Home Sweet Home

I love traveling. I really do. And I love seeing family and dear friends even more. But I’m pretty sure that laying in my own bed has ever felt quite this good! Ahhhh home. The kids feel the same – Grayson audibly sighed when I put him in his crib.

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God’s Gracie

So back at the beginning of the year, I set a goal- to be more thoughtful. It seems ironic, now- for a pregnant woman to attempt thoughtfulness. They don’t call it “Baby Brain” for nothin, ya’ll. Seriously. Some days I’m doing good to remember if I put on deoderant and brushed my teeth, much less if someone’s birthday is coming up, or they’ve been ill or on a job search. And, sadly enough, here is is only early April… And already my focus has been less on others and more on the mirror- and my ever-growing midsection.

It’s hard to be pregnant. Noone ever said it’d be easy. Wasn’t the first time around, didn’t expect a cake walk the second time around either. But the hardest part is to be a woman and pregnant. Yeah, I know- that’s how it works. But somehow vanity makes it harder to be pregnant. Maybe if I didn’t care so much about how I look it would be easier. Or maybe if I chose to listen to my Maker instead of the little devil on my shoulder, then I’d feel better about who I am while pregnant.

This morning I got a dose of His reality. After feeling particularly frustrated at a lack of wardrobe options, we headed off to church. I pasted on a smile and hoped noone would see how much weight I’ve gained since we were last able to attend- before Spring Allergy Attack 2014 hit our family with a vengance. Well, someone did notice me. And much to my shock and surprise, her comment rocked my world- in a good way. What one of our youth told me has stuck with me all day.

“I just wanted to tell you how beautiful you look today! I saw you from on stage where we were singing and you just look so pretty today.”

God’s Gracie. Sweet Gracie. Thank you. Her comment reminded me that while my world spins around me and I may feel out of control, her world is doing the same… She’s a senior in high school about to set out into a huge, unknown world… And yet, she found the mere seconds it took to say something that made my day. Gracie is always a sweet girl, so I’m not surprised she made the comment. But she has no idea how thankful I am, on so many levels, that she did.

Because I need to remember
A) I am beautiful, no matter how pregnant I am or how fat I feel.
B) Others around me NEED me to be thoughtful and share God’s light with them.

God gave me that moment with Gracie to gently remind me that He loves me. He finds me beautiful. And He wants me to step out and share that with others. Thank you, God, and thank you, Gracie.

Another Smile in Heaven

I haven’t had the words to write, and what I say now will probably not do her justice, but on this past Thursday, Heaven gained another smiling face. I know she’s smiling because I know how very much she loved our Father and how very happy she must be to finally be sitting at His feet, and singing His praises with the saints. I haven’t even seen her in a couple of years, and before that it had been quite a while, but that won’t ever change the impact she had on my life at a very pivitol time for me.

I was in middle school, and even though she was the mom of a good friend, she was my youth pastor’s wife, and I could confide in her anything. We laughed together. We rolled our eyes at annoying boys on the bus to church camp together. She was fun, and a good friend. I remember game nights at their house, and serious times too- of Bible study and prayer.

She was a phenominal woman. I remember hearing the news – and the words fell on my ears like a bucket of ice water being dumped on top of my head. She had cancer. I had heard about lots of people with cancer, but not her. Not someone invincible. Not Kelly.

After a long fight, she no longer has to struggle. She no longer feels the pain of living on earth in a body that had betrayed her. She’s free. And I know, without a shadow of a doubt that she is singing with the angels right now.

Thank you, Kelly, for the impact you made in my life. I’ll never forget you, and will forever be greatful.

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“Thank You” by Ray Boltz
I dreamed I went to heaven
And you were there with me;
We walked upon the streets of gold
Beside the crystal sea.
We heard the angels singing
Then someone called your name.
You turned and saw the young man
And he was smiling as he came.

And he said, “Friend you may not know me now.”
And then he said, “But wait,
You used to teach my Sunday School
When I was only eight.
And every week you would say a prayer
Before the class would start.
And one day when you said that prayer,
I asked Jesus in my heart.”

Thank you for giving to the Lord.
I am a life that was changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord.
I am so glad you gave.

Then another man stood before you
And said, “Remember the time
A missionary came to your church
And his pictures made you cry.
You didn’t have much money,
But you gave it anyway.
Jesus took the gift you gave
And that’s why I am here today.”

Thank you for giving to the Lord.
I am a life that was changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord.
I am so glad you gave.

One by one they came
Far as the eye could see.
Each life somehow touched
By your generosity.
Little things that you had done,
Sacrifices made,
Unnoticed on the earth
In heaven, now proclaimed.

And I know up in heaven
You’re not supposed to cry.
But I am almost sure
There were tears in your eyes.
As Jesus took your hand
And you stood before the Lord.
He said, “My child, look around you.
Great is your reward.”

Thank you for giving to the Lord.
I am a life that was changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord.
I am so glad you gave.

