Resolutions?

2013

My facebook prompt this morning said, “What’s your New Year’s resolution?” and I drew a blank.

Yes, I’ve begun the “Bible in One Year” plan, just as I have every year.  (I’ve read Genesis and Matthew a jillion times by now.)  I’ve begun a new devotional book.  (It’s the One Thousand Gifts devotional and I love it already.)

But other than that…I can’t come up with a New Year’s resolution.  And I’m not going to.

I made some resolutions when I woke up on November 19th.  I resolved to be better.  A better lover of Jesus, a better wife, a better mother, a better sister, a better daughter, a better friend, a better part of the body of Christ.  I want to pray without ceasing, I want to love BIG and love WELL, I want to forgive easily, look for joy in all circumstances and be a blessing to those I’ve been blessed with.

It’s a change of life, not a resolution.

Last year, on January 1st, I made a blog entry on a blog I hadn’t done much with.  It began a journey of writing for me that has changed me from the inside out.  On January 2nd, in my blog Caroline and the Puddle, I said, “I want this year to mark a change in my life.”  And it has.  I have learned to find joy in hard things, I’ve learned to count blessings instead of aggravations.  I’ve learned that life is a gift and every minute is a gift and that tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone.  I have fallen more in love with Jesus as I’ve looked for the little gifts He gives me every day.  2012 did mark a change in my life, and it wasn’t because I made a bunch of resolutions.  It’s because I cried out for change and it’s because my heart was soft and open.

As time went by, God put things in my path to help change me.  He led me to teachings and sermons and podcasts that were about being positive, even in adversity, and He led me to the book “1000 Gifts” which has changed my heart forever.

And isn’t it a good thing that it did?

It’s as though I was in boot camp, in training for all that was to come in 2012.

Last night, I lay awake (again) until around 2:30am, marveling at the good things God has given me.  I was able to honestly thank Him for things that seemed awful at the time.

For the hard things that led to the collapse of my table, I said thank you.  Hard things that HURT but now I can see how He redeemed those things, how He’s used them.  For the  two babies I lost, Peter and Asher…I am thankful.  And those words cost to type and to feel because I wanted those two babies.  But they are souls with eternal significance.  And they serve a purpose in heaven…they are gifts and I am thankful for the time I carried them in my womb and for the glimpses God gave me of who they are and for their places in our family and in the kingdom of God.  I miss them both but I will see them again.

For all that happened in November…I am so thankful.  Even for my water breaking in the first place.  If that hadn’t happened…who knows if Nora and I would’ve survived.  My water breaking meant I was in Norfolk with the specialists, right beside CHKD (which she didn’t end up needing).  Did you know that Norfolk Sentara not only has an amazing NICU, but they also have an amazing trauma center…and that is why they had enough blood on hand for me.  Maternal Fetal Medicine, for all that I complained about wait times and lack of bedside manner, they were equipped to handle placenta accreta because they specialize in scary, weird, obscure obstetrical things.  They spotted it the day I was admitted and they figured out how best to handle it.  My water breaking, a scary and hard thing…God used it to save us.  The hardest trial of my life, which I’m still kind of working through, it’s something to be grateful for.

I can be thankful in the hard things.  It means a laying down, a sacrifice of entitlement, bitterness, self pity.  And God knows that the sacrifice costs…He sees that and He honors my obedience in the midst of pain and hard things.  He sees.

And this post isn’t meant to be “Look who evolved and holy I am.” because I’m decidedly not.  Just this moment, I am in a standoff with Claire because she wants to type and I’m trying to blog and I am irritated.  I say to my inner me, “You know, when writing a blog about being thankful, you should probably not feel so annoyed with your two year old, who is a precious gift.”  (That precious gift has now abandoned typing and is yanking things off the Christmas tree.  I’m going to pretend not to notice until I’m done.)  There are times when I feel so annoyed by the petty stuff that I cry real tears and then feel stupid for getting upset about things that don’t even matter. I’m trying to be evolved and holy, but Beloved Ones, all I can do is try.  Wait, not try…all I can do is practice.

