Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The best "Dear Daughter" letter I have read in a long time.

Read this blog post at Kim Keller's site and had to pass it along. I didn't "see" what Miley Cyrus did at the VMA's, but it must have been a doozy.

More striking to me is how much this mother's heart resounds with me. I still wish we had locked our daughter in a basement for about 6 years, but hind sight is 20/20, right? ;)If only I had know "twerking" might have solved all her issues! Bahahaha!
Honestly, I feel that I have the best daughter in the world. She amazes me every day with who she is. As she starts a new job, prepares for college and cares for her husband and child, I am soooo proud of all that she is, and all that God is doing in her life.

But as parents, I think we all have struggled with the "what do I do now?" moments. This post made me laugh... as well as pray harder for my girl as she raises her beautiful daughter, and my boys as they navigate this crazy world. May they be "shrewd as vipers, yet innocent as doves".

"Dear Daughter,
Let Miley Cyrus be a lesson to you.

Yes, this is what happens when you constantly hear everything you do is awesome. This is what happens when people fawn over your every Tweet and Instagram photo. This is what happens when no responsible adult has ever said the word “no,” made you change your clothes before leaving the house, or never spanked your butt for deliberate defiance.

If you ever even consider doing something like that, I promise you that I will run up and twerk so you will see how ridiculous twerking looks. I will duct tape your mouth shut so your tongue doesn’t hangout like an overheated hound dog. I will smack any male whom you decide to smash against his pelvis – after I first knock you on your butt for forgetting how a lady acts in public.

Why would I do that? Because I love you and I want you to respect yourself. Miley Cyrus is not edgy or cool or sexy. She’s a desperate girl screaming for attention: Notice me. Tell me I’m pretty. See how hot I am. I know all the guys want me. All the girls want to be me.

 You probably know girls who will emulate this behavior at the next school dance. Don’t do it with them. You are far too valuable to sell yourself so cheaply. Walk away. Let the boys gawk and know in your heart that they see only a body that can be used for their pleasure and then forgotten.

I’m sorry if you’ve ever felt sad because I haven’t gushed over everything you’ve done. My role is to praise when praise is due, but also to offer constructive criticism and correction when it is needed as well. I’m sorry if you’ve ever felt demoralized because your Instagram following isn’t in the thousands, and I’m sorry those “selfies” can never capture how amazingly beautiful you truly are.

I’m sorry if you’ve ever wished you had a friend instead of a mom, and I promise you that I will probably get worse when you hit high school.

 Dear daughter, I am going to fight or die trying to keep you from becoming like the Miley Cyruses of the world.

You can thank me later."
(Excerpt taking from http://roadkillgoldfish.com/ with all rights to Kimberly Keller)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Why Baby Bee has the moves she does...

Enough said.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

So THIS is what I have been missing...

(Best moving crew ever- and they accept their payment in Blind Onion Pizza!)
One week later, and I think I more fully understand why the Lord said "and that is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife.." I have spent this week rearranging my entire house, decorating my bird room, setting up a game room, and realizing that there are benefits to having your children grow up and move away.
(But don't leave the movers alone with the baby!!!)
Now, I have to admit I still spend at least a couple hours a day laying on my bed, staring at the ceiling and wondering what to do with my day. But it is a wonderful thing that my darling daughter and her husband's daily dramas and concerns are no longer rolling through my home. It is pretty peaceful to not have the hustle and bustle of newlyweds and babies right in the midst of dinner ever night.
(Bee was a great helper to her mother...sort of.)
I miss the spontaneous conversations and jokes that were part of being a family. I miss hearing my daughter laugh down the hall and walking into a room to my grandbaby's happy smile all the time. But there's so much more to be thankful for. Pushing them to move out all these months couldn't have brought more blessings. Because of family dynamics, Jasmine was never able to entertain her in-laws in our house no matter how much we wanted to, now she has had the opportunity to open up her own home and have Brielle's grandparents and even great-grands over to make wonderful memories. Spencer can come home from work and just relax, not having to share his girls with 3 other adults. I truly am so happy for my kiddos, and thankful for the way the Lord has abundantly met their needs.
(Big brother had to check out the new digs.)
I was talking with a friend the other day and it really helped me put all that has happened into perspective. She inspires me every time we meet, because she challenges me not to just stay comfortable in my little Christian bubble, but to really mean and know why I say the things I say. She's a new Christian, and as we talked about the natural hedonistic character of people, and how hard some days it is to be motivated to DO anything, much less be "joyful" about it; I commented that on the hardest days, I just remind myself that "God loves me, so that is enough". I absolutely loved her response. She said, "I don't mean to be rude, but so what? That doesn't motivate me at all on days when life just feels monotonous."
(I don't think I will ever be able to keep Jo from sneaking into Jazz's room to tell her stories! He started doing that before she could even talk, and obviously, some things never change.)
I love that she won't let me give her a pat little Sunday School answer! She wants to really KNOW why we choose to live and act the way we do. I explained that for me, thinking about God's love makes the day worth living. When I don't want to get out of bed because the tears have been streaming for hours and I can't think of one truly important thing I need to do, or when I am so lonely I can hardly stand it and just want to scream out loud- the knowledge that the Lord and Creator of the Universe specifically loves and cares about me gives me the courage to face the day. With all that He has done, all that God IS...my little issues and bad attitude suddenly become very small.

