Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Dear Carter,
I'm fairly confident that through your entire life, no matter how old you get; you will never, ever grasp how many times you have made your mama cry. I am praying most of the tears are coming in a concentrated time during these couple of toddler years, but I'm certain more will come as you grow into a teenager too. And I'm just feeling so lost. I have no idea what to do with my hurt and discouragement over you, I never in a million years would have dreamed that a three year old could hurt my feelings so badly. And there seems to be no appropriate outlet for such pain, I can't try to make you understand how mean and personal your behavior feels to me and I don't want to go smear your precious little name to anyone who will listen and then be tainted in their perspective of you, and so I guess I will just write. Because you may be three and I may be a grown woman, but right now my emotions are so raw, my feelings are so hurt..I simply don't know what to do with them.
I love you so much Carter. It physically aches me, and yet your love is so fickle towards me. I know that should be expected of a toddler, but your fits feel so mean, so personal. I was so excited to spend some special time with you today while Macy went to preschool, possibly our last for awhile once these babies are born. And it started out so sweet and you were so tender with me, I was so glad for the gift of that moment. But I think it was just because you were getting 'treats' even though I let myself believe you were enjoying the time with me and my attention. The minute I had to draw any sort of line, make any sort of decision against your desires, you flipped your switch completely and fell right back into your defiance and angry faces at me. I have had to spank you two different times already today and you've just gone down for your nap! And in neither instance did I feel your complete softening toward me at the end, or a spirit of true repentance. I'm baffled at how hard you become as you look at me and laugh at my attempts to talk with you before and after your consequences. I'm shocked at how you don't seem to care at all that there remains a rift between us, if I can't get you to see it and not want it there, then how do I talk to you about reconciliation and restoration? How do I get you to seek it? I don't know how to get through to you.
I know I am too emotional about all this. I know you are too young to fathom how you are actually affecting me and I know my perspective should be much more that your transgressions are against the Lord and not me and I should just be pointing you to see that. But I can't help how painful and personal it feels. And I just needed somewhere to cry.
Oh Jesus, give me wisdom, please help me teach and train my little boy, please capture his heart and soften it, call him to You as only you can, break his strong will, bring him under your authority and even at three, give him some sort of compassion for his mama. I need your strength and patience Father God. I need help.
In your name I pray.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Dear Macy,

Tonight I saw something very special in your heart and I wanted to write it down before it slips away with the rest of the crazy everyday life we live right now. Tonight I saw the simplest example of a most complex struggle that you and I and every other person seeking after Jesus will continue to struggle with all our lives. And you were so precious, it broke my heart and filled me with sweet joy all at the same time.

Oh goodness I love you so much.

Tonight as we were driving home and I was asking you about preschool, you accidentally slipped and revealed something that you didn't mean to. In your chattering you mentioned that you and Hannah K had found a beautiful jewel in the sandbox at school and you decided to take it home with you even though Mrs. Kirst had told you to leave the jewels in the sandbox. When I realized what you were telling me and started to question you further on it, you suddenly realized what you'd admitted and you got very quiet. When I kept asking questions you started to stammer, and finally said,

"Never mind Mommy, I don't want to talk about it"

I told you that this was a time I needed you to practice honesty and keep talking to me and telling me the truth and when I looked back at you, you had tears in your eyes and you asked if you were going to get a 'time out'. In that moment I decided it was most important that you learn you could always come to me and so I told you if you were truthful then you would not receive any consequences from me for the choice you made. I told you that sometimes after we realize we've made a wrong choice we have new choices, we can keep lying about it and making more wrong choices, or by telling the truth we have a chance to change that wrong choice and make a right one. And so we began to talk and you told me the whole truth about the jewel from the sandbox.

The teachers had put jewels in the sandbox for the kids to dig up and find, but Mrs. Kirst had told you to leave them there so lots of kids could find them, but you just thought they were so beautiful and your little heart coveted them to the point where you felt you needed one and therefore rules didn't apply. And so you took one home with you and it was now in your jewelery box.

We talked about how making that choice was thinking about yourself and what you wanted instead of what would be best for everyone. We talked about how making that choice to disobey Mrs. Kirst would make her sad and would make God sad. And as we talked Macy, your tiny face was so sad. I told you I was proud of you for telling me the truth and thanked you for talking to me honestly. And then, after a moment of silence, your little voice whispered from the backseat;

"But Mommy, what are we gonna DO with the jewel now?"

And I was SO glad you asked. I whispered a quick 'thanks' to the Lord for the chance to take this lesson further and for your soft and teachable heart. And then I asked you what YOU thought we should do with the jewel? What YOU thought God would want you to do with that jewel.

"Give it back."

I had to strain to hear your almost inaudible response, but you said the words none the less, even though it was so obviously hard for you to say. I told you you were a very smart girl and I thought you were absolutely right. And then your tears started to really fall. You cried "But Mommy, I love this jewel, it's so beautiful and I really want it." Oh sweetheart I could have cried right alongside of you, your emotions were so real. A jewel may seem small and dare I say, silly, to me as an adult. But I absolutely understand just how much a heart can want something, even when it knows it shouldn't have it. I know the awful, suffocating struggle between doing what you ought to vs. what you want to. And though the things may change, the struggle does not get any easier with age.

