Thursday, August 26, 2010

Story of our life...

I wake up on Sunday morning and he's already in work clothes before I can manage to roll out of bed... and he asks me where I want the pooh bear pictures hung... the ones I bought for the room we'll use for foster care.  And he arranges them and I approve and he smiles and goes to work. 

And I go to the kitchen to make waffles and realize that most men his age are sleeping in and playing video games at this stage of their lives.  And he's home with his wife and his baby and the pooh bear pictures and he's smiling about it...

And we met when he was eightteen and that night that I walked in I barely noticed him and he knew he'd marry me.  And he remembers what I was wearing and said his favorite thing about me was my smile... and I've always loved to smile. 

And he wrote me and I wrote back and he asked if he could call... and from that very first phone call we have not gone one night without talking to each other.  And he's never forgotten to call.
And it only took me a few weeks to fall for him but I told him I wasn't sure about this love and it was so soon and he was so sure and I was the girl who'd spent the last few years of her life traveling because I couldn't stay in one place.  And I told him I wasn't sure and he said I didn't need to be...

And four months later, at nineteen, he was kneeling in front of me with a ring.


And I remember that night because I felt like I was going to faint.  And he's always been so sure of himself and I've always been the kite flying in the wind...

And six months later I walked down that isle feeling more beautiful than I'd ever felt in my entire life...

And he was sure and steady... eyes locked to mine.


And I was a basketfull of nerves... praying I wouldn't throw up... until my daddy gave him my hand and then I'd never been more sure of anything in my life.  And this love it was real and this man... he was my gift.

And that night while the snow fell we stood in the candlelight with friends and family all around... and we couldn't stop smiling... And that night people told us they felt Jesus in our love.  And that night we promised forever and better or worse and sickness and health.  And when his dad pronounced us man and wife I think I might have screamed a little.

And we drove off into a blizzard to catch our flight to Paradise and spent the next week walking the beach and collecting sea shells and soaking in the sun.  And we dangled our feet off the pier into the ocean while we dreamed of what was to come. 

And we spent the next nine months figuring out life and how to do it together and I dropped out of college because all I really wanted was to raise our babies and my heart was already with the babies who desperatly needed a mommy.  And he told me it didn't matter if it didn't make sense and if dancing with babies was God's call on my life then who was he to stop it?

And nine months into marriage I told him I thought I might be pregnant about 2 seconds before the stick turned pink.  And sometimes the unexpected is a far greater blessing than what you feel prepared for.  And in those next nine months I carried her and we got to see what the "worse" part of the vows really meant.

And he held my hand and prayed as we drove to the emergency room scared we'd lost her... and he came to the Dr.'s appointments to help me make sense of it all.  And he worked and went to school and came home exhausted and took care of me when I wasn't allowed to stand long enough to make a sandwich.  And he painted every room of this house and worked long long nights to make it a home.  And he repainted the nursery for me when it wasn't quite right and he went with me to look at 65 differen't types of baby bedding...

And he smiled.

And that day he brought her to me pink and screaming and I touched her for the first time all 4 Ibs 13 ounces of her... was the second moment I'd never been more sure of anything in my life.

And I layed in bed last night fingers laced through his... face to her face... as the words he said to me a few days ago kept rolling over and over in my mind...

"more and more this is becomming my dream for my life..."

And I love him more and more because he hangs the pooh bear pictures and writes sweet extras on my paperwork and the way he kisses Jayda's face makes me melt... and the way he holds my hand at night makes me come undone.  And his ability to see God move and make His dreams our dreams moves me... and his desire to love me well... shows.

And we didn't think it would all come this quick... the marriage and the love and the babies and the mountains of cheerios and the smell of her hair...  And I didn't know when I met him that his love would teach me more about Jesus than I ever could have imagined.

And we don't fight much because we can't... and please don't read this and think we're perfect... and please don't think our life is a little painted fairytale because it isn't (and if you need a reminder of that just read my last post)...  And we've had our battles with this life... and we've cried and we've hurt each other and we've had days we wanted to give up on each other.  But we simply need each other too much.  This life... the way we're living it... requires too much of us together... for us to be without each other. 

And these days I put eye drops in his eyes at night while he lays on my lap because his eyes are so swollen from lack of sleep... and he gets up and makes the bottle for me when I've been up much of the night.  And we laugh hysterically at 3am when she smiles and laughs and wants to play with us... and she has his mischevious smile... and my big wide take-in-the-world eyes. 

And her sweet fingers wrapped around mine make me stop dead in my tracks and worship for the miracle she is... and late in the night when there is baby pee in my bed and she's up and ready to play I remember how deeply I am going to miss this.

