21 August 2012

the turning

This summer has been a tough one.  I've wrestled with putting pen to paper and listing out every hard thing - from the little to the big. I wondered if I saw just how many "various trials" there were that somehow I could find balance in the heaviness I still carry.

But I don't think that is the answer.  Seeing it all in black and white.

No, I want to see it through the lens of His grace.  The grace that carries, chases, and holds close.  The grace that says you don't have to try-hard or strive more or dig deeper.  The grace that says let the peace of Christ rule in your heart.

Yes, I want to remember the summer of 2012 as a milestone of God's amazing grace in my life.

I re-read Grace for the Good Girl slow with some awesome women {good girls, really}.  I am reading Grace-Based Parenting.  And its grace upon grace upon grace in my life.  As the big boys start school and challenges continue to pile up - with a quick trip to MI, and an important long-awaited-court-decision pushed back two weeks, and a potential "permanent profile" for Brad.

I sense that the hardness of the summer is lingering.  And its still heavy.  I plead to let peace rule.  As often as it takes.  Behind the steering wheel, in the shower through tears, after disappointments resurface.  And His grace finds me.

There have been a handful of out-of-the-blue-THIS-is-THE-life-moments in my life.  Times when it almost feels like a picture was taken and a caption was written "You are exactly where you are supposed to be right this very moment."  

I'm not talking about a wedding day, or a baby's birth, or a redeployment ceremony, or even that sweet moment when your grandparents meet their great-grandchild.  No, I'm not referring to the obvious "I ADORE THIS WONDERFUL LIFE" moments ... I have so many of those.  And they are certainly part of my stored up treasures that I revisit during hard times.

However, every once in awhile when everything isn't right, when there hasn't been a conclusion, when relationships still hang tense...Grace finds me and gives me that out-of-the-blue-THIS-is-THE-life-moment anyway.  I have a pretty crappy memory, but these moments I can recall perfectly.  I remember that moment driving down the mountain from Julian to Oceanside with my window down, and jammed onto a smelly bus with my knees alternated between Gambian knees, and after driving through the gate between open fields and Wilson's school while Brad was deployed - these vivid, etched-in-my-brain moments of God whispering, "Child you are exactly where I want you to be right this very moment - and I know its hard even still, but believe me I am with you."

This weekend as 5 out of 6 of us battle a cold and we head into Brad's crazy week... God gave me that moment.  I'll add it to my treasury.

It was late Saturday - late for us is after 10pm these days.  All of our boys were in bed.  Brad was prepping the coffee for Sunday morning.  I walked up the stairs, and turned the corner just past the loud creak, and I paused - deciding whether or not to hide and scare Brad when he came up the stairs {because we are very mature around here}.

And Grace found me.  And peace rushed over me.  And I knew in that moment that we are exactly where we are supposed to be.  As I stood in the glow of the nightlight, I breathed that deep breath of joy. And smiled wide  And decided not to scare Brad this time.

I turned the corner.  Peace rules.  Grace wins.  Always.

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful."  

Colossians 3:15

This post "When you are finding it hard to keep up {Chased by Grace}" by Ann Voskamp speaks of this Grace in a much more beautiful way than I ever could.

16 August 2012

so we won't ever forget

I made some artwork as a reminder of our little-sesame-seed-size-baby and our God's faithfulness in the middle of heartbreak.  We considered buying some artwork, but I couldn't find any that fit my font-criteria & was budget-friendly.  So, I used some old fabric to wrap the mat board and Microsoft publisher for the rest.  And a cheapo frame from Micheal's.  I love it, not too girly, not too boyish... just perfect in my opinion.  The verse really was an anchor for me.  Even while I was in the ER that long Saturday, there was a song in my head that references this verse - "On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand".

I had considered some sort of artwork with a sesame seed, because this little itty-bitty baby will always be connected to that for me.  When I went to the due-date calculator, the little write-up about "Your Baby at Five Weeks" said it was the size of a sesame seed. So tiny, yet life-changing all at the same time.

I'm not sure if you can get the jpeg from here or not, but if you want it and this doesn't work, just let me know ;)

03 August 2012

eighteen months

Today is your half-birthday. We aren't really half-birthday-celebrators. But, we are still making up a little bit for those days before you were home. So momma dressed you in your cutie-rompers-that-are-almost-too-small and drew on the sidewalk with chalk. Because I am marking this day in my memory bank, babies!
Neither of you are really all that impressed with photo-shoots. You were interested in the chalk a bit. And while a photo of both of you looking at the camera at the same time was a little too much, I did manage a couple of cute shots of both of you together.
And a couple cute shots of each of you on your own.  

You are such a cheeser when you want to be, sweet boy!  You are ready for whatever the day brings you, as long as there are snacks and some outside-play-time.

I can barely take your adorableness at times.  Yes, I am your momma, and adorableness is totally an acceptable way to describe you.
And you, little man, with your fake-surprise-face.  Oh, let me always remember it.
You would really rather be on the go than sitting still.  And I get that.  You are healthy, and inquisitive, and all the things an 18-month old baby should be.  I can still call you 'baby', right?
This might be my favorite, because it captures the fact that you both would rather look anywhere than at the silly camera. 
And one more of you with your lovies. 
You are 18 months old today.  You giggle with glee at your brothers.  You love the big, white dog.  You will eat almost anything you are offered, unless of course, it is a vegetable.  Recently, you've both determined that jumping in your cribs as high and as hard as you possibly can is THE. GREATEST. THING. EVER.  You both are gathering more words in your vocabulary on a daily basis.  

We love you dearly, babies.  More than your little-18-month-old-brains can possibly comprehend.  

We have a few more steps in this process until we all have matching last names.  We are praying that God will allow each step to happen just the way it needs to, and I am asking Him to hold my momma-heart-close as we wait for that finalization day.  I trust His timing, and I believe His word.  You are safely secured in our hearts.  The rest is just paperwork. 

"I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His Word I put my hope."
Psalm 130:5

p.s. Grandparents -  if you click on a picture, they should open in a bigger screen so you can take in the cuteness more easily.