Friday, June 19, 2015

Did I love you enough today?

I recently read an article written by a mom titled "Did I love you enough today?" which touched my heart in many ways. At first I thought I might copy and paste it into my blog, but I realized her words are not my words. Yes, some of the things she said were words which could easily be my own, but why not make them my own?

Some days I find myself sighing at the monotony of the typical day.  Get up and get the kiddos ready for whatever activity is scheduled for the day.  Sometimes counting down the minutes until Grandma shows up to take them where they need to go and sometimes wishing we had just five more minutes to be together before the day starts.  My feelings depend on how many fights the kids have already had about who's playing with what toy or what show they can watch for a few minutes or who woke up on the wrong side of the bed that day.  Some mornings I am frustrated when I have to tell them over and over to do something or chase one around the house who wants to stay in his jammies or maybe because I REALLY dislike packing lunches. Like, really dislike.

No matter how the morning has gone while they are still home, there is always a sadness that comes over me when they pull out of the driveway.  I could have been pulling my hair out just 2 minutes earlier, but the minute I give the last kiss and hug and close the car door, they are off again without me. Did I love them enough this morning? Did I make them feel special or nag at them too much for not brushing their teeth when I asked?  Did I give them confidence to face a new day or did I tear them down in some way I may not even recognize? When I gave them that one last kiss and hug did they truly feel my love or did it feel obligatory to the goodbye routine? Lord, I hope not. Behind every kiss and hug is a mother's love which has no boundaries. A pride which makes her heart swell to three times its size. A gratefulness beyond measure.

Did I love them enough this morning so they can carry that love through them until we see each other again later? When they feel the uncertainty of a new situation, do they feel me near telling them they are the most special creature God has put on this Earth? When the mean kid puts them down or says he/she doesn't want to play with them, do they know I will ALWAYS want to be with them? I will never push them away? Do they know?  When they feel alone or scared, can they feel my loving arms wrapped around them saying "Precious child, you will NEVER be alone."

When the day is coming to a close and school or camp is done and afternoon activities are over, here is my chance to seize the moment! Hours of uninterrupted, blissful, quality time, right? Well, it sounds great, but any parent knows it doesn't always turn out to be so dreamy.  Maybe the work day was a real killer and hours of long meetings or putting out fires have left me at a zero. I'm wiped out. "Push me on the swing Mommy!" "Let's play army Mommy!" "Please jump on the trampoline Mommy!" How about we all snuggle on the couch and watch a movie and order pizza so Mommy doesn't have to worry about dinner? Yes? No? Hmmmm... Okay.  Oh, how I will yearn for them to want to play with me in years to come when electronics and other friends have taken my place! Who cares how tired I am, suck it up Mom! Not always easy. It can create a real, emotional and physical struggle

Did I love them enough this evening? Was I more concerned with how tired I was or what work I didn't get done or perhaps what Facebook posts I missed during the day?  Did I make them the center of my attention or did I become distracted?  Sometimes distraction can't be helped. I'm a working mom, so I can't continue to beat myself up about it.  But... am I being distracted by things of no real importance? Is what/whom I'm allowing myself to be distracted by of any real significance?

I treasure the bedtime routine.  Adam says I drag it out way too long, which is true. I really do drag it out, only because it's the one time during the day where I can have one-on-one with each kiddo.  We read books or devo, we chat about the day, and we pray.  This is the BEST part of my day, and many days, I feel it is the best part of theirs.  If I'm lucky, they will fall asleep as I lay beside them for a bit. I will hear their sweet breaths and feel their soft, warm skin.  I can gaze at their beautiful faces as they are peacefully resting. There is no picture more beautiful.  Thank you God for the faces of my sleeping children.  And as I look at their sweet faces I have to ask... did I love you enough today, or did I fail to show how I truly feel about you?  I'm sure there are days I do fail. I'm not perfect in any way, not even close. I am perfectly broken and sinful, as we all are. I get irritated, say hurtful things, and act on selfish motives.  My prayer is the same mercy and grace my Heavenly Father shows me every day, will resonate through the hearts of my children and they will never doubt the love I have for them.  I love you to the moon and back Kylie, Jackson, and Carter!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Bye bye Kinder... hello six year old!

