometimes let's the kids ride the 50 cent ride.  Who doesn't always say no because it's more convenient than saying yes.

I have a friend who said her husband wants to always say yes if he can and not say no without reason.  I admire that.  She came home once to see him spraying their kids out the kitchen window with the sprayer on the kitchen sink.  

After I heard that I wanted my kids to ask that too.  I could say yes to that.

There are so many times we hear no in life...and so many my kids will hear.  

As a parent, I've experienced it's hard to not say, "don't" and "no" alot.  I want to change that.  It takes discipline and....gulp....time.  Also, I understand that it's not pragmatic to "always" say yes, and calm down I'm not a yes mom either.  But maybe more in the middle than on the far "no" side would be a good change.

Handsome K calls me negative sometimes...I think I'm realistic, but can see how that can come across negative.  I often deduce all the things to think about/plan for and they seem to be those things that will make my life harder.  I'm a cost counter.  I'm trusting more and more, but I want to be a safe "yes" giver too.  Of course.

No matter the personal cost.

Sometimes driving with Snoofie is more about seizing the moment than just putting the 50 cents in.
Princess K was so happy.  I know life will not always be happy, but seizing those opportunities to smile and laugh don't really cost anything either.

So when's the last time you drove with Snoofie?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Character teaches...

Ever have a moment where you kind of feel really great about a skill or ability or role you have. I had one of those for about 10 minutes recently.

During my last pregnancy, I could not use or smell any toothpaste but the plainest of the plain.  It's flavor title was even boring "regular paste."

Well, I unnecessarily purchased a multi-pack of the stuff that didn't cause me to gag because I was certain I would be using it forever now that no other kind was acceptable.

Well, I came back around, said a sarcastic yet honest "I'm sorry honey" to my husband for putting up with the disgusting flavor for so long. Then I bought some sparkling, whitening, control maximum everything flavor kind to replace the other paste.

So then I was stuck with 3 tubes of regular paste.

I pushed it to the back of the closet and found the expired paste the other day.

I almost tossed it in the trash, then I stopped.

I remembered how as a kid I thought it would be fun to squeeze out all the toothpaste from the full tube, call it my rebellious side, I know.

So I brought my proposal to the kids along with some paper plates.

They looked at me funny, then decided they liked the idea, and within minutes were giggling and laughing. Both at the absurdity of the moment and at the paste squishing out.

Enter my moment. It was a good few seconds feeling like a cool, creative carefree on task mommy. I began to prep for dinner. My first mistake.  When I turned my back the kids asked, "can we put our hands in?" not wanting to loose my moment I said yes but do so outside.

3 minutes (and I'm not exaggerating) later. Silence from the deck then eruption of giggles.

Of course I float over with my great mom halo, and then I hear the cackle in my head.

Regular paste in their hair, regular paste on the deck, regular paste painted the picnic table, regular paste on their clothes...

...regular paste my new worst enemy.

Exit awesome mommy.

Enter near freak out mommy.

I bark some orders which included not to touch anything and go to the yard awaiting your hosing off.

I snapped and what was innocent playful fun became way too much mess to clean.

I proceeded scrubbing the deck, washing the door handles, sulking in my sheer stupidity.

Silently hoping Handsome K would enter from work to see a happy, silly fun time...after those three minutes that hope was from work he walked as one child was stripped down standing in the yard and the other was finding it entertaining to watch mommy scrub the deck floor.


But my husband did not let out a stream of words condemning my idea and saying how obviously south this "activity" went.  He didn't belittle me or make me feel stupid.

He simply scooped up one and headed to the shower.

I sent the second kid into the bathroom, because in case you're wondering paste does not come off by simply squirting from a water hose.

Handsome K stepped right in, with the day of work behind him and with a frazzled "cool mom" to greet him...he never once said anything to state the obvious mess. 

I would have.

Had I walked in on this I would have had a stream of frustrated things to say about the situation and sadly probably directed toward him too. 

I thought of this as I scrubbed and cleaned and almost started crying (and even get teary as I write this now) at the sheer ugliness of my alleged sin I would have committed, I'm sure of it.  If the tables had been turned.

I confessed my attitude and disgust and went back and told the kids I was sorry for being so frustrated at the mess.  Sometimes the mess is worth the fun, I lead them in this mess, it wasn't their fault or disobedience.  They thought it was fun until freak out mom arrived.

Sometimes, more often than I like to admit, I wish I could take back making mountains out of some mole hills.  This was one.

God spoke softly to my heart and said, "I love you and forgive you." I told my dear husband thanks for being kind and gentle.  I confessed that I don't know that I would have been.  God reminded me of this command in His word, "Be completely humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love.". (Ephesians 4:2)

That's what handsome K displayed to me, that is his character. 

