This past June, I took my kiddos home for my dad’s 60th birthday. It was just me and the two littles- aged 5 and 1 1/2 at the time- and we had the absolute best trip ever. We’ve taken a lot of trips back to Kansas. For various reasons- funerals, holidays, to show off the new baby. I don’t know what it was about this trip, but it was by far the best yet. Everything was smooth and fun and wonderful. Continue reading
I was probably ten. It was still dark. Long before the casino was built and long after the lights of the racetrack had been turned off, the dirt road to our house was crowned in a blanket of early morning stars. A few lights twinkled across the Kansas horizon… but not many. It was just me. My dad. And the cloudy puffs of hot breathe rhythmically making their way into the crisp morning air.
I don’t remember much else about that morning except that I didn’t want to be there. Continue reading
The woman in the photo above is a friend of a friend. She is a mother of three little boys and one new baby girl. That is her Facebook post on March 27th, 2016. Easter Sunday.
The next morning she found that baby girl in her crib not breathing anymore.
That beautiful woman there is the mother of one of my former students. She and her husband were unable to have children, so they adopted three beautiful babies. Two boys and a girl. Her oldest, at a ripe 3 years old, was in my class. Her heart is enormous and her faith in God, unmatched. She has been fighting cancer for over a year. A few months ago she came to school dropoff with the incredible news that she was cancer free!
Two weeks later they discovered two new forms of cancer, growing aggressively, where her womb once was. They began treatment immediately, but infection hindered their progress and sent her to ICU. On a Monday we heard she was making progress and going to a regular room soon. On Tuesday she was on life support. And on Wednesday she was gone. I turned and hugged her son when I heard the news.
And that beautiful Momma. Holding her oldest son, the one who made her a Mommy. She goes to our church and is one of the strongest women I know. Her boy is an amazing, deep, passionate kid. He loves football. He adores his mother. He is an awesome big brother and just an all-around good boy. She is raising her three boys, with one more on the way, to love God, to serve others, to live passionately.
Two weeks ago her son was involved in a tragic accident at their home and lost his life. He was 9.
To put it plainly, I am at a loss for what to say on this Mother’s Day.
It’s been a year. Not a good year. Not a bad year. Not a big year or a little year. Just a year.
As I get older, I am learning that this is a blessing.
God shows his strength and his provision and his unfailing love in the years where we are shaken and sifted. Where we transition and change. Where big choices are made and the roller coaster dips.
But God shows his faithfulness. His steadiness. His “be still and know” in the years where not much changes at all.
Ask me nine months ago if I felt steady or faithful or still and I probably would have laughed at you. But looking back, taking all the little moments and wrapping them with a neat bow and calling them a year…
It’s been steady. And faithful. And in all the little things, it’s been big. Continue reading
Have I ever told you that movies speak to me?
There’s just something about stories that grab my attention, and more times than I can count, God has used, of all things, movies to speak to me. To give me revelation. To confirm a calling. To open my eyes.
It’s a strange thing to be sitting in a theater bawling because God used a particular story to change my entire world. But that’s what he does.
Wanna know how? You can check out my nostalgic review at the Knoxville Mom’s Blog and then you can watch Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors, which will re-air on Christmas night at 9pm Eastern time.
It was casual.
She sat on the couch for an hour watching Aladdin and when we told her it was time to get ready she decided she wanted to play upstairs instead.
I thought she was wavering.
But she wasn’t.
She came down ten minutes later with her blanket and a tea set. Walked up to me. Smiled. Gave me a hug. And said, “Bye Mommy.” As if that was all that was necessary. She had made up her mind. She was resolute. And she was ready to go.
Not ready to go to Grandmommy’s for a night or to spend the day with her cousin or to go downstairs to her class for five hours.
She was ready to go outside. Get in my parents’ car. And drive twelve hours to my brother’s house in Texas.
Without me. Continue reading
It’s true. Just a few posts back I was showing his nursery. Now I’m showing his first birthday. That, my friends, is just kind of how this first year has gone.
I blinked. Continue reading