Tag Archives: love

Happy 4th Birthday, Little Man!

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Happy 4th Birthday, Little Man!

It’s been a crazy seven months.  Unfortunately that has led to not much blogging lately.  So, I’m a bit behind.  I promise lots more updates to come, but today I want to rewind about a month, and celebrate Little Man’s birthday!  Here is my annual letter, interview, and some adorable photos!  Enjoy!!

Dear Sweet Boy,

I can’t believe you are four!  You are growing by leaps and bounds, in so many ways.  In the past few months you have grown two inches and gone from being able to wear 24 month clothes to wearing a 4T.  You are growing in so many other ways as well!  A year ago you had only been speaking for a few months.  Now you are talking up a storm.  You say the most adorable and funny things.  You make up songs, tell stories, and love to “read” all your books out loud.  It’s so adorable— you insist on always reading it yourself, and you open the book and retell the story for us.  You have learned to count, identify colors, and match.  I recently received your last school report and you had met several goals that you’ve been working on all year.  I am so proud of you!!

You are such a sweet boy.  I love seeing your heart and compassion.  Saying goodbye for you is always a big hug fest.  Every morning when you get on the bus we spend several minutes giving lots of hugs, kisses, and high fives.  When I pick you up from daycare, you always have a hug for your teachers, and all of your classmates won’t let you go until they’ve gotten their “Little Man hug.”  I love seeing how you cared for “Baby Sarah” when she visited.  You gave her your favorite toys when she would cry, hug her, hold her hand when she needed to go somewhere, and genuinely loved on her.  I pray one day I get to see you take care of your own baby sister.  We’ve been working on apologizing when you hurt someone and you’ve taken to initiating your own apologies when you make a mistake.  If you’re mad and intentionally hurt me, you hate to apologize, but when you’ve made a mistake or had an accident—even the smallest of things — you break out into this huge smile, run and hug my legs, and yell “I’m sorry, Mommy.”  It is the most adorable thing ever.

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This year you have tried so many new things.  You started your new school and have absolutely loved it.  You have such an amazing team of teachers, and you are absolutely in love with “Miss Carrie.”  She is so fantastic with you and I wish she could stay with you as your grow and change classes.  You tried soccer, and spent more time laying on the ground than playing, but you enjoyed being outside.  And you showed me you’re more of a football kind of kid— every time the ball (or a player with the ball) came near you, you felt the need to tackle them to the ground.  You took swim classes and have loved being in the water.  You took a dance class and loved it.  The week after it ended, you ran to the empty classroom because you didn’t want it to be over.  You got glasses for the first time, and we’ve gone through what feels like a million pairs, but you’re getting better with them all the time!  We have gone on some fantastic adventures together — apple picking, visiting Sesame Place, blueberry picking, exploring the Strong Museum of Play, meeting your new extended family for the first time, feeding animals at The Wild Animal Park, running around at Billy Beez, and so many other fun experiences.  I have loved watching you experience new things and places—you are always full of so much joy and excitement.

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You love music—when you love a song you always sing it at the top of your lungs, dancing around, and smiling with such joy.  You love to sing “Let it Go,” and whenever “Happy” comes out, you scream “That’s my song!” and start dancing.  It’s the cutest thing ever.  You have discovered imaginative play and I love watching you interact with your trains, Little People, Daniel the Tiger toys, and Elmo figures.  You have about a million stuffed animals which you absolutely love.  Over the past year I have watched as you’ve moved from reenacting violent scenes with them, to caring for them, patting their backs, taking care of them when they’re sick, and putting them in time out when they make bad choices.  Not only is it completely adorable, it is so beautiful watching you transform into a loving caregiver of all your toys.  It speaks so much about how far you’ve come, and how you are beginning to understand the role of family.  This makes me so happy for you, and so proud of your growth.

I am so proud of how far you’ve come this year.  During this year you received seven different diagnoses of special needs.  On top of all that, you were struggling to understand what was going on in your world and your family, and process the trauma you had experienced.  It’s hard to imaging have deal with just one of things—most kids with special needs only have one or two things they’re dealing with.  I’ve never met anyone who is struggling to overcome so much.  But you, my love, you are a warrior.  You are beating the odds, you are fighting to overcome the challenges you are faced with, and I am so proud of you.  So much of the time you are doing so well at fighting this fight that the people around you don’t even realize how my challenges you are facing.  And we forget sometimes how hard this is for you.  But you are amazing, and I pray that you keep up the fight and that you realize what an amazing, sweet, and lovable boy you are!

I am so very blessed that you are in my life and that I get to be your mommy.  You make everything worth it.  Over the past year we have faced some big challenges and tough times.  But you, my love, make everything worthwhile.  I can’t wait to experience the journey of your fourth year!  I can’t wait till next year when we’re celebrating that you are forever a family.  I love you forever, I like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be!

Happy 4th Birthday!!

Each year I interview you on your birthday and celebrate all the special, unique things about you.  Last year I had share what my thoughts were, because you couldn’t yet communicate them.  This year we’re celebrating because you have come so far and can speak for yourself!!  ;o)

Mommy:  Do you want to get married when you grow up?

