Iraq Journey

Compassion Bloggers: Guatemala 2010


Young Ladies Christian Fellowship

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Dear Little Man in the Bible Club

September 9, 2010

Little boy of mine,

I was watching you tonight.

In that Bible club at church.

It was the first time I’ve had the guts to do something such as a Bible club since things fell apart a few years ago and my view of the world and church was shaken, remolded, renewed.

I was proud of myself, Little Man, for deciding to not only let you be a part of this, but for agreeing to teach your tiny preschooler class. It was a huge step for me, and we were going to make it count.

I had it, planted firmly in my mind, how this night would turn out.

I thought back, to when you were a tiny baby, and those times I had imagined you, taller and talking, old enough to participate in the Bible clubs of our churches.

Back then, several years ago, during that era in which innocence reigned, I knew you would be the good kid, the “churched” kid, the one who knew all his verses, wore his pressed uniform, and sat quietly, obediently, listening to the story. I imagined you with your hair neatly combed and swept to the side on a Wednesday night, face clean and Bible in hand. I didn’t question it, because that’s just the way we did things…

…back then.

Tonight we went to Bible club, Little Man. You were so excited. You’ve been asking for days if this was the day.

We barely made it out the door on time. Your brother was crying from a late nap and a hurried supper. I sighed. My heart was rushed.

We walked in the glass doors, a bag of notebooks and colorful papers slung behind my shoulder, and you promptly announced that you had forgotten your Bible. I sighed. I had forgotten. Where was my brain?

We walked up the stairs to the tiny classroom and I caught a glimpse of your milk mustache. I sighed. I hadn’t even wiped your face.

You found a seat with the other little people and we slowly started the first night of your much anticipated Bible class. I fumbled my way through the lesson I had thought I was prepared for, and searched for papers I hadn’t realized I would need. I sighed. I didn’t have it all together.

You were antsy. You wiggled. You got out of your seat. You talked too soon. You were irritated with your brother and made angry faces. I sighed. You weren’t making this easy.

We played games on a colorful square and you weren’t sure how to play. You wanted to do everything right away and didn’t stop to listen for directions. I sighed. You were causing a scene.

Where was that boy I’d imagined? The one who would do everything just right and would look the part?

We went home.

Me? Defeated.

You? Thrilled.

I put you to bed and was cross, frustrated and mourning the loss of my expectations.

I knelt beside your bed and you wrapped your little arms around my neck in the dim light.

Mama?” you whispered, your lips close to my ear. “That was so much fun. Thanks for teaching me that Jesus loves me more than anything tonight.

And then

I cried.

Surrender. Of my ideals, expectations and my ingrained need for perfection.

Love. Of Jesus, of the precious people on this earth, including my own family and even people who have hurt me.

God has me camped out on those two these days.

It is hard. And it is good.

Of First Days

September 6, 2010

This week was one of many firsts.

The biggest one?

The first day of preschool.

Our oldest boy headed off, last Tuesday, to the first of his two mornings each week of preschool. He was beyond excited. A teacher. Friends. A playground. Crafts.

He donned his new backpack (“my ECO-pack, Mama!“) and literally skipped out the door.

His first two days were perfect, according to both Troy and his sweet teacher and he asks, each morning, how many more days until he gets to go back to school.

No, I didn’t cry when I left him in his classroom.

But I came pretty close to it. Ahem.

So, along with school comes… lunches.

In preparation for school starting, I did a bit of Etsy browsing, looking for handmade lunch sacks that were both cute and easy to clean.

I was thrilled to find Moja Creations and their simply adorable lunch and snack bags!

These bags are very eco-friendly–not only are they reusable and thus reduce waste, but they’re completely free of lead, BPA, OR phthalates.

Moja Creations has agreed to give away not just one, but TWO of their snack bags to one happy commenter here! The winner will choose any combination of the snack size, small size, or sandwich wrap.

To bring home two reusable cloth snack bags for you and your little people, just leave a comment on this post, telling me what you usually eat for lunch.

I usually have a chicken salad these days. Or leftovers of some sort.

If I eat lunch, that is.

{I try! I really do!}

For extra entries:

Please leave a separate comment for each entry, otherwise additional entries will not be counted.

I adore these bags, both for lunch, and for just tossing in some raisins and banana chips, apple slices or carrot sticks when we’re on the go!