Because when we practice something, we get better and better at it.

In a year, I’ve gotten better and better at being thankful.  I’ve gotten better and better at keeping Poor Me and her stupid friends away from my doorstep.  I think I’ve gotten better at Loving Well, but I know I can always grow in it.

And so this year, I’m not going to make any resolutions.  I’m not going to say that I’m going to keep my house clean finally at the age of forty or read the classics to the children at bedtime or start excercising every day or adhere to the Dave Ramsey financial plan 100%.  I’m just not.  Those are all good things and certainly I don’t think resolutions are without value…but for me, now that I’m living a life I almost didn’t get to live…I just want to Love Well.  I want to keep on changing and evolving.

I want to live a life of fullness and gratitude.  I don’t want to miss a thing.

What about you?  What will change your life this year?

 

 

The First Day of the Rest of My Life

Proverb

 

Do you know this saying?

Last night at 2:00am, I couldn’t sleep and I was thinking about everything that had happened since November 10th when my water broke.  I was thinking about how nervous I was going into surgery on November 18th.  I had no idea how bad it was going to be or even how bad it was.

I remember laying in the bed before surgery staring at that curtain with my stomach doing flip flops and just praying for God to help me surrender my fears.  I remember John walking down the hall with me as they wheeled me away, saying he loved me and would see me soon.  I remember the bright lights of the operating room, of the vulnerable feeling of being naked on the table while people hustled and bustled all around me.  I remember that the anesthesiologist talked me through what was happening in this calm voice but  I felt like I was being suffocated under the oxygen mask (fear and claustrophobia). He kept saying, “Sweetie, it’s oxygen.  Oxygen isn’t going to suffocate you.”  I heard my name being stated, what we were there to do and that is all I remember of November 18th.

November 19th.  Flashes of memory of what I thought was during surgery and have since figured out was the wee hours of the morning in ICU, after Nora’s birth, after my hysterectomy, after interventional radiology, after or maybe while I was bleeding out.  Another piece of  a memory- John, Philip, Parwin, Chris and (strangely) the hospital chaplain praying around me.  Everyone’s face teary and tired and worried.

Finally my first lucid memory.  I wake up and feel the tube in my throat.  I feel how puffy my eyes are and I feel out of it.  John and Bethany greet me as though I’ve been gone forever, eyes wide and faces stressed.  I look at the clock and take note of the time.  1:00.  I look out the window.  Daylight.  I went into surgery at 10pm.  Why isn’t it 1:00am?

It’s November 19th.  As the day goes on, I find out that sweet Nora was born and doing better than expected.  I find out that she’d fared far better than I had.  I find out that I was a hair’s breadth away from death.  I find out that even the amazing MFM doctors were sure they were losing me but never gave up.  That my family and friends and people I don’t know prayed me safely from the brink.  That I’d needed twenty seven units of blood in surgery.  (Three more while I was in ICU, bringing the grand total up to thirty.)  That I’d nearly lost my life on November 19th.

And last night, as I laid in my bed and stared at the gray blue walls that John painted for my birthday…I treasured these things in my heart.  My story could’ve ended that day.  My husband could’ve ended up on his own with two little girls and a broken heart, missing his wife and stepchildren because the whole structure of his life would’ve changed without me.  My children’s story- Julia could’ve lost her mom at twenty, Aubrey at seventeen, Chase at fifteen, Lila at only five…what would she have remembered?  Claire, only two…she wouldn’t have remembered anything except what pictures and other people’s stories told her.  The same for Nora…except she would’ve carried with her the fact that she was born and then I died.

I just couldn’t think about much else last night as I laid awake.

November 19th, it was the first day of the rest of my life.

