Archive for ‘my kids’

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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June 9, 2011

Lesson Learned

This I know- and this I am trying to teach my children: People fail. I fail. And also- I am a lot. And I am too much. For any living, breathing human.

I want my Loves to know- I am doing my best.  I am striving to be a good reflection of Him, oh but I am imperfect, and as obvious as that might seem- I was once a child, and I remember my childish tendency to see perfection, want perfection, need perfection from the adults around me. I have looked too often at my Perfect Father through the blurry lens that some well-meaning grownup made for me.

Nothing in me wants to be the specs of dirt, the warped glass that changes their view of the Greatest Love there is. And so I tell them, in case they don’t catch the hint in moments when my flaws are all too obvious- “I lovelovelove you, as best I can, most all of the time. But He is better, a thousand times. Where I fail you, He won’t, I promise.” And I hope and pray, that they will know, now and forever, my love for them, reflection though it may be, is merely a shadow of the Amazing Love He is.

This lesson was hard learned for me. If I have regret it is in this: Expecting perfection. It has ruined too many, (and only one would be too many), a friendship. My heart has been broken more than once because my hope was that a person would be my All in All. My expectation for so long, and my request, unspoken only sometimes, (oh hindsight you are so twenty-twenty), was that some flesh and bone person would take all of my wrongs and make them right, with words and hugs and kisses and tears and laughter. My hope was cast on people time and again- to redeem me.  I threw out a lifeline to wrong place and wrong arms, begging for something no human could ever give me. And I almost drowned. Almost.

But God. Oh yes. And patient friends, unwilling to be my savior, did show me the truth– If some willing soul were able to rescue me, be my savior- where would that leave me? With an unnecessary God. With an unwanted Savior. With a Jesus who died for no reason at all. With an even more confusing desire to be saved again. With a heart full of the wrong thing, fleshly desires fulfilled and a crushing yearning for an unexplainable more. With a friend weighted down with all my stuff. And heartbreak certain time and again.  Lesson learned the hard way maybe, but I am grateful to have learned it nonetheless.

This I know- He will not fail. Ever. He can’t. And I am not too much for Him. And He is all I need. And Love. And Love.

February 28, 2011

My Little Edison

You have probably heard me say that Griffen is my quirkiest child.  This is true, he is about as different as different can be.  Griff is his own little man, always has been.  His brain works overtime, and from the outside his thoughts seem quite random.  To call him an independent thinker is an understatement.  He is something like hyper, just busy I guess, and smart as whip but unconventional as heck.  His cleverness often comes across as arrogance and his internal processing makes him seem aloof. 

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When he started Kindergarten his teacher had him tested for both ADHD and dyslexia.  He’s a brilliant kid though, so he passed both tests with flying colors.  Honestly it left us all a little unsure about what to do with his inventive but off track mind, enormous appetite for information and constantly moving body.   

Some God help and a little research helped me discover that Griff has something called Edison Trait.  What does that mean exactly, well- “They are spirited individuals who live life with passion and determination, firing out an endless stream of questions and often recklessly pursuing their own desires (like Edison, who wanted to see how fire worked and accidentally burned his father’s barn to the ground). They are conundrums, children with a profile that is both intriguing and maddening.  These children are appealing, daring and entertaining. Yet they are frustrating, demanding and difficult to raise.  Their temperament and intellectual style will shake the stamina of the most devoted and patient parent. “Forget mom doing anything except challenging this child.  These kids are physically and mentally hyper; they can’t shut off their minds.” 

Indeed.

My heart soared and sank all at once.  The first thing I thought was “Awesome, I get to raise a little Edison!” the second thing was, “Great, he’s not going to grow out of all this off track, out of the ordinary stuff.”  That was five years ago.  And he certainly has not grown out of it.  He has sort of grown into it.  I’ve implemented some of the boundaries, behavioral and dietary suggestions recommended for Edison Trait kiddos, and that has certainly helped. 

But the thing that has helped the most has been to really embrace what a unique kid he is.  He is fully entertaining and extremely bright.  And as he is maturing, our conversations are more and more enlightening.  He’s a vocal kid, in touch with his emotions and his vocabulary is endless.  His invention notebooks take over an entire bookshelf.  This year he was fortunate enough to get an amazing teacher.  I’m forever getting notes that say “I so enjoy Griffen!” and “What an awesome kid!”  It’s been sweet for sure to see him blossom and develop as he’s been not only accepted but affirmed by the people around him.    

So often in the past my fear has been that he would get lost in all the Go Go Going! Of his mind.  It can be a challenge for him to relate well to others because he is so internally busy.  My heart has ached for him as he's had to work through some tough issues.  God has really helped me put it all in perspective though.  I've struggled with wanting to help him steward his gifts, trying to explain the importance of listening and being respectful, and making sure he doesn’t feel all wrong or inadequate. There is honestly a careful balance for me between being enthralled with his brilliance and wit, and getting absolutely frustrated at his lack of focus and attention. 

