Monday, July 25, 2011

In His Own Words

Last week at VBS, Marcus had the privilege of sharing an abridged version of a Bible verse in front of everyone.  His was Luke 9:25 "God is better."  Short and simple, and pretty much what we've been trying to share with him...that Jesus is better.

(If you're interested, you can watch Marcus' class presentation here and Audrey's here.)

Today, I had to correct him for some bad-boy behavior and as I was praying with him, I couldn't help but literally cry out to the Lord.  I clenched him tight, let my tears land on his shirt, and just begged the Lord to pour out His grace on my son.  It is the Lord who saves, not Marcus' capacity to understand the Gospel, so I pleaded with Him to give him a saving faith in the incredible love shown through Jesus.  I felt like a baby, just begging.

Later in the evening, I put on my Wicked Stepmother outfit and yelled impatiently at the kids in the car, being especially ugly to Audrey.   I could see the poor girl whimper in the rear view mirror and I realized how harshly I'd treated her.  Normally, I would let her sulk for a while  so she would feel guilty for turning me into Meanie Mama.  (Because it's all her fault, right?) But after a few minutes, by God's grace, I asked her to forgive me. It went something like this:

Me: Audrey, I'm so sorry.  Please forgive me.  Mommy was so ugly, huh.  Mommy was so angry and impatient and I shouldn't have yelled at you.  Mommy's heart was so full of sin, wasn't it?
Auj: (whimpering)
Me:  Why are you crying?
Auj:  Because I thought you didn't love me anymore.  (ouch!)
Me:  (heart pretty much crumbled) Audrey, I'm so sorry. I love you SO much.  But because Mommy's heart is sinful, my love for you is not perfect, even though I wish it could be.  Remember how we learned that God loves you no matter what you do or don't do because of Jesus? Only God's love for you is per...

And that's when Marcus chimed in.
Marcus:  Jesus is better.  God is better.

It was the first time he had said those words without us prompting him to.  I'm not sure if he really understood the meaning of it in his heart, but it sure spoke to mine.  God's' love for my kids is better than my love for them could ever be.  I ache for my kids to know this.  Especially when they experience heartbreak and pain of their own, I want them to know that nothing can ever separate them from God's love; a love that was proven when He hammered nails in the hands of His perfect and beloved Son so that He could carry the burden of their fallenness.  A love that calls them His own children and doesn't change because HE doesn't change.  A love that welcomes them with open arms no matter how much they don't love Him back.

I'm seeing more and more how I need to cry out at the feet of Jesus for my kids (for our whole family, actually).  Even if Marcus couldn't speak a word or if he never showed signs of "understanding", I want to grow in faith that it is HE who saves and His grace is wide enough to cover over our little ones.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What We've Been Up To Lately


"Good Morning"-ing

Morning bottling

Morning reading

Morning sitting with excitement

Morning cuddling

Arts & crafting

(I am NOT one of those moms who do a ton of crafts with the kids.  I'm not creative AT ALL.  To be honest, I have the kids do art so that maybe, just MAYBE, it will occupy them for half an hour and I can do my bills.

But it usually takes more time to set up than actually doing it and Marcus is usually needing me to help him the whole time.  Bills, schmills...but still worth it!)

Barnes & Nobling

Asking Mommy to read a book on managing personal finances

Buying a chapter book with her own birthday money

Not reading yet, but waiting patiently

Enjoying the beautiful, mild, Southern California summer

Sharing a cup of yogurt

Declaring, "Best Dessert Ever!" and eating his whole share by himself without asking for any help from Mommy (for the first time)


Water fountaining

Drum practicing with Dad


Losing more teeth

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ugly Morning Lessons

Today was one of those mornings.  Every mother has them.  I had a feeling when I woke up groggy, and Marcus angrily threw his Cheerios during breakfast, that it was going to be sticky day, and I was right.   Here is a snapshot of my morning:

- Long, frustrating call with Verizon
- While breaking up multiple fights between the older kids
- Resulting in Marcus screaming so Russia could hear him
- Then sequestering him in the bathroom for the umpteenth time while asking the Verizon lady, "Sorry, could you repeat that?"
- Teething baby waking up
- Baby crying bloody murder because brother pushed him
- Dreading getting ready for Auj's swim lesson because I really didn't feel like hauling the swim gear and redirecting Marcus in his walker out of the rose bushes every few steps along the 45 mile trek to the car while pushing Baby in the stroller, which is especially embarrassing saying "Hello" to my neighbors because they've just heard me yell at my kids all morning
- I knew it got bad when Audrey saw me in a not-so-good state and offered to do all my chores for me, then I saw her crying on the couch because I didn't say "good job" to her

(By the way, why is it that when things like this happen, all of a sudden I get really upset that my house is so messy and that I didn't get a chance to exercise?   Because I was perfectly okay with the dust level of my house last night, and I haven't exercised in 5 years!)