So we talked some more. About how choosing right is not always easy. About how it is actually really really hard. And then I told you what a great gift we have in Jesus, that He knows how hard it is to choose right when we don't want to; and how He promises to help us so we don't have to do it alone. I told you we'd pray everyday until your next preschool day and ask God to help us make this right choice, and I just knew that He would.

By this time we were home and you had stopped crying. You went straight to your room and got the jewel and handed it to me. And when you climbed into bed we prayed. At first you just wanted me to pray but I told you just how much God would like to hear from you about this; and so after I prayed, here are the words you whispered to Jesus;

"Dear Jesus, I just wanted to tell you that um, I'm sorry for making a wrong choice. Help me give it back to Mrs. Kirst. And Jesus, (you had started crying again by this point, the shame of admitting you were wrong and probably a little sadness from the re-realization that you would have to part with your beloved jewel creeping back in) ...would you please help me find a jewel that would be okay for me to have?"

There aren't many words to describe just how my heart flooded with love for you right then. I was so proud of you and the little journey you've already begun to take with Jesus. I kissed you and told you that the neat thing about telling Jesus that you're sorry for making wrong choices is that He promises when we say sorry that He will forgive us and that means that He doesn't even remember that wrong choice anymore! I wish I'd had a camera to capture how big your eyes got. You looked at me in disbelief and said, "You mean He forgets?!"

"Yes!" I said, "He promises He forgets completely about our wrong choice and is just so proud of us for now making the right choice."

This was clearly good news for you and I was so happy to see your heart lift before I kissed you goodnight and left you alone in bed with your thoughts. I saw such relief in your eyes, it was awesome to witness such a fresh first glimpse at the freedom and joy that comes with forgiveness.

It touched me and I will not soon forget it. So again, I just wanted to record it because my prayer is that later on, as you find yourself in more and more of these struggles; most likely even more heart wrenching than this little jewel (though I know that is hard to imagine) this story will help you to see the simplicity and truth in the battle and you will be encouraged to press on.

And I also pray that you will ALWAYS know me as a place of safety, someone you can invite to walk the journey with you. Someone who will pray with and for you when making the right choice is hard. Because I know, so well, sweet girl; that it will be. But even if you choose it through tears and whispers; I promise it will be worth it. Great is your reward in heaven; in fact God calls them jewels in your crown.

I love you so, so much.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sweet Little Ones

This is most likely the last couple hours I will ever not know what the complete dynamics of our family look like. I know I am over-dramatizing this, but it feels very final to me, and I am surprised by the nerves in my stomach, the anxiousness I feel.

So precious precious babies. I have to write you briefly one last time while you are still such open ended question marks to me. I know finding out what sex you are doesn't by any stretch of the imagination mean I will know WHO you are. But I do feel just a tad like knowing WHAT you are will all of the sudden determine so much for you already, before you are even here. It will also determine so much for Macy and Carter. And so I want to take a last minute to sit and enjoy the strange peace that comes with knowing ONLY that you are my children and I love you immensely. Boys, girls or otherwise.

I'm afraid once I know what you are, all sorts of worries will begin streaming in to my mind, because that is who you're mama is, a worrier. Oh, there will be all sorts of wonderful daydreams and excitement and fun plans that will simultaneously rush my mind as well, but I'd be naive to think I'll be able to keep from getting a bit stressed, regardless of what combination you two are, about how it's going to effect you two, your brother and sister and your mom and dad as well. My mind will race immediately with how to raise you the best, how to foster strong relationships with you and your siblings, thoughts of rooms and clothes and colors and names will all start swirling in a matter of hours.

So again, for this last minute... I'm enjoying the quietness of my mind that knows there's NOTHING I can plan or decide quite yet.

I LOVE you two, oh I love you so much already. It is such an unbelievable feeling, this illogical unconditional love thing. This immediate sense of protection and ownership that I feel for you, two lives I've never met, two faces Ive never seen, two genders I don't even know. But you are mine, and I am so so glad.

I love you.

Your Mama :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I failed today.

Well, I feel like I did at least, and it breaks my heart.

I am so tired, and down. I just feel very down. I feel discouraged at how many things I am trying to play catch up with teaching my children. I feel like I'm quickly losing control of all the things I've said I wanted to shape in them, the atmosphere I intended our home to exude. I am impatient and they are not responding.

Today was hard, well, lately most days have been hard and I, again, did not take the time to find the right ways and words to re-group and get the kids on track again. But what happened near the end of the day is what broke me.

I was disciplining Carter (as I had been most of the day). We were in his room on his chair and I was trying, yet again, to get through the defiance to the humbled version of my child that I can actually have a conversation with. Macy appeared in the hallway (I hadn't closed the door) and I automatically assumed she was hoping to enjoy the 'show' of her brother getting in trouble. I did not take time, I did not show kindness or patience. I told her she needed to go away.

