dear lincoln {you are two}.

[A few years back I decided to write a letter to each of my children on (near) their birthday. You can read past letters by clicking the label "A letter to my baby" at the bottom of the post. I haven't blogged in months, but you bet I will start again with a letter to my son. ]

My Dearest Lincoln Wayne,

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't say to myself 'I can't believe I have a boy' mainly because you give me a daily near-heart attack every day with your antics. Tonight was no different. We were at a friend's home, feeding their long-horn cows and I look over to ask your dad where you are, and he thinks you are sitting on the Gator, where you wanted to be most of the night. Except you weren't there. We look over to find that you have hopped the fence and you are darting toward the cows. Thankfully they didn't care about you, they were more interested in the snacks they were getting. But boy, you have no fear. And you know, I'm thankful for that. I'm thankful for your bravery. My prayer is that strength and courage will go with you all the days of your life, but not by your own--with the Lord's strength. I pray Joshua 1:9 over you- "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

You know what I love about you? You make me notice things that I wouldn't have otherwise noticed or care. When we are in the car and you make an "oooooohhhhhhh!" sound, I know to look for a big truck, tractor, or machine. The excitement over anything big and that moves is pretty epic. Every single motorcycle we pass I hear "I wanna ride!" in the most pitiful voice as if your life will be over if I don't grant this request. We will cross that bridge when it comes, but I'll be honest, you driving a motorcycle is not my favorite idea. And I can just see you pulling out the Joshua 1:9 verse on me in the future when you want a bike. Oh man.

You will be two on Monday. Which means you have been rocked to sleep approximately 728 days in a row and still counting. Your dad and I pretty much fight over who gets to put you to sleep because you love to read books and you love to snuggle. You might be five and we are still rocking you to sleep because it's the perfect way to wind down the day.

I can't wait to celebrate your birthday tomorrow with friends and family and a train party. Your sisters are so excited. They love you so much. Naomi thinks she is about six years older than you, not 18 months, but I think soon she will realize that you aren't too far off from her. I'm excited to see your relationship with her grow. One of your favorite activities together is racing strollers around the house. She also likes to wipe your snot off with the words "hold still, buddy, I just got to get this." Audrey loves to write you letters and make pictures for you of things you like--like trains or dinosaurs. Tonight she was insisting on getting you a present for your birthday from her. She also said she didn't want to sleep because she was so excited to celebrate your birthday tomorrow. God put you right where you are suppose to be with two older sisters, and I'm so thankful for that.

I love watching your personality shape and I'm eager to see how God will use for His Glory. I know He has already used you to bring me and your daddy such deep joy.

Lincoln Wayne, you are loved. Very much so. Happy 2nd birthday!

Your Mama

P.S. You don't have a big opinion on what you wear, but you do prefer your hat backwards and ties are welcomed. I mean, you are just a cool kid. Love you.


why i got a tattoo.

[Did not expect my first blog post in 2014 to be about a tattoo. But I have a feeling this year is going be full of unexpected things.]

Asked me ten years ago about what I thought about tattoos and I would have said distasteful. Or why would anyone get something so permanent?!

If I was asked last year about ever getting a tattoo I would have said…
No, I don't like pain. 
No, I have better things to use my money for.
[Oh, wait, I said that just a few days before getting my tattoo.]

So, why? Why would I do something so permanent, costly, and painful and in a very visible location?

Because every one has a story. A story of triumph, a story of hardship, a story of perseverance. A story of grace. I decided I wanted a tattoo as a way to share my story and as a reminder to myself about how God has carried me through some dark storms.

I totally made a Pinterest tattoo board, in which I titled it Crazy Thought. I found my inspiration and went for it. And thanks to my 18 year old sister, that asked me to get one with her on her birthday!

Grace is enough.

Those were the words I wanted to be constantly reminded of, in a spot that I would look at often--my wrist with my own handwriting

The words are based on 2 Corinthians 12:9.

But he said to me, “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 

This is the verse I put in our Christmas letter this last year and this is the verse I clung to when our now, 3 year old, Naomi was diagnosed last summer with Neuroblastoma, the childhood cancer. When everything else seems to be going wrong, when I was facing my biggest fear, I still had hope because of God's grace. I'm so thankful that His grace is enough for me. And nothing can separate me from His love.

So, as I sometimes skip, hop, or trudge through this thing, we call life, I have a constant reminder of three simple words that bring me back to a time that God carried me through, and know that whatever lies ahead, His grace will always be there.

For the record, I did not cry. I prepped myself by saying I've been through 3 births, two of which were totally natural, so I can do this. It only took about 3 minutes, and I smiled, took deep breaths, and occasionally made funny faces through it. 

When I woke the next morning, the girls wanted a tattoo of course, too. Audrey wanted the exact same one. I was able to tell her--isn't it awesome that God's love will never leave us?! 

Oh, and I so appreciate all the love I've received from this decision on Facebook and Instagram. I think my favorite response is people being shocked that I would actually get one, they didn't peg me as a "tattoo" person.  And that's okay either way. I just want to be pegged as a Christ-follower.