Archive for ‘emmy’

June 13, 2011

This Amazing Girl

This girl was born a miracle, a story I wont go into today, but lets just say she was saved at birth 😉  She was deemed the princess immediately and took on the title like a pro. A quiet little daydreamer who loveloveloves attention and affection.  She is not the wordiest, that would be Gracie. Emmy dances and laughs and reads and just is.

When she was about three years old, she walked in my room while I was having quiet time, crawled up in my bed and held out her soft, dimpled three year old hand. Her hand was empty but she looked me straight in the eye and said “See my keys?” We both looked down at her hand and she smiled. “I have keys but they don’t open doors, they open eyes”.  And then she bounced off to play again, laughing at my inability to see her imaginary keys. And I sat in amazement, closed my eyes and prayed and then wrote it all down.

So she’s kind of special.

Last night she brought her Bible to church.  She got this little green, pocket KJV Bible about two years ago from I don’t know where, but she adores it. (Who has a tattered and worn, highlighted and fraying Bible at the age of six? This girl.) So last night, every time a verse was called out, she handed it over so it could be quickly found and then she read it over and over until she heard the next verse. It was kind of amazing. She stood during worship and raised her hands as high as they would go, told me her shoulders hurt between songs, and then put them right back up as soon as she heard the first riff of the next song. And it was kind of amazing.

And then at one point she asked for my journal and a pen, and she wrote this.

I love you God because you take care of us and you made us and you are the Best Father in the whole entire world because you are the King and you died for us.

And it is kind of Amazing. She is kind of amazing. One of four very amazing children I’ve been blessed with- And I am kind of amazed.

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February 25, 2011

My Princess

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She was born with a tiara, that’s what I say about my Emmy.  She is maybe the girliest girl in the whole wide world.  And I have no idea where she got it from.  I was more like Grace when I was little, always Going! And Doing!  And I certainly wasn’t girly; I spent my childhood wearing the knees out of my jeans and my teenage years in giant hoodies. 

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She is not me though, thank goodness, she is very much herself.  And she is wonderful, magnificent really at just Being. She is calm, quiet, shy, and princessy.   She is creative, patient, loving and expressive, and she is a dreamer. For two hours she sat at my feet the other day, creating cards, trinkets and love notes.  Mostly silent, with nothing but paper, scissors a pencil and some glue, she poured herself into making things for other people.  Taking her time, with her heart and hands, she put Love and words on paper.  She is such a giver. 

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She inspires me.  My little Princess has taught me so much about what it means to be a girl.  She exudes femininity.  She inherently knows how to just be herself, and just be loved.  She honors her own beauty, posses it really.  And she honors mine.  With slight glances, hinted grins and love notes, she gives out a beautiful sweetness and light that I am still learning about.  

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I think I could wax poetic all day about patience and beauty and creating and pouring oneself out.  I could go all metaphorical about the window and mirror that she is.  I could list endlessly the ways she has blessed me, write pages of what she has taught me.  Instead I will just say- Thank you Emma, for being you.      

February 24, 2011

Giving Up

A good cry, an ugly cry was sneaking up on me. There was a little lump in my throat, small tear here and there, and deep sighs galore.  So I got my jammies on, got a glass of water and went to brush my teeth.  And then I turned towards my bed, saw the place where I wanted to land and fell into it. I lay there, toothbrush in hand, sobbing, choking on toothpaste and tears. 

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Carrying around my whole entire world has kind of been my thing.  I’ve learned to set it down now, thank goodness.  It used to chase me around, the responsibility of it all, begging to be held.  And sometimes it seemed easier to pick it up, sling it on my hip, or throw it over my shoulders than to keep telling it to go.  The thing is, I knew it so well, if I did pick it up I’d forget I was toting it around until I noticed the pain in my back.  So learning to give it up, practicing giving it up, has been good.

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Responsibility is a good thing to carry sometimes I know, but it weighs me down when I let it.  If I’m not careful, every hard thing around me will climb onto my back.  Not a welcomed burden at all, familiar though. I recognize now more quickly than I did in the past when the heaviness sets in.  I’ve become accustomed to handing things over to Him.  I've learned to love the feel of walking a little lighter, a little taller.  I held onto this lie for so long though, believing that I was in charge of holding the world, my world at least together.    