Little Man:  No.

Mommy:  Why not?

Little Man:  ‘Cause I don’t like it.

Mommy:  Like what?

Little Man:  Married.  I like Santa Clause.

Mommy:  Do you want to have kids one day?

LIttle Man:  Yeah!

Mommy:  How many?

LIttle Man:  Five!

Mommy:  What is your favorite thing about yourself?

LIttle Man:  I’m smart.

Mommy: What is your favorite thing to do at school?

Little Man:  Read books.

Mommy:  What do you like to do in your free time?

Little Man:  Play with choo choo trains.

Mommy:  What is your favorite thing about mommy?

Little Man:  That you play with me.

Mommy:  Who are your best friends?

Little Man: You’re my best friend.

Mommy: What is your favorite holiday?

Little Man:  Santa Clause

Mommy: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Little Man:  On a boat.

Mommy:  Where on a boat?

Little Man: All around the world.

Mommy: What is your favorite memory of last year?

Little Man:  Going to Sesame Street.

Mommy: What is one thing you really want to do this year?

Little Man: Go on vacation.

What is your favorite . . .

Toy:  My kitchen

Drink: Milk and Root beer floats

Food: Cheeseburger and McDonalds

Activity: Painting

Song: “Let It Go”

TV Show: Daniel Tiger

Movie: Frozen

Book: Pete the Cat, Rockin’ My School Shoes

Sport: Swimming

Ice Cream: Vanilla

Color: Red

Candy: M-n-M’s

Stuffed Animal: Minion

Game: Candy Land

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A poem for my father

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It’s been a while since I posted any poetry on here, and today seems a good day to change that.  This is a poem for my father, whom I will always carry in my heart, no matter how many years go by or miles I travel.  Daddy, I love you.

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Father,
hidden in the nighttime shadows of this present world
are you watching me?
can you hear the tremor in my voice? 

Do you remember that cold winter morning
you called a taxi to take me the mile to school?
while others sent children trudging through mountains of snow in search of that brick schoolhouse
you ordered up a taxi—delivered on a silver platter
an absurd luxury in our tiny town of 9,000.
And I knew your love.

I miss that confidence—
love as tangible as bricks and mortar
or your hand in mine
sweeping me into your arms as you
killed the mouse
calmed the fears
sang me asleep every night with your magic charm
            “Good night,
            sleep tight,
            don’t let the bed bugs bite.”
As if I could fear bed bugs with a champion sleeping down the hall. 

Do you remember that cursed night you first knew?
I hope not.
I hope it is wiped forever clean from your memory.
That night our world changed,
I’ve never known such fear. 

There are so many things I want to tell you . . .
how thankful I am for the years we had together
how sorry I am for all the ways I failed you 

If I could go back to that night
I swear I’d do it differently
our last chance to be together
I chose myself over you
I swear, if I could do it again . . . 

But there are no do-overs when it comes to death.

Do you watch us from the shadows?
This lost family you left behind
or is it too painful? 

Can you hear me cry out for you when I think no one is listening?
longing for a shiny, yellow taxi to come deliver me to you
Father.

Were Adam and Eve cave people?

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Were Adam and Eve cave people?

That’s what I was asked by a kid at church recently.  Let me back up.  At Kid Connect we believe it’s important to involve kids in the learning process, so we encourage them to ask questions.  We don’t want to be that teacher calling out the standard fill-in-the-blank questions looking for “Sunday School answers.”  So, throughout the worship experience kids have the opportunity to write down questions.  We take those questions and the inspiration leaders (our large group teachers) address those questions in the teach time.  As you can imagine we get some awesome questions.  Teachers have three options when they read a question–they can answer it themselves, challenge the kids to come up with the answer, or they can put it in the “Expert Box” for me to answer later.

As you can imagine, I get some very interesting questions.  And so it was that last weekend during one of our venues our inspiration leader pulled out a question and read “Were Adam and Eve cave people?”  There was a moment of awkward silence.  Then she looked up, smirked at me, and laughed “Well, that one’s going in the Expert Box.”

Thanks a lot.

Here are some of the other questions I’ve been asked:

  • Did God know Santa?
  • How do we love God with all our heart, mind, and soul, when we’ve never met him?
  • How was the “big bang” made?
  • How many people die from hunger in 24 hours?
  • Why did the women not get treated fairly?
  • Why are people mean?
  • Can I beat up people?
  • What does God look like?
  • How do I get people to stop hitting me?
  • How does hope spread?
  • Can God stop school?
  • Why didn’t God just wipe out sin instead of making Jesus die?
  • Why are some churches so big and fancy and some don’t have a playground?
  • What do you do when there are a lot of people annoying you?
  • When you get baptized is it like falling back into Jesus’ arms?
  • How do you tell someone you are afraid of about Jesus?
  • Why do people think it’s all about money?
  • Why do people bully?
  • Does God have a Holy Spirit in himself

Wow!  Right?

