9.30.2014

God + My Children

I always anticipated my understanding of God's love would change (or maybe expand?) once I had kids. People are always saying things like "I didn't understand how much God loves me until I had a baby." And I do think that is true in a way. How I love Lincoln and Sophie is different than any other love I have experienced. I know I will love them no matter what their life choices end up being. But what I didn't anticipate when having children, is that I would learn more about God's love through the way my children love me, rather than how I love them.

So let me tell you what my children are teaching me about God.

My little boy is super tender. He is feisty and stubborn and a little bit crazy, but he is mostly just gentle-hearted. But on a particularly hard day, during a particularly hard week, I went to sleep with the weight of the world on my shoulders and woke up gloomy and dark. Danny left for school and I tried to get our usual routine going, except my tender little boy was not having it. 

No matter what I did the boy cried. Or whined. Or yelled. Or hit his sister. Or threw all the books off the shelf. Or dropped all his food on the floor. 

While I was cleaning up the kitchen floor covered in pasta bits, moist cheerios, and discarded lima beans, I heard a crash in the living room. The tender boy had climbed up on the couch, crawled his way over to the end table, crossed the arm of the couch and reached his little fingers far enough to knock my lamp over. The lamp that has been my only grown-up accessory I have refused to move from the living room (kind of as a statement of control). 

And I lost it. I just lost it.

I grabbed him by the arms and sat him on the floor and yelled "STOP!". 

My sweet, tender-hearted little boy paused. He went silent for a moment as he looked up at me and then the big tears started to pour down his cheeks as he cried. And then. And then what did he do? 

He reached for me. 

He reached for me to comfort him, for me to make him feel better, for me to make him feel loved. Even though it was me that scared him in the first place. And so I sat on the floor crying with my little boy, completely humbled by the love this tiny, little person has for me. 

My sweet boy cheered up and went on his way playing with his toys and left me on the hardwood floor thinking about God and my children. And about how they both see me the same way. They love me the same way. Unconditionally. 

They don't care how greasy my hair is or how dirty my floors are. And even when I fall short and even when I blame my struggles on them, they reach for me and love me anyway. And even on particularly bad days, in the midst of particularly bad weeks, they forgive me. Because even when I make mistakes and even when I'm undeserving, I am theirs. I belong to God and my children.

How grateful I am.



(This message from the General Women's Meeting last Saturday shares the same message I felt that day with Lincoln. Except President Uchtdorf is a bit more eloquent. I've been watching it on repeat.)







9.19.2014

{Ordinary Moments}

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”    ― Henry David Thoreau



On occasion, after long hard days, I read this quote and try to remember that I can live deeply and suck the marrow out of life through ordinary moments. It's the ordinary moments that make up my life full of frustration and family and joy. It's the ordinary moments that keep me grateful.


  


Grateful for husbands that gently wake you by putting fuzzy socks on your feet because the hardwood floor is just too cold early in the morning.


For best friends who make the world's best zucchini bread. 

         

For a front stoop that makes me smile after every afternoon walk, and for fall mums that smile back.


For gifted plum jam that makes a husband want to make pancakes at midnight. 



And for reminders that you never know what those ordinary moments might bring.

9.06.2014

Tomato Soup for the Soul


This morning I was up early canning tomato soup. My girlfriends were running late, the babes were playing with dad in the room next door, and James Taylor was keeping me company in the kitchen. It was a sweet moment of solitude and I felt so much joy.

The kitchen windows were open, sucking out the humid air and replacing it with crisp air that whispered of autumn. A sweet aroma of fresh tomatoes and peppers filled the kitchen and the fading green of the tree leaves just outside the window made me smile. 

The work of straining soup is repetitive in an exhausting way; in the best way. It allows my hands to focus and my mind to wander. Ladle, crank, ladle, crank. Tomato soup smells like home. I think of my mother piling a plate with grilled cheese sandwiches, tiny hands empty it as fast as it grows. Of cold cheeks and fingers warmed after long, cold days on a snowy campus. Ladle, crank, ladle, crank. Of a sick husband sipping soup from a mug because there wasn't a dishwasher in our first apartment and he always did the dishes. Of now-grown siblings thieving jars from my mother's basement food storage. Ladle, crank, Ladle, crank.

And now this moment. A memory I will keep close to my heart. Of my little family's first real house, the house I raised my sweet twins in, the house I found myself again in, the house I became a mother in. 

A house filled with the aroma of tomato soup, and at long last, smells like home. 

9.03.2014

A NYC Birthday Party











{Playing a little catch up for the next two weeks}

My sweet little babes turned one!! To celebrate we had a birthday party with our New York friends New York City style. It was such a fun morning and we felt so lucky to be surrounded by so many sweet friends. My bestie let us have the party at her house since she has the most magical backyard ever and we have no back yard at all. We also felt super blessed that Danny's parents visit from Saudi overlapped with the babes birthday!

We had a little craziness that weekend (you will see Lincoln's spots in the pictures) as both the littles the got hand, foot and mouth virus just days before their party. Luckily (if that is the right word...) as I called the moms to let them know, everyone slowly put together that all their kids had it too. So we had a big, virus infected, party that was so much more fun than staying home alone in quarantine! 










    





^^^ Poor little spots all over!


^^^Linc only liked touching his cake for about 30 seconds and then cried his eyes out to be clean.




^^^ This little monster on the other hand, LOVED being a mess.



^^^ But the boy did love opening up presents :)




^^^ This is the best picture I got of them in their new little sailor outfits that I adore!

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