Monday, September 26, 2011

Somebody

You wake up in the morning.
It's a day like any other.
You get lunches packed, kids dressed for school, quickly dump a cup of lukewarm coffee down your throat before you throw on a bra and a cardigan to take the boy to school.
Praying to God no one sees you and that he's not tardied.
On the way back to the house, the radio blaring... because it's the only way you can get through the ride with a child that hates the car seat.
When all of a sudden...
Something, or someone speaks to the very core of your being.
"Let go of everything you ever thought to be a comfortable and normal life.
That was your life.
You now have a new purpose."

It rocks your spirit ...
Because you already knew...
It was your purpose from the very beginning, yet you are just now really seeing it.

You didn't think you were still holding on to that old life... But, you were only lying to yourself... because every now and then you had to open that wound just to look at it, just to remember one last time. But one last time turned into 100 last times.

"There is a reason you are here on this earth. Now is the time to shine."
Suddenly... You are coming alive.
Busting at the seams with something inside ...
Something bigger.
Something greater.
Something that will impact everyone you know and beyond.
But where to begin?
How?
You gotta trust.
You gotta let go.

That's when he enters...
Filling your head with doubt...
With fears of rejection...
Fears of the unknown.
Fear of failure.
"But they will laugh at your feeble attempt."
"Who do you think you are?!"
"Ha! You can't do that!"
"It's a terrible idea."
So you become stale.... Again.
Beat down.
You've already given up.
Just like that.

This is an every day battle in my head, and my heart.
I know I am destined for greatness.
I know I have a solid purpose.
Every rough and difficult road I have taken, He will use as a tool.
The only thing standing in my way is me.
Those negative thoughts have got to go.
The war is over, the battle was won a long time ago.

I have to believe it.
I have to act on it.
What is faith without actions?
I was created for so much more than what I have allowed myself to believe.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Three Cheers for Friends, Fall & Another Fab Year

I haven't been writing much ... it's been so busy around here.
Our therapy schedule changed...
'Tis hard to get in your groove when someone moves your cheese.
It's getting better though.
We're figuring out when to nap and when to eat all over again.
Lennon had a great day in therapy today (score!).
Which makes for a good day all together.
Friends Forever:
(Insert Saved By the Bell quote... check!) Yesterday, was a day to remember! I had a wonderful time with an old roommate from college and her beautiful red-headed baby girl. Such gems! Sophie, her 9 month old daughter, has the greatest hair and the prettiest blue eyes... oh, and that swollen gum smile... it will melt even the stubbornest of hearts! I hadn't seen sweet Kim since probably 1999 (entirely too long!). It's so refreshing to know you can still laugh and talk and pick up right where you left off. Those are the friendships you know will last a lifetime. I am grateful for them.
Fall is Here:
Sigh..... Time to break out the greatest movie of all time, You've Got Mail, and put it on repeat. "Don't you just love New York in the fall?" I am sure it's lovely, though I have never been... at all. Oh but I will keep dreamin' the dream until it becomes reality. I am working on my fall wreath... going to add a few little pretties to it this weekend. Then I will post pics. I bought new soaps for the bathroom from Bath & Body Works: Cinnamon Raisin Cookie, Orchard Leaves, Creamy Pumpkin. I smell my hands all day. I look for reasons to wash them. I also bought a candle, called Autumn. My house smells divine, of acorns and leaves and floral pleasantries. If I could lick & taste the air I would. Alas, for now, I'll just hover close to the flames, careful not to burn a nostril or two. I'm already thinking of Thanksgiving and the grandeur that will be sprayed out before me... my plate is full, my sweet tea runneth over, and my belly growls as visions of pumpkin pies dance in my head.
Birthday Cheer:
I love having birthdays. It's the one day of the year I say, "Forget you and forget you, too" because I want to be celebrated. I know, selfish, right?! We'll just blame it on the "First Born Syndrome". being the oldest of 5 children, one has to be a little selfish every now and then. So for my birthday, this is what I want. A tattoo. Yep. Two little birdies for my two littles on my left wrist. I also want a fabulously rich-in-carbs dinner.... with close friends ....and loads of giggly chatter... and music and laughter... outside, by a crackling fire, with a glass of wine in hand. Is that too much to ask for? I think not. So get to it... Hurry and plan me something fabulous!
We are leaving for New Orleans (a little husband and wife getaway) next Friday, complements of Charlie's company for all his hard work. The littles will stay with a very dear and darling friend. Not sure what I would do without her... and my sister the next night... Love my family!
Not sure what we will be doing for the holidays this year, but I am sure it will involve a trip to South Louisiana, Cajun Christmas food, and lots of cousins.
Tell me... What are your plans?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Letter to Lake

