Sunday, April 24, 2016
It was then that every fear or anxiety I had about raising girls came at me like a blunt force. Me. Having girls. This grown woman with so many skeletons in the closet. Well not really in the closet, because most have come out to the open. But knowing what was in store for them. And more importantly, not knowing what was in store for them. What would childhood look like? And adolescence? And leaving the nest? Would they be bullied, or swayed by the sexy notions of the time or would they be the bully or the mean girl (please Lord no!)
All I could do and all I can do is pray. Well pray and help pave the way, right? I remember chatting over my fears with my husband and earnestly, almost as a plea, asking him to set our family on the offensive. Let's be on the offensive, right? See what's coming before it comes. Start the conversations before they are in the middle of it. Not get swayed by what the world is screaming. Not get swayed by what the church is screaming. Asking him to help me get swayed by what the WORD is screaming.
And then God gave me another little girl. And I felt a little like Sarah when she finds out she's pregnant with Isaac, laughing, in a sad and happy manner knowing full well that that which He has called me to, He will equip me for that work, even though it seems near impossible. Thank you Lord. Because raising girls, raising kids, that's work we cannot do without help.
And as any mother or parent or human being knows, what we do and what we say and how we act and how we love does not go unnoticed. It's why we can see ourselves in our best and in our worst playing in a motion picture right in front of us. The shortened temper, the kindness to a stranger, the cute and odd idiosyncrasies we all have, the joy in a beautiful day, the list could go on. And it matters what we offer up to them. It matters. Thanks be to God again that every single day is a new opportunity to do it better. To offer more grace. To show more love. To mess up and offer forgiveness. You get the idea.
Some mornings I wake up and the mercies don't seem new. I awake with the same attitude or mindset, only to offer it up again on the altar. Continually offering, well beckoning in my case, for more and more help. To raise these little girls in a way that offers the world as large of a piece of Jesus as our family possibly can. And boy do we get it wrong some days. But that's displaying the amazing work of grace and mercy. Free to sinners who fail.
That's the point right. Boy or girl. To love God and love others. To spread a passion for Jesus. And our words hold no sway if our actions aren't following right behind them. And then we start our day, we read the news, we begin to worry. We cast vision for our children, we want to mother hen the heck of them. To protect them. To keep them. To shield those little eyes. Right?
In these past almost 4 years of motherhood, I find myself consistently wanting to mother hen my girls. To keep them from my own mistakes. To shield and protect them. To not let them see or know or experience the evils the world holds. Just about a month ago I sat in bed reading articles on my phone...we're silly that way. And the two I read pertained to girls and social media. About how girls were beginning to give their bodies away to boys because they felt so much pressure to have sex that it was easier to just give in and get sex over with. Of boys asking for nude photos of girls to be sent via the kik app. So on and so forth. And my heart ached. God's good plan for sex...which is good and lovely and so fulfilling, so skewed and spent years too soon. My heart physically ached for the pain and hurt and damage that's being done to these sweet young girls. Ached. And I prayed for them and for my own sweet little girls to be guarded from sexual pressure.
Talk about sex, in an age appropriate way friends. Talk about it plain as day...about what the Bible has to say about how our kiddos are formed, who forms them, who loves them, how He made them and that all He's done is good. Remind them of their good good Father who has created them for His work. He's made them and us friends, to live a life that shines. To shine the light of Jesus.
And now the news of transgender bathrooms. Target's endorsement. The multiple petitions and chatter on how we should stand and fight and never shop at Target again. And I'm not making light of it. Believe me, as a momma to two young sweet girls, I'm not making light of it.
But I have been earnestly praying. For wisdom and discernment. For love to shine. Because friends, those boys and girls, men and women are struggling with their gender identity. They're made in the image of God. They're real people. And because of the sin that infiltrated the world we live in, because I'm using the Bible as my lens, they're confused and hurting. Some believe they were created to be homosexual, transgender, bisexual. But because again, I'm using the Bible as my lens, they were created in the image of God, as male or female. But sin, well sin frustrates God's good plan that He's bringing back to perfection. Soon and very soon.