Up until sometime last year, I thought that every bad thing that’s ever happened to me and people around me was my fault.  All the big and small things that have torn, cut and broken, only happened because I caused them to.  More precisely I thought that they happened because there was something awful in me that called out to evil.  Little-Me, Teenage-Me, Grown-up-Me too, we all thought we were covered in the shame of our wrongs and wrongs done to us.  I thought the visibility of it left me marked forever with depravity, a glowing target for Badness.  And let me tell you, that’s quite a cumbersome load to bear.  Also, it's quite a lie to denounce.

Oh and before I found all this Freedom, pain of all kinds from all different places felt like it was mine to carry.  If I found hurt sitting on a friend, I would take it.  If they resisted I would insist.  “Let me take that for you. It’s fine; I don’t mind at all.”  And it was true, I hardly knew the difference between my own grief and someone else’s; it was all the same to me.  Really I thought, “What’s the use in someone else feeling hurt if I can feel it for them and they can be free of it?”  Silly? Yes, but an honest glimpse into my silly self.  I am wiser now though, a little.  I’ve learned that all this shame and pain is not for me hold.  And I am glad to let it go, Free-er for having handed it to Him.

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There are these other Responsibilities though, four of them that I am carrying around.  There are Four Lives that I have been entrusted with.  And I am not looking to pawn them off on anyone at all.  But I think maybe I am supposed to grip them less tightly, not walk around white-knuckled with anxiety.  I think the worry lines in my face wouldn’t run quite so deep if I trusted Him more with them. 

It’s tricky though because I understand that I am their mother and so raising them is my job.  And I am honored to have that privilege.  But the thing is, I’ve spent so much of the past couple of years feeling like I have to be their Everything.  I feel like I have to be Mother and Father.  I’ve felt mostly… oh geez, fine, I will tell you what I told Him last night- I felt both incapable of being their Everything and unwilling to fully entrust them to Him all at the same time. 

Mostly I think I do an okay job.  But then sometimes I think, they deserve better than ok.  I think they deserve amazing, and some days I am just too tired to be amazing.  I think they deserve the best Mom in the whole world, and I try to be that but fall short on a regular basis.  And then well, I think they deserve the best Dad in the whole world.  And while on some level I get that I can’t be that for them, it hasn’t stopped me from trying.  And it certainly hasn’t stopped me from hating that I couldn’t be that.

You know what I mean?  Providing for, nurturing and protecting These Four outstanding human beings, physically, emotionally and spiritually, that’s kind of a lot sometimes.  It’s too much really, more than I can… more than I am supposed to bear.  I trust Jesus with me and my stuff.  I have given over the weight of all the messiness I’ve experienced.  I’ve stopped taking on other people’s pain.  But giving Him complete control means letting Him be in control of Our Life.  Last night I realized- I hang on to this fear that they won’t have Enough because I can’t be Enough.  It’s a lie born out of a lie and I’m done with it.    

I’ve worn myself out the last few weeks.  They’ve had to deal with some big things and in the midst of dealing with my own big things, I’ve tried to help them.  My attempts at being Mom and Dad of the Year have left me all kinds of exhausted.  I’ve beat myself up when I’ve fallen short and I’ve put off dealing with my own stuff in favor of distraction and self loathing.  And that’s wrong.  So I’m going to stop it. 

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I am not supposed to be their Everything.  He is supposed to be their Everything, just like He is mine.  And the best thing I can do for them is to teach them that.  And the best way to teach them that is by letting Him have more of me and in turn, letting Him have more of them.  I am supposed to be their mother.  And I think maybe I’ll be a much better mother if I let go of the other stuff.  Worrying, struggling and beating myself up are nothing but distractions from what I should be doing.  They are excuses really to blame myself and start the whole cycle over again. 

So last night, in my bed, curled up in tears, messy and tired, I gave up.  I confessed all this crap.  I asked Him for help with this load.  And that He would help me understand more and more, the difference between my job and His job.  I held out my hands, let go of the protection and control that I had been gripping so tightly.  I asked for forgiveness and received His Love.  And this morning, rainy though it was, seemed much more hopeful.  And now the sun is out, so that’s good.         