I’m processing through all of this stuff and thinking about what God would have me do with it.  I know I feel more raw, more vulnerable.  I know I’m more prone to tears that come awfully quickly.  I know I feel more compassion than I used to. I know I feel even more mercy than I used to.  And oh, do I feel more gratitude.  Every minute I have with John. Facetime with Chase.  Hugs from Lila.  Laughing with Aubrey and Julia.  Claire climbing into my lap.  The warm, soft weight of little Nora.  I hold her close in the nicu and I breathe her in.  She is the prize for all of this hard work and pain and physical suffering.  Her presence in my world makes it all worth it.

But there is more that I have gained.  My eyes are opened wider to the beauty and blessing.  Even as I type those words, Lila and Claire are arguing over Christmas toys which isn’t particularly beautiful but even that makes me grateful.  I am here to break up the squabble.  I am here to explain that we love our sister and we don’t fight in this house.  My eyes can suddenly see His gifts even more clearly and I am looking even harder for them.  November 19th was the first day of the rest of my life and I don’t want to miss even one gift He’s given me.

Even those days when my pain level is high, when I’m so tired that I fall asleep in my chair or in the car or while I’m reading…even those days when it seems like Nora will be in the NICU until she’s in kindergarten…even those days when the drive to and from Norfolk just seems impossibly long…no matter how down I feel, I am thankful.

I am here.

And the changes I want to make are quite simple.  I want to love more, pray more, serve more, give more.  I want to walk with Jesus, pressing in close to His side, learning His ways.  I don’t want to squander all of these new days He’s given me.

noramommy

 

And now, because I know you are a praying people, would you join me in some special and persistent prayers for two of God’s beloved ones?

1.  My friend Laura is going for a PET scan on Friday.  Laura has been receiving chemo for quite a while now.  She is doing this while being a busy mom to two little ones.  She has her own Nora and Jacob too and she is an amazing person.   Chemo is slowing her down though and she is ready to be done and begin the first day of the rest of her life.  Will you pray that her cancer is gone for good?

2.  My little cousin Makayla is thirteen and she is struggling deeply with anorexia.  Will you pray that she will be delivered from this?  Will you pray that she would know the truths of God and how He loves her?   I want to see her thrive and begin the first day of the rest of her life.  I want to see her live with a free heart and a healthy body.

Thank you, beloved ones.

More Gifts, More Gratitude

November continues and I continue the work of gratitude.  Gratitude when I’m grumpy, gratitude when I’m frustrated, gratitude when I’m exhausted…it comes easy when joy flows and happiness is all around.  It’s work all the other times.  But almost more precious.  Those little gifts are God saying, “I am here.  I will not forget you.”

So here are three more.

November 3

I am rich in family.  Not just John and the kids, but my extended family and his.  My parents, my sister and brother in law, my nieces and nephew.  My cousins, my aunts and uncles.  The grandparents I was able to know and the ones I wasn’t.  My special Paw whose loss I still feel.  John’s family, people I would choose to know if they weren’t related to us.  They are like the dream in laws.  We are rich in family.  Here’s a picture of just one part of my family.  

November 4

I’m grateful for my church, Waters Edge Church.  It’s the place we landed after leaving the church my children and I had gone to since Chase was not quite two.  I will always be grateful, grateful, grateful for my years at Hope Community Church and I could write a 2000 word post about all that place was to me and how much I loved it. I left with nothing but love for Hope…it was just time.  But November 4 is for Waters Edge and I’ll tell you why.
1. Waters Edge is committed to excellence. There are the components and only three- Sunday worship, community groups and volunteering. Each component is done well and thoroughly and each one is a pleasure to participate in. I love the worship service, I love my community group and I love volunteering. I do my service in the children’s ministry. My little girls love their classes and that makes me happy. All of us, except Chase serve in in Kid Kraze or Wee World. (Chase is a greeter.) It’s wonderful to go, plug in, serve the Lord out of our giftings and then go to another service time for worship.
2. Waters Edge wants to change the way the peninsula views church. I love this concept. Jesus said he came to seek and save the lost. We are commanded to love one another. Waters Edge is fixed on these two things. Salvation and love. What more is there? What could be more important? When I hear the stories of salvation, when I see the baptisms, when I watch the church grow…I am reminded that you will know a tree by its fruit. I’m happy to be a part of it. Just yesterday, Waters Edge’s third campus was opened and 1100 people attended. I think that’s amazing.