And he said it well the other night... "This is all you have ever wanted.... enjoy it..."  And he said it with the deepest sincerity.  And I Do... and I am... and I'm learning... and I have so much left to learn.  And you could write the alphabet in the dust on my furniture and you could make a tower from the cheerios on the floor and please don't mind the ring around the toilet or the shredded magazine you just found in your shoe. 

And he doesn't mind that I never make the bed or that smiling with her is more important to me than what's for dinner.  And I love the way he calls us his girls and can't wait to teach her all he knows.

And along with the paintings and foam hearts on my cupboards is this:

"Do ordinary things with extraordinary love..." -Mother Teresa

And maybe we never imagined that all this would come so soon when we layed there with our feet dangling in the ocean.  And maybe the moment I walked into that room and he knew he was going to marry me he had no idea the chaos I'd bring into his life... And maybe when I walked down that isle praying I wouldn't throw up I had no idea how much I'd love him or how much I'd need him.  And maybe the day the stick turned pink we never could have imagined how we'd fall madly in love the instant we saw her.  And maybe the things you don't imagine are the things that become your greatest dreams...

And maybe in the cheerios and the dust and the smell of your babies hair and the strength of your husband's hand is where you find out that all you never imagined for your life are all the things that have made your life. 

And sometimes... He's found in the small places of our lives...

The pooh bear pictures and the way he smiles at me.

The days like today where you dance nose to nose with a toddler because the dishes can wait and it really isn't the end of the world that your bed smells like baby pee.  The days like today where you spend an hour watching your daughter sleep because there is nothing that seems more important.

And God hears "Amen" wherever we are... and sometimes the way we live life is more worship than a song could ever be... and sometimes a mother's tears are more beautiful to him than any hallelujah.

And the pooh bear pictures are hung and the mountain of paperwork is in a folder on top of my fridge and I talked with the worker last week.  And there is a syrup handprint on my dining room wall and Jayda is sleeping and the ring around the toilet is waiting...And I'm sure the "we never could have imagined..." is only just beginning. 

And I guess all I really wanted to say is that sometimes the things you never thought would be your life become your life... and sometimes the things you never expected become the things that make it worth living.  And when the babies grow up and the husband grows old maybe you'll look back and you'll see... these were the best days of your entire life.

I know for certain they are mine.  These days, really are all I ever wanted for my life.  And sometimes it doesn't look how I thought it would.  And sometimes that's hard and sometimes it's my very favorite part of this entire thing.

And I guess the point of all of this was simply to say that those words on my kitchen cupboard are to remind me of that there is nothing too ordinary that it doesn't give Him glory.  And that the best moments are the ones when we embrace the dream that is unexpected.  Maybe I'll just write his name in the dust so I remember never to forget that. 

Amen.  :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

for all the mommies out there...

For all you mommies like me out there who ate chocolate chip cookies as a meal more than once this week (not because you're unhealthy but because it's what was available to eat with one hand) who haven't showered in 4 days... who could make a large sweater out of the amount of dog hair on your floor... who have literally been pooped on 4 different times today... who got less than three hours of sleep and are taking care of double that number in small people all day long... For the mommies out there whose washing machines run without ceasing and whose hands are raw from the endless pile of dishes...

For all of you who hear "why?" NO!" and "mmmmmmmiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnneeeeeeeee" much more than you hear "thank you"...  Whose bellies are altars to the fact that we've brought life into this world... and whose undereye circles are permanent...

To those of you who go without, shop at thift stores, clip coupons, and make lemonade from lemons...

For those of us who swore we'd never say "Because I said so!" and now find it a perfectly reasonable explanation... those of us who can't make simple decsisions because we're too busy watching Dora or smiling at babies... 

For those of you out there who, like me, have had a day that tops all days before it... a day so exhausting it brought you to tears... where little people ran wild and screaming went on for hours... a day where you felt so far beyond yourself you wondered if you'd survive... a day where you felt like no one saw the thousands of little things you did and a day where you felt like no one really understood just how hard it really was... A day where you felt unseen and inadequate...

To all of you, sweet mommies....

Although you may feel small, insignificant, and completely unseen.

He sees you.  And the ministry and the worship you do in diapers, baby rocking, dish doing, and people loving... is huge to Him.

He sees.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


We start the paperwork for foster care today.  I know... I know... we were going to start it weeks ago.

But then the thoughts started to swirl and the doubt creeped in and I started to wonder... Can I do this?  Can we do this?  Can we love that deeply and then have to let go without it destroying us?  Can we give them all of us, regaurdless of our fear that we will have to say goodbye?

