Sometimes it takes everything you’ve got . Sometimes you stumble at the start, but you have heart , and that my lion boy is going to be the weapon that helps you finish well. You are amazing. You are strong , and I am so proud of how hard you work . I knew you were a runner in the spirit, a leader in your pack of peers, but now you are a runner in the natural! A sweaty, beautiful runner. I love you Z!
It’s been 2 years since our last first day. It’s always exciting. Little lion boy is not really that little anymore , he is taller than me now. I said goodnight last night, and his face was so full of hope, his eyes so full of courage. I see you there Jesus, in him. And I feel your love , through him. I am grateful for every day that I have with this boy of mine. He has changed me.
And so we begin again. A new day… Everyday. Walking by faith , and when we stumble, or even if we fall, we are going to be just fine. Our hearts have a hope that is bigger than our hurdles. As I write, love wells up in my eyes , and runs down my face. Fear is a sea that has been parted for me and my son today. We will walk through it. We will need your help again tomorrow Jesus, but we can talk about that then.
For as long as I can remember Thomas plays the same game with the kids at the beach. They build a sand castle , they create walls around it, moats and towers . Sometimes there is seaweed to adorn the corners, maybe shells . The point of this game is to work as hard as you can to build a structure that the tide doesn’t take down. The kids run around like engineers calling out -we have a breach on the front wall!! And then they build it back up. Sometimes , the tide is too strong, or the castle has been built to close to the sea, and we lose it altogether. I never knew how big a deal, how important a memory this was , until this year. Man child suggested we go down one evening and build… They threw themselves into the sand castle like it was the most important thing in the world. Everyone doing their own jobs. And this year we introduced the newest member of the family to our tradition.
We will build you , we will guide you, and support you, adding the wet sand of love and strength to your structure until you are strong enough to stand on your own. A beautiful creation , to be marveled at. And when the tide comes in , and it will , without fail, and it threatens to tear you down, wash you away, we will be there to support your walls. We will help you repair the breaches , and rebuild when neccessary. I could have never known 20 years ago , when Thomas started this tradition , what exactly it would mean to me. One more reason I adore him.
My past is like a city in ruins, and my future is written in gold script. Beautiful and bold. Which way should I be looking ? I’m looking forward with a firm grip on the here and now. I don’t have to worry , because the plan is laid out. The crooked paths made straight . A hand to hold. Beautiful thoughts that carry so much weight. In every day real life , there will be struggles, there will also be enough grace . There will be sadness, but the joy is there too , every day, little moments like bubbles rising … Joy. You have to have eyes open to see it, you can’t be looking backward . For now , there is wind, and sun, and a sun hat ! There is a boy running around here saying “mom”, there is a girl at school who gets up and faces 9 th grade bravely each day, and a young man who comes home from 11th grade and still holds me tight. There is a young woman who is finding her way, day by day and learning to love in the best way. These are the bubbles of joy rising over me right now , today. I won’t look away.
Every day is different, just like every child is different. Little lion boy, the baby of four children , was always a joy and a handful. I have spent the better part of 10 years asking myself questions and reading books. Is it his gut? His ears? Believe me when I tell you there have been prayers. And more prayers. Prayers of desperation, and prayers of hope. He is 13 now, and with no relief in sight , we sought help. Before this , I didn’t really want help. I didn’t want medication or labels. He is beautiful and bright, he is stormy and hurtful. Easily frustrated, and impulsive. Our home can become a war torn territory where everything has been shattered to bits in a matter of seconds. That’s the truth. Hear me all of you well meaning parents and friends…. It is not about discipline ! Yes, boundaries and routines are cornerstones of civilization , but in the middle of war we all become quite uncivilized . Our parental hearts are shredded, the lights in our eyes … Dimmed. We listen to our son tear down the very walls of respect we take time to build . We get mad, and at the same time…. So sad. We live, we keep on, heart beating, seasons changing. Our son has adhd, and auditory processing disorder, and a learning disability in math…. Which leads to the roaring beast that we see on a daily basis as we try to teach him. Homeschool. It has been the best for him, but I have been battered . We are rebuilding now, with new tools and new hopes. I am understanding the stimulation that his body is constantly looking for, I get it. He needs it , good or bad. If his work, his reading, his drawing, his music, his pogoing up and down the stairs are not enough stimulation , he will pick a fight… With anyone in sight. I am armed, as I always have been , with the love of a good God. I couldn’t love my son any more than I do. I am amazed at his strength, his spirit, and his ability to love. I am on a crooked path, that God promises to make straight. I’m faithfully walking , and I’m trying to share . This is barely a glimpse. This is a beginning. Our story, unique to our family. Yours will be different. The common ground for us to stand on is love, and the courage it takes to look deep into someone and seek out answers, all the while faithfully trusting that this story is a masterpiece in progress.