 

 

January 19, 2011

My Gifts

Sometimes I say “Father, should I go to the Freedom class or the Baptism in the Holy Spirit class?”  And He says “Go to the Freedom class and I’ll have the Holy Spirit meet you there.”  And wow, did He ever.  I left church tonight feeling… I was gonna say “high” but I’ve been high before and this is a thousand times better than that- so I will say I left feeling LOVED, capital everything. 

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Arms and heart full, I got all of My (little bit tired and grumpy) Amazings in the car and took a deep breath.  A lot of times when they are all tired and grumpy, I get frustrated and give a speech about what I don’t want or like for them to do.  But tonight, soaked in LOVE, I felt the nudge to lay hands on them and pray for them.  I started off with a quiet prayer over the whole car for Peace to fall and the Holy Spirit to come.  And then reaching from the front seat all the way across the back and then to the passenger seat, I prayed over each one.  Called out the Life that He has put in them and gave thanks for the amazing gifts they have.  It was pretty sweet.  They all quieted down, a couple even said “Thank you”.  And then I started to pull out of the parking lot and Gabe said “Mom, can you please write that down so I can look at it every day?”  And my already full heart almost burst.  Of course I will write it down…

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Griffen, you are confident and wise and brave.  You are everything I could have asked for in an oldest son, kind and helpful and strong.  You are a prophet.  You are a prince.  You have the heart of a knight and the mind of a king.  You are an incredible writer with an open heart and a desire to grow.  I am beyond proud of the man I see you becoming.  May the Lord bless you.  May your gifts and talents draw people to the Light.  May your heart know the Love far greater than any earthly love. 

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Gabriel, you are intensely passionate, a fiery boy with a sweet soul.  You are bright, insightful and perceptive.  You too are a prince, peaceful, gentle and pure.  You are an amazing artist.  You see so well.  You are blessed with the kind of seeing that matters.  You see hearts well and you are affected, and that is remarkable.  Compassion and empathy are rare in a boy your age; you are full of both.  Be blessed in all that you put your heart and hands to, that Jesus would shine brightly through you. 

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Emma, I have known your face since you were born, and still your beauty strikes me daily.  There is a lovely vulnerability, a total authenticity to everything you say and do, keep that.  You teach me all the time what it means to be a princess, a concept that was completely foreign to me before your birth, one I am glad to understand now.  You have a gift with words, both a poet and prophet, already you have blessed me many times.  May both your beauty and your gifts reflect greatly the Father who gave them to you.

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Grace, tiny little reflection, big enormous spirit, you are tenacious and bold.  You are so much more than a precocious little girl.  You are a world changer.  Half princess and half knight, you are a fighter for sure but not lacking a bit in if feminine charm.  Beyond a doubt, leadership is one of your gifts.  May you be ever wanting to grow and change.  May you be willing to humble yourself, die daily so that all the greatness in you might be used by Him.       

I tell my kids all the time that I think it was incredibly wonderful of God to give me the four smartest, funniest and most beautiful children in the world.  And I know that all moms think that about their kids.  But I am certain I am right :)  All I ever wanted was to be a mom; I prayed for these kids when I was a kid.  But that I get to be the mom of these Four outstanding people is beyond what I ever hoped and prayed for.  They are the greatest gifts.  Happy Birthday to me. 

 

December 1, 2010

Traditions

Growing up we had something like the opposite of traditions.  The only thing I really remember holidays having in common was that they were all sort of chaotic, but then a lot of my childhood was somewhat chaotic. 

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My parenting now, though filled with all the love and intention I have, is sort of only loosely based on What I Know Not To Do.  (Except for the many tips and tricks I have picked up from My Amazing Friends and the countless parenting books I have devoured.)  One thing I have learned is that traditions are important. 

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And this year, these Amazing Kids, they realized it too.  This year instead of racing back and forth to get all of the ornaments on as fast as possible, they slowly picked each one up and let it dangle by it’s hook.  And then they talked through each one- why they liked it, what year they got it, the kindergarten teacher they loved so much and the corner that was getting a little worn.  And I sat on the couch smiling and answering questions and yes, just as I am now, wiping the occasional tear. 

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When the tree was all done Emmy glanced down at her hands covered in glitter from all of the ornaments.  She squeaked a delighted squeak and then I’m not even kidding, Griffen put his arm around her and said, “That’s Christmas dust, the magic of Christmas is all over our house.”  And then he went to his room and pulled out his library book and told all the Little Ones to sit down because he had checked out a book just for them.  Good grief it was almost too sweet. 

