Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Awkward...and 1986

So much of life has returned to normal...amazing how quickly that happens. From my perspective, one of the hardest things about grief is that the world keeps moving...and a part of you is glad...and a part of you grieves more that it has. All the emotions leave me feeling out of place at times...wanting so bad to be in the moment and so aware that my thoughts are a million miles a way.

The other day a precious lady stopped us at the grocery store and was gushing over my kids, she ended her parade of compliments with, "Are you so happy all the time?" My first thought was "My father in law passed away, we have been really sad." Thankfully I had the realization that that would be incredibly awkward and smiled and said, "We really are so thankful for all the Lord has done." Because we are....and we will continue to be...He is so worthy of our praise.

Last night as we were putting the boys to bed Benjamin asked how old God was...
I told him that I had no idea..."God has been God for forever." Benjamin then asked, "Was God, God back in 1986?" I said, "Yes." Payton then added, "1986?! Holy cow, he has been God for forever."

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Old again...

I was flipping back through my blog to get some things for a letter I am writing for Payton and came across this post written three years ago. I love the Lord. He is so amazing in the way He layers lessons...taking you deeper into His love with each year of your life. Where would we be without Him? I do not ever want to find out. I am so thankful for His friendship.

Previous post from September, 2006

I read a lot. I love to read. Always have. Once on a family vacation I read a total of 7 books and came home with a journal full of notes. My brothers had all sorts of fun making nerd jokes. Now Tony makes them... (not really:)). This past week I read something that deeply touched me...still can't read it without tears. Something in these words made me realize something in me is broken and I have ached over them and yet longed for the truth in them to sink deeper into my heart.

Here are some thoughts that Ken Gire (one of my favorite authors) wrote in "The Reflective Life-Becoming More Spiritually Sensitive to the Everyday Moments of Life":

"Honestly, I want to be like Christ.

But honestly, I want to be like the Christ who turned water into wine, not the Christ who thirsted on the cross. I want to be the clothed Christ, not the one whose garment was stripped and gambled away. I want to be the Christ who fed the five thousand, not the one who hungered for forty days in the wilderness. I want to be the free Christ, walking through wheatfields with His disciples, not the imprisoned Christ who was deserted by them.

I want to be the Good Samaritan, not the man who fell among thieves.
But if the man had not fallen among thieves, been beaten, stripped, and left for dead, the good in the Samaritan would of never emerged.

This is the dark side of Christianity, the side we don't see when we sign up. That if we want to be like Christ, we have to embrace both sides of His life. What else could it mean when the Bible talks about "the fellowship of His suffering?" How could we enter that fellowship apart from His suffering? How could we truly know the man of sorrows aquainted with grief if we had not ourselves known grief and sorrow?

That is how Christ grows in us, both corporately as a body and individually as members of that body. It is also the way many people come to Christ. For some people, it is the only way. And perhaps that explains, at least partially, why bad things happen to good people.

For the sake of those around them.
That they might come to Christ.
That Christ might come to them, to live in them.
So that once again a Savior can be born into the world."

Monday, September 21, 2009


Back in January I started working on my talks for ACU's Summit/Lectureship week, Sept. 20- 23rd.

When given the chance to choose what I am going to speak on I always try to get a feel for what the Lord is doing in my life, where am I seeing Him directing me, etc...The theme for this year is "On the Mountain with God." After much prayer and seeking I felt like the Lord was leading me to to speak on Quiet time...something I move in and out of struggling with...My topics were "Meeting God on the Mountain: I want to meet Him but do I have to climb?" and "Meeting God on the Mountain: Can I summit in 30 minutes?"