I think, "Life seriously sucks rotten eggs. There is not one good thing I can feel thankful for right now, Lord. But YOU love me, so there MUST be some reason I am still here. There is some good thing You are going to show me today that will make today, or tomorrow, or this week worth living for." And He has never failed. I get up, I do the routine of living, sometimes I just exist...and He still makes me smile, He shows me how to laugh and why today is a day to be thankful.
(Brielle loved showing Grampy her new home! <3>
I spent the rest of the week just reading through and remembering Psalm 78. Read it with me. It is such a testimony to the unfaithful brats we are, but what a mighty God we serve. With all the hard things we go through, whether because of our own mistakes or those of others, He never forgets us or forsakes us. We just need to pay attention. For today, "God loves me" is absolutely perfect.
(Oh, how I love these people. Lord, show them how to love like you do.)
"...we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done...so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands." Psalm 78:4b-7
(Another thing to be thankful for- more time in the garden! Seeing my passion flowers finally blooming was the only thing that got me to smile some mornings. Praise the Lord for creating things that take our breath away with their uniqueness.)

Friday, August 9, 2013

It feels like D- Day...and it shouldn't.

Today is the day. Ready or not, my daughter is moving into her first home without me. It shouldn't be so tragic.
(County Fair time!)
I walked around this evening looking at the weeds that haven't been pulled because I have been busy cuddling babies, the clutter that is all over as a result of 5 adults and an infant living in too small of quarters. I stared at my roses that need pruning and the inside of my fridge that will never be cluttered up with too many left overs again. I mulled over all the things I grumbled about over the last year because of my OCD tendencies, and realized how foolish I am.

(Gotta love these guys. Never a dull moment.)
From the minute my daughter got married, we have been pushing her out of the proverbial nest. And here it is, the official moving day...and my mother's heart can barely stand it. I kissed her good night tonight and promptly went to my bathroom to wash the floor with my tears. Never again will I tuck her into bed, kiss her goodnight regularly or be able to run to her aid when I hear her sick or hurting in the middle of the night. Oh, my heart.

 I don't have the words for how good this move is, or how hard. But my Heavenly Father does.

(Could this baby BE any cuter?)
As I have worked overtime for the last 6 months to make ends meet, been distracted with babies and birds and friends and activities, nothing truly could satisfy the longing in my heart. When I was to see 4 patients in a day and ended up with 8, it still wasn't busy enough. When the baby was crying, my girl was tired and the birds were calling for attention, it still wasn't enough.

Nothing has been able to fully bring peace to my heart like the words of David:
"Unless the Lord had given me help,
 I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
 your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.
When anxiety was great within me,
 your consolation brought me joy." Psalm 94:17-19

 The other day, as I was so worried and tired at living, my daughter brought me her Bible and said, "Look at this. I just love this." And she showed me this exact passage. I read it and the peace I was hungry for washed over me.
 Little did my beautiful, amazing grown up little girl know that I have been praying this passage for years.
 Little does she know the way her own personal journey with God blessed me so much that night. Little does she know that God used her desire to share what she was learning to remind her silly Mama that God is on His throne, and He is more than big enough to take care of it all.

(Watching the barrel racers fly around the arena! That's my girls!)
 I hope when you are weary and slipping, you allow God to "console" you with His words. There is truly nothing better.

So I am going to go lay down for a few hours before the dawn comes and I hit the ground running. As I hurry off to see a patient, pick up a U-Haul truck and say good bye to my dear baby girl, I am going to say in my heart, "Thank you, Lord, that when I feel like I am going to fall, your UNFAILING LOVE supported me."

 I am going to picture how tidy my garden will be, how free my evenings will feel, and I am going to imagine how clean and lovely my house will finally be again. There are truly benefits to seeing your children grow up. ;) 

Here's a short link my husband sent me the other day when I was feeling particularly low. No matter what, it is wonderful to remember WHO is working for you. God be with you, friend!