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When they finished the book we made some Christmas Waffles together.  (Nothing amazing really, just waffles with red and green M&M’s, but the kiddos think they’re “like the best thing ever to have for dinner.” ) 

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It was a very normal, (if a little sappy), Christmastime evening I think. So maybe it was just the sugar rush, maybe it was a some holiday high I don’t know, but as we all piled on the couch to watch Rudolph that night, I felt Love oh so tangibly fill up and flow out of every empty space in the room and my grateful heart swelled with the amazing amount of warmth and joy that surrounded us. 

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Gosh, so blessed.  So, so blessed.  

November 10, 2010

My Heart

Oh this little girl… She is my heart. 

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And she knows it.  And there are days when it is oh so hard not to be wrapped around her little finger.  And there are days when she utterly exhausts me with all of her passion and sensitivity.  (No idea where she gets that from.)  This girl, she is everything I didn't even know I meant when I said I needed a girl.  Of course, all of my Loves are incredibly special to me. Griffen is my joy I think, and Gabe is my peace, and Grace is my Strength.

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 And this girl, she is my heart. 

September 6, 2010

Changes

Big Changes happening around here.  Lots of new stuff, some very super challenging things, mostly good stuff though. 

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Emmy started school.  She didn't technically start on the first day, but she did start and she super loves it.  

Sweet story: We went to get her shots so she could start and the whole time we're waiting there are kids coming in and out crying.  I distracted her as much as possible with questions about princesses and quizzes about Care Bears.  Her turn came and she sat in my lap and smiled at the nurse.  Then she looked at the little girl in line behind her and saw that she was crying.  She asked why and I explained that the little girl was scared of getting shots and maybe if Emmy showed her it wasn't that bad she would feel better.  So my sweet girl locked eyes with her crying friend and smiled her biggest smile without a flinch through three shots.  The other girl went from wailing to sniffles and then quieted down.  The nurse was shocked, told her she was the bravest little girl she had ever seen and gave her a lollipop.  I was amazed really.  I'll never forget bracing myself for her kicking and screaming and  tears, and then watching her grin from ear to ear just so the other little girl wouldn't be scared.  

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Man, kids are fantastic. 

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My little guy, my Sweet One, My Gabe turned 8.  We had a low-key birthday.  He didn't mind, he's a low-key dude. 

Sweet Story 2:  The other day he walked over to my camera shelf where all of my old cameras sit.  He stared up at them for a while and then asked if he could have one since I had so many of them.  We compromised and I said he could choose one to learn to use and borrow.  And oh, be still my heart, he chose the old school film rig.  The rest of the evening was spent learning the meter, manual focus and winding film.  While he was walking around snapping, Emmy got hurt and started to cry.  Gabe, attentive big brother that he is, quickly went to her. "It's ok, don't cry. I'll let you take some pictures."  As if holding a camera had some sort of healing powers.  She looked at him like he was crazy and then he looked across the room at me.  "Oh, Gabe, sorry honey, I think it's just me and you that feel better when we take pictures.  She probably wants a hug and some ice."  And so he gave her a hug and I got her some ice.  How lovely is it though, that my little artist and I have this photo loving connecting point?  So, so lovely. 

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Oh, and The Pie is doing  her best to adjust to being the only one at home with lil' ol' me.  I'm pretty sure she thinks I'm the like, the most boring person ever, geez.  We try to get out and do stuff, and I try to give her activities and a schedule, but it's just not quite enough.  She wants to GO! and DO! all the time.  She wants a plan every morning as soon as we drop the kids off.  She wants a timer set for each activity.  Honestly if she didn't look like my mini me, I'd say she was switched at birth.  I'm working on finding a part time job for me and a preschool for her so she can get to work on her PHD as soon as possible.  In the meantime she is whipping me into shape.   

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Last but not least, Griff is not even complaining about school.  I feel no need to elaborate or add a sweet story.  That is awesome enough in and of itself.  Also, he is turning 10 this week.  Eek and Holy Cow!!  Can't believe it.  

Anyway, if you happen to think of us, keep us in your prayers and we promise to return the favor.