As a family this past year, we've been studying the book of Revelation through Bible Study Fellowship. Revelation, as Elizabeth would sing,..."The Book of revelation says what God is going to do." Friends, it doesn't matter what your theology says about the book of Revelation. (although its great to figure that out.) The biggest takeaway from the book of Revelation is that millions of people will be swept into eternal darkness and despair because they would not denounce the world and follow Jesus. The biggest takeaway is one of Jesus greatest commands "Go and make disciples of all nations..." Go and live a life that shines for Jesus. That shares Jesus.
And with that lens, I'm reviewing the bathroom issue. I've got these sweet girls, friends. They're little and impressionable. And they watch. Oh dear, do they watch. They watch in the uncomfortable staring kind of watching. How will momma react? How will those people react? What is this world we are living in? How do things work? All the questions their little brains are trying to answer and put into perspective.
And here's my chance to pave the way. To start on the offensive. To lead them through this. And the only thing I keep hearing in the Word and in my heart is, LOVE. Love them. Show them how to love.
And here's the deal. As I see it, for the unforeseeable future my daughters will go to the bathroom before we leave. We will use a unisex bathroom as a group of three. Or friends, we will walk in that bathroom in twos or more. And we will look anyone we see in the eye and smile. We will offer kindness. We will not be scared or timid. We will not shy away from questions when they come if there's a male in the bathroom. We will confront them head on. Because this isn't new. This isn't new my friends.
Sodom and Gomorrah came down in an instant.
We happen to know those who consider themselves homosexual or transgender. We happen to know where they are at. We've been able to love them. Alex has share the gospel, he's used his friendship with these individuals to share the love. To let life shine for good.
It's not loving to boycott or never use a bathroom or never meet the issues head on for anyone. It's not loving to our kiddos not to talk about what's happening. What's going on. It's not loving to shame those confused or living life differently from ourselves. It's not loving to turn the other way in disgust or treat them as if they are all child molesters. It's hovering under the notion that removing ourselves will be easier or keep us safer or protect us or protect our kiddos.
I know we are called to protect our kiddos. I'm not deeming that silly. I'm not saying it's not important. You remember I've got two little girls. Two precious little girls. I would rather die than allow something hurtful to happen to them. And I know the idea of sexual predators in the bathroom is real. I'm not negating that allowing men to use the women's restroom and vice versa won't have adverse affects. I don't take any of those things lightly.
There are still options for us. Still good options such as single unisex restrooms. And from what I've read through Revelation and the New Testament, we've only got more destruction, more sin, more pressures coming as we take a stand for Christ. It's not magically going to get easier. We don't let the doors slam us down and hide in fear, we stand tall. We stand strong. And we love. We let our lives shine bright.
Because God's got us. He's got us. The God who created the entire world, who created you and me and millions of others, knows the hairs on our heads. Knows who is in the bathrooms in every part of the world. And He's still called us to love...to love and share and lay ourselves down and dump ourselves out for His glory.
Take this life and let us shine friends. And let your children join in.
Thursday, April 14, 2016
Monday, March 14, 2016
Thursday, March 3, 2016
Obviously we don't exactly know what the future holds but we're anxious to see where God leads us and will be ready if He says move:)
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Thursday, February 12, 2015
It’s high time for an update. I’m still in denial that in 4 short little months Elizabeth will turn 3. In the past 4 months since Meghan was born she has gone from toddler to full fledged little girl and it’s been a joy to watch. And then there’s Meghan…already 4 months going on 5 and we are watching her grow, mature, and learn new things every day. Before we know it September will be here and she’ll be one!