Lord, I pray for this character, one that reflects your love God, not my human desires for order.

Thank you, my love, for being someone who sharpens me with you just being you, gracious and gentle.

Much love.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Battles are Fought

This weekend with Handsome K traveling, I found myself on a day trip about 90 miles away going to a friend’s graduation party.  I was simply marveling in my own success while driving with Baby K appropriately taking his morning nap, Princess K and Little K quietly plugged into the headphones watching an educational DVD, and having only left 45 minutes past what I had planned. 

I was singing about life being a great adventure along with one of my favorite musicians and then it happened…

I often believe I have some kind of control over my babies safety, life choices, or anything for that matter.

But I don’t.

I can’t foresee and prevent everything unsafe from ever happening to them.  That doesn’t mean I won’t stop teaching them how to make good choices that honor God or that I won’t attempt to keep them as safe as humanly possible, but there are many things I cannot premeditate.

Up from the back of my mommy “safe” van, right behind Little K’s head, a yellow jacket suddenly appeared hovering near my boy’s head as if to say, “I will do whatever I want and you cannot stop me from way up there, he’s out of your reach.”  I saw that potential harm-inflicting insect in my rear-view mirror and let out a gasp. 

Of which none of the K’s heard due to the sleeping and headphones.

For about 2 seconds, I was paralyzed with the fact that the stinger of that bug was about to harm my children.  I luckily snapped out of my 2 second coma and reacted by pushing the button to roll down the window nearest my baby’s heads.

I got a couple of funny looks, but they weren’t curious enough to even peel their ears away from the dinosaurs teaching them about fossils. 

I wanted to see it get sucked out the window so that I could breathe easy and know that they were safe, but taking my eyes off the road for that long wasn’t an option.  I left the window open for a few minutes and hadn’t seen any signs of the harmful insect anywhere.  I rolled it up and said a silly but heartfelt prayer of, “protect my kids from harm.”

I paused a minute and thought, how many harmful things are lurking around them and by the power of a simple heartfelt prayer a supernatural battle is waged, unseen but real.
I read “This Present Darkness” probably a decade ago and I don’t think about the wars going on in the spiritual realm very often…I’m kind of one with simple faith living in 2D most of the time. 

But I was reminded about the power of prayer on a 2-lane highway driving through the wheat fields this weekend. 

Handsome K’s mom gave him a canvas for Father’s Day right after our 2nd was born.  It is a picture of a father praying beside the bed of his sleeping child, and in the faint background sky out of the window of the child’s room you can see a battle.  I remember going to a local bookstore when I was younger and looking at this exact painting.  I wondered what battles are being fought on my behalf simply because of people’s prayers.  I wanted to be that kind of parent that prays fervently for my family. 

God says in James 5:16 that “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” 

What battles are being won on my kid’s behalf because of my prayers for them.

Cry out to the Lord on behalf of the little people in my life.

Cry out often.

When those yellow jackets appear lurking behind my kids I hope that my first instinct is always found where I have the most defense…on my knees.

Monday, April 30, 2012

New Life in Christ

Saturday was a moment in my life that I will never forget.

Saturday sunny and cool, a day with our family, being outside together working around the was a good day, later on it was the best day.

Little K has been asking questions and a few days ago said he wanted to ask Jesus into his heart, but wanted to wait until his dad was home. So we talked with him on our front porch at our house on April 28, 2012.

He said all that showed he has the faith of a child, faith I can learn a lot from.

Said all the things that are sometimes hard for grown-ups to believe, but he said them very confident and matter-of-fact...

Then said he didn't want to do it right now and walked away.

About an hour later, I had thought it was over, but Little K said, “Mom, I want to ask Jesus into my heart right now.”

Those words are seared into my mind...on my heart...just typing it now makes me smile.

Praying on our front porch with my son and my husband...a holy moment happened.

My oldest son, whom I have prayed almost every night of his life that he'd “be a man of God and the words he speaks be truth,” chose to trust in what is unseen, to give his life to something bigger than himself, to believe that Jesus is who he said he is.

I love that boy.

I'm so thankful, my heart overflows.

He is a new creation, the old is gone the new has come.

There was a party in Heaven on Saturday for one little lost sheep was found, one little 6 year old boy made the decision of his life.

He decided to follow Jesus....

And I look forward to watching and praying for him the rest of my life to see what plans God has for him.

Thank you God for saving my son. Thank you God for making him whole and loving him and forgiving him. Help him to move and learn and grow closer to you all the days of his life. May his little light always glorify you!

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Words that End Our Day

Every night...

We pray for Little K, that like Elijah he would be a man of God and the words he speaks will be truth. That he will tell others of how much God loves them and believe it for himself as well. That he would be a truth teller and love God with his heart, mind and strength. That he will be a leader, confident in who God has made him to be. That God would protect his innocence and his integrity.

