Tuesday, October 23, 2012

observations on camping

our first family camping trip.

some observations:

tent camping is the way to go! we all piled in one tent and everyone (5 years and under) slept longer than they do in their own beds!

pots make better hats than anything else.

always, ALWAYS take this man who is a camping pro. he's teaching these boys how to do it right. 

if you stick out your tongue just right, you can climb to the top of the playground. 

accomplishing the monkey bars makes grey smile really big. 

squeezing daddy's face makes will laugh REALLY hard. 

sticks are a boys best friend. entertainment for hours. i know what will top our christmas lists!

simply being together outside with nothing to do but be together made us all smile really big. 

 tackle mommy while she's down was another pastime. 

three boys on a log. in the woods.  doesn't get much cuter.  

hot chocolate and s'mores will make it into every camping trip we take. the campfire was the place to be.

the perfect time to roast a perfect marshmallow. 

licking your fingers till the sticky is all gone is much better than washing them. 

snuggling up in our sleeping bags to keep the cold out, french press coffee by the fire, a family hike, and long night conversation were some of my personal favorites from the trip. i really enjoyed the simplicity of camping. and not having anything to do. time actually moved very slowly. it was fun to watch the boys play with sticks and hide and seek in the woods. to just be outside and right smack dab in the middle of creation. 

it was a major success.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

the toddler life

oh the toddler days.

will is in the full blown "i want to do it, but i need you to do it, but i really want to do it myself but i can't so i'm going to throw a fit about it" stage. 

it's as exhausting as ever.

and sometimes i take him outside and zip him up in the trampoline and let him bounce out all the whiney. 

and we all feel a little better afterwards. 

this has to be the most challenging stage for me in motherhood. though with each boy i seem to handle it a little bit better. and i know, unfortunately, it all depends on how i'm handling the situation. i loose my patience a whole lot. and i struggle for months as we work out the battle of the "wills." {pun intended}

when i can look past the frustration of the moment and gain a little perspective, i realize that  this child is all his own. and i can enjoy figuring him out. i can look further into him and stoop a little lower for him. i can become less self involved and take his little face in my hands and listen to him fumble through sounds to create words. i can cheer for him when he DOES do it himself. i can build into him confidence and show him patience as my Father faithfully shows me. 

it's all in perspective. sometimes i have it. sometimes i don't. 

when i do realize that this stage is a gift from the Lord, i certainly am grateful for it. but when i'm frustrated because he's just not doing what i want him to do, i end up hating this stage. 

it rubs me raw at times and is ever present. but truly, truly it drives me to my knees moment by moment and exposes the ugly selfishness in my heart. 

that's what the toddler life looks like for me.

but for him...

there is so much wonder and awe at every turn. there's so much to get into and explore. there are so many things to put in the toilet. 

there is no rhyme or reason to really anything in his mind except that HE can certainly do it on his own. until of course, he realizes he can't. 

there is so much urgency in every moment.

there is excitement for the small things. and there is devastation to the extreme. 

there is joy from popping bubble after bubble. there are teeth cutting through swollen gums and an opinion on everything. 

his way is always the best way. clearly.

there are messes to be made, folded laundry to throw around, and brothers to hassle. 

and this little one is figuring out his little world.

and i am learning right alongside him!

Friday, October 05, 2012

that day

i never would have imagined our morning so perfectly planned and placed. though i know He perfectly plans and places all things, i am always not so keenly aware in the moments.

we ordered coffee and hot chocolate. and he picked the table, of course. it had to have an umbrella. and i sat where he asked me to. we talked. it's his favorite thing to do. i listened to him come up with stories about the hot chocolate. and debate whether it actually had coffee in it. as he sipped and his chocolate mustache and beard grew, we talked and i listened. he asked me of my favorite thing of the day and i told him this moment was just right.

he grabbed my hand and we walked to the library. he doesn't like letting go still. and i will hold in my heart exactly what it feels like when he slips that little hand in mine. we don't get too many moments just the two of us. today is different.

he skips and wants to take the long way. he says he just wants more time with me. oh, and how i want more time with him. lots more.

we drive to the grocery store to buy some cheese and talk about spending money. every moment is teachable. he wants to spend 50 cents to ride harry the dinosaur. i try to help him understand being wise with our money, even 50 cents. he learns and asks what could he do with 50 cents and i tell him to save it. it will grow and God will use it.

he carries his new books upstairs and collects his school things. he waits for me at the school table. he sits legs curled in front of him, waiting for instruction. he writes numbers and reads words. we review, "God takes good care of me." and from there the Lord speaks louder and stronger than i ever could. i tell him of king ahab and elijah. we talk about trusting the Lord and His perfect provision. he listens with little ears but with a big heart.

from there i continue sharing as He speaks to grey's tender heart. i tell him of the amazing grace. i tell him of sin and separation. i tell him of our need for redemption. i tell him of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. i tell him of hell and how that's what we deserve. and that good people don't always go to heaven. i tell him of the day that God rescued me from death and brought me into life and made me new. the joy and the freedom and the hope! i tell him of the God that loves him way more than i ever could.

"mommy, i think i'm going to cry."

and i saw his heart in his response to the gospel clear as day. he was broken. he couldn't find words so i held him and let him cry. as i felt drops of wet grace fall on my neck, i asked the One who knows exactly what is in that heart to redeem him. to make it clear. to allow his mind and his heart to collide and make grey new. only He knows what He is doing. but i know it's for His glory.

as i looked into his blue eyes and encouraged him to talk, he had no words. a very rare thing indeed. he always has words. he always has the right answer. and i was so glad there was no answer from his mouth. for i saw it all over his body. there were tears and smiles and brokenness and joy.

and in that moment i knew, if only for that one moment, why he called me to be home with him now. it is all so worth it.


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