I have studied, researched, and prayed about these talks for 9 months. I have a spiral notebook that is filled with notes. I have two outlines that I have read and re-read everyday. But before I allow myself to write I always ask the Lord "Help me sift through this...what of this information is for me and what is for my class?" And each time I would feel in my heart...I am not supposed to write about this right now I am supposed to practice it. So for the past 9 months the Lord has been drawing me, calling me deeper, allowing me to see I had given quiet time a bad rap. I had made it something to check off, something to do to make me feel better about me...when what He wanted was for me to come closer and feel better about Him. He has shown me I don't have to always talk, I can just be...and listen to Him. He is shown me I am a better person when I allow Him to live through me and focus my day. He has shown me that He does not want me living for Him...He wants me living with Him. He has shown me that some of the sweetest words to Him are not articulate prayers that catch others attention...but the cry of His name alone...followed by my silence. He has shown me the power of His Word...I have realized that while I have often placed myself in the role of the older brother,I am the prodigal. I have never allowed myself to think that the Lord scans the horizon for me...and yet he does, daily. In so many ways I have experienced more of His love...and I thought I was studying it to teach it to others.

That is why last Wednesday morning I told Tony, "I have a peace right now about where I am at in my talks because the Lord has given me a peace...but He has not really made it clear what I should share yet and that is starting to make me uncomfortable. I want to have them lined out by tomorrow." Tony smiled gave me his I am not worried and you will do great talk and left for work. And Wednesday as I talked with the Lord through out the day I felt in the most real way that yet again, every time I sat down to write He spoke to my heart and said, "Don't write, just be with me." And so I did...I sat in silence, I read about His goodness, I cried out that I wanted to trust more in His mercy and relax more in His hand. I shared how I wished my love for Him was stronger and felt His peace flood my soul. I felt myself rest in His hand on Wednesday. So much so that I thought, maybe I need to ditch all my notes and just share this testimony...Is that it Lord? Again I felt His peaceful silence.

Wednesday evening Tony came home and asked how much I had gotten written. I told him, This is so crazy but the Lord is not letting me write...every time I try I feel Him stop me and call me back to being with Him. Maybe I will do it tomorrow. We both just shrugged our shoulders as if, "That crazy Lord." We ate dinner as a family and then went outside to work on our yard as a family. Then Tony's phone rang. We did not get to it in time. Then mine rang and I got it. It was Tony's brother, he was crying, I handed the phone to Tony who then dropped it and said, "My dad is gone."

I felt frantic...I made calls that got our kids taken care of...I watched my husband in pain...and I felt myself begin to grieve...Tony and I packed our bags that night crying and moaning the whole time. My prayers were reduced to calling out His name... Lord. I felt panic in my soul as I wondered how we would ever go a lifetime without Tony's dad, how we would ever explain to our kids how precious this man was, how we would ever be able to care for Tony's mom (currently in a nursing home) in the way his dad had. I cried all night long deeply toubled. And then the sun came up and I remembered my friend. The One who had been calling me for the past nine months to know Him better. The One who had been asking for me to go to a deeper place of trust with Him. The One who had shown me that He is the only thing that cannot taken from me. The one who had told me...just be still, that's enough. My tears and my pain did not cease but I remembered my Comforter and Tony and I asked Him to make Himself known to us in the middle of this.

And I realized...the past nine months had not been about me preparing for Lectureship at had been Him, in His sweetness, preparing me for this road that I would be walking hand in hand with Him and my husband.

And so we walk...and I am glad to know He holds us because our eyes are a constant stream of tears and we can't see that well. But because He has taught me to rest in Him, to trust in Him, I was able to stand up at my dear father-in-laws memorial and give his eulogy while declaring the Lord's faithfulness. Because He has taught me to relax in His hand I am not near as squirmy as I once was...And because I have learned I can trust Him, I have carried to Him every piece of frustration and every cry of I wish it had not happened like this and I know He has heard it.

We have a long road ahead. Our grief seems to feel like the ocean, tide in, tide out...under-tow strong, under-tow bearable....and it has not been a week yet.

Payton asked tonight, "Will I always feel this sad about Paw Paw being with God?" and we answered, "no, but we will be sad that he is not with us...until we are all with God." Benjamin then told about how the highlight of his day was singing Blessed be your name at school. Payton, ever our thinker, said, "If the Lord hears Benjamin's praise and Paw Paw is with God, Do you think Paw Paw hears Benjamin's voice praising the Lord as well?" We just smiled and said there is so much we do not know...and Payton responded, "I bet he does...and he loves hearing our voices praising God almost as much as God does."

