Saturday, February 28, 2015

To my baby boy at 6 months!

Sweet boy.  Your brothers love to entertain you.  They especially love to make you laugh.  You like when they act silly.  You like to watch balls and balloons (and the silly faces that accompany them).  We all love to hear your laugh.

Your smile lights up a room.  I've seen it happen more than once.  It's beautiful.

You have been discovering the sounds you can make with your mouth.  All kinds of sounds!  You talk to us, too (you know, in your own language).

You have always done this (but, your mama thought it was an accident):  you reach out to touch my face when you need something from me (and, I have missed the cue!).

You can almost, almost, almost sit up by yourself; but, not quite yet.  Soon, baby.  Soon, you can eat all that food you are interested in.   But, we have to start slow, you know.

Your Grandma made you a really neat floor mat/blanket.  The funny thing is, you seem to know it's yours.  Of course, you probably think everything is yours right now.

Your rolls are getting bigger and your feet are getting chubbier.  Perfectly so.  16 pounds (and some ounces) at your 6 month check up, already a couple of weeks ago now.

Your teeth are bothering you even more.  We are praying they come soon.  We pulled out all the stops today--amber necklace, teething tablets, frozen things, wooden things, cloth.

You went on your first field trip with your brothers and your mama.  We went to the Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium.  The car ride was so rough that you slept through most of the museum.  Luckily, we stayed overnight with your Aunt Bethany and Grandma and cousin, Greta.

I love you more every day.  I can say the same for your brothers.  Oh.  My boys.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Responding to you - God is with you

You know, God is always with you.  Even when you are not seeking Him, he is there. 

But, still, I wish I could have been home with you more.  I feel often that I failed to protect you and keep you safe.  You were only 10 when I left home to attend University of Illinois; but, I really left much sooner.  Any chance to get away from that apartment, I took it.  I went to Aunt Brenda's.  I went to Grandma's.  I stayed with friends.  I often stayed with mom, too.  I am still trying to figure out why it made me so uncomfortable (besides the fact that I have a strong dislike for stinky messes that our brothers rarely helped me to clean when I couldn't take it any more).

Knowing God.  I am still getting to know Him.  I pray to Him much, much more.

It is amazing to me that after going to church so much (often 4x/week or more!) and hearing dad speak and being part of it all, I never felt the presence of the Holy Spirit.  I never learned to trust Him.  I never learned to thank Him for everything.  I felt very separate from it all.  I don't know why.

But, I am grateful for the "God-sized" journey I am on, which I believe ends beautifully for us all.

It wasn't until I started seeking Him that I started really feeling Him.  Knowing Him.  Getting to know Him.  I pray when I don't know if I should put down the baby.  I pray before I react to something upsetting (OK, I try to remember to's just a tiny space I have to remember to see).  I pray to decide what the most important task is at the moment (always a juggle, less of a struggle when I pray).

I pray to thank Him. 

I started a list.  A list of gifts.  Things for which I am thankful.  Inspired by studying the book, "1000 Gifts", by Ann Voskamp.  I like looking for things for which I can thank Him.  I am still learning to thank Him for everything...even the hard stuff.  Like, growing up with so much anxiety.

In our house, I hated that I did not feel safe.  When I was working, I learned that "harassment"  is defined as anything that "creates a hostile environment".  I would say what should have been the safest place in the world was really a "hostile environment".  I guess that is one of the reasons I kept trying to get away.  But, that was before the eventual divorce, before dad got that apartment...

I pray to thank Him.  Everything that led me here is why I lead this life today.  I feel it all.  I feel forgiveness.  I feel love.  I feel truth.  No more numbing--No more lies.  No more pretending I am someone else with a "normal" life.  No more hiding.  No more hostile environment.  No more stealing.  No more overspending.  No more drinking.  No more drugs.  No more. 

I pray to thank Him.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

In response to "God-sized"

I read an article the other day that children with such an imagination as J and O are considered "gifted". I feel like that's a fairly broad term but as their proud aunt, I can certainly attest to both their broad imagination and their vast knowledge of the world...big and small.

God is bigger than all of us. He is everywhere. Although I don't attend church and never truly felt a special relationship with God, I don't doubt His existence. There were certainly times in my life where I've turned to Him and prayed because I didn't know what else to do. This past month being one of those times with Greta's diagnosis of acute cerebellar ataxia. I watched helplessly as my baby lost her ability to walk. And so I prayed. I prayed for her to get better. I prayed that it wasn't this other thing disguised as ataxia. The big C.

There's a saying that there's power in prayer...I don't know if that's true, but I asked all my friends and family to pray for her because I needed that support. I needed her to be ok. And little by little, she got better. It took about three and a half weeks for the ataxia to run it's course, and she started walking again. I felt "God-sized" love from everyone who texted or called to ask how she was doing on a daily basis. This little girl is so loved that it touched me to tears that people cared so much.

I remember when I was little, I was afraid of many things. I told Dad how much I worried about things and how scared I was when he wasn't home at night. He told me to pray about it. Then I got even more concerned that if I prayed about it, wouldn't the devil hear me and then try and stop whatever good God tried to do? Dad smiled and said, "Not if you speak to Him in your thoughts." Then he found the scripture in the Bible which confirmed that the devil cannot hear your thoughts...only God can, which I have to admit kind of freaked me out even more. "What! So, God can hear hear ALL my thoughts!?"

Even today, when I do pray, I pray very privately. In fact, no one would even know it. As far as goals for this year...I'll need to get back to you on that one.