We pray for Princess K, that like Hannah she would know that prayer is the most important conversation she can have because it's talking to God. That she will trust God with her deepest desires and longings. That God will protect her passions and her purity. That God will give me the patience to parent an emotional girl, that God would give Handsome K and I the wisdom to build her self-confidence and self-awareness so that she knows she's beautiful on the inside, not based on her outward appearance. Simply because God made her.

We pray for Baby K, that like Isaac trusted Abraham, he would trust his Father to provide all that he needs. That he will believe that God cares about all parts of our lives. That God is worthy to be praised even if things don't make sense. That even when the way of provision doesn't seem obvious he will trust God. That God would bring him to maturity in his faith.

I pray that they will be more like God and somehow I will have the patience, wisdom, and endurance to run this race for the prize ahead. That they wouldn't be like me, but like God. That one day during my lifetime I will see each of them give their hearts to Jesus. To believe with all their hearts, to love our Creator with all their being.

I pray that they will dance. Right now they are watching a mouse do ballet...but I really mean dance. Experience life to the full. And never loose their sense of wonder. That they pursue big things with big faith because they believe in a big God. That life would be all that they want it to be. That in the struggles and hard times they would be driven to their Savior and in the happy, easy times they would thank their Father in Heaven.

Pray in everything, in all things, at all's okay God's listening.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Some Fish and a Dog

Our two fish died, the fish that we got for Little K's party favors just a few days shy of a year ago.

I discovered them floating belly up during the kids quiet/nap times. I thought about how to break the news to them and wanted to be delicate and gentle. I had no emotional connection with them, but I wanted to be aware that they might. So I sat down with them and told them the news. I was kind and gentle, spoke slowly and prepared myself to be sympathetic about fish. They looked at each other and Little K said, “Now we don't have to feed them for a chore.” Then Princess K said, “Are we going to flush them in the potty?”

Over the next two days I cleaned up the tank...Handsome K and I decided not to replenish the fish. The kids didn't miss a beat.

And then another day...
Little K and Princess K were pretending they were driving to Texas. They were talking about our family and sort of calling roll in their pretend car. Our yorkie, Mocha, usually makes the roll call (and dinner table prayer for that matter) and this time was no different. Then they stopped and Little K looked at me and very seriously asked, “Can Mocha come to Texas with us the next time we go?”

Side note: Back when we only had 1 or 2 kids our dog came with us. You should see us now when we go through security, it's a sight! Needless to say we usually op for our little yorkie to stay home when we travel.

So I honestly replied, “Well, do you remember all the bags and car seats we bring with us when we fly on airplanes? We have a lot of things we have to bring, and with stuff and three kids it's usually easier to have her stay with someone at home.”

Little K thought about this for a moment...

Then he very seriously suggested, “Why don't we get a babysitter for Baby K and bring Mocha with us?”

I laughed out loud and realized he wasn't joking. He thought it was a good idea. I then carefully said, “I think that your grandparents and aunts and uncles might enjoy seeing Baby K a little bit more than Mocha, what do you think?”

Little K did not let up...”Why? They don't know him as well as they know Mocha...maybe we could bring Mocha the next time and then Baby K after that.”

I tried to figure out why he wanted Mocha with us.

Is it because she's been a constant in our family since before he was born. They play together periodically, but I wouldn't say they spend a lot of time together.


Interesting...we've had Mocha 11 years, the fish almost one year, and Baby K for almost 10 months...I guess love does grow with time and shared experiences.

I don't really think they'd trade our dog for our baby.

I also thought they'd be sad about the fish?

The longer I know Jesus, the more I want to be with Him...we've been on a journey together for 26 years.

Some parts of the journey, I've reacted much like the kids and the fish...not concerned with our relational well-being, seeing our relationship as a chore or a task to complete, only thinking about His presence once in awhile.

Some parts I've lived like my kids think about our a constant awareness of His presence, willing to trade anything for Him, to give Him anything, knowing that no matter what He's there, experiencing His power, loving Him.

The latter parts are best.

The parts where I am devoted because of the relationship, because His love and presence compels me to think about Him.

So...I want to be like my kids are with our dog...devoted, loving, thoughtful, inclusive, protective even.

For His Love Compels me.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Not Alone

Little K threw up at school recess last week and didn't tell anyone. He told me he didn't want anyone to laugh at him. I asked him if he would laugh at someone for throwing up and he kind of looked at me like I was crazy and said, “No Mom.” I asked him if people usually laugh at him, he said no. So I wonder why he was worried about that.

Though I understand not wanting attention for puking, one of my most embarrassing moments was the same thing in elementary.