Oh how I love the Lord...Tony and I have said countless times even today, "What would we do without Him?" I can say in a completely different way tonight than I could of last Monday, HE IS OUR HOPE. He is IT for us...I am so thankful we have Him. I am so thankful to know He has Tony's dad.

Tomorrow they will pass out an addendum to the program at ACU's Lectureship/Summit that explains my classes have been canceled due to family reasons. But you and I know the truth; the truth is my class has just begun.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Blog Update...

1. Payton starts school 17 days from today...I know this because every morning as I pour his orange juice he gives me the count...and he has since the day he got out of school. I love my little rain man. The other night he and I stayed up to watch the Rangers play on the West Coast. (Tony stayed up with us but Tony defines staying up as sleeping hard on the couch rather than in his bed.) As the game wore on I said, "I sure love you Payton," he replied, "I have enjoyed every minute of this summer, we have really lived it." Sometimes there are better replies to I love you than just I love you too.

2. It is apparent Eden needs a Savior. (Not that we ever really doubted that she too would need Christ.)However, it is possible to get wrapped up in the our sweet baby is perfect stage until your sweet baby gets something taken away and throws herself down on the ground screaming, slapping the floor with both hand and feet. Her first full blown fit was an impressive one. The girl is a natural.

3. Last night I wished I had a pedometer built into my pajamas. I felt like I walked miles...each child up multiple times...I slept on every bed and couch in our house last night minus Eden's crib...and I thought about that, it was just too hard to muster the energy to get over that rail.

4. Benjamin loves his sister much like a dog loves his favorite toy. He lights up whenever she crawls in the room. He can hardly wait to pounce on her. This type of fierce love is something we are daily working on. Yesterday we must of had a breakthrough...when she crawled in after her nap Benjamin ran over with his (Nerf) sword and rather than whapping her with it said, "I am glad you are up, you know its my job to protect you."

5. The other day as I was holding Benjamin he said, "Someday I will be forty and you and I will be best friends." Notice to Benjamin's future wife, I put this in writing and actually had him sign it. It is official.:)

6. The other night we were doing our bedtime reading and the story was based on Luke 6:27-31 It said, "Jesus said, "Love your enemy. If he hates you, be good to him. If he curses you, be kind to him. If he hurts you, pray for him. If he hits you on one side of your face, let him hit the other. If he takes your coat, give him your shirt. Whatever you want him to do to you....You do that to him." I then closed the book. Payton who had been sitting there taking it in said, "What does the next verse say?" I read it to him and then asked why...He said, "Well, I was really expecting Jesus to say I am totally kidding about all that, that is way too hard."

7. I am currently working on talks for lectureship (The Summit) on time with the Lord...what it looks like (Its different for everybody) the results (Once again, different for everybody) the blessing (looks different for everybody)...Someday I will be able to share more in an organized form...right now its pages of scribbles mixed with prayers of "Lord, help me." Currently I am most touched by the realization that he wants my heart...not completed Bible Study books, not my checkmark beside I read two heart. I am wrestling with that simple concept...and He is aware of that. I am so thankful He is a God who patiently loves and pursues.

8. Speaking of quiet time this summer we have instituted a different kind around this house. It did not take long to realize that between the hours of 3-4 became beat the dog mess out of your brother hour unless every one was separate and quiet. I have loved this hour each day...they have as well...and sweet Eden does not know what to do with herself...she crawls around with the house to herself with a huge smile. In an hours time I can usually remind myself of who I am and that at one point in my life I had conversations that involved lines besides, "Boys, we do not discuss that outside of the bathroom."

9. We watch alot of baseball at our house...which means if we are not quick with the remote we also watch a lot of beer commercials...We did laugh out loud the other morning at breakfast when Benjamin drank his orange juice, slammed his cup down and said in perfect accent, "Stay thirsty my friends."

10. Eden will turn one next week. Such an amazing mile marker...a year gone way too fast. It seems like life speeds up as you age causing you to look deeper and feel more. I love this little girl...It is hard to remember what our family was without her. Eden's name mean's the Lord s delight...He has placed that in our home through her life.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Dearest Payton

Dearest Payton...