Dear Lake,
I bet you didn't know that I sneak in your room most every night, just to get a peek at your sweet face.
I sometimes want to wake you up and hold you just one last time before I go to sleep.
But, you look so peaceful, I just let you rest.
I touch your sweet face or your arm just to make sure you are warm enough or cool enough.
While I lay in my bed every night, I think of everything you said that day. How you were so excited to tell me who chased who on the playground, about the new color you learned to read today.
I laugh to myself just thinking of you spelling sentences and making me guess what it says.
I know I am distracted often with your precious little sister.
But, I want you to know you are always on my heart and my mind.
I look forward to our Mommy and Lake dates.
We don't get them nearly enough.
Your daddy and I just look at you and smile all the time.
We're just so proud of the little man you are becoming.
You have big dreams...
You want to be an astronaut, the owner of a construction company, and a soccer coach.
I have no doubt whatsoever, you just might do it all.
You are so smart and driven to learn.
You are incredibly kind and thoughtful.
You have such a keen sense of humor...
You are a true joy to be around.
The love and understanding you have for your sister and her needs amazes me.
I believe wholeheartedly the Lord hand-picked you out of all the boys in the world to be her big "bubba". She is so so so blessed to be a part of your life.
You please the Lord.
When the Lord looks at you, I know He is saying, "Well done."
I love that you are already excited to be a daddy one day.
But I am more excited that you are not in a rush to grow up.
It makes me giddy that you know what Christmas is really about and that you want to give to those less fortunate than you at that time.
I pray you always have a heart for those in need.
I love you, my sweet boy.
I love you more than breathing.
Forever,
Mommy

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Sand vs The Beach

I hate the sand... But I love the beach.