So, it’s time for you to get involved!   What questions have kids asked you?  Or, what questions do you have that you’ve been too afraid to ask?  And how would you answer these questions?

Across Continents

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I drive down your crowded streets
20 people in a taxi meant for 14
bright pink stucco
painted to complement
a cell phone logo
in between:
corrugated tin shacks,
dried mud huts,
small brick sheds—
different places you call home
rubbish fills your three foot gutters
I watch people grill bananas
over gas stoves on the street
prepared bananas piled high
on a bed of peels
right there on the concrete
I walk through a maze of shades and shapes
but all of them unique from me
and they call out “muzungo”
like a magic charm or a witches curse
I’m not sure which
like they somehow believe
that I hold all the
answers
money
resources
I think such naiveté
must surpass my own
in this complex puzzle
I sit in the sun
watch a young girl twirl and bounce
to the steady rhythm of the blaring bass,
glance over and catch my brother and his wife
sweetly loving each other
across continents, cultures and colors
and think
I may never understand this place
but there is a beauty here
waiting to be appreciated

 

Poetry Drips Like Poison

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Poetry
drips like poison
from his fingertips
and passion
seizes his mind
until there is no more hope.
Salvation
is found in the most unlikely places
and freedom’s price
is a life well lived.
Behind
safety, anonymity and assurance,
good intentions
may rob your soul
of its open window
may close out the light
until your love wastes away
in a dark cellar.
The prisons of our minds
are no more dangerous
than the eyes with which we see.

And I wanted to love you.
But you took away my voice.

Reflections on Volunteering at a Homeless Shelter

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dull plop
of
hard crusts
and mashed pasta
spooned onto
cold pastels of
plastic trays
white plastic spoon
white plastic fork
pale hands
with smooth skin
perfectly filed
fingernails
trembling
smiles
pass the hard tray
out the
window
bitterness,
gratitude,
fear,
loneliness
in tired eyes

children
thin bodies
thread bare
flannels
faded
jeans
rough hands
big smiles
large hearts
tight hugs
but
tired eyes
I hold you
in my lap
I smile large
laugh loud
but inside
I cry
and so do you
we try to be strong
for each other—
the world
if only
I could hold you
forever
but impossibility of humanity
prevents it

so instead
I whisper sweet words of
Jesus
in your ear
and
sing you happy songs
and hold you
for this moment

 

My Love

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I tell them of you, my love
of your beauty which haunts my dreams
of your warmth which awakens my possibilities

I try to describe how I first fell in love with you
how we met in a crowded city
filled with a thousand new memories
and how, in a moment,
you touched me
and your fingerprints have forever been
tattooed on my heart

words tumble from my lips
searching to describe your children
stunning, intelligent, loving, hopeful
with those deep, brown eyes which hypnotize me

I tell them how I am coming to live with you
packing everything I can fit in a few battered suitcases
flying halfway around this spinning planet
to share life with you
because I love you
because I love the God who led me to you

I speak all of this, my love
with all the joy and compassion and love in my heart

And often they smile at me
wish me well
but secretly they wonder

how I could love you
how I could hold you dear
and wish for a life with you

And it pains me to tell you this,
but too often their minds have been clouded by perceptions they have been given of you
by so many others who have not known you as I have
they have learned to mistrust you
to hold you at arms length
sometimes to hate you,
but always to fear you

And they fear for me—
for my life with you
they are afraid that instead of cherishing me
you will hurt me
leave me lonely or in pain

But do not fear, my love
still I will come to you.
For once, many years ago
I feared you too
but some divinely ordained plan took me to you
and once I had met you,
looked into your heart
I fell hopelessly in love
and I learned how wrong all my prejudices had been
and I hold out hope for the day when they too
will share my love

 

The Hourglass

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My job is simple
I wake up and grab a spoon
after downing my shredded wheat
I wipe the spoon clean
and step outside
in front of me is an expanse of sand
I bend down
dig in my spoon
and gather it up
moving it to the giant
hourglass
behind my house
one teaspoon at a time
I move an ocean of sand
months on end
I pour into the hourglass
Until one day it is full
and the god I have constructed
knocks it over
and points to a new timepiece
and I grab my spoon
and begin my journey once more

But at night when the rain clinks on my roof
I look out and I wonder
What if this dry, grainy mission
was my own invention?
And I dream of a God who calls me to
Play with him on the beach
Instead of hauling sand all day
And I wonder if there’s more truth
in my dream than my reality.

 

Return

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Please.
Tell me there’s more than this,
that there’s hope for me.

I’ve been poured in concrete,
no matter how I struggle
I’m still in the same place
longing for you
waiting to see your face again
but the distance is dissolving my memory of you,
and I find myself trapped in this endless moment
clinging to wisps of smoke from your fire
longing for the passion which once filled me

I’m holding onto trinkets
symbols which are cheapened without your presence
and I feel cheap
hoping like this—
waiting for you,
knowing I’m powerless to
conjure up your love
like a witch doctor who has found out the utter
uselessness of my spells,
yet still reciting them
longing for the magic to
return.