Fears and Faith

P1000694Last night one of my great fears was realized.

Our Little was born in February of 2004 and before her first birthday we had her diagnosis. During the four months we waited to have the MRI I admit I came up with a gazillion ideas of what could be wrong. As soon as we had the MRI results my mind began the now decade long pendulum swing between “she may never” and “we’ll show you”. Through it all, one fear has been ever-present . . . people are going to pick on her and take advantage of her.

It wasn’t a crazy concern.  While she was still very young we sat and watched little boys at a church dinner imitate and mock her crossed eyes. Adults have always thought Little is precious but kids have questions and don’t understand her differences.  Very few folks feel comfortable asking us for an explanation and so they don’t have answers to give their children and can’t raise them up in the way they should go when it comes to relating to children who are different. I have always been anxious about the day when everyone hit the age of meanness.

Apparently, we are there.

For the past week, Little has begged me every morning to let her stay home from school; there have been tears. This is completely out of the ordinary. I sent a note to her case manager and asked her to keep an eye out to see if anything was going on. I reminded Little that she had new friends at school and she loved being with them. She informed me that her friends didn’t love her any more.  What??!!??

I got a call from Little’s teacher last night and she wanted to talk with me about a birthday invitation Little had received. She said there had been some “mean girl” activity at school but she had been handling it “in-house”. Now that this party was looming in the future, she felt I needed to know details so I could make an informed decision about Little attending – it’s a drop-off party and she was concerned and felt strongly that this girl “didn’t deserve Little as a friend.” Hmm.

Turns out the girl having the party has been “curious” about Little (whatever) and behaving badly as a result of this “curiosity”. The behavior included trying to get Little’s report card and show it to all the kids a couple of weeks ago. Another student stepped in and put an end to it. On another occasion, and this upsets me more than the first, this girl was telling Little ugly words to say and trying to get her to go around to specific classmates and say these words. Again, another student stepped in and put an end to the behavior. I would like to say that I will need some time before I ever meet the little birthday girl and pray I will have an opportunity to thank the student who stood up for our daughter.

I hung up with the teacher and just sobbed. It’s not so much that kids know Little’s “grades” – who really cares? And it isn’t that Little said things I would prefer her not say. It’s that the kid had her talking about sex and that gets to the heart of my fears. This world is a broken and ugly place and children grow up knowing/doing/excusing all kinds of garbage because our world says they should and can. As a parent it is my job to train my children to interact with this world while discerning how to live differently from the world. I am at a total loss for how to do this with a child who has limited ability to discern.

The Truth is that God is in His heaven and He loves my daughter more than I do – I must trust Him with her. It is easier to say than do. Realistically, parents say that about their children no matter their abilities but then the parents turn around and do all they can to equip their children to live rightly. We trust — we train. What does one do when the training is inhibited?

I’m hitting my knees, people. That’s right. I’m going to hit “publish” and I am going to go lay this before our Father. When you finish reading it would you do the same? Would you ask Him to build a hedge around our Little and protect her from the evil of this world? Would you ask Him to use her as a light in the darkness and a witness of His grace? Would you join with us in praying for miraculous measures of discernment for our little girl? And ask for wisdom for Honey and me. . . we are so very clueless when it comes to walking this road the Lord has laid out for us. We need Him every hour.

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Oh, The Places You’ll Go

Where should we go next???

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Good Morning, Dear Void

So many thoughts go whirling through my head and so few are getting expressed; it’s a verbal processor’s nightmare. Most of them are meaningless and I don’t really want contributions, fixes, or answers . . . I just want to send these thoughts out into the void. So, good morning, dear void, here I am.

The day is going to be a doozy. We awoke to 60 degree temps and it has already started falling. It should be 34 by the time the kids get home from school and below 20 when we head for bed. “They” are saying the snow won’t start until tomorrow but the clouds coming over the Front Range seem to say something different entirely. This Southern girl feels a bit nervous . . . firsts always make me nervous . . . even though I have lived through quite a bit of snow and cold the last couple winters in St. Louis.IMG_0056

I’m meeting a personal trainer at 12:00 p.m. today.  Daniel.  In his picture he looks 15 and there was a day (when I was 15) that this would have been thrilling, BUT for this 40+ year old recovering mother of three it is NOT as exciting. One of Honey’s health benefits from work is a gym membership for the family and I am NOT going to lie. . . I am thrilled. For the next couple months. . . until I have to go back to work . . .I am going to be THAT mom. You know the one. . .she drops her kids off and heads to the gym.  I refuse to walk my kids into school in lycra, but I have my playlist all set on my iPhone 6 and Daniel is going to set me up.  I am having emotional flashbacks to my days in Rome, GA and it honestly fires me up to think about doing weights and working a treadmill. If this is a mid-life crises then I’ll take it.

I bought six kitchen chairs yesterday and I am so excited. I have been looking on Craigslist since July and found them Saturday night around eleven. I have plans to paint the kitchen table and have already dumped two chairs for the option of a RED bench. Along with looking on CL I have been shopping online just praying for miracle prices or a real reason that it’s okay to spend $400+ on chairs. Six chairs 1/4 the price of four chairs online. DEEP SIGH. I may not have made friends yet but I’ve got chairs, I tell you. The Lord’s goodness and timing. . . who am I to question.