My heart hurt a little for school without mom to have a warm washcloth to wipe his forehead and hand him a cup of water to rinse his mouth. Instead, he went and stood by the door waiting for recess to be over all alone and no grown-up noticed, probably embarrassed and mortified at having thrown up in front of the K-3rd graders at his elementary.

He finally told his teacher that his tummy hurt about 10 minutes before school was over. He almost started crying the minute I saw him, it was like he could finally tell someone his heart and how he really felt. The one he is most comfortable with had finally come to retrieve him from his secret sickness on the playground.

He wanted to fall into my arms and hug me, when usually he runs full force to the large pile of icy snow left in the parking lot. His eyes were wet and at the same time fighting back those tears in an effort to be brave.

I guess I can't be there for all of the hard, embarrassing, sick times in his life.

I wasn't there.

To hug him.

To reassure him.

I love that boy. I want him to feel safe.

God wants to be the one who's “there” for me, for Little K.

The One we can be most comfortable with is always listening. I want to teach Little K this. How does this look in real life when we have to face regular gross stuff. How does this feel? How does this change my daily life?

I think it gives me hope I wouldn't have otherwise. God gives me hope because He is always there for me...whether I'm puking on the playground, around people who aren't very nice or when I have to make hard decisions to follow others or make good choices.

I have taught my kids from early on to “get control” by folding their hands together and taking a deep breath. Recently, I have remembered why I did that and will start reminding them.

So that they could remember that even in their frustrated times they can ask God for help “getting control” of themselves. Folding our hands can remind us that God is near and I can talk to him.

Like if I feel all alone and embarrassed.

Maybe I need to fold my hands more to.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Be You!

So we traveled to Texas to see the family over Christmas break and while flying back with a 5 year old, a 3 year old, and a baby our flight stopped but we didn't have a plane change. Which really means we were on the same plane for around 6 hours. Our kids are pretty good travelers and we usually don't have major meltdowns or anything I feel like I need to apologize to all those around me for. While we were sitting on the plane...not going anywhere (this I find frustrating if I'm on an airplane without any kids with me) our kids became a little restless, Princess K to be precise.

Now I understood that naptime was upon us, but napping wasn't interesting at that point. Then, I remembered again why the best plan is two parents, because Handsome K, (my really smart husband who rolled his eyes when I told him what I was going to call him on my blog) took them to see the cockpit up front which took up 10 minutes... what to do with the next 45.

Needless to say there were a lot of different ways to say, don't, stop, be quieter, calm down etc...which handsome K and I issued out to our oldest two.

So in my attempt to find another way to say don't, I said to Princess K, “If I were you I wouldn't...”

I didn't really think twice about what I really said.

Princess K looks at me and says, “you'll never be me mommy.”

I didn't understand her and in just a few seconds had already mentally moved on from my previous re-direction of her actions.

She said again, a little bit louder, “you'll never be me mommy.”

I finally register that she is responding to what I had said to her .

I stop and smile and tell Handsome K what she just said, momentarily thinking it's both cute and pretty smart of her.

Then a small healthy dose of fear sets in...I know me and I don't want her to be me, I don't want her to struggle with my struggles, or be a perfectionist, or think she has to please me. I want her to be Princess K in all that God made her to be.

Then, I scoop her into my arms and say, “you're right, God made you Princess K, and you will always be Princess K.” I want you to be you.” I didn't think about my comment as confusing, because what I meant was “my way is better than the way you are doing things and if you are smart you will choose my way.”

Of course I wouldn't say that.

I didn't communicate smooth enough for a 3 year old. What this little misunderstanding did inside my head was remind me to encourage her to be her. To be confident of who God made her to be, not be me or anyone else.

I tell Little K all the time to make choices for Little K. I accidentally communicated to Princess K to copy my choices. I don't think I'll be saying “if I were you...” for awhile. My intentions were good, but it said something to my kids that I didn't want to say. I tend to do this to those I love the most....say something I don't really want to say. Somehow it escapes me and I let it out.

God reminded me that I often make choices that will please others.

I want to be what God has made me to be.

No matter what choices that leads me to make.

Today is Little K's 6th birthday, and like every one of my children's birthdays it takes me back to their first and brings me to my knees...praying and begging that God's grace will cover my parenting mistakes and irrational moments.

Praying that I will encourage them to make choices for themselves that will make God smile because His plan is best.

Birthdays make me pray hard that I have and continue to teach them all that I need to and want to about life and relationship with our Heavenly Father.

I need moments like on the plane, a small but meaningful reality check to happen, in our conversation to remind me she's just 3, he's just 6. Expect great things, but talk to them like children, not putting too much pressure on them to be grown up yet. That will happen all too fast.

God knit me together in my mother's womb, He made me and my kids just like he out loud just as God made you.

I will too.