November 5

This one may seem crazy at first but bear with me.
I am infinitely grateful for hard times.  I know, I know, what person in their right mind would be glad to endure hard things…but I am.  Because every time I go through the Big Life Stuff and every time my table collapses and I have to rebuild….God and I hash things out.  And every time, I come away changed.  I come away refined.  And yes, I’d rather it be rainbows and sunshine all the time…but that’s not the reality of life.  I am so glad that God is faithful to use these hard things to purify me and to make me better.

He really does work all things together for our good.

I’ve learned a lot about me and even more about Him as I’ve navigated tough waters.  I’m grateful for that, because I want to be better.  I want to do better, I want to be a better witness for Him.

Listen to the whole thing:

Waiting on the Lord

Sometimes, it feels like the Lord is taking a long time to come to my rescue.

The night before last, I lay awake in my bed listening to the winds of Hurricane Sandy howl and throw acorns at my window.  I couldn’t stop thinking about waters rising, trees falling, winds blowing.  I think I got about two hours of sleep that night.

God and I have some of our best talks on those nights when I don’t sleep and 10pm to 7am pass by with me awake and exhausted.  I’m at my most vulnerable then, because I’m tired and frustrated and weak.  The ground of my heart is soft and fertile and ready because I’m not defensive or busy or anything less than desperate.

We fared Sandy pretty well.  Our loved ones did too.  Water came close but did not flood, trees fell but not on anything of worth.  Now we pray for the parts of the coast that have been so much more profoundly affected.

There’s a particular thing we’ve been asking (or some might say, nagging) the Lord about and sometimes I wonder what He’s waiting for.  Doesn’t it seem sometimes like God waits until the very last moment to save the day?  Things get worse and worse or harder and harder and just when you feel so stretched and so maxed out and like you can’t take it anymore…well, then you’re stretched a little bit further…and that’s when He does a miracle.

I’m waiting expectantly for our miracle, because I know that God will come through.

No one who waits on the Lord will ever be put to shame.

We wait and we trust.

And in this waiting and trusting process, I was remembering a me from a year ago.  A me who would’ve been panicking.  A me who would have flung wide the front door and called loudly for Poor Me and Discouragement.  A me who would’ve been shaken her fist at God and demanded to know just what in the world He was trying to do.

I’m different now, because I’ve invited Him to purify me and make me better.  I still get discouraged, I still feel sorry for myself sometimes.  I still struggle to stand on faith.  But that’s because I’m a real person, living on earth and it’s a process.  Today, I’m choosing thankfulness in the face of financial strain.  Today, I’m choosing thankfulness while figuring out how to navigate gestational diabetes.  Today, I’m choosing thankfulness even though the driver’s seat of my car is really wet after all that rain.  (The roof leaks.)

And I’m not ashamed to say that we’re in an uncertain time in our finances.  That we’re not sure what steps to take or where to go next or what to do.  I’ll be the first to say that our finances have faced attack after some decisions that we made to serve the Lord’s kingdom.  I know it isn’t “done” to talk about money, it’s not politically correct or even polite, but it is real.  I’ll bet many, if not most, of my readers can understand money trouble.

John often says that when the money troubles loom, he thinks about Nora and how God rescued her.  He saved her little life and has caused her to flourish.  He says that our financial problems seem awfully small in comparison to those miracles.

Thankful.  He’s thankful for the daughter that is still growing, that has beaten odds and that is preparing for  her life on earth.