This handing my worries and fears about my kids over to God has been somewhat revolutionary with Griffen especially.  It’s freed me up to see him for him.  I can understand his uncommon strengths and weaknesses, and lay aside my frustrations to help him with his.  And he in turn has become more secure and easier to connect with.  We laugh together often, mostly at his jokes.  Where there was sometimes tenseness in me and insecurity in him about his quirks, there is now a confidence. 

He is exactly the kid God created him to be.  And to further confirm that, here are his notes from church last week:

"Hear and obey faith is the foundation God wants us to believe him. Faith is believing no matter what. God wants us to immerse our faith in him. the book of Salma's has over 100 Iwills in it. Note to self have great battles and victory. God delivers everyone. Believe in god t'ill the end. assignment: read John. I can prophesie"

I don't even know how to explain how melted my heart was when I read that.  And then last night we had this conversation:

Me: You're a smart kid, you know that Griff?
Griff: Yes, actually I'm one of those people that is aware of their intelligence.
Me: Well you do you know why you are so intelligent?
Griff: Because I'm good at transferring information into knowledge.
Me: Okay.  And how do you think you're able to do that?
Griff: Basic logic and quick wit. 
Me: Okay. And where do you think you got those?
Griff: Are you trying to get me to say that you're smarter than me?
Me: **Sigh** No. I'm trying to get you to acknowledge that God gave you your intelligence.
Griff: Well of course He did. He gave me everything. He made me. He made everything.

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I love, love, love that I get to be his mom.  I love that he came to me just last week, put his arm around me and said “I’m glad I get to be your son.”  I love that imperfect as we both are, we are exactly who God created us to be and becoming more so all the time. 

 

 

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.         

 

 

February 2, 2011

Here. Now.

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    Goodness it is icy.  And goodness the five of us have seen a lot of each other the last two days.  I don't think I have to go into much detail for you to understand what I mean when I say this day was dangersously close to ending in a little yelling and a lot of early bedtimes.  We've been cooped up for two days now, and tomorrow will be another one.  And when I found out that was the case, for a moment my heart sank.  And then Emmy walked up and said "Hey Mommy, tickle me" the way she does with a her sly little grin.  And I said a quiet little prayer. 

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    I asked that He would help me be here, now.  I asked that He would change my sucky attitude.  I hate that so often I rush through one day to get to the next one.  Becuase these kids of mine, they will not always be ten, eight, five and three.  They will not always fight over who gets to share my blanket.  They will not always pile on top of each other in the floor to sort legos and play out scenes.  These Little Wonders, they will be big someday.  And I certainly do not want them to look back on these three snowdays and remember how much I didn't want to be cooped up with them.  They will be big someday way too soon and I certainly do not want to look back on this time and wish I had not taken it for granted. 

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    So I prayed my little prayer and He reminded my tired and stressed out brain that we haven't danced in a while.  And boy do we love dancing, so we danced.  Music is such a connecting point for us.  It pulses through them the same way it does me.  It was magic, getting all of our energy burned in this lovely, fluid, steady rythmic kind of bonding time.  We drummed, we made playlists, and jumped, and slow danced, and laughed, and cuddled, and danced some more. 

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     Now I know everyday is not going to be an outstanding memory.  Some days will just be regular old days; some days will be hard.  But these Loves of mine, they are so often gone, at school or at their dads.  And I am so often busy.  So often tired.   I hope that even on those days though, I will not pass up the oppurtunity to be fully present and engaged with My Amazings.  The temptation is surely there to let life pass me by, go through entire days without honoring their spirits or cupping their faces in my hand.  Life is fast.  Life is a lot.  I'm grateful though that He is holding us here in this frozen little three day moment.  And I'm grateful that He gave me the chance today, (and again tomorrow), to be here, now. 

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    And tonight as they rest in their beds I am praying that He will help me to practice this sort of being with Him, this dancing with Him.  It is way to easy to slip off to sleep without spending time with Him.  It is way too easy to spend all of my time with Him talking, and going, and wanting and totally miss out on the being and dancing.  It is way to easy to miss out on the bonding that I so need with Him.  But I think He wants that from me just as much as I want it with my kids, and He doesn't get stressed out or need to be reminded to be with me.  He is such an amazing Father, and I so want, so need Him.  And I so believe He wants to honor my spirit, cup my face in His hands.  I'm pretty sure that if I come to Him with a sly grin wanting love and affection, He will glady scoop me up.  And I hope never to miss an oppurtunity to be scooped up by Him.  Oh that He would freeze three days more often, that I would allow myself to be frozen.  And oh that I would take every oppurtunity to dance that He presents.  