The little church we have been visiting celebrated ten years yesterday and we stayed for the “hot dog bar” lunch. It was a good thing. So funny. . .the choices for lunch were hot dogs or vegan chili. Of course the Kicks ate hot dogs. The church is a reformed Anglican church and it has been a real switch for me. Every week I leave with a new assurance from the Lord that he knows our family and our needs and He has a plan for us that just might include Christ our Hope Anglican Church. (Every time I say it I am a bit thankful that my Daddy is with Jesus. I feel like such a traitor.) KB loves the liturgy and I find that fascinating. She asked me today if I know the Lord’s Prayer by heart and could I teach it to her. Little has already made a name for herself and most folks don’t seem to scared of her. Bubba is wearing his feelings and thoughts close to his sleeve on this one and so I am not sure of his true response. He participates – I can say that much. They keep letting him dip his communion bread into the alcoholic wine chalice (I mean, seriously, doesn’t that sentence sound like something you would NEVER have expected to hear me say?) and maybe that plays into his thoughts on it all. Hmm. We have KB draw pictures during the service . . . I usually say of the sermon but I think her daddy must have used the phrase “draw what’s going on” and she drew this. . .IMG_0075

2+ years of having someone clean my house in St. Louis really spoiled me. After two weeks here Bubba said, “Mom you are going to HAVE to hire a housekeeper soon.” He was shocked when I said, “You are looking at her, Bubs.” Three months later he still thinks I should hire someone. Everyone’s a critic.

Little hasn’t been sleeping again. I don’t know what has triggered it . . . she has grown at least an inch so maybe all that change is affecting her ability to sleep as well. Her brain is either off or on so maybe she’s just off.  Anyone readying this who might want to pray. . . it would be greatly appreciated.

Alright . . . this brain dump has got to stop. Albertsons is giving away a free turkey if you spend a certain amount in their store and I have groceries to buy. That turkey will be mine, I tell you!!!IMG_0086

Enjoy your Monday. Leave a comment and dump a bit of your own thoughts if you would like. “The odd thing about this form of communication is that you’re more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings.” I’m happy to be your void if you need me to be!!

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School Photos

My friend, Caroline, posted on Instagram that her sons’ school pictures perfectly depicted their personalities. My three? Their school pictures perfectly convey the image we are trying to convey; just look at the calm, smiling faces. *wink*

IMG_4579.JPG .

My kids’ responses to their pictures better display their true selves:

Firstborn: “Oh, Little you look so pretty!!” Response, ” yes, I do.”

Son: “Oh, Bubba, I love it! What a handsome picture! Such a great smile.” Response, ” Thanks, mom. It is much better than the one I took last year but when I was four I was much cuter with my glasses.”

Baby: “KB, I just love how it turned out. What a perfect smile! You are such a pretty girl.” Response, “I like it but my hair is a little crazy pants.”

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IMG_4575.JPG7 – the number of completion.
Completely silly.
Completely caring.
Completely fun.
Completely loved.

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“Pain demands to be felt”

I did it. A few weeks ago I gave in and read The Fault In Our Stars. I had seen the trailer for the movie 100+ times and just couldn’t bring myself to go watch something so obviously sad, so I thought I would get the book from the library and if it got too bad I would just return it and no one would be worse for it.

The book was NOT what I thought. There was conflict but it did not center around what I thought. There was cancer but it was not what I predicted. There was death but it was not the death I expected. I read the book in one night and never felt too deeply about it. The writing was fine but the characters were just so young and the dialog so light; I did not shed a tear.

Tonight my husband is with my mother. My children are all asleep. It has been a long time since I have done this, but I went to the Red Box and rented a movie: The Fault In Our Stars. I didn’t think twice about it since I had read the book and knew just what to expect. Sheesh. Tonight I am reminded of the power of film and the weight that comes with watching a “real” person “live”/feel a story. OH MY STARS!

What I will say to you is this . . . if you have recently lost someone you love deeply DO NOT watch The Fault In Our Stars (especially if you are home alone and the one who typically holds you while you weep is miles away). Some of it is hopeless, some of it is actually cute, but a piece of it will put immense pressure on your heart and push tears from your eyes and you won’t be able to control it.

You have been warned.

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Tales of First Grade Somethings

IMG_8268-1.JPGInitially, KB came home from school asking me to teach her at home so she could learn about God during school like she used to (thank you, KDS) but more recently there has been a shift to planning and story telling:

1. “Mom, we get to take a favorite book to school tomorrow and I thought I would take my Jesus Story Book because it doesn’t look like a Bible. Then I will ask Mrs. R to read from it and she will read about Jesus. Maybe the kids will like it and ask for more and soon they will all believe in Jesus and Mrs. R can teach us about Him like Miss Reith did.”

2. “Mom, L said today that God is dead; that He died on the cross. I told him that was only half of it. The best part is that He rose again and now He lives in heaven.” (I asked her what L said to that and she replied, “Oh.”)

3. “Mom, I think I heard Mrs. R say Jesus today…and not in vain.”

4. “Mom, I asked K if she knows God and she said she doesn’t. Can you believe she has never gone to church? I told her some Truths and ways she could get to know God. It turns out B knows Him and Iz goes to church.”

I have no greater joy. . .

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