Thank you for giving to the Lord.
I am a life that was changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord.
I am so glad you gave.

Copyright 1988 Gaither Music/ASCAP All rights reserved.

Imagination

This girl. She cracks me up! From cooking “awesauce” (applesauce), to putting more coffee on, to washing her hands, her kitchen playset is often the source of cute little pretend actions and comments. And she’s learning lessons about pretend vs real, too… She often gets reminded that the tortillas aren’t really real… And don’t go in her mouth. So she’ll pretend to eat them, or pretend to drink from a cup, and make cute little smacking noises with her lips. But last night, she went to such a new level, that I just had to immediately open up my notes app and write this down… And then post it for posterity.

Conversation between Becca and two teddy bears (she was of course both sides of the conversation):
“Tee bear eat all dat? Yesa ma’am.” (Makes teddy bear nod its head.) “Good tee bear.”
(Turns to the other teddy bear.)
“You tee bear? You eat all dat? pauseNo? Uhoh…..twouble. Nono good! So sad tee bear. pauseUnstan? Ok. No make Gecca sad. Eat all dat. K? K. ” (Makes other teddy bear nod its head.)

You just never know what this girl will come up with next! I love getting to listen to all of her little antics. Yesterday before I went in to get her up from her nap, she and her stuffed animal friends (she now naps with 4 special friends other than just George…) were going on a “twain” with “saurs” (no doubt inspired by the pbs show she loves- Dinosaur Train.)

And often in the bathtub, she’ll set her little play froggies up on the edge of the tub and say “tareful foggies not hurt self,” before helping them carefully jump back into the tub. If they don’t land upright, she’ll ask them, “ok foggies?” And answer, “Ok.” Also in the tub, her two duckies will re-inact the two favorite pages from her Apple Park book- one duck will pretend to be the bunny and hop up to the other duck and say “ducky have to lunch?” To which the other (the actual duck) will reply, “yes, quackers munch!” (The actual page has bunny asking duck if he has a snack to share for their lunch, and duck replies, something like, “yes, I have my favorite quackers to munch.”) (As an additional aside, she now calls crackers “quackers.” She knows the difference- she’ll grin when she says it, just to make sure you know she’s teasing and referencing the book.)

Never a dull moment. Never. I love it. And I love her soooooo much.

Sweet Baby Girl of Mine

I’d always heard, before I became a mom, that I’d learn her different cries. Some, I would learn to tolerate. Some would make me jump and run. Some would break my heart. But noone could prepare me for the reality of the short, soft whimper after a bad dream, nor for the way my heart would break when I walked into her room and saw her standing there- arms hanging over the crib, clutching George tightly to her chest- and the “mama!” And bawling that followed.

There’s something about mama’s arms that will always soothe and comfort, and I felt her relax as I rocked her and held her close and told her in a soft whisper, “Mommy’s here, baby. Mommy’s here.”

It doesn’t matter that I was headed to bed, or that it took 45 minutes to get her relaxed enough to fall asleep on me and then transferred to her bed. What matters is that I was there. I don’t have the words to describe what I felt as I looked down at her, curled into my chest, stretching way down my legs. This tall little girl who no longer fits in just my two arms was, in that moment, no longer almost two. She was, for a brief second, my newborn. With her sweet little soft cheek on my chest, and a tuft of hair to brush back from her eyes, her little fingers of one hand curled carefully around George’s hand, and another in her mouth, in that moment she wasn’t a toddler who throws tantrums or fights against anything and anyone she gets frustrated with. Because all that melted away. She is, in that moment, and yes- in all the others, too- my sweet little tiny baby girl.

Even as her brother faught viciously against her leg that was pushing into his home, she was my sweet little snugglebug, my princess, my angel, my little butterfly. I tried to take as many mental pictures as I could to capture the moment forever. There’s no greater gift than that of life, and therefore no greater gift than to be a mother and watch that life, that God so painstakingly created inside, as she begins to grow up. We’ll have bumps in the road. (Heck, we already have had lots!) But it’s in those moments that I pray I remember these. When she breaks my heart, I hope I can remember these moments when holding her close and saying “Mommy’s here, baby. Mommy’s here.” Was enough to calm her fears and quiet her soul.

Being a mom isn’t for the faint of heart. And it’s a good thing God knows how to push air back into our lungs- because I know I’m not the first, nor will I be the last, to rock her sweet little one and find a catch in her breath. As I go to sleep tonight, I’ll pray like I always do, that He will watch over her and keep her safe. That He will give her sweet dreams, and that He will wake me at the moment she needs me. Because before I know it, she won’t be sleeping in our house anymore. She’ll be grown and somewhere far away. I won’t be there to hold her close and rock her when she has a bad dream.

But, my dear sweet baby girl, I can promise you this: no matter how far away you live, no matter how tall you grow to be, Mommy’s here, baby. Mommy’s here. I love you, sweetheart.