Three weeks ago you turned seven. You woke up at one in the morning and came in and said, "Does anyone want to wish me happy birthday?" We wished you happy birthday and sent you back to bed, only to see your face again at 3, 5, 6 and at 6:30. You were eager to be celebrated. By then we all got up to start our day. It was a day of great rejoicing over your birth.

Seven years ago the doctor told us that she anticipated you would be born around July 4th, possibly before because you were measuring large. We marked a huge star on July 4th on our kitchen calendar. We assumed naively that we would watch fireworks while holding you and we could hardly wait. As you now know the 4th came and went and we still had no baby. The Dr. began ordering sonograms every other day so she could make sure you had enough fluid, your placenta was viable, etc... Thus began our wait...I was anxious, stressed and tired. I cried a lot. Looking back, I complained a lot.

On one particular day, my mom, your Precious, was driving me home from the sonogram...the doctor had said everything looked great and it was possible we might have an end of July baby. I remember staring out the window and telling mom how sad I was. I will never forget her words. As she drove she said, "Becky, I know you are so ready to meet your son. I know everyday that you are still pregnant is a disappointment to you...but I want you to try and stop being disappointed and enjoy this time. Payton will come out soon and he will no longer be just yours to are going to love watching him grow once he is born but you will miss him for the rest of your life."

Back then, I did not understand her words....even now I know they will mean more to me when you are 35 and I am wanting you to call your mother than they do when you are 7 and right down the hall. But I understand now, that the journey of motherhood does involve a lot of missing.I remember when you used to sit on my hip and cry when I sat you down. Now, I watch you try to explain to me why I do not have to wait outside the bathroom door at Target for you...I listen to you try to tell me why you can run into Walmart by yourself (That has NEVER happened). You are becoming, a little more every year, your own person. The person the Lord intended you to be...It is beautiful to watch.

So many things that make

* We love the way you are so gentle with your baby sister...She loves you so.

* We love the way you play with Benjamin. He is your biggest fan.

* We love, love, love your laugh. When you are tickled at something you can hardly stand up you laugh so hard.

* We love it that you know the Ranger's line-up by heart and will often tell your dad how some one's ERA has gone up or down. Your dad beams every time you pause the TV and call everyone in to watch an awesome catch, slide or double -play.

* We love your "matter of factness". When everyone booed A-Rod and your brother asked why they were doing it, you said, "The facts are Benjamin-you choose your choices but not your consequences...His choices have caused a lot of people not to like him." Your dad and I are constantly shaking our heads in wonder at your ability to articulate your thoughts.

* We love the way you organize and clean...We smile when you ask if you can clean the playroom by yourself because you "just can't handle things being thrown in the toy box that belong in a shelf."

* We love your heart...your kindergarten teacher pointed out at every conference we had this year that you are a friend to everyone. If there is a new person you ask them to sit by you at lunch and play kick ball at recess. You reflect Christ in so many ways.

* We love that you are a nervous talker. No one can ever accuse you of clamming up. You are a processor. We love helping you process.

* We love listening to your self talk. Your dad and I cracked up as we pulled up to a family gathering and heard you from the back seat say to yourself, "People love you, they want to kiss your face, let it be OK."

* We love how you are a detail gatherer. We love how you use details to hold people accountable. We are working on when you holding someone accountable is appropriate...the other day at Subway when I grabbed a bag of Cheetos and you said, "Hey aren't you trying to eat healthy?" is an example of a time when public accountability is not exactly what I was looking for.

* We even love having to explain to you...quite often, that we are not a family of three parents and 2 kids...You make us laugh (to ourselves) when you offer disciplining advice.

