Tag Archive: parenting


Emotional Smoothie

I am a blender these days. My emotions are being chopped and puréed and mixed this way and that. Perhaps it is the recent trip to our former home, or the busyness of life, or the transition from mother of preschooler to mother of school kid.

I am feeling it most especially in this moment for some reason and find I’d like to curl up under a big blanket and sleep. Or maybe eat. I mean, what better avoidance is there than to enjoy a helping of choice comfort food and then snuggle in for a long nap?!

I can’t decide if this sadness in the pit of my stomach is because it is true that my baby is growing up, or what. I noticed today that a key difference in kindergarten vs preschool and daycare is that I have less of an idea what goes on in her world each day. I get a few hints here and there but it is just not the same as hanging out and chatting with her teacher or caregiver for chunks of time before or after her day. It is a weird feeling and I am not liking that change so much.

I think it is compounded today because the verdict is in on class changes due to over-full classes and K has a new teacher. She is a great lady and I have heard only good things about her. And she was K’s VBS teacher at one church this summer so she already has a rapport with her and I like that she is a Christian. K is excited. But I feel like it is the first day of school all over again. And plus I really liked the first teacher. I am pretty sure it will all work out okay, but apparently I was not truly as laissez-faire as I thought I was. 🙂 Women and their indecision and control issues….

The Other Woman

I have been thinking a lot lately about the Other Woman who is a constant in our lives. She is the vessel God used to give us an incredible gift. Sometimes her presence in our lives is more subtle than others, but lately she has been ever-present in my mind. Even more so lately since we recently had the privilege of hearing from a birth mother panel. And with reaching a rather significant milestone in K’s life I have wondered how her “tummy mommy” is doing with it all.

Open adoption is all the rage (well in the adoption world anyway) and we are learning more about it. I used to feel very insecure about the idea of this “other woman” being so involved in our world on an ongoing basis. But from the first moment of seeing K in the hospital my heart swelled with an enormous amount of gratitude and it has only increased in the days and years since. You see, I am competitive and saw this “Other Woman” as a threat to my family. But it is so not like that at all. Certainly she is sad to say good-bye to traditional parenthood, but also so grateful for the opportunity to give her baby what she believes is best for him or her. And definitely the family is thrilled to receive this gift, but sad to know how painful a loss it is for the woman who delivered. Adoption is in many ways the ultimate picture of bittersweet: such a heartbreaking and sad time for the birth family and such a time of incredible joy and excitement for the adoptive family–wonderfully painful for one and painfully wonderful for the other.

And I guess I also used to be jealous because any child that would enter our lives would always be hers first. And that used to really bother me. It probably shouldn’t, but it did. I’m not gonna lie–sometimes it still does. But K is definitely mine even though she is also hers. At least as “mine” as any child could ever be. Ultimately, our children–no matter how they become part of our family–are God’s and not our own. We are entrusted with their little bodies and minds and it is our privilege and responsibility to care for them, love them, and teach them about the One who made them. But they always have been and always will be HIS–whether or not they are also HERS. Once I embraced that truth, I have more freely been able to welcome the constant presence of this Other Woman, whom I admire and love and hope to meet in Heaven one day. There are only a handful of people in this world that exhibit great courage–and ones who hold the title “birth parent” are definitely part of that crowd.

Day 3 and the honeymoon is over…

You know how some kids require a lot of parent teacher conferences? Ummm yeah…I might have one of those.

It is the third day of school and when I picked K up, I got the

I need to talk to you

from her teacher. You will never guess over what… That stinking school bus! Sheesh this kiddo is D.E.T.E.R.M.I.N.E.D! The first thing she said shouted to me when she spotted me in the crowd of parents was “Mom why are you here?! I am supposed to ride the bus!” And when she was dismissed into my care she promptly burst into tears and went on and on (yet again) about how it is not fair that she does not get to ride the bus like E. Apparently she spent some time today trying to convince her teacher that she was supposed to ride the bus; given what information I have from both parties, I am guessing she argued with Mrs. S for a while insisting she was “not lying” and was “telling the truth.” I am sure she that when I said this morning that some days she could ride the bus, she heard that today she would ride the bus. Pray for K’s teacher–she’s gonna need it!

Something tells me there are some bus rides in K’s future. If only we didn’t live a mere 3 blocks from the school….