To my sweet boy Jackson,
Well, we made it through Kinder!  We had a few bumps along the way, but we got through it Jackson! I am proud of how much you have grown this past year. It hasn't been easy... we've had some tears, but thankfully most of the time those end in laughter.  You finished all your Kinder readers, which was quite a chore for both of us. Now, you are reading like a champ!  You are listening better and using more self control, which can be really hard for a super-active little boy.  Teachers seems to describe you with words like "enthusiastic" "energetic" "all boy"... there are times when I worry it's not always a compliment, but your sweet teacher Ms. Bobbi always says God has given you great gifts of enthusiasm which you will use someday to further His kingdom.  I think she's right! To go along with your energy, you are very LOUD! At one point, we even had your hearing checked, but it seems you hear just fine.  I think you want to make sure people hear what you have to say at all times, because you are passionate about your thoughts.  Maybe you'll use that big voice to preach the word of Jesus to unreached people some day?  Who knows?

Here's a little about you right now:
Age: 6
Weight: 56 lbs.  You're a pretty stout little guy:)
Height: 48 inches
Favorite Foods: Pizza, Cheeseburgers, Grandpa's Eggs, Waffles, French Toast, Chicken Patties, Ribs, Drumsticks, Yogurt, Fish Sticks, Oatmeal and Cream of Wheat.  You've never met a treat you didn't like.
Foods you Dislike: Pretty much any vegetable except corn (which doesn't really count).
Favorite Toys: Guns, Legos, Army Men, Shovels, Grenades, Swords... okay, any kind of weapon.
What you want to be when you grow up: A Navy Captain. You want to drive the boat.
Sports: Soccer, Golf, Baseball, Swimming (just for fun).
Favorite Books: Anything about sharks or snakes! The Day the Crayons Quit, Yes Day,
Favorite Shows: SpongeBob Squarepants - man, I thought we were done with him! Dang. Wild Kratts, America's Funniest Home Videos.

You LOVE all things Army right now.  Your are a gun-lovin', camo-wearin' dude. You own about 20 guns of all kinds to practice your shooting techniques and you like to sneak up on people and shoot them. You just got your first set of golf clubs and you are super excited to learn how to play and go golfing with dad.  I can already tell you're going to be a natural. You are also working hard on learning to catch and throw the baseball to get ready for your first baseball season next Spring!

Here's what I LOVE the most about you Jackson, and there are so many things to love.  You are sensitive.  You really take others' words and actions to heart. You want others to be proud of you and tell you what a good boy you are and how well you can do things. You play so hard all day long you are exhausted at bedtime and fall asleep in a matter of minutes shortly after we say our prayers, and you NEVER fall

asleep without saying prayers first.  I always know you are ready to go to sleep when you say "Can we say our prayers now?".  I love it that you yearn to hear me speak to Jesus on your behalf and I look forward to the day when you feel comfortable speaking to Him on your own.  Until then, I am honored to do it for you and with you.  Sometimes you are a tough little boy to parent.  You tend to be impulsive and have selective hearing.  You are destructive and break things all the time.  You ask the same question over and over again and drive us bonkers. But, you are also hilarious and make me laugh every day.  All we have to do is look at each other and we both smile almost instantly. Our souls are connected. You always want to help me do things around the house, whether it's cooking, picking up leaves, making the bed, or fixing something.  Just don't ask you to pick up your toys... that's a different story! Ha!

I am so incredibly honored to your Mom and I realize what an important role I continue to have in your life, and will likely always have in your life.  I will ALWAYS be here for you, no matter what. I will challenge you and cheer for you.  I will pick up when you are down, and then I'll tell you to get back up on the saddle. I love you with every ounce of my being. You are my treasure.