Oh Payton, the list could go on and on. We are crazy about all the pieces the Lord put together to make you- you. Your dad and I are so proud of who you are becoming...We can hardly believe it had been 7 years of having you in our life. Each one has been sweeter than the last. You have always been one who goes to sleep quickly. Because of this trait, throughout your life your dad and I have found ourselves in your room watching you sleep. Sometimes we are praying over you, sometimes we are reflecting over something you said and laughing...Sometimes your dad leaves and I stand there awhile longer watching you breathe and thanking the Lord for placing you in our home and I think about how fast you are growing...and all of the sudden I realize, even while soaking up every moment of the day, I already miss you.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Dearest Benjamin

Dearest Benjamin-

A week ago you turned five...causing your dad and I look at each other, shake our heads and proclaim yet again, "Where does the time go?" Seems like just yesterday we were rushing to the hospital to meet you while doing our special breathing. (Which involves me telling your dad to hurry and him saying "I'm trying!" at least 1000 times between here and downtown Ft. Worth.) When you arrived it was love at first were exactly who we wanted. We could not contain our joy over you! What a prize the Lord had given us!

As we watch you grow, we experience falling in love even more each morning as you wake up. We watch you stumble into the kitchen with your eyes still closed, your hair looking like you have been doing a head spin all night long and we smile... We love watching you grow on a daily basis. What a prize the Lord has given!

So many unique things about you that make We love every single one of them.

* We love how you love to be hugged on first thing in the morning. Currently you need at least 15 minutes of lap time with mom or dad if it is going to be a good day.

* We love that little raspy voice of yours.

* We love that you would much rather sleep beside your bed on the floor than in your bed.

* We love that you are fiercely protective of your brother and sister. You want to make sure no one hits them or tackles them except for you.

* We love it (after we shake off the initial embarrassment) that you make the mundane an adventure. When we turned around the other day at the grocery store and saw you inside the deep freeze with your rear pressed up against the glass of the door...we laughed to ourselves as we made sure you understood that was unacceptable.

* We love that if there is a lull in our day we can always find you in the back yard practicing your swing or throwing a baseball up in the air and catching it.

* We love it that you love your purple tooth. (Some in the dental profession might call it dead:)). Other children ask you about it often and you say, "Yeah, I threw a big fit when I was little and got this...sure wish I had two, but right now there's only one."

* We love it that you need at least 3 days advance notice if you are going to put on a shirt with a collar.

* We love your strong will. We know the Lord placed it in you for a reason.

* We love to ponder the mystery that is your eating...How one person can receive so much energy from one chicken nugget is phenomenal. Someday, perhaps this year, you will eat a full meal and promptly get up and build a skyscraper in backyard with your own bare hands.

* We love it that you are quick...You are the only child that we have had to chase in order to discipline. You are a gazelle my friend...a gazelle that has learned you got your quickness from your dad, he can zig and zag with the best of them. I believe I have watched you finally learn that your dad does not find your quickness amusing under those type of circumstances. I have also watched you learn that even if you can out run your mom, your dad always comes home.

* We love your desire to make others bring so much joy to the people you interact with.

Benjamin, the Lord has created such a masterpiece in you. We love noticing details that we have not before...studying the way He used colors, blends and strokes to make you someone that makes Him known to His people. Your dad and I look to Him to guide us as we shepherd your heart. We long to see you become exactly who the Lord dreamed of as He knit you together. You see son, we are not a family that believes in coincidence. Everything that is a part of you now is meant to be molded into something that reveals His character. We daily count on His promise in Philippians 1:6 that "He who began a good work in you would bring it about."

We want you to know our list of mistakes is long...we are imperfect, struggling, falling and getting back up again parents. As you get older this will become more and more apparent to you. But there is joy even in that. Because as you watch us, we are hoping you see grace, given to us by the Lord, given by us to each other, given by the Lord and us to you. I was reminded the other day that just as the Lord has not called your dad and I to perfection...He has not called our children to that either. You reveal His glory as is... We would not have you any other way. As the Lord shapes you into His man we are so thankful to play a part. We have never wanted to do anything more right.

Oh how we love you Benjamin! Your friend Jackson came over on your birthday to eat breakfast with you and pray over you. His prayer caused all of us to smile for he summed up our emotions so well. He prayed, "Lord, Thank you for Benjamin, he is so wild, but I love him so much." So do we Jackson, so do we.

