these are the days

these are the days

of loud music blaring in cars

girls belting tunes

as if they were the stars

these are the days

of selfies and laughs

dabbling in makeup

and perfecting the craft

these are the days

when emotions run low… and high

these are the days

that too quickly will pass by


I can hardly believe that my oldest daughter just turned 16. How did that even happen?! I remember finding out I was pregnant with her and the overwhelming joy I experienced when I held her in my arms as a newborn. It seems like yesterday, and yet it was a lifetime ago.

Katie

I remember celebrating all their “firsts”… the first smile, laugh, their first bite of baby food, sitting up, crawling, walking… the list goes on and on. It seemed like those days of them being children would last forever!

My youngest just got braces last week and lost her last baby tooth (finally!!) the week before. And after only a week, I look at her and see the remnants of her sweet baby face fading away…

Sigh.

Sixteen is way way to close to eighteen…and way too close to technically being an adult. And I am so not ready for that.

Not at all.

But life keeps on marching whether I’m ready or not!

Sophie

So for today, I will savor every car ride with the girls and I’ll let them turn up the music. I’ll laugh along at their crazy stories and selfies. I’ll let them put makeup on me and style my hair, and I’ll let them invite their friends over often. And those moments when motherhood overwhelms and stresses me out- I will remind myself to soak up all the joy I can.

Because one day they will be out of the house and all will be quiet.

And that day is coming way, way too soon!

Train up a child in the way he should go,
[aAnd when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

Me and my Soph
Me and my birthday girl- Katie

One thing remains

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I think back on the days when the girls were little and I lament over how little sleep I had, and how very much I felt pulled between working part time while I stayed at home with them.   I remember the momma guilt I had when I hurried them to “get in the car because Mommy was going to be late again”… I remember how I rushed from here to there trying to fit everything in…I also remember thinking I wasn’t doing a good enough job at everything I was trying to do.

Sometimes I wonder what they remember about their “little girl” days…

Yesterday I was blessed beyond measure.  The girls found an old camera and showed me the memory card.  They wanted me to upload all the pictures onto my computer and look at them together.

Most of them were when the girls were around 2 and 5- right in the thick of my “running around” days when I taught aerobic classes at the gym and I was also teaching music lessons.

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And the smiles I saw on the girls’ faces brought tears to my eyes.  Pictures- lots of them that they took themselves- perfectly documented giggly faces covered in juice, their favorite toys scattered all around the house….there were even short videos of them watching their favorite tv shows and singing the theme songs.

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As we scrolled through the pictures, I started to delete the blurry ones- and my oldest kept saying NO!  Every single one made her remember something special.  I couldn’t believe all the little details she remembered about those years.  Every toy and dollhouse, every outfit and accessory she wore.

And all I could see was the joy in their eyes.

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Maybe I was a little too hard on myself all those years ago- because yesterday, as we looked back on those pictures, I didn’t think about anything other than how precious my girls are and how very much I loved my babies!  Looking at those pictures made me really missed those days.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 

1 Corinthians 13:13

a blanket of blessings

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stitch by stitch 

it was frozen in time 

I watched it grow 

and dreamed it was mine 

soft and warm 

like an autumn sky

an afghan brings memories

of days gone by 

 My mom recently and asked me if there was anything in particular that I would like to have that belonged to my Granny.  Oddly enough, something immediately came to my mind- an afghan.  Not just any afghan- it was one my mom had made for my Pawpaw nearly 30 years ago.

So I said to my mom- “Do you remember that old afghan you made for Pawpaw?  I would love to have it if it’s still at the house!”  She remembered it right away, and said she’d try to find it that weekend.

As a kid, I remember sitting beside my mom on the couch each night as she crocheted it.   I wanted that blanket!  It was soo soft, and I remember thinking about how much my mom must love her daddy to spend all that time making it for him!  I believe she gave it to him for Christmas that year.

And every time we went to visit Granny and Pawpaw, I saw that blanket folded neatly on top of his recliner.  I secretly wanted to sit in his chair so I could spread it across my lap and pretend it was mine!

Year after year, Every time I saw the afghan, the memories of those special evenings I spent sitting beside my mom, watching her crochet… those memories would come right back to me.

As I was sitting in church the following Sunday, I saw a text from mom.  They looked everywhere for the afghan, and mom went out to the garage to put something in the freezer- and there it was, in perfect condition tucked beside the freezer.

I was able to pick it up later that next week.  The afghan was a little stiff, and slightly musty from old age, so I carefully washed and dried it.  Now it’s as good as new!

Its not the afghan itself that’s special- it’s the precious memories it brings back to me…of being a little girl, sitting beside my Mommy on the couch…just simply being together.

“After all,” Anne had said to Marilla once, “I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.”
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

when my heart is overwhelmed

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From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety

Psalm 61:2

I heard other moms say it would happen, but I didn’t see it coming.  My girls have been my whole world for the last 13 years, but it seems like overnight they have started wanting to do things without me.

We went to a Christian concert last weekend.  I was so excited to go with them!  When we got into the arena, we found some good seats and I sat between the girls.  As the bands came on stage, each one encouraged the audience to clap, dance, and raise their hands.

I was all in… meaning ALL IN to groovin’ down at the concert, until my oldest daughter said “umm… could you please not to that?  And can you switch seats?”  Not only did they NOT want me to make a fool of myself, but they didn’t want me sitting beside them either.  I switched seats with my other daughter so that they were together with their friend.

I admit- I was a tad bit sad, but I was grateful to have the experience of being there with them.  I sat for most of the concert as I watched the girls and their friend sing and dance and jump around.

And then towards the end, the Newsboys sang the song “We Believe”.

I had tears in my eyes as I watched the three of them sing with all their hearts, arms raised and eyes closed- like no one was watching them.

We believe in God the Father , we believe in Jesus Christ, we believe in the Holy Spirit , and He’s given us new life. We believe in the crucifixion, we believe that He conquered death, we believe in the resurrection,  and He’s coming back again.  We believe .

Watching my girls actually worship was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.  Almost every Sunday, I am not sitting with my family during the worship service- I am at the piano leading worship. I think because it’s “Mommy” leading the singing at church, my girls are more hesitant to join in.  But not in that stadium!  It overwhelmed me to see that they knew every word to these songs and to see that they really do love to sing!

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And then yesterday, as we listened to the sermon- my daughter motioned for me to hand her my phone.  I shook my head no,  and then she batted her long lashed puppy-dog eyes at me.

I reluctantly handed it over, and I watched as she moved her thumbs at lightning speed.  I didn’t have a clue what she was doing until she handed me my phone back 30 seconds later.

This was the screen saver that she put on it-

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My heart was overwhelmed.

God continues to nudge me to plant seeds- even when my girls don’t seem to be listening.

 Even when they act like I embarrass them.

Even when what I say isn’t what they want to hear.

That little screen saver was His way of reassuring me-

they’re  listening.  

It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.  

Isaiah 55:11