We’re thankful for our home.  For our family, for every one of these crazy kids.  We’re thankful for the laughter that fills this house, for the puns that flow endless around our dinner table, for the prayers of two very little girls who already know that God hears them.  We’re thankful for our silly dog who lets Claire pull on her face and on her ears with tail wagging.  We’re thankful for the shoes that line the stairs, for toys that are hazards in the floor because they are a sign of happy, healthy children.

We’re a thankful people here in this house.

These momentary light afflictions are just that…and they are producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond compare.

God can.  God will.

He just might not do it as quickly as I’d like him to.

A Filter of Grace

Twenty one weeks today and that means more than halfway done but not yet to viability.

And while I know that things are better and that Nora’s chances are much, much, much higher than they were before, I still sometimes feel afraid.  A cramp here, a twinge there, a moment of spotting can send me into a panic.

Between those stressors and other stressors and just the physical strain of pregnancy at the door of forty…sometimes I have to fight to keep depression out.  Sometimes though, God gives me a little, “Hey, pay attention!” and things like this happen and I just have to laugh…just as often.

It comes down to this:  What am I looking for?  Things to be sad, angry, hurt, disappointed or irritated by?  Or am I looking for the gifts- gifts in a laughing almost two year old as she steals my coffee.  Gifts in a five year old bounding off of the school bus and saying, “That day flew by!”  Gifts in growing up girls who are brimming with life and zeal and enthusiasm, in love with God and life and their friends.

There is so much good.

And I was thinking about my friend Jen who was with her son at CHKD this week and how she finds the beauty and grace in every day.  How she finds the beauty and grace in her suffering, in her son’s suffering.  How she just knows that God is holding her and her family.  She wakes up each day, clothed with strength and dignity, she goes looking for those new mercies every morning and even though it’s sometimes hard…she refuses to believe that God is anything less than good.

She’s not afraid to say that life is sometimes so hard but God is always so good. She’s not afraid to say that no matter what, when He gives or takes away, HE IS GOOD.  And some days, I think Jen must have to look pretty hard because her day is filled with caring for a little boy who suffers.  And he was once a little boy filled with boundless energy who was into everything and brimming with personality.  (He is still brimming with personality, but he’s different now.)  I think she must have to really seek the Lord, His presence and His gifts but because she seeks them…she finds them.

She does not view her life through a filter of grief, but a filter of grace.   I love her.  I love Silas.  They are world changers.

I want to change my filter.  Not a filter of fear and worry, but a filter of grace.

If you want to learn more about Silas and Jen, please go to Caring Bridge and type in Silas Cameron.

A Glorious Circle

The thing about asking the Lord for help is that help will come.

He sends help in all kinds of ways.  Hugs from tiny, sticky arms.  Unexpected chores done by almost grown daughters.  The gifts of company and coffee from a friend.  A hard working husband who comes home from work and does more than half of dinner prep, kid wrangling and the bedtime routine.  A cozy nap during a big rain. After school chats with people I love.  Blog comments and emails from dear ones who speak love and encouragement and yes, I get it.  I understand.  Scripture read on the Facebook walls of faithful women.

Psalm 50:14-15
Offer to God thanksgiving,
And pay your vows to the Most High.
Call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.

I think these two verses must become the theme of my life in this season.  Give Him thanks, He deserves it.  Call upon Him in any kind of trouble and He will be faithful to come.  And then you give Him thanks again.  What a glorious circle to dwell in.

Today, I began the day with thankfulness.  I began the day with the right focus.

Still, pray.  Pray for healing for me.  Pray for health and wholeness for Nora and a safe, timely delivery.  Still pray that anxiety doesn’t win, that Discouragement doesn’t sneak in my back door…because she is always there…sometimes knocking and sometimes just lurking.  I don’t want her to win.  I don’t want her to come in.  I want to be found faithful…and I want to be caught in a circle of thankfulness and praise.

Peace in Surrender

It’s still a daily battle…combatting negativity.

But it’s a worthwhile one.