I have had several people tell me I need to read "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years".
While I totally agree, I should read that book, I feel, on certain days, I have come a million miles in 1 year.
The journey has taken me through wind, fire, and a crap load of rough terrain.
I have fought the meanest of honey badgers, and snakes have nipped at my ankles on a daily basis.
Now, you must understand, I didn't start out with a "great faith".
I started out with a "base faith".
What I mean is, I started out with a general basis of what faith is.
Believe in what you don't "see". I understood that.
I thought if I believed hard enough, I couldn't get burned.
I have learned, having faith doesn't mean you won't get burned.
It just means, that "when" you get burned, you know the fire is only going to make you better.
It's burning away all that trash you have allowed in.
It means, all the lies you were told are now dead and meaningless.
I didn't ask for this journey. I never would have; but it's mine now.
And I plan to "own" it... work it like a runway.
I plan to teach her to own it too... to work it like a runway.
Work those genes.... and rock 'em with a great pair of cowgirl boots.
I want to talk about the journey....
I remember the weather on the day I was married.
It rained.
I remember the weather on the day Lake was born.
It snowed.
On the day Lennon was born....
I couldn't tell you darn thing about the weather.
Because I was blind.
In the beginning.... There was a lot of doubt.
In the doubt, there was a still strong voice of hope.
I knew enough, to take that hope and cling to it for dear life.
Nearly strangling it to death.
In the beginning, there was a moment where I just wanted to walk away.
Yeah. I did. Most moms wouldn't admit it... but I didn't know how I was going to do it.
How was I... this girl who never even graduated college, going to raise a child with special needs?
Me... who had never a day in her life been prepared for something like this.
So, out of complete desperation, I got on my knees, right there in the hospital bed.
Now this was not an easy task, mind you... I had just had a c-section.
And those gowns open from the back.
So I raised the foot of the bed as high as it would go and I used it as an altar.
I turned on my iPod... to "the best" worship songs I could think of.
Then, I called out to the one I thought was punishing me.
"Why? You took my daddy from me... now this! Where is the love you promised?!"
He answered me so clearly.... so firm.
"I didn't cause this, or that. This is not from me, and I do love you. Will you let me show you?"
After a long cry... a lot of long cries... and a lot of arguing... and a ton of praying.
I finally allowed Him to love on me.
I had my head in his lap, and I wept. For a long, long, long time.
He just pushed my hair out of my face and loved on me.
He cried with me. We cried together.
A year later.... what have I done? Nothing.
Except, I finally shut up.
I have always questioned my daddy's death & his love for me.
I thought, "He didn't love me enough to put the drink down."
And I have believed that lie my whole life.
That I wasn't good enough .... I wasn't enough, and I never will be, for anyone.
Recently, I had a vision of myself at my daddy's funeral. It was 1988.
I was 10 years old... and it was raining. I was crying so hard.
I thought, "Even the angels are crying today. That must be why it's raining."
And for the first time, in this vision, I didn't see God as this big "controller of all things".
I saw Him as someone like me.
Sad.
Broken-hearted.
Trying to keep it all together.
That's when it hit me.
Yes... He could have saved my daddy in the accident that night.
But He didn't.
He had tried several times to put up road blocks in his life...
Knowing what lied ahead in my daddy's life.
But my daddy couldn't put the drink down.
...And that had nothing to do with me.
It wasn't that he didn't love me enough to stop.
He didn't love himself enough to stop.
I may never know why my daddy didn't love himself.
But for the first time.... ever... I felt like he did truly love me, enough.
Sometimes He uses experiences of our past to teach us.
Who knew the things that hurt us the most could teach us the most?
That has been the most revolutionary experience.
Because a child can carry so many lies with them and most people would never know it.
They carry it so well hidden in the depths of their soul.
It alters who they will become.
And until they learn to let go.... it will weigh them down so heavily.
It causes anxiety in the smallest of tasks.
It causes them to doubt their self-worth.
This comes out in different areas of life.... weight gain or extreme weight loss.
Maybe these kids end up on drugs.
Maybe they do worse.
But it's not the end.
At least, it doesn't have to be.
In the weeks and months after her birth.
I had vowed to see this through His eyes.
Not mine.
My fears of having a daughter were slowly being shattered.
My fears of being "enough" were burning away.
I have learned what patience is.
I have learned that I am not exempt.
I have learned that I am enough and I will forever be enough.
I have learned that He finds me worthy of such a precious and fragile gift.
She is my gift.
And her extra chromosome?
Well, that was something Satan "tried" to ruin her with.
But He made sure that didn't happen.
He made sure that extra chromosome made her extra sweet.
Extra loving.
Extra silly.
Extra joyful.
Sure, I could tell you we have thousands of dollars in debt.... for surgeries, and therapy.
I could dwell on that and the hours upon hours of the week I spend teaching her things that come as second nature to you and I.
Yeah, I could go on and on about how inconvenient therapy 5 times a week can be.
About how I have to plan everything around it.
I could tell you that she can't "soothe herself" to sleep as easily as most children.
I could have a pity party on the floor, right there where it's covered in stains from literally thousands of projectile vomiting episodes.
I could tell you about the stubborn streak so wide it would give your worst nightmare a run for it's money.
I could tell you I will never have the freedom of the "empty nest syndrome" when my kids are grown and married and living on their own.
I could cry for days knowing my dreams of touring Europe for months after Lake has graduated high school are shot because I doubt I can leave her for that long.
But I won't.
Because that is not what I choose to look at.
I choose to look at that sweet face, the one that smiles with her entire head.
I choose to laugh at her trying so hard to stack a block that she gets angry and throws it when she can't.
I choose to see the innocence in her eyes that tells her she is no different than the other children.
I choose to see the "want" she has to do something and help her channel it into "determination" to complete it.
I choose to be excited that she won't rush off to college and leave me trailing in the wind...
Instead, she will sit quietly with me on the porch in the morning and we'll drink warm drinks and laugh at the neighbors running late for work and running over their trash can.
I choose to applaud every snuggle, every hug, every smile, every giggle as if it's the first time she has ever done it.
I choose to learn from her along the way.
He never said this was going to be easy.
But He did say I would love it....
If only I would shut up and listen and watch closely.
So that's what I have been trying to do.
I see now, that He gave her to me to show me how to love unconditionally.
Most importantly.... how to accept unconditional love.
I see now, that He gifted her to me to show me that my worth is far more than something a normal human can offer.
It's a gift in the unseen.... and in the little things, it's hidden.
She's a gift.... And I accept this gift, wholeheartedly.
Will you see the sand as a nuisance?
Or will you see the whole beach and it's beauty?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Meant to Be

