A tired mom looks to Him to power through

Tag Archives: love

“But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13b

I maneuvered the morning traffic, our 3 year old screamed his frustrations at the world while the sun shone brightly on our 6 year old’s head buried in a book.  I was running close to the bell again.  Someday, I thought, this-getting-kids ready-in-the mornings-thing is going to get easier. 

I had just referred an all-out brawl between these two on who was going to turn off the TV.   If you see our 3 year run out the front door screaming, it’s not because I’m beating him.  It’s simply that I let his sister turn off the TV, or the light, or something else this time.   Lord, these children are infinitely creative.  They never cease to amaze me as to what they think to fight over.

After everyone was in their respective places, I power walked down the elementary school hallway to my car and the work day ahead.  I tried to imagine what the voice mail that came in entailed.  I have a stick shift, and a 3 year old, which pretty much means answering my phone while driving is nearly impossible.  If I am not changing gears, then I am navigating endless questions, or on this morning, complaints.  “Mommy, I am mad at you!” He declared.  (To which I managed to calmly reply, “That’s okay honey that will happen, just keep moving, we are on a schedule….”)

 I saw a little boy out of the corner of my eye.  He had his full concentration focused on the flimsy Styrofoam breakfast tray he was carrying to his class.  It happened in slow motion – his milk tumbling into his grits, his grits about to hit the floor.   I rushed over and got there in the nick of time.  “Can I help you out with that?” I offered.  He just glanced up at me, readjusted his stow of goodies and proceeded on. 

“I love you!”  He replied over his shoulder.  “I love the whole world!”  One of the Special Education teachers came up then, and helped him on his course.  My heart went out to him and his generous love offering.  I thought of his mom, and his team of teachers and paraprofessionals.  I don’t know what it’s like to walk in their shoes, but I applaud them and appreciate them.  This kid must absorb a lot of love to want to so freely give it -reflecting so well what regularly shines on him.  This little one: barely three feet tall, living out 1 Corinthians 13:13, walking in step with the greatest thing.

His morning routine is not punctuated with the passing of another Accelerated Reader test, or the mastery of arithmetic, or thoughts of after school activities.  His morning is different, because he is different.  This morning, though, it was not limitation I saw.  Instead, it was a different ability that I fell witness to: the ability to so purely live out the greatest of these.     

 

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It had been a really good weekend.  Why then did hot, salty tears decide to fall?  It was late and the morning would come soon.  Why, emotion now?

Parenting just has that way.  Emotions pop onto the scene with little warning.  Like that moment where you may simultaneously burst with joy from a fierce/tender love, and ache with an unknown longing.

Our mission is to receive these little beings with a simple assurance that while they don’t come with instructions, with enough love, we can figure it out.

And you have to be comfortable with being a work in process.  Because just when you think you may have found your rhythm, something changes again and you learn how to love.  How to love more, better, differently, the same.  Loving consistently.

And that love morphs and changes.  Because they morph and change.  And I think  I have identified why the hot salty tears.

Tonight our almost 6 year old (going on 16) seized an opportunity: her little brother fell asleep early which left my undivided attention to her.  She suggested we cuddle while we watch a movie.  “Are you too big to fit in my lap?” I teased.  I didn’t really think so, but she did have a wild growth spurt over the recent holiday.  It felt like she grew three feet (but more like three inches since summer).  “I think I can still fit.”  She replied.

But several rustlings later, she really didn’t.  “I can’t get comfortable,” she lamented.  I understood.  And suddenly her dainty twin bed felt just too small.  “Oh, okay, we’ll adjust,” I brightened.

Later she sought me out in the worn out recliner and without hesitation climbed up onto me.  She still didn’t really fit.  But she didn’t care.  And I didn’t either.  Before long I looked down to see her sprawled across me, fast asleep.

With everybody tucked in, I settled in as well – to the outpouring of emotion.  I let the tears fall and soak my pillow and my husband just went with it.  I was seized with that panic of what happens if your kids grow up too fast and suddenly one day they are too big to fit in your lap?

That love overflows.  It overflows to spill out over your lap and into nooks and crannies that you didn’t know love could pervade.  I realized through the swollen eyes and crying onset headache an important truth: when your lap gets too small, your heart grows to make up for it.