Read my giveaway philosophy here.

It’s Been A Day

August 27, 2010

Sometimes, we just have a day that qualifys as A Day.

Not a bad day.

Just A Day.

Around here, you know it’s been A Day when, upon reaching the end of it, there are tiny blue corn chip crumbs all over the carpet. Along with some stray shoes and toys and discarded socks.

Or when the toys are scattered around, tuned on their sides amidst fallen blanket forts.

Perhaps the couch will be depressed from the ten minute nap stolen there earlier.

The laundry may be left on the line longer than intended, ending up windblown and scraggly.

Early evening may involve water in a pot and whole wheat noodles cooked with a few veggies. I might mix them with a pat of butter and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese… and call it dinner.

The boys don’t care.

Even if they do eat dinner in their undies.

A Day

is not a bad day.

Normal, slightly crazy, imperfect, usually exhausting and overall

just A Day.

How do you know it’s been A Day in your home?

This week has been full of just such days, resulting in much up and about time without much down and at the computer time. But I promise, the banana roll recipe will be up tomorrow. Get yourself some cream cheese and a few bananas and be ready for a Saturday morning treat!


August 7, 2010

I may not be dancing in the starry lights of New York City this weekend.

My toes may not be covered in the shimmering San Diego waves of summers past.

But I am spending my moments in the highest town in the nation.

10, 200 feet high.

A place where the sky and the evergreens become a breathtaking blend of sapphire and emerald.

My afternoon moments are spent,

not rushing to sessions,

not wandering boardwalks,

but walking to town with flowery glasses shading my eyes,

hair tied in two {piggie} tails,

and a weary-legged toddler tied to my back.

This is {real} style.

Evening twilight hours:

Antiquey games = happy.

And the perfect ending to mountain summer daylight?

Pretty purple bowls.

Heavy spoons.

Overstuffed red couches.




I’ll soon be meandering through conference hotel halls,

with heart friends talking, hugging, grinning.

I’ll spend a summer near the beach again.

But today?

It’s all good.

And speaking of good,
don’t forget to enter to win
the pretties
(or a bit of handsome}
from Mimi’s Babies Etsy!


August 1, 2010

This is my boy.

My oldest one.

(I have two.)

Tonight, while pulling covers over jammies,

tucking stuffed animals in their proper sleeping spots,

and kissing sleepy brows,

we started talking about when he was tiny.

We snuggled close, noses touching,

as I told him of the day I discovered he was there,

tucked under my heart.

We pulled close the soft golden doggie his grandparents gave him that day,

months before he arrived.

He giggled

and asked me to show him how big my tummy became.

I told him of the first moment I saw him,

gazing into his bright blue eyes,

stroking his blonde hair,

stealing glances at his adoring daddy beside us,

blinking back tears.

You were just a kid before I was your baby, Mama,” he whispered.

And then you saw me and became a mommy!”

My lips formed a slow smile before moving to kiss his cheek.

I know something he doesn’t yet understand;

that I had been a mommy twice before,

to two little ones moving from my womb

to Jesus’ arms before they were–and before he was–born.

In many respects, he is right.

Until I held that bundle,

four and a half years ago,

I had no idea what it would mean

to give everything I had for an eight pound armful of sweetness.

I didn’t know how to bathe that bundle,

nor how to feed a hungry little one.

I hadn’t been up in the wee hours rocking,

nor bleary eyed in the mornings.

To many onlookers, I hadn’t yet become a mother.

But I was.

Because I had loved a baby.

And called her my own.

My heart is wrapped up in the two little boys

who fill this house with shrieks and laughter.

I ache with the love that overflows for them.

But I thank Jesus every day for all of my babies.

The two who call me mama today.

And the two who made me a mommy.

Sometimes I realize I don’t know much about my online buddies’ families unless I meet them in person.

Tell me… who lives in your house?

And also… who lives in your heart?


The walls of my home hold me and two little boys: four year old Troy and two year old Merritt.

Half my heart is currently spending a year deployed to Afghanistan.

And we have two precious ones playing with Jesus these days, always living in our hearts.

If you’re hurting today, a mother with empty arms, for any reason, know I hold you close in my heart.

And if you’d like to share your story and would prefer to send me an email, I’d be honored to hear it.

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