Love, love,

Amber and The Monkeys

August 11, 2010

These Two

I have said before that These Two worry me the most when it comes to you know what. 
It is almost certain that girls will be throwing themselves at Gabe. 
And Em, oh Emmy, exquisitely beautiful and boy crazy already. 

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I’m in big trouble, that’s what I think all too often when I think of These Two.  But tonight, I looked at them and thought about the bond they share and breathed a sigh of relief.  The love they have will be so incredibly hard to match.  This love will set the standard for the love they will want for themselves later.  I think so often kids and teens are running around trying to fill a void, trying to find someone to love them.  In haste they settle for lust, in desperation they cling and grasp at others with the same void.  They do crazy things to make themselves feel good, for temporary highs, to feel whole. 

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I think, oh do I hope, These Two will know about a Love so fulfilling that their search will not be a search to fill a void, but a search for True Love.  It’s a big messy world out there, but she will have him to look out for her and he will have her to help him guard his heart as well.  Gabe is setting the bar high for the way Emmy is to be loved.  And she is doing the same for him, loving him tenderly, unconditionally and completely.  In their smiles, and hugs, and cuddles, all the time, they are unknowingly affirming each other, saying to one another, You are incredible, you are amazing, you are beautiful, you are likable…

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The way they interact, the way they play, and sit, and breathe just says all the time- You are so lovable and I so love you.  What a gift that I get to witness, to learn from These Two, this Love.

 

 


July 28, 2010

The Monkeys

    Seven days without My Loves was all kinds of wonderful.  I rested, read, danced, cleaned, coffee'd alone and coffee'd with friends.  And every time somebody asked if I missed the kids I would pause for a second to check myself and then reply "Nope" and then go on for a few minutes defending myself and why I didn't miss them.  I mean, I love these Monkeys for sure.  This summer has been an amazing summer so far.  Busy, but amazing.  We've done a ton of stuff together, filled everyday with as much free and exhausting fun as possible.  And so the little staycay was fabulous and much needed. 

    Having them back though, well it's like…  having My Loves again after not seeing them for seven days.  We're all kisses and cuddles and "I love you so, so much!"  Everyone is, it's awesome.  And mornings are the best.  Starting around six or seven in the morning, one by one they start piling in my bed.

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We cuddle and doze while the sun inches over the back fence. 

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Gabe wakes up slowly, tossing and turning to find the last bits of shadows to sleep in.

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Emmy is bright eyed, ready for breakfast as soon as the light hits her face. 

They fight over who gets to share my pillow.  We have tickle fights and whisper I-love-you's . 

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It's magic I tell you, bliss and I never want to forget it. 

Grace comes in for kisses, hugs, to check on us and to start planning the day.

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Griff lazily scoots in last, eyes half closed.  He comes straight over and throws his arms around me and waits out the last few minutes before he has to take the dog for a walk.     

    And I'm sure there can't be many more mornings like this left- lazy summer days where we can spend twenty minutes soaking up every bit of softness and warmth from last night's sleep.

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So for now I'll just relish all this cozy sunshine cuddling while I can.

(Before Grace starts bossing me around about what to make for breakfast.)

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It's highly recommended, a fantastic way to start the day.  

Love, love.

July 17, 2010

This Reason

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    Sometimes something simply being the right thing to do is
not reason enough for me to not want to do it. 
Ya dig? 

    Sometimes I want things
that I am pretty aware are not the best for me. 
Sooo…  sometimes I have to find
other reasons to do the right thing.  Most
of the time those reasons are my kids.  This one Good Choice that I have a particularly hard time making is most
easily made when I think about my girls. 
And I’m not gonna lie, it is mostly Em that I think about when I am
trying to make this particular Right Choice. 
Partly because she is older and closer to having to make this decision herself,
but also because she possess a very sweet, naïve innocence and purity that to
be quite honest, blows me away.   I have no idea where she got it from, but I see
it in her and I treasure it.  I want her
to understand that it is a gift.  I want
her to understand the importance of herself, her heart, her purity.  I want her to hold it dear.  I want her to guard it.  I want to protect it in her.  And I want her to be honored.  I think these are probably things I am
supposed to want for myself as well, and I’m working on figuring that out.  But for now, This Beautiful Girl is all the Reason I need.

Pure

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