And also~


 

 

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 24, 2010

Christmas Eve, grieving.

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Christmas Eve and a Wonderful one at that, (more about that later).  It was a truly special day except that my kids were gone for most of it.  And I hate, hate, hate that.  I hate that I miss moments with them.  I hate that I have to share them.  I hate that they are missing for parts of all holidays.  And I am not minimizing that tonight.  I am not shoving it or ignoring it.  I am grieving it.  I am proud of myself for getting them all tucked in and the ex out the door before I started crying.  And I am not overwhelmed with sadness, but I am sad.  This was never my plan.  I never wanted this.  When I said “I do”, as they grew in my tummy, when I held their little baby selves, never did I imagine that I would be sending them kicking and screaming, to their dad’s girlfriend’s house on holidays.  Never did I fathom that I would spend Christmas afternoon at home alone in a quiet house.  My heart aches when they are gone spending time with some other family, people I don’t even know, people they barely know.  And my heart breaks every time I have to pull them off of me and put them in his car.  I know my situation could be much worse, but I don’t have to like it.  I know there is nothing I can change but myself and my attitude.  But my babies are my babies and my feelings are my feelings.  I know there are plenty of families out there that do holidays this way and it’s not the end of the world.  This Mom thing though, it is all I ever wanted.  These Little Wonders, they are my whole life, my heart running around in four little pieces and no part of me is okay with sharing them tonight.  There is so much redemption running through my story right now thanks to some Very Special People, and I am quite certain that more is coming, but tonight I am one very sad momma.  And so I am taking this all to Jesus because that seems like the Most Helpful Thing. Lighter, happier stuff to come I'm sure.  Merry Christmas and all that Jazz.

Love, love,

Amber

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 19, 2010

My Ten Year Old

He is such an old soul. 

**Edited to add his prayer request the other night: "I really want God to help me accomplish my goals because I have a lot of really big goals and they're important.  And I can't do them all by myself."

Can I just gush for a minute or two?
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This boy, this manchild, this son of mine…

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I am so glad nobody talked my crazy, know-it-all eighteen year old self out of having this amazing boy. 
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And I will not go on about how the first eight days of his life he scared us to death with his little NICU stint, or how I never put him down even when he was sleeping, or how I read him Steinbeck novels and played Fleetwood Mac to rock him to sleep.  I will not go on about how his birth changed the hearts of both of his grandmothers, or how he has been saying the most profound and funniest things since he was two years old. 
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I will go on about how he has grown into the most awesome ten year old ever.  When he was five he prayed “Dear God, please make me a better kid so I can show the world what it’s like to follow Jesus.” And I have a notebook full of great things he has said between now and then.  *Sigh*  This boy…
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When I ask him to unload the dishwasher he says “My pleasure” without even the slightest hint of sarcasm.  When we meet new people he puts his arm around me and introduces me “This is my mom, Amber. She is a really great mom and she is an amazing photographer” and then he goes on to introduce the rest of the family with their names and some positive quality he sees in them.  Love.
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He walked into the kitchen the other day and said “According to Einstein’s theory everything that has mass has energy, so really if we want to save the planet all we need to do is find a way to harness energy that doesn’t do so much harm to the planet. I’m going to work on that.”  And he went back to mapping out plans in his notebook. And that is kind of Griffen in a nutshell, he is never not working on something, internally or externally. 
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A few nights ago in the car I was “having a discussion” with the kids about their behavior and making better choices, but I was admittedly being pretty negative.  Then my ten year old put his hand on my shoulder and said “Mom, it seems if you only concentrate on the problem, the problem will grow or be the only thing you focus on and that’s not helpful.  Why don’t we talk about some positive ways we can change?” 
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And then I swallowed really hard and took a deep breath and said thank you, because every time we leave church after I ask what they learned about, he asks me and apparently he listens.  Incredible. 
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This morning after he got ready for school he came up to me and handed me this poem:
If you have no Life
You have no heart
No imagination, no soul

Thank God for your Life
For His Son sacrificed His
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Really?  Yes, really.  I could write pages of his amazingess really.  He is quirky, he is different, he is so very ten years old sometimes, he can be just as frustrating as any other ten year old.  And he is beautiful, he is amazing.  And this child of mine, Jesus is in him and He knows it and that is the most important thing. (Please don't mistake this for me taking credit for all of his amazingness, really I was still a kid when he was born and I screw up this parenting thing all the time.  I'm sure good intention counts for something, but honestly I think it is by the Grace of God that I get to be his Mom and I am so beyond excited to see how he will change the world.) 

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Keep shining Griff.
Love, love,
Mom 

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