A good while later after Carter and I were finished and I was busying myself cleaning something she came up to me in tears. They weren't the over-dramatic tears she sometimes sports, there wasn't a trace of attitude in her eyes, but there was true timidity. I could tell she wanted to say something to me but her voice was so low and quiet, I'm embarrassed to say I was tempted to be annoyed even then. Thankfully, I knelt down and asked her to use her words again to tell me why she was crying. And, without a trace of manipulation or copying something she'd heard somewhere else; these were the words my four year old said to me.

"I'm sad because I feel like I'm not special to you."

Well, there ya go, I'm crying again. As I have been most of today. I can't believe she was able to articulate her feelings like that. And I can't believe I have already allowed my sweet precious four year old to wonder if she is special to me. To question her significance or wonder her place. It's true I have been preoccupied with Carter, and she, well she doesn't require as much from me in the way of immediacy, but that doesn't mean she doesn't deserve my undivided attention, my focus.

I will say that I scooped my baby up right there and took her to the couch where I snuggled her and told her over and over how truly special she absolutely was to me. At least I did that. But I can't take away the hurt she felt, the little walls or tiny defenses she may have developed as a result of the dynamics in our home lately. And I know I am a worrier and over thinker, but I am so so afraid of how I will juggle the time between her needs, Carter's antics and the twins well, basic survival.

I know this post ends kind of on a down note. But that's truly how I feel these days. I've been pregnant twice before now so I know enough about myself to know I get low and discouraged during pregnancy and typically pull out of it with more energy and motivation down the road. But in the meantime I feel so helpless to 'snap out of it' and it clearly is effecting more than just me.

So today was not a good day. And I guess I just needed to process a bit, on the blog I'm pretty sure no one reads. It still helps to put it out there.

Friday, February 13, 2009

New Life

Dear Babies.

I don't know what to call you just yet, my heart kind of flips every time I say or write 'twins' and since I don't know if you are boys or girls or one of each yet, I guess I will just call you my babies. Because that is what you are. My third and fourth babies, and though I didn't expect you to both come at the same time, in my heart I always knew I'd want both third and fourth babies, so now I just get to enjoy you at the same time.

So, my sweet sweet babies. Guess what? I just found out about you! And it was through quite a rollercoaster at that. See I knew I was pregnant with you #3, but last Saturday night I woke up bleeding and thought for sure I had lost you. I was so heart broken. I cried for you and I cried for Macy and Carter who are so excited about you. And I cried for your Daddy and I because getting to have each of you is always such a shakey and unsure road for us, every single time we wonder if we will ever be blessed with another child; and so the thought of losing you hurt to the core as all the doubts and worries of our family never, ever including a third or fourth baby sunk deep down. And then the doctor came in to tell us that not only were you still okay and safely growing in my tummy, but you had a #4 in there to keep you company!

I'm going to tell you the truth. My heart did a whole lot of flipping over the next couple of days. Oh I am so elated you are both okay! I am so thankful to the Lord for protecting you and on one hand I can not keep the smile off my face. But I will admit that I am also a little scared. I am a worrier and there is so much to worry about when having twins. I worry that carrying you will be hard and that you won't be okay when you come out. I worry that I won't be able to focus on either one of you to teach you such important skills like sleeping and eating and you will both suffer for it. I wonder if I will be able to enjoy you enough before you are grown or if I will drown in the midst of the craziness that will be your infancy amongst Macy and Carter's initial brink of childhood; I'm afraid I'll miss it all just trying to stay alive. I worry I won't be good at this, I worry that I am already not the kind of mom I want to be to two children so how much more disappointed in myself will I feel letting down four of you? I worry about how this family dynamic will shape each of you, my four precious children that I feel so fiercely protective of and responsible for. All of it scares me; and like I said, I won't lie and say I haven't been crying my eyes out these past couple days in a mix of emotions (and pregnancy hormones).

Oh but can I also just tell you how I get these waves of dizzying excitement at the thought of meeting you two at the same time and introducing you to our already established little family? What an amazing addition you will be! What a thrilling experience to get to see our family jump from 4 to 6 in an instant and what incredible multiplication of joy that must undoubtedly mean for every family memory from that point on. Macy and Carter are already beside themselves with love for you. They are already plotting how they will each get to take care of one of you, each have one to hold and be 'kind to'. They are quite ready for the task of big brother and sister. And as for you two. It is a rare and lucky thing to grow up as a twin. Or so I've heard, I don't even get the pleasure of knowing it's specialness completely; but you two will. You two will get to experience that special bond, I will get to watch you two know and be known by each other in a way I will probably be jealous of. Oh but I will be so grateful. I will be so glad.

So I just wanted to write this first letter to you, to tell you I am still processing what all this means; but tiny little glimpses of our lives together are starting to flash in my mind's eye and I am simply thrilled beyond belief to meet two whole new people; two brand new lives, tied solely to me and Ryan yet unique and fascinating in every way; in just 7 more months.

Here we go :)