Friday, June 12, 2009


I have fallen way behind on blogging. I believe every post for the past year has stated that. But in my mind, I have a list of "must writes" and this post is one of them. I am not that great of a scrapbooker...good intentions don't seem to produce I know this blog will be some thing my kids look back on...something I look back on....So knowing that...I must push through my no -posting phase and rejoin my documenting life...not to mention, my mom likes reading it. :)

Psalm 78:4 "We will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD,
His power, and the wonders He has done."

Many already know but about 2 months ago I picked up Benjamin at pre-school and he told me on the way to the car "Today during nap time I stuck something up my nose." In a moment of great parenting I said, "You better not of." and gave him a very stern look. He looked at me sheepishly and said OK. That was on Thursday afternoon. On Saturday night as everyone was going to sleep I was lying in bed reflecting on the weekend...My thought process went something like this..."Benjamin has sure been whiny this weekend...he keeps saying his nose hurts...He came out of both of his t-ball games twice and said he would rather just sit...he never does that...Lord. give me wisdom...immediate flash to Thursday pre-school conversation. The kid has something up his nose." I go check on Benj...he is sleeping soundly.

Sunday morning...Benj awakens...we talk... he confesses to putting a large chunk of the bottom of his shoe up his nose.(He peeled it off during nap time and did not have anywhere else to put it.) We go to urgent care...Dr. pulls out 2 inch piece of rubber out of Benjamin's nose...We have a long talk on the way home about how we do not stick things up our nose...but honestly we find the whole thing amusing...We pay an amazingly huge doctor bill for this amusement but we consider our lesson learned.

I am laying the groundwork for the testimony with that story.

Flash forward one month...I get the call from Benjamin's pre-school that while playing on the playground he appears to have stuck a rock in his ear. They are concerned because it looks like it is pretty far down there. I wish I could say I was immediately flooded with compassion for my son....reality is, I was flooded with annoyance. I go pick Benjamin up and we head to the Dr. all the while he sits in the back of the suburban explaining that he really has no idea how the rock got into his ear... he thinks maybe he threw it up in the air and it landed in his ear. I am still not finding humor. I can tell he is very uncomfortable. This begins our journey...I am imagining this will be alot like the nose and the rock will come out quickly...Not so...We left Benjamin's school at 4 we have seen 4 different doctors...all wonderful...the last one schedules us for surgery to be performed early in the morning to remove the rock.

I can honestly say that not at one point during all of our scheduling, driving, talking, did I pray, in my head, out loud, with Benjamin....not once. It was not until around 6 that night when the surgery center called and said they would need $1789.00 to admit Benj the next morning that I realized I had yet to invite the Lord into this situation. But as soon as I hung up that phone I called Benjamin and explained to him (And Payton, our family eavesdropper) that we needed the Lord to move that rock. We all three got down on our knees and prayed. We called Tony, who upon hearing the surgery center admittance fee also joined us in prayer. I proceeded to call every member of our family and beg them to join us in asking the Lord to move that rock. In an act of faith I called the surgery center and ask what number I will need to call in the morning if the rock comes out. The nurse was kind and amused but gave it to me anyway.

From that point on we were walking around in constant conversation with the Lord. Move that rock. I was talking to my dad that night at the boy's t-ball game and he asked if the doctors had said anything about how to get it out. I told him that one had stopped me in the hall and said, "off the record if it was my kid, I would get a q-tip, put some super glue on it and let it adhere to that rock and then pop it out." We both agreed though that getting the super glue in Benj's ear was too risky...

That night at the game we ran into another elder at our church. I asked him if after the game he would pray over Benjamin. I then told him the story. My dad and him began talking...and together they devised a plan. If we were able to cut a straw to where it was just long enough that we could put it on the rock, perhaps that could guide our dot of super glue down to the rock and then we could allow it time to adhere.

Tony, ever the confident optimist, said let's try it and went to Walgreens and spent $2.89 on super glue. It is easy to make this story lighthearted now...but the tension of wanting this to go well was huge. I was mindful that if it did not work I would be the one taking my child to surgery with now a rock and a super glued q-tip to the hospital.

