from where i stand.

For some reason today I stopped and imagined my life in five years, when Lincoln would be in kindergarten and the girls reading and having slumber parties. All the kids in school. Not changing diapers. Or refilling sippy cups. Or dodging toys on the ground as I dash for Lincoln before he jumps off the coffee table. Okay, well that last part may not change in five years. But I know a lot will.

And sometimes, okay, confession, a lot of times, my mind goes there. Eagerly desiring it. When my babies will be independent and I can breathe and maybe just maybe read a book at the pool instead of chasing one, two, three little ones.

When I went there in my mind. Five years down the road, I missed this. Where I stand right now. Rocking Lincoln before every nap and bed, snuggling singing our favorite songs Amazing Grace, Three Little Birds, and Come Thou Fount. Playing peek-a-boo with a book I gave him to distract him while I get his pajamas on. Listening to Naomi say the funniest things in her sweet toddler voice. Watching her pretend to nurse her babies and jump jump jump when I'm holding her hand. See, Audrey is almost there. Her independence is blossoming every single day like a wildflower in an open field. Heck, somehow she talked me into letting her get her ears pierced at four years old. [And she has reminded every single day when to clean her ears. I knew my sweet rule-follower would take to heart the directions the ear lady gave her. Ear lady? I don't even know. I can't come up with a better term.]  I can tell she is teetering between being a full blown kid and holding onto being little for a tad bit longer. She still uses the word "boo-boos" when she gets hurt, and I won't tell her any different, because it keeps her that small that much longer. She still sleeps with her blankie, and she can do that as long as she wants. At the same time she can make her own peanut butter and jelly, crack her own hard-boiled egg, and open and close all the baby gates, which comes in handy. I can tell her to go get ready for the day and she comes downstairs in her own attire of choice and hair done, which mainly includes wearing at least six different clips. She is writing stories in her own language and already pretending to do homework. But wasn't she just born yesterday?

Time is fleeting. And five years will be here tomorrow. And I'll be wondering where the little years went.

So today, I take in where I stand. Babies clinging to my legs. Carrying sleeping toddlers up to their rooms after a morning at the park. Packing a household when we leave for even a day. Watching the giant smirks that appear when we chase each other endlessly outside. Always carrying wipes and diapers around, with a few goldfish mushed in between in my purse. Buckling and tightening carseat straps, kissing head bonks, and fulfilling snuggle requests before bed. Pretending to be a fairy chased by an evil dragon, or having a little car zooming around on my arm.  These are the years. The hard, exhausting, surprising, beautiful years.

Tomorrow is not promised, but today, where I stand right now, is what I have.

Our reflection in The Bean in Chicago last week. That pretty much captures where I stand pretty well, or I should say where I lay. Chaotic love. Just the way I want it. 


raising confident kids.

I'm not talking confidence in oneself. I'm talking confidence in Christ.

When Audrey came into this world, she was immediately hooked up to monitors and we went directly from one hospital to another. At a mere five days she had to have a heart procedure done. I stressed about how much she nursed, how she slept, how she breathed. I basically tried to prevent something ever happening to her when she was a baby. My goal was to not let her cry, (except she cried a lot, because she was a more challenging baby-go figure) because then, then that would mean she was uncomfortable or hurt or needed me and I wasn't protecting her.



I lived in fear. I was putting more trust in my own human abilities, knowing that they fail, rather than trusting Jesus.

God calls us in the Bible to fear not. (Joshua 1:3-9)

Fear not.

He called Moses, Abraham, David, and the list goes on, to be strong and courageous. Even when you are fighting a battle. Even when all odds are against you. Because God will never leave us or forsake us. Never.

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present, nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

So fear not. 

This is something that I am learning. It doesn't come naturally for me to be a dare-devil, worry-free person, especially when it comes to my children. [Don't get me wrong, God also calls us to be wise in our decision making.]

I'm learning to give my children whole-heartily over to God. To raise brave kids, who find their confidence in Their Creator.

I don't expect my children to be someone they aren't, but I do want them to trust Jesus.

Their Creator knows them way better than I ever will. So I trust Him. I trust Him with the loves of my life. And I say things to my children throughout the day like It's ok, God is always with you, even when you fall down and get a boo-boo. Or God will always love you, He made you! or God tells us we are fearfully and wonderfully made, isn't that awesome! Or Just talk to God if you are feeling scared. 

And although I'm telling those things to my children, I am also telling them to myself. To remind myself that God is in control. To have confidence in Him and His Abilities.

So when Audrey climbs that fence and could, wait for it, get tetnus, because I think about that, I still let her climb.

When the girls roll down the hill and oh my gosh, might wake up with chiggers the next day, I let them roll.

When Lincoln climbs the coffee table, I teach him how to get down himself, and let him figure it out.

And when my child has to be wheeled off on a hospital bed, I whisper, fear not, God is with you. And I whole-heartily turn to Jesus.

"In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence." Ephesians 3:12

This picture is from my brother's wedding in June, so incredibly thankful to be having a normal summer. The every day is so, so good.