We had another good day. I woke up sick, and still… It was a good day. Filled with beautiful messy things. Dishes , dogs , science, and math, attitudes, kisses, traffic jams, and projects . I wouldn’t trade a minute of the life I have been given, the hearts that I am stewarding ….are my treasures. Some days I don’t say that on this blog, or out loud. But I always know it, and I hold onto it. I’m right where I am supposed to be. Every morning is new ! And who knew that science used to be filled with GOD ? Isaiah and I have been learning that this week. How lucky am I to be 40 and still learning something new everyday? No, I haven’t taken some kind of happy pill today. I’m just remembering 9/11 , and my friends whose lives have ended too soon, and the ones still struggling today to keep their faith. Remembering all of that, and sitting peacefully and gratefully in my beautiful mess.
When I started noticing people talking about their WORD for 2014 on social media, I was inspired to find out mine. I sought it out, I prayed , and I thought about the resolutions that I had been thinking of making. Reign was the word I heard. I looked it up, although I was fairly certain I knew the definition.
Reign- royal rule, or authority. to have influence.
Hmmm. Sort of sums it all up. More than anything, I want to guide, and influence my children. I know in my heart that I have the royal authority to this ! I believe in the kingdom of God , and the power that He gives me. It is a concept that I am planning on working on in 2014. In my home, and in the world around me. Planning. Not promising. I am constantly being tested in this, and I am only 1 week in.
I want to have influence because of who I am, not just the words I say, or yell. I want to have an influential whisper. Yes, that is it exactly. In my minds eye I can picture that, and what it looks like. Now…to practice it.
I will hold onto you until it is uncomfortable for us both. I will tell you when you are wrong, but I will SHOUT when you are right. I will listen to you with my spirit along with my ears. I will study you, find out what makes you tick, what upsets you, and what brings you crazy happiness. I will sneak around, and hide presents on your birthday, and Christmas. I will get up before you on those days , and sit with my camera aimed, just to catch a glimpse of your joy. I will nurse you when you are sick, and pick you up when you fall. I will talk funny, tell jokes, stand on my head…if it will make you laugh. I will cry, I will pray, I will go to battle against everyday enemies and lies that come against you. I will walk through fire to get to you. I will nag you about grades, and manners, and kindness, and the fruit on your trees. All because you have been entrusted to me. I will kiss you on the lips until you ask me to stop, I will hold your clothes up to my nose even though you don’t smell like babies anymore. I will look into your eyes while you are telling me that story from class today, I will be listening, but also blessing your spirit…with all that you are, and all that God calls you. You will pretend not to notice the tug on your heart as our spirits touch. But I will know. I will watch you grow, and try to hang on loosely. I love you all so much.
Almost grown on my own girl – you have a daughter now, I hope that you will see how heavy the love can be. Having that butter bean is the bravest , most valiant thing you have done yet. She has changed all of us. I could not love either of you any more if you had come right through me.
Man child- you are the truest young man I have ever met. You go ALL IN. You love with everything you have. You would be the one to run into a burning building to save others. It’s who you have always been.
Little big blue eyed girl – I love your joy, I drink it in, just like I breathe in your hair at bedtime. You love me well, and I am grateful. You impact people, it’s a privilege, and a responsibility, but you handle it with grace.
Little Lion Boy- You are my baby, who is not a baby. You love on me with a fierceness that surprises me. Your hands are the softest, and strongest al at the same time. You are a contradiction. You keep me on my toes. Your love of justice encourages me. You wage wars on your fears and it amazes me. Love you so.
That is all. If you didn’t know it already, you are all my treasures.
You call us to walk into territory that is not our own….we ask, we pray, maybe we cry…we fear. And then you lift our chins so that we can see what is before us, there you are, there it is….again. You have carried us through, and delivered us.
Twelve stones you say, a memorial display …for our children, and our children’s children, a story to tell , words and memories of how we nearly fell. And when they ask how me made it , how we overcame…we will point them to you.
In Joshua 4, the Lord tells the Israelites to pick out 12 stones and carry them from place to place , and then to lay them down in each place where they made camp. The Lord delivers them again and again. He tells them that the stones will be a memorial for their children to see what HE had done. I am wondering today….do you have stones laid down, placed so that your children can see how the Lord delivers you, carries you through your struggles big, and small ? It seems important , our testimonies, not just for the lost, or for strangers, but for our kids…the generations that coming behind us. Memorial stones….think about it.