But then I looked at her as I danced her to sleep the other night and I couldn't imagine what it would be like for her to be without us.  Who else would fight for her?  Who else knows her differen't cries and what they mean?  Who else knows her story like we do?  Who could love her like this...? Who else knows that she is shy to smile at people she doesn't recognize and needs her fuzzy blanket by her face to fall asleep?  I know the smell of her hair and her long little fingers... I know that the glitter on the butterflies in her room captures her utmost attention and that being outside calms her.  I know her.

And in the end, isn't that all we need... all we crave and desire and long for... to be known and loved for who we are... right here... in this moment?  Isn't our deepest most sacred desire to be met where we are and to be loved there... in a way that makes us want to be better but doesn't require us to be anything more than we are?  Isn't that one of our deepest longings to have someone know the things that make us hurt and the things that make us smile and care about them? 

It's why I have pictures the girls next door made me on my kitchen cupboards...  It's why I make my sweet husband hot beef sandwiches almost every week... It's why I call my dad for advice... I want people to know they are valued and that the things that are important to them are important to me... really important.  I want them to know I love even the little things about them... even the seemingly insignificant things.  And do you know the smiles that crept across those little girls' faces when they saw their artwork proudly displayed for the world to see... beautiful.  And do you know how it makes me feel when my husband comes home exhausted from work and finds me trying my hand at canning salsa and stays up with me until 1am to help me and cheer me on for trying a new things?  Valued.  One of the things I love most about my husband is his ability to make me feel as if I have something to offer the world...  When he cheers me on in the little things like learning to ride horses with him or canning salsa or entering in the ebay shoe selling world it makes me feel like I can do anything.  So when I read the paperwork this morning my eyes welled with tears because eveyone should feel seen...

"My wife is the best person that I have ever met when it comes to dealing with children.  She has a true gift and it is evident."

He sees my passions.  He sees beyond the surface into the soul of me... into what I was made for... it's evident to him.

And isn't that all we really want?

And I look at him and I look at her and the love this house knows is so strong and yet so fragile and we hold each other with open hands.  And what happens here isn't perfect but it is so so good.  And we have this plaque in the entryway of our house that has all of the names of Jesus and every time I walk by it I reach out and touch the one that says Emmanuel "God with us" because there is no doubt in my mind that He dwells here

And do you know what it feels like to have Emmanuel love you while you wash the dishes and do the 17 loads of laundry and scrub the remainder of the salsa from the floor?  Do you know what it feels like to be loved in the midst of where you are and to know Him there? 

I want the babes who come into this house to know that.  To know what it feels like to be loved in the midst of the mess and to know that the very hairs on their heads are numbered... to know that He knows the story they've lived and the things they've seen.

And it isn't really a matter of can we really do this...?  It's that I heard him whisper this life into my heart 4 years ago and it's been burning in me ever since... and the flame isn't going anywhere.

And the love isn't going anywhere and Emmanuel... well, He isn't leaving either.  And I have to do this.  This life.  This way of walking it out.  And I love that there are two sweet friends living in our basement right now and their laughter fills my house.  And I love that there are children who fill my days with their giggles and discoveries and I love that we find canning salsa entertaining and shopping for shoes at thrift stores facinating... and I am blessed to have friends who jump in and do life and laundry with me when I don't exactly have time to meet for coffee. 

I've always felt like people struggle with what they are "called" to do... and maybe I got blessed in the way that it's been so evident to me for awhile... but in my heart I feel like all each of us is called to is to live out the gospel in a way that is real and true and makes us come alive... in a way that makes His words come to life.

loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, share your food with the hungry and provide shelter to the wanderer, clothe the naked, do not turn away from your flesh and blood, take care of the widows and the orphans, be humble and contrite in spirit and tremble at My word.  - Excerpts from Isaiah

And I've trembled at His words lately... the ones about the orphans and the loosing the chains of injustice..  The part that says if we do those things light will rise in the darkness.  The part that says when we do these things He will become the repairer of broken walls.

And I think that's my dream for this house... that all who enter would know the One who repairs the broken parts... that these kids... they'd know what it feels like when light starts to overwhelm the darkness.  That they'd know the One who dwells with us.  And I'll shelter them as long as I'm given and I'll do my best to love them a lifetime's worth while their here. 

And now it's time to stop tapping the keys and put pen to paper and walk this out.

Much Love,

P.S. I'm sure you've noticed the blog looks quite differen't... it's not my favorite background but I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to get my old one back... It may change more in the weeks to come... we'll see!  Any techy readers out there??? :)

P.P.S  Because of the high number of requests (and by high I mean all five of you who read this... :) the pictures of Jayda are up for you!!!  We are SO in love.