To say we were prayerful is an understatement. I kept telling the Lord, "I ask your forgiveness for you not being my first response...but we are wholeheartedly giving you this now." We all prayed yet again, explained to Benjamin the process and then prayed again. Benjamin laid on his side like a champ. Never moved, never cried, never even squirmed. He was the picture of total trust. My dad and Tony worked together like an incredible team. Straw in ear touching rock, Stick lowered down through straw with a touch of super glue on it, wait...wait...Becky tries not freak out...then lift... My mom stood over us and prayed the whole time. 3 different times we went through the agonizing process of trying to get the rock...with every attempt I grew more unsure. Until the last time when Tony lifted that rock out of Benj's ear and a shout went up to the Lord that I am sure startled our neighbors.

We of course took Benj to our pediatrician early the next morning who looked him over and pronounced him perfect. We were thrilled, thankful and overwhelmed.

I had told a few people this story and had followed it up with I don't think I will ever post this...its a bit too crazy and yet the lesson learned by me is one that can't be shared wihout first telling the story. Prior to this day, I would of told first response is most often to talk with the Lord...He and I are in constant conversation. But on this May day, I learned that too stress, in annoyance, in my flesh...the Lord is the furthest thing from my mind. I long for that to be different. I long for our children to see Him as our first response because we are certainly praying He will be theirs. We love them so much. We have never wanted to do anything more right than raising them.

Oh Benjamin, someday you will read these words with your own eyes and wonder aloud if it really happened. We were there and witnessed it. We asked the Lord to keep you from surgery and this time, for reason only He knows, He delivered. We know He was with us through every moment...even when we had not asked for His Presence, but oh my son, the power in asking for His Presence is amazing. As you grow may you know Him well enough to know when you want more of Him...He is ready to give it, and give in abundance. You are our precious "all boy, boy". You take us on adventures we never dreamed of...line up all the 4 year old boys in the world and give us a choice...we wouldn't even look twice. YOU ARE OURS. We love you so!

*** stick with the rock immediately after extraction

*** piece of rubber pulled out of Benjamin's nose

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

So thankful...

A year ago today I was 5 months pregnant. We were still in a state of shock and excitement that we were pregnant with a girl. Tony and I (from dating through marriage) had always envisioned that we were boy parents and figured we would have a house full of them. We were elated to see this girl that showed us yet again our plans were not the Lords. We had just decided that we would name this sweet one we had yet to meet Eden Elizabeth. We loved her already.

Then I began to bleed. I called Tony immediately and we headed downtown. I was scared. He was scared. I could still feel Eden kicking. Every time she kicked I would say out loud, Please Lord. Sometimes that has to be enough...and I am confident it is. I remember thinking I wonder if April 22nd is a day I will remember for the rest of my life. The sonogram showed a healthy baby...but the dr. was straight forward as she asssigned me to bed rest and let me know what often occurs after bleeding starts.

I remember going home and praying...trying to surrender this baby...and realizing I could not. I remember asking the Lord to meet me, yet again in my reluctance. I remember hearing in my heart, "She is mine already, release your grip." It took days, even weeks, even months to uncurl my fingers. Even still I watch this baby smile, I watch her try to crawl, I watch her breathe as she sleeps and I feel my grip tighten again...and if I am quiet enough in the stillness of her room, I feel in my heart the words, "She is already mine, release your grip." Sometimes it is a warm breeze to my soul, on other days it is a more startling wind. And yet, however it blows, it blows with love....and I feel the need to, yet again loosen my grip.

I am so thankful the Lord allowed Eden Elizabeth Brooks to be carried to term. I am so thankful her for her sweet smiles that melt her mother and daddy. I am so thankful that she is a baby who already knows that fierce love her brothers have for her. I am thankful for the ways I see her cousins,aunts and uncles love on her. I am so thankful for the unique little personality we see emerging.