And that’s why calling my parents is so important.  Because in the process of doing well at raising a really independent daughter, they have had to let their hearts grow to make up for distance in miles and distance in phone calls and emails.  Do they know that their love fills in my everyday moments of life and the hobbies that give me endless joy?  Their love is why I find a piece of Heaven in a hot cup of coffee and the play of words.  I am way too big to fit in their laps now, but their love pervades my life, and is the DNA of the simple truths that make me, well me.

So I have their example to assure me of what happens when our kids no longer fit in my lap, when I lay awake at night, almost fearful of sleep, because I may miss something.

And, I have this beautiful birdhouse.  My husband’s grandfather made it by hand, it is beautifully painted with a red chimney and cheerful flowers, and a little sign by the entrance that says, “For Rent, Cheep.”  I don’t know what I love more, the attention to details, or the play on words (Get it? For rent, cheep!).

I have never sat on my husband’s grandfather’s lap.  I likely never will.  But I feel incredibly and magically, and beautifully loved.  Thousands of miles separate us, and we don’t talk much.  But his love will hang in a prominent place in our kitchen.   His and GG’s love have found their way into the nook and crannies of our lives – how that birdhouse will hang and if it could talk, have stories to tell.

I think of Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree.”  There was always love to give -it just took on different forms, at different times, in different ways.

And I have to believe that our love is enough, growing in increasing measure, to adapt and morph and continue consistently.

When love overflows the lap, the heart grows to make up for it.  We must simply keep our hearts and eyes wide open to witness it.

 

 

 


Dear Men and Women who Foster:

Thank you.  Thank you for your daily decision to love a kid that needs it.  Even when you don’t have a lot of details, a lot of background, or any starting point to the “what ifs”.

And thank you for putting up with all of the blunt and not so considerate questions that come from people who mean well but may not articulate it.  I’ve been one of those people.

Those people that hear about how you got the call at 9:00pm on a weekday night to say that a child was on his or her way to your house right then, and they wonder how in the world you could say yes.  They respect that you say yes, it simply challenges them to the core and immediately they contemplate and know they may not be so willing.

Those people that barrage you with 50 scenarios in under three minutes and squirm and say “but couldn’t it get messy?” “don’t the kids have issues?” “are you going to adopt him or her?” “what if it doesn’t work out?”

There are so many questions.  Many that may never have answers.  But you decide to love anyway.

Thank you for setting such an example for us – your willingness to leap out of your comfort zone and share your physical, emotional, spiritual spheres with another little human that you have no “formal” connection too.  You decide that your decision to love is enough.   You approach each day with the focused and dedicated mindset to give, and your completion of every simple tasks shines a light to the rest of us.  You call us higher to surrender to the unknown and lay down our fears and anxieties and the need to see life wrapped up all pretty with a bow.  Each moment you decide “I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but today, today, I will love this child.”

Thank you.


We are ten days into Kindergarten.  I didn’t tear up on the first day, but I did on the tenth.


We are born into a new life, a new relationship with God when we embrace who Jesus is. We cannot dissect the two: love or respect for God and Jesus separately. They are not individual offerings amongst a spiritual buffet where we take one but not the other. A helping of one includes embracing the other. Our love for God overflows into a life lived loving others, and we need not complicate: we love God deeply by loving those close to us, in our homes, in our own fellowships, those with our shared beliefs across the world. Our day to day schedules may look different, but we are bonded in our commitment to observe God’s commandments. To love God is to maintain a dedication to His commandments, and these are not meant to be a burden, not meant to weary. Instead, He intends to lift any weariness, wipe it away, and refresh. Satan wishes for us to fail, and to feel no sense of overcoming victory. Each second, he works hard to make God’s Word appear burdensome. On the contrary, victory is to be ours, even when our own faith struggles to grasp this, there is God and Jesus, holding out the victory flag to us.

{Meditations on 1 John 5: 1-5}


“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe his commandments.”       1 John 5:2

Loving Christ and God go hand in hand, leading us into a life marked by love for others, a love that continually helps us to observe His commandments.


“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.”      1 John 5:1

Belief and devotion that Jesus is the Christ brings us into a new life with God, and a new walk with God reflects love for the Son.