Elizabeth at 2.75 years:
34.5 pounds, 39 inches tall, solid size 4 in clothing & size 9 or 10 in shoes, potty trained
Elizabeth, you are a joy to parent. Even when you are at your worst. You have an incredible memory probably due to the fact that you are very observant. You take in all aspects of the world around you. You love to be outside riding your bike and just enjoying God’s creation. You wish we could go to the playground every day! You LOVE to do art projects and create things and you are always singing. Your appreciation for music makes my heart soar and you sing, play instruments and we often hear you singing wherever we go. The addition of family dance parties at night have made your heart burst. with joy This year you go to Super Bible Club for MOPS twice a month and to BSF “church school” every week. You love to play with the kids there and always come home having learned something new. Next year you will be in 2 day preschool every week and I know you will enjoy the structure and open ended play.
You have so many of your daddy’s traits it’s almost uncanny. You try just about any food and love most of daddy’s favorites: olives, pickles, scrambled eggs, raw vegetables, sour things like lemons and limes, and candy. Other favorites include chipotle, guacamole, any rice dish, tacos/fajitas, colby jack cheese and sandwiches from Jimmy John’s and Potbelly. You are also an avid fan of milk, shakes, apple juice, and sparkly water (la Croix).
You are a great sleeper for the most part although you have managed to figure out how to extend bedtime! You sleep from about 7:30pm-7:00 am and take a two hour nap every day. You are a very good helper and want to be in on the action no matter what we are doing. Your favorites include cracking eggs, spreading things on bread, helping bake, and washing your own hair in the bath tub.
You are confident, have become far more sociable, and have a sensitive heart when it comes to others. You can share pretty well and hold your own when others are bothering you. While you can test the limits we’ve found it’s more for attention or to really see what happens. And my oh my, you say the funniest things. And lastly, you LOVE your sister. You run with gladness when she wakes up and you are always asking where she is if she’s not with you. I can only pray that the two of you continue to have a close relationship!
Meghan at 4 Months
14 pounds, 24 inches, size 3-6m clothing, size 2 diapers
Oh Meghan…I’m so glad you joined our family even though it’s far more chaotic and a good nights’ sleep has evaporated before our eyes. When I first found out I was pregnant I’ll admit I had my apprehensions but now at 4 months we’re through some of the hardest days and I couldn’t imagine our family without you.
While you are somewhat of a textbook baby, you have definitely had your moments of frustration. For awhile we thought it was colic/reflux/dairy, who knows, but after your frenectomy you are almost a new baby. You still have your moments but they are definitely fewer and farther between.
You, like your sister, love to be around other people. For instance yesterday we headed out with friends and you didn’t nap at all but then came home and slept for 3 hours. I’ll take it. While we’ve tried to get you in more of a routine you do tend to be pretty flexible when it comes to changes. You are at the end of a wonder week so sleep has been erratic and you’ve been waking more but mommy remembers this from Elizabeth so it didn’t throw me so much. We’re just riding it out and hoping more sleep in on the horizon.
You can roll from front to back and are on the verge of figuring out the opposite. You can wiggle your way across the floor…somehow. We haven’t quite figured out how you get where you do but you are always moving. You can lift your head really high and move toys back and forth between your hands. You love to jump in the doorway jumper even though you are a bit too small still. You coo and talk and shriek all day long and love it when Elizabeth interacts with you and gives you snuggles. You are such a peanut and we love to cuddle you so much!
As far as eating…well that definitely has improved. The fix of your lip/tongue tie has definitely made eating easier and has made you happier as you are taking in less air. As far as bottles, you are still incredibly resistant which is killing me. You take a pacifier gladly so I haven’t quite figured it out. For now we will roll with it but we will definitely keep trying. I’m not sure you will ever take one because you definitely are more of a comfort nurser than your sister ever was. And that’s okay since you are our last…
On the mommy front
Things are going well for the most part. I’m slowing down, trying to enjoy the little ones in front of me, and trying not to wish these days in the trenches away. Definitely grateful for new mercies every morning as I need them. And I’ve been finding ways to catch up on sleep and get in the me time that my introverted spirit needs. I’m just so grateful for these girls. When I think of the days ahead and our family, my heart just bubbles over at how good God was to give us these gifts to hopefully accompany us through the future.