"He will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing." Isaiah 51:3

I am so thankful she is ours...but I am most thankful she is His.
Lord, hear the sounds of thanksgiving tonight.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Lowest of Lows

Every night at dinner we go around the table and say our highs and lows...Its a great conversation starter and gives us a window into the boys lives. Last night it was Benjamin's turn. He shared his high and then said, "my low today was really hard." He was at school yesterday so I immediately wondered if something had happened that Tony and I had not yet heard about from a person in authority...

We all got quiet and then he said, "This morning mom asked me to pick up my pajama pants and not leave them on the floor. It was terrible."

***I promise to be back with an update on the pig opera and more....We have just returned from an amazing week with my brother Sam and his family in Virginia. (Sam just returned from 2 months in Pakistan.) I am leaving pronto to head out to the ranch to meet with my college roomates. Cannot wait!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Pig in the Opera

Yesterday Payton came home from school and told us "Tomorrow night in the school program I am a pig in the opera." He then added, "You all are going to be so proud of me you might not know what to do with yourselves."

I am filled with anticipation. Tony, who is a huge fan of his son, but not so much the opera is anxious to see what this will look like. Benjamin has seized upon the moment to call his brother a pig at each opportunity. After all he explains, "that's what Payton said he is." Eden, full of milk and large flower on head, is quite happy to attend anything that involves her brothers.

Stay tuned for pictures or video the rate with which I keep this blog up, you should have them by December! :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

it's about time...

I keep thinking I will start blogging again...if I could do a little bit at a time, then it would not seem so overwhelming. Check back tomorrow to see if I keep my word this time...I am ridiculous...If it makes anyone feel any better I am just still trying to get it together. Last night as our day was winding down I realized my shirt looked weird....turns out I had worn it backwards all day. Nice. This morning I put desitin on my toothbrush...the great news is the diaper rash in my mouth is gone.:)

As Tony and I try to reorganize our life as a family of 5 we are noticing little things that we have let slip in the past couple of months...Like, explaining why we expect a certain behavior...Everyone likes someone that is sometimes we just say to the boys...BE KIND and they are and they move on...But as of late we are trying to call ourselves back to "the why" of why we do things...We are kind boys, because we want our hearts to look like Jesus...We want people to see us as different from everyone else...we don't just want good behavior (Though some days that feels like enough) we want to raise hearts that are committed to the Lord and His ways.

With that in mind the other day on the way to school the boys got into some verbal battle. I got them quiet and said...Guy's come on. We have talked about this...

Mom: Benjamin why do we want to be kind to each other?
Benjamin: Becasue we want to look like Jesus and he was kind.
Mom: Payton, when was Jesus kind? (In my head I am thinking the only response he couls give will be all the time mom)
Payton: Well, if I have listened to the stories correctly, it seems like it was almost always in the afternoon.

He then went on to give examples of Jesus mostly working with the the afternoon.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Photo Update!

I still think about this blog daily...My mom even has a list of things that I need to post about. I was telling a friend the other day that I feel like all of the sudden I have woken up to life. I find my self wanting to ask people how their summer has been. I was paying bills the other day and realized I was dating every single check for the month of August. (Eden was born the 13th of August)I Think my mind must of gone into overload and shut down a bit. Yikes! The great thing is I woke up to everyone fed and clothed so we are doing well. I am going to get the list from mom and post this weekend. Meanwhile, here are some pictures...We sure love these kids.

Here are some shots of the boys at at Rockridge...(the name of my parents ranch)They love playing on these rocks...I think they are pretty cute.

This picture is to honor our hard working cousin in NYC Lynds! We are so proud of you and we love a good onesie!

Have I mentioned how much we love this baby? She might be shocked to realize someday that the world does not revolve around her.

How sad...October pics in my Jan. update. Payton had to go as a non-scary monster to school on halloween. The costume had to be homemade. I immediately started sweating when I read that. I am more of the "Go out and purchase" type of mom. Nika helped save the day. Payton said he wanted to be baseball monster. I thought he was the cutest one there! :)

The boys thought "tummy time" meant drag their sister all over the house at a rapid rate of speed. This baby is tough.

My favorite guys at Holiday in the park.
Payton and his cousin Bailey. We have been asked if these two are twins. They sure love each other. Paytonwas thrilled when Bailey got to see him at school.