Friday, May 23, 2014

Summer Prayer

Summer is coming. Two school days left and then everyone is home. All the time. And, I love my kids. But, honestly, I've really enjoyed the freedom having only one at home this school year has brought into my life. I can run errands and actually accomplish them. I can sit and play a game with just one. I am sometimes all alone, in the quiet, to finish a chore. And when I think of the change, I feel a bit overwhelmed. Because most days, I'm pretty sure God chose the wrong woman to do this life of mothering these five. Because too often I major on the minors and fail to accomplish what matters most. So as I look to the start of summer, I am mostly excited for the change of pace, for the extra time with these precious gifts, but I am also apprehensive that I will fail to be what matters most to them. I trust God to fill in the cracks when I fail, as I know I will, but my prayer for the summer comes from the following song that is currently on the radio. 

Let Them See You in Me  JJ Weeks Band

Take away the melody.  Take away the songs I sing
Take away all the lights and all the songs You let me write
Does the man I am today, say the words you need to say

Let them see You in me. Let them hear You when I speak
Let them feel You when I sing
Let them see You, let them see You in me

Who am I with out Your grace, another smile another face
Another breath a grain of sand, passing quickly through Your hand
I give my life an offering. Take it all. Take everything.

With every breath I breathe, I sing a simple melody 
But I pray they'll hear more than a song
In me, in me

And my own version:

Take away the laundery, take away the meals I make
Take away all the chores and all the toys I must pick up
Does the mom I am today say the words You need to say

Let them see You in me let them hear You when I speak
Let them feel You when I work
Let them see You, let them see You in me

Who am I without Your grace, a normal mom, a harried face
Another sigh, a wisp of smile, passing quickly through each day
I give my life as mom to them, take it all, take everything

With every breath I breathe, let me sing a song of joy to You
And I pray they'll hear more than a song
In me, in me

Let them see You in me. Let them hear You when I speak
Let them feel You when I work.
Let them see You. . .let them see You in me. 

Lord, hear my prayer and may it be. Because them knowing You, Lord. ..Loving You is all that matters.

Happy Birthday Lucas

Happy 4th Birthday Lucas!
 You have changed so much this year! I love to see you start to engage other people and watch your confidence grow in participating in new situations.

Some of the things I want to remember about you during this past year:

  • You are constantly playing with my hair and giving me hugs
  • You seem to need a quick snuggle with me right when you see the kids coming home from school
  • You say, "Weellll. . ."  and "Probably. . ." to introduce your thoughts and responses to questions
  • You love to jump on the trampoline
  • You like to pray "list" prayers, such as "thank you God for doors, windows, food, superheros, the whole wide world. . .
  • You love to sing with me when we read Bible stories
  • You can play Candyland a million times in a row! And we do!
  • Your favorite food is chips and you mostly want pb sandwiches for lunch
  • You love anything to do with superheros, hotwheel cars and motorcycles.
  • You love going to Grandma Clark's house to play while I have Bible study (and she loves having you!)
  • You can often be found playing with a ball with Simeon, who thinks you are pretty good!
  • You let Evelyn chatter your ear off and seem to enjoy it.
  • You love to collect the eggs.
  • You give the best hugs and always want one right away in the morning and right before bed!

  • Your personality has really come alive this year and you are constantly making me laugh by what you say or the expression on your face. A few of my favorite stories from this year:
    1. We were about to go into a store and I was reminding you that you needed to stay by me and not run around in the store. You stared back at me and nonchalantly said, "That doesn't make any sense to me."
    2. One morning you needed a bath but didn't want to take one. So, I gave you two options - hop in and I'd wash you right up, or stay in the bath and play a while. You responded, "Those are two bad choices."
    3. I needed to finish up a little bit of work, but told you I would play Candyland when I was done. I finished and told you I was ready and thanked you for waiting patiently for me. Very seriously, you said, "It was nothing."
    I am so very thankful that God gave you to our family and feel very priviledged to be your mom. Happy Birthday Lucas! I love you so much!

    Monday, April 14, 2014

    Happy Birthday Josiah

    Happy Birthday Josiah! How is it possible that you are now 11 years old?! I can still remember driving home from Sioux Falls with you in the backseat. We got about 20 minutes from home and you started crying. I remember my gut turning and thinking, oh boy, here we go! I still get that feeling sometimes as we jump into something new with you and I try to figure my way as we go.

    I asked you on your birthday what were some of your favorite things from this year. Your response was so indicative of who you are. You mentioned cleaning up concrete and metal on the acreage and building the garage. You really continue to love to do work outside and are such a help to your dad.  You are thrilled that your dad lets you drive the pickup around the place, and though my heart quickens watching you, you do a very careful job of it.

    Being on the acreage has given you an opportunity to work with animals and you seem to relish that added responsiblity. Most every morning, you check in on the food and water for Lily without being asked. When Lily broke her leg this spring, you checked in on her every night and morning and took the job of giving her meds, again without much for reminders. It's also been very interesting to watch you with the addition of chickens to our place. You always want to be the one to go get the eggs. You love to let them out in the morning and lock them in at night. And, very rarely do I have to ask you to do those things. You've also watched them and figured out their roosting pecking order. Another exciting opportunity for you this year has been helping our neighbor, Mr. Bonnema with his pigs. You've helped him just a few times when he has gotten a new load of piglets or had to move them around in the nursery. You didn't really complain about the smell, but were more fascinated by the process and learning about piglets. You also found it quite funny that you were required to strip in the mudroom before entering the house and still got a reaction of the smell when you came in! We hope that Mr. Bonnema will continue to use your help more and more and he has mentioned wanting to eventually train you in vaccinating pigs.

    One of the other things that continues to be true of who you are is that you love to learn. I am so thankful for that and you are a lot like your dad in that manner. Although you've struggled with neatness and organization this year, your teachers are very vocal about how much they enjoy having you because you are so excited to learn whatever you are studying. You often come home with a new tidbit to share with me. A few weeks ago, I had to teach counsel time during Awana in just a few minutes notice. I ended up reading a modern take on a parable and had a few questions at the end for the kids. As I was talking with the group, I was struck by your eyes -- you were so engaged and it felt like you were really pondering the question that I had asked. I pray that desire to learn and engage will continue in your life as it is so wonderful. And, like your dad, it helps you be able to engage with a wide variety of people in many different circumstances because you always have something to share that you are learning or are intent on learning from what others are saying.

    I love riding alone in the car with you because you always have something to say or ask. I love the grin you get on your face when you are trying to hide something when we are playing a game. I love playing piano with you while you practice cello. I love that you still want me to do things with you (although I can't always indulge in that). I am completely tired of legos all over your room and rubix cubes, but love the tenacity you show with them. Most of all, I love you, my firstborn son and pray that you will strive for the best that God has for you and follow Him wholeheartedly this coming year. Happy Birthday!