There are times in your life when you just have to say, "Let it be".
Then, there are times in your life when you say, "It's meant to be."

In the beginning of this journey, I vowed to never be disappointed.
I knew this was only a grain of sand to that which would make up the whole beach of life.
I have not been disappointed.... but I have been amazed.

The love shared between these two is never lost.
The looks they give to one another are those of adoration and admiration.
They share a bond like I have never seen.

He is beginning to understand more and more of who she is.
She is beginning to annoy him.
Ahhhh.... siblings :)

She is a sweeter than pie little girl with a little bit of an attitude...
A heart bigger than Texas...
And she is one spunky monkey.
Lennon loves life. Loves to giggle. Loves to dance.
And most of all, Lennon loves her big "bubba", Lake.

She is 17 months old now.
Lennon has been walking for 2 months now.
In the last month it has really caught fire.
She almost never crawls anymore.
She hears music and immediately begins to dance.
She has started to pick up her food and eat it with her hands (score!).
Lennon is repeating "words" to the best of her ability right now.
She loves her baby dolls, stuffed animals, and paper products of any kind.
The bath used to be a scary place and it is now one of her favorite places.
My, my, my, how the tables have turned.
She is growing up so fast.
She is a smorgasbord of bossy pants, priss-pot, fiestiness, and snuggles.
She is the cream of my crop.


She is the cream of his crop.


You don't always know when the time is "right" to have children.
It's not like God writes it in the sky.
There isn't this bell that goes off.
It just kind of happens... like "do or die".
Or maybe even, "oops".
You give up a lot of your selfishness, your so-called life.
(Insert My So-Called Life reference... Check.)
Somehow, all the kinks seem to work themselves out....
And it ends up being something far greater...
Or it takes you far deeper...
Than you ever dreamed or imagined.
You wake up one day thinking...
"Maybe... just maybe, somewhere over the rainbow does exist."
Because these two little blue birds flew right into my life.



And before you know it....
One of those little blue birds is flying off to Kindergarten.
Or "big kid school", as we call it.
The apple of my eye is growing up.
If I ever find that clock, I am stopping it, just for a little while.

You may, or may not have, cried on the way home because he was more ready than you.
You may, or may not have, really let the tears fall with the realization of one day knowing you won't have to push the little bird out of nest...
Because he downright jumped before you were ready.

Then you look beside you, and still perched in the nest is one little blue bird.
There's always that one little bird that's a little more skittish.... a little more dependent.
That little bird reminds you that life is not passing you by at the speed of light.
Instead, life is slowing down just enough for you to enjoy every moment just a little bit longer.
You savor to the core every little hug and snuggle, every new "thing" she's doing, and every beautiful smile.

It's right then...
When you are looking at the sweet face of God's little present...
That you flash back over the last 17 months ...
To the moment when you vowed to stop asking "why"....
Because you just knew....
You knew all was right in the world.
It was meant to be.