This week, there have been quite a few ups and downs.  They’ve been extreme.  But I’m determined to practice thankfulness, peace, acceptance, trust.  I’m determined to reject pessimism, negativity, self pity.

I think I thought that assuming the worst meant I wouldn’t be disappointed but it really poisoned all.  When the good did happen, I waited for it to be taken away.  I expected it to go wrong at the last moment.  My life was colored by gloom and doom and assuming the worst and it didn’t stop the worst from coming.

I have had three miscarriages in my two decades long career of baby making.  You always ask yourself…was there something I could’ve done differently?  Could I have prepared better?  Why did I ever expect it to be okay?  With the last one, my doctor said, “Early miscarriages are one of those things.  If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen.”

And isn’t that life?  Rain is going to fall.  Sometimes a lot of rain is going to fall.  Sun is going to shine.  Sometimes a lot of sun is going to shine.  And we must count it all joy, even the most awful rains.  We must because through it all, God guides and is present and He uses all circumstances to our good.

Learning to release negativity, control, self pity…it has changed my day to day life.  And it’s being tested just now but I feel an incredible peace.  That’s not to say that I’m naive about the possibility of an outcome I don’t want.  It’s not to say that I just know my magic genie god will come and save the day and give me exactly what I’ve ordered.  It just means that I trust Him to do what is needed. I trust His plan first and foremost.  I can rest, because I’m not in control. Really, I’m not qualified to make the plan.  I can’t see the end of the story the way that He can.

I can have peace, because I’m not in control.  I’ve given the reins to Him.  I’m letting Him drive.  And there is such freedom in releasing control, in surrender.  Freedom in knowing that by being pliable…He can do what He needs to do.  Because I’m not fighting Him, He can do some amazing things with me.

And did you know?  When we think we’re in control?  We’re not really.  Who are we to try and control things?  To try and orchestrate change.

I have never, ever regretted a choice to be positive in the face of trouble.  I’ve never regretted the choice to not respond in anger.  I’ve never regretted a choice to be thankful and look for the silver lining instead of wallowing in my poor circumstances.  I’ve never regretted a choice to not judge.  I fail regularly…I do choose negativity sometimes, I do snap back, I do wallow, I do judge….and that’s where I have regrets.

No one ever says, “I’m really sorry I spent time yesterday listing things I’m thankful for.”  Because it’s time and resource well spent.

And the thing that I’m trying poorly to say this morning is that the practice of positivity, of thankfulness changes your regular day to day.  When you choose it.

Thankfulness, Obedience, Faith and Positivity are excellent defenses against Discouragement and her friend.

Just try it.  Just start the Joy Dare.  Read it about it at 1000 Gifts.  Give it a week.

If you have already begun…tell me how it’s impacted you!

Today I am thankful for:
*My blooming hydrangea bush
*The crazy things Claire says
*having gone to bed at 10:30 instead of midnight
*My morning coffee
*all of my readers

Weekend Update

On Friday, my Lila graduated from preschool.


On Saturday, we had dinner with some friends and I don’t have a picture but it was the highlight of the month of May. We laughed and ate amazing food and just had the best time!

On Sunday, we celebrated Kristin’s upcoming wedding!

And then it was Memorial Day!  We went to Mom and Dad’s and had so much fun being outside!  Kids in the creek, kids in the wading pool, crabbing, tubing, playing corn hole, laughing, eating so many good things!  The weather was beautiful and everyone had fun.  It was excellent.

And then last night, I finally sat down to jot some things into my thankfulness journal, because I hadn’t had the time all weekend.  After finally finding a pen, I wrote and wrote and wrote…filled three pages full of good, good things.

Good gifts.

And one of the things I love the most is being able to go back and see them again.  To remember his goodness and his mercy.  It seemed fitting to think of it this way, at the tail end of Memorial Day which is all about remembering those who have given all.

Jesus has given all.  I remember His love and His mercy.  And in my little book are more than five hundred good gifts.