In any case, I found the ugliness of my heart spewing out all morning, complaining about this and that and declaring "only if" this or that.  I wanted to take myself into my office (if I had one) and tell myself, "Didn't you know this was a part of your job?  Didn't you want so desperately to be a mother?  Well, these kinds of mornings come with your job description, lady, so stop complaining and just do your job."  Then I realized how utterly normal my morning was and how I've longed for normal when I was afraid it wouldn't be.

Lately, there's been a new dimension to my trouble with Marcus' disabilities.  When usually it's sadness or grief in regards to Marcus' happiness and well-being, lately it's also been a "woe is me" mentality and "wouldn't my life be so much easier if..." thoughts, as if all this revolved around ME!  I remember earnestly praying after Marcus' diagnosis, "Be gentle with us, Lord.  Please be gentle with us!"  Sure enough, He heard those pleas and answered those exact prayers.  Marcus' symptoms fall under the milder hemisphere of Joubert Syndrome, and yet I still complain so much.

Then I think about all those parents who are suffering so much with hospitalizations, seizures, severe sensory processing issues, organ failure, undiagnosed GI issues, and I am so humbled.  So rebuked.  Through this, the Lord has gradually softened my selfish and thankless heart and started to peel my eyes off myself.  I'm compelled to pray for Kara in the UK who has life-threatening apnea, Elijah in Minnesota who is about to undergo a bone marrow transplant, Jada who is being treated for cancer, our friend Corben who is awaiting a kidney transplant, and a few mothers I've come to know who'd give anything to see their child again, even if it meant having a rough morning.  Most of these souls are friends whom we've never met, but whose stories I've followed and have become so dear to my heart.

Yes, I had a not-so-smooth morning, but the Lord has graciously allowed me to see it in perspective.  He cares about my anxious heart and all the reasons why I complained, but He also has His hand in so many others' lives, who bear a weight so much heavier than mine.

By the way, the crying children of the morning turned into smiling children in the afternoon.  The day didn't turn out so bad after all.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Attack Of The Brothers

Big Brother:  Yes! She is pinned down, in perfect position.
Lil' Brother:  I just pulled her hair.  She seems okay though.
Sister:  (nervous laughter)  Heh heh.  I sure love my brothers.

BB:  Let's see if she'll tolerate me sitting on her now.  Derek, watch and learn.
LB:  I have so much to learn, Big Brother.
Sis:  Uh, this is kind of uncomfortable.

BB:  Okay, Little Brother, I think I've found her threshold.
LB: Boy, that was a great move, Big Brother.
Sis:  That really hurt and I'm sad now.  I thought you loved me.

BB:  I do love you, Sister.  I really do.
LB:  Hey, I didn't do anything wrong...right?
Sis:  Waaaah!

Sis:  Why do you boys always torment me?
BB:  Sister, we love you.  Tormenting you is how we show our love for you.

Sis:  Well I don't LIKE that!

BB:  But, I like it.  (pause) I like it a lot.

LB:  Wow, I think I'm going to enjoy this brother business.
Sis:  Hmph!

We are brothers!  Yeah! Brothers!


How We Celebrated 2

Highlights from July 4th and birthday celebrations:

Audrey was elated to be able to drink a whole can of soda as promised on her birthday.

My daughter officially wears shoes that are more expensive than mine.  May I just say that the Twinkle Toes commercials are powerful at winning over young girls?  Audrey gets sucked in by advertising.  For a year now, she keeps telling me I need to buy Shape-Ups.  Not sure whether or not to laugh or cry at that.

Marcus dug these firework 3-D glasses.  Did we take him to see fireworks?  No.

We dipped in the pool and pretty much our whole neighborhood did too.

California Grandma was there and we're stoked she gets to celebrate every birthday with us from now on.

Marcus was excited for  big sister's birthday.
   Me:  Marcus, are you thankful for Noona on her birthday?
   Marcus:  Yeah
   Me:  Why do you love her?
   Marcus:  Because she's cute.

The father-daughter birthday duo got to bond.  During their night out together in search of fireworks:
Auj:  Dad, do you know what I wish for when I'm by myself?
Mike:  What?
Auj:  You.  I just love being with our family

This past weekend, she had another chance to celebrate.

First, tea party

Then, a princess musical at the Ebell Theater in Santa Ana

She loves her "girls" and I loved seeing her interact with them.

We are done celebrating her 6th.  Now I'm looking forward to finally being able to go on a date with my husband to celebrate his 37th!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...