Perspective

There have been times in my life where I couldn't see outside of my current circumstances.  Some days it is the struggle to feel worthy, heard and enough.  Other battles have overlapped many chapters and seasons along the way.  Our crew of four keeps me on my toes with so many ages, stages, personalities, victories and battles in these day-to-day trenches of motherhood, homeschooling and life.  This place we are in feels like treading water with rest, calm and smoother seas just out of reach.  The tiny years are precious and priceless, utterly exhausting and unbelievably passing by in a blink.  As I settle in late each night after tucking the last of my babes into bed, I look back at my day and mull over all the places and moments I wish I would have done so much better

We have been wading through these little years for over a decade now, and sometimes it is hard to see much farther than the daily work of maintaining, growing, teaching, building up and pouring into each heart in my home.  I wonder if the hard, heavy season of parenting that we are so deep in will ever feel lighter.  Then I turn around to find my oldest growing up right before me, and I gain some perspective.  With his twelfth birthday just around the corner, he is at that little bit older, next step up stage where gears are turning, independence is taking shape, and great conversations live alongside thoughtful acts, hard work, helpful gestures and bigger picture moments.  I sit back and take him in, knowing that the person he is becoming is less of a reflection of my own capabilities as his mama, and so much more a picture of the capabilities of a good and gracious God that fills the gaps where I come up short.  These glimpses of the man God is growing this guy into serve as a reminder that our years together under one roof are now fewer than the years I have spent with him so far.  I am beginning to see that the things that seem so challenging won't always be so hard (and the easy things might not always seem so simple as my little people grow up).  So very grateful for this sweet big kid stage in the midst of all the rest, knowing full well that Year 9, Year 6 and Year 3 of his younger siblings are fleeting.  Through trials and triumphs these little years are just for a season, and these little people I've been given certainly don't keep.   

Lord, give me perspective for this season.  Clear my tired eyes to see each of my little people the way YOU see them.  Equip me with the patience, grace, wisdom and rest to sustain me in this journey of parenting.  Turn my worry into trust, my self-doubt into wisdom and my weary heart into thankfulness overflowing.

Seven.

>> October 15th | Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. 

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Seven is our number.  Seven of the most celebrated, sacred pieces of our story.  Adam and I have been given 7 precious, wanted, beloved new lives, and every other one was called back to our Savior.  Two miscarriages and our Maggie Girl born so still at 31 weeks.  I know so many sisters, near and far, with their own stories of loss.  Some are spoken, others remain silent.  Some have weathered years of anniversaries, for others the hurt and aching arms are new and heavy and raw.  My heart breaks for you, sister, and the loss you have endured.  And my heart HOPES with you, sister, for the steadfast promise of the sweetest reunion with our babes one day.  Much love to the Mamas that carried, the Daddies that mourned, the Brotherhoods and Sisterhoods that would have been, and the Dear Ones that rallied to carry, cry alongside, acknowledge and remember.

Dear Mom

Dear Mom,
YOU WERE RIGHT.  When I would stay up so many nights as a little girl worrying about all the hard, terrifying parts of life, you told me it was going to be ok. You were right.  Hard things have come and are sure to come again, but God has us, and it IS going to be ok.  When you fought so hard and advocated for my life when I couldn't in those deep, dark days of struggling throughout my high school years, you said it would get easier and the cares of the "now" wouldn't always hold such weight in the "later."  You said if I could just hold on, the "later" is where it gets really good and it will be so worth it.  You were right then, too.  And when you'd say, "Just you wait, Marisa Kay--your turn will come" every time I rolled my eyes, spouted awful words, slammed my door and pushed all your buttons beyond the limits, you were right again.  Motherhood is infinitely harder and more exhausting than I ever expected.  When you told me that the love you have for your babies tops all things in this world, and you would stop at nothing to make sure they were safe and ok and taken care of no matter what--you were so right, mom.  Motherhood is more beautiful, fulfilling and sacred than I ever thought possible.  For your girls you scrambled and stretched thin, sacrificed and endured, slept SO little and loved SO much.  On days like today when I find myself on the frazzled end of a meltdown that preceded/necessitated this "Under the Bed No Rest Protest Turned Nap," I can hear your words: "Deep breaths, Mis. You can do this. It's going to be ok. If you just hold on, it's going to be so worth it."

HER

Having a little girl has been equally glorious and challenging.  It is all I could have imagined and nothing like I expected.  I am soaking her up--Lucy Jane at 3 years old.  Messy piggy tails, wearing her 4th outfit change of the day, doodling (on paper--woohoo!) and paused for tiny minute in her busy, busy little season of non-stop until she drops.  The days are crazy and long and run together sometimes, but my cup runneth over and over and over again in gratitude for this life with her.  Never ever a replacement for our beloved Maggie (no such thing could exist in a mama's heart), but this little girl will forever and always be a sweet, sweet piece of redemption in our story. 

SHE IS LOVE LAVISHED ON US BY A GRACIOUS FATHER IN THE FORM OF A CHILD.