This little book is my monument, my Ebeneezer to the goodness of God.

This is a short post today…I’m so tired from our whirlwind weekend that I just don’t have many words to share.  But I want to ask you:

What are you thankful for from this past weekend?

Mother’s Day Resolutions

Well, of course I am going to blog about Mother’s Day.

Mine was beautiful!  Saturday, I went to a luncheon with three of my girls- Deanna, Aubrey and Lila.  Sunday, I awoke to a clean house (thanks, girls!), cards, flowers and the sweetest, most beautiful letters I’ve ever read.  I’ve got a locket coming to me that’s full of beautiful birthstones of my wonderful loves.  It was all good and my cup ran over and over and over.

I smiled as I counted my sweet blessings, as I wrote down the things I was thankful for this Mother’s Day weekend.

349. Looking at old scrapbooks with the girls
350. Chase’s funny card
351. The letters from Julia and Aubrey
352. The luncheon at the Circuit
360. Perfect Mother’s Day weather
362. Burgers on the grill
363. Kids running and playing in the same yard I ran and played in as a child

I thought about how blessed I am to have such a great extended family, to be able to spend time with them…laughing and chasing kids and eating all sorts of good things…I thought about how blessed I am.  How good my life is, how full of good gifts it is.  How wonderful my children are.

I decided that instead of New Year’s Resolutions…I would make Mother’s Day Resolutions.  Because I always want to be learning how to love them better.  So here goes:
1. I will give them my full attention when they need it. I will put down my iPhone, my laptop, my crocheting, my book, my whatever and give them both eyes, both ears, my whole heart and my whole mind.  I will not think to myself or say aloud, “But I need to get my blog written…” or “I need to edit these pictures” or “But I’m on Facebook…” when they climb into my lap.
2. We will hurry less. Less “Hurry up! We’re late!” and less “Get your shoes on already!” and less “Are you coming or not?!” and more setting everyone up to succeed in getting out the door sooner. Maybe we’ll go a little bit less and maybe we’ll build in a bit more time to get ready…but I want to hurry less.  I definitely want to fuss about running late less.
3. I will stop and thank the Lord for the moments we spend together. I won’t try and rush through…I will be glad to read “If You Give a Moose a Muffin” for the twentieth time. And I will be glad to play peek-a-boo all the live-long day. And I will listen to that story about Minecraft or about Kombucha or about the Korean community or about play practice and I will really hear them. I will. Because these are my most cherished people and I want to treat them as such.  The people I live with are interesting and bright and lovely…I will listen fully.
4. I will thank the Lord every day for them. There are a lot of women with empty arms who would trade places with those of us who complain that it’s so hard and so much work. There are a lot of women who long for even one child and there are a lot of women who long for health and wholeness for their children. How can we stop thanking Him for these gifts?  I know it’s hard some days.  Yes, I know.  But I also know its a gift every day.
5. I will keep perspective. I will fix my eyes on the One who gave me these precious people and I will bear in mind that it literally zips by. My first Mother’s Day was in 1993, when Julia was nine months old and now she is on the verge of twenty. It flew. I mean it. It really did.  I will keep perspective and give the job it’s due.  This is a privilege.  Mothering them…it’s a privilege.
6. I will NOT be a part of the Mommy wars. I will not compare my mothering to any other mother’s, nor will I compare hers to mine. I will encourage moms to be the best they can be and I will encourage them by pointing out their successes and the wonders of their young. I will encourage moms to love well, to be present, to be consistent and to appreciate their little people. I will enourage moms to say thank you. I will acknowledge and validate those days that are not our favorite, but I will encourage more. We are our own worst enemies, women…we go after each other with our claws exposed every time someone’s choice is different than our own. But there are very few things in the world of childrearing that are black and white and for which there is only one good answer. We must encourage each other.

What we’re doing, Moms…It’s important.

What are your Mother’s Day resolutions?