Funny Girl

Kids say the funniest things. K is full of surprises. This will be familiar to those of you who are Facebook friends, but it is too funny to not mention here, where it can be saved for all posterity. (Does that even make sense? I don’t feel like looking it up to make sure…)

We have this kitten who is very playful and doesn’t quite get that her claws are poky and sharp. K gets frustrated with Rainbow (the kitten) because she frequently gets hurt by her. So the other morning K came and told me that Rainbow is mean because she scratched her. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Rainbow is still little and she is learning to be nice.
K: No she isn’t. She is big.
Me: She is bigger, but she is still little. Kinda like you: you are getting bigger but you are still little.
K: (sarcastically, with head shake and eye roll, and tone of disgusted disbelief). “Really. I am a baby cat? Really?” **If only you could have seen her and heard her tone. She was soooo exasperated that I would even suggest such a thing. Which, for the record, I didn’t. She drew that parallel herself and drew a conclusion from it. Smart as a whip she is!

Sunday morning we were walking to church and she told me she didn’t feel good. I asked where she didn’t feel good and she said: “My stomach hurts. It is going to throw a rock at me.” Ummmm….okay? (I think she maybe felt like she would throw up? Thankfully, that feeling passed.)

About a week ago, a short conversation went something like this:
K: “Who is coming over tonight?”
Matt: “No one.”
K: “But then why is our house so clean?!”
Ummm….yeah. That says a bit more about me than I’d like to admit….

And earlier this week:
Me: “What did you do at school today?
K: “I made pizza. All by myself. I didn’t need Miss Lisa’s help.”
Me: “Wow. What kind of pizza?”
K: “Macaroni.”
Me: “Do you mean pepperoni?”
K: (adamantly). “No. Macaroni.”
Me: “What did the macaroni look like?”
K: “Like this.” (She made a circle with her fingers.) “It was red.”

Delightful

God takes great delight in you. Did you know that? Do you believe that our Heavenly father truly delights in you? To delight means: to find a great amount of pleasure or joy in; rapture.

Are you a parent? Do you delight in your children? The smiles; the laughs; the funny things they say? Remember the time you most strongly felt that sense of amazed delightedness? Now multiply that by infinity and you will know how God feels about you. He delights in you, my friend.

Even when you are acting far from delightful, He takes great delight in you and rejoices over you with singing.

Amazing, isn’t it?

“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”
—–Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)

Like a Child

I am often amazed at how often the Lord speaks to me through my daughter. I would guess most of you are not surprised to hear that. Not so much because of my daughter, but because of the nature of parenting. 🙂

I find that if I take even a brief moment to hear what I am saying to K, I hear that Heavenly whisper in my ear saying something like, “Take that to heart,” or “That applies to you, too, you know.”

Take this morning for example. We were getting a few things ready for some new friends to come visit. (We enjoyed our time with them all immensely, by the way and are anxious for a replay sometime soon! Plus I think I have new walking partners AND the start of a couponing group. Woohoo!)

Have you noticed that I get easily distracted? I think it is the influence of my 4 year old. Yeah…let’s go with that.

Anyway, K and I were baking some muffins this morning. Actually, she did most of the work while I washed some dishes. I was quite impressed at her mixing success. And not at all surprised at my own impatience as I sometimes had to repeat myself over and over and over and over and over and….you get it. But it made me realized that I am so like that with God.

We are challenged by the Word to have faith like a child. I am often good at being like a child, but not necessarily in the area of faith; more in the areas of not listening, or not allowing myself to be helped because I can “do it myself.” You know, just being plain stubborn about wanting to do it in my own way and time. Kind of like my 4 year old, who when she asks if she can do something and is told to “wait,” either turns to ask the other parent or in less than 30 seconds says: “how about now?”

I am so that way with God. Aren’t we all? Well, maybe you are much more skilled at submissive obedience than I am. But since you, too, are human …well, I kind of doubt it. We all struggle to submit to our Maker’s ways and plans and timing—just as our children sometimes struggle to submit to our ways, plans, and timing. Go figure.

I don’t even really have to wonder why that is. I am confident it comes down to the core issue of the fall. We do not believe God. We believe the Serpent when he tells us God is lying to us. We substitute the Truth for a lie. And we take matters into our own hands because we think we know better than God. And then we are surprised when we screw it all up.

Thankfully, God already knew we would screw it all up. That’s why He sent Jesus. During a sermon this last week (or maybe the one before that), our pastor said something along the lines of “There is no plan B. Jesus is and always has been God’s plan A.” I really like that. I think we can be secure in knowing that God has always known from before the beginning of time that we were going to mess up repeatedly. But He wanted us around anyway!