Entering Eight

by Kari on December 19, 2014

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“I love you, Mommy.”

It comes out of nowhere and when I look down (not very far down anymore!) into his wide blue eyes, something catches inside and I can’t breathe. Oh, my boy.

This weekend we are entering 8. Eight years ago I called Jeff at work, “It’s time, babe.” And we stopped and got snacks at the store (!) on our way to the hospital, and as I walked in smiling wearing my oversized sweatshirt the nurses thought I was there to visit not deliver. The whole thing seemed way too simple. Bringing him into the world was so easy, relatively speaking.

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But that was the last easy thing about this kid. *tearful smile* Each year as I type a birthday letter to this boy, I inevitably find myself saying, “I’m so sorry, Son.” He challenges me so much, as I look over the past year I always feel he deserves an apology from this ever-failing Mama of his. *sigh*

No need to retell all the tales about this Thursday’s Child but I’ve thought this kid might be the death of me, with his Spark-mind and steel-will and COMPLETE lack of conformity to any sort of social norms. Potty-training almost put me in an asylum and I’m still finding remnants of Boudreaux’s six years later.

But the truth is the way God’s made Dutch has been the death of me, in all the most glorious ways:

The death of my ego. The death of my people-pleasing. The death of my keeping up appearances. The death of my controlling spirit. The death of all that really needs to die.

The truth is, dear Dutch, you have brought life to my soul. You have taught me so much in your eight short years. You have blown away my expectations and showed me new ways to see the world. You have challenged me deeply and made me so happy.

I am fascinated by your brilliant mind. You speak the truth in profound (shocking?) ways. Your thirst for knowledge, for truth is astounding and inspires me every day. Your love for your sister, despite your vast differences, is so tender and sacred. One of my greatest hopes, dreams, prayers for you and Heidi was that you would deeply love each other, and you do.

So much has changed this past year, as you’ve transitioned from Mama’s boy to, so appropriately, Daddy’s boy. In so many ways you have shifted, and it makes my heart soar to see you and Daddy cement that sacred father-son bond. The hours you spend in the yard together, the projects and battles and science experiments. In a lot of ways I’m already left behind. But I love it. And the fact that you still write me love-letters, and still sneak into my bed for snuggles when Daddy’s working late, that you still sit with me for hours and teach me (patiently!) about science, encourages me that our heart-strings are held tightly together.

Every year, on your birthday, I am so keenly aware once again that I am in way over my head with you, my boy. You are a glorious wonderment, and I am so incredibly under-qualified to be your Mama. But I always go back to wise words spoken to me at your baby shower:

“God has called you to be the Mama to this child. He will perfectly equip you and enable you to be the best Mama this boy could ever have. Rest in that.”

So I will. I will stay on my knees and stay in God’s Word and stay by your side, and keep trailing along behind you handing over PB sandwiches as you search the world over for more knowledge, more truth.2014-02-08 19.56.02-2And I will keep praying daily that all your quests find their end in Him. He is what I want for you most. Above all, I pray you hunger and thirst for Him.

I love you, son. Happy, happy birthday. I’m so thrilled to be with you entering eight

{Thanks for reading}

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The Spark (must read for every mom)

by Kari on December 17, 2014

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The storm had come suddenly, sometime between sandwiches and schooltime, and the branches banged against the house, and the lightweight lawn-chairs did flips across the lawn. The storm was just severe enough to be fun.

“May we please go play in the wind before math?!”

It was respectfully asked, and there it was in his eyes, the spark.

I bent down and smiled straight into that spark: “Ten minutes. Ready? GO!”

A blur of boots (no time for a coat!) ran out the door, and I watched from the kitchen window as they ran across the yard, flapping arms and laughing, feeling the powerful gusts push them along.

I glanced back at the book there on the counter, ready to be returned to the library, and gratitude welled up in me again for Kristine Barnett’s message to all moms: {Read the rest over here … THANK YOU!}

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The day I walked out on my family…

December 15, 2014

And then I can’t believe it but I grabbed my purse and keys and walked right out the door, without a word. It felt terrifying and sickening and freeing and thrilling all at once. All week it had built. Responsibilities. Company. Engagements. Needs. And I had smiled. And I had welcomed. And I had prayed. […]

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The blessing of a good enemy

December 12, 2014

Sometimes a good enemy is our greatest asset.  We seldom think so though, right? I know if someone comes “against” me so to speak, whatever the situation, my first inclination is not to rejoice. We bristle under criticism and balk at those who don’t agree with us, brilliantly crafting arguments for why we are SO right (and […]

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Why Brokenness is a Blessing

December 10, 2014

Remembering this… “Nap time, babygirl! Come here, please.” From across the room I could see her stiffen, prepare to protest. I gave her fair-warning. “Make a good choice. Will you say ‘yes’ or ‘no” to Mama?” There was no need to remind her of what a ‘no’ response would earn. She knows. She stiffly, and slowly, […]

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Life, unmeasured {An Advent Invitation}

December 8, 2014

At one point in ministry, I remember a trusted leader standing up in a staff meeting and reminding us, “We get what we measure.” Ok. Fair enough. I know this is a well-known maxim in business, and touted by many successful authors and leaders. But is it true in the context of the Kingdom? A godly […]

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Jeff and the Turkey-Hat Girl (Because we each run our own race)

December 5, 2014

Hello! It’s so good to be back here. You probably didn’t notice, but I’ve been gone for 2 weeks, on a 3,000 mile road trip to visit family for Thanksgiving. I’ve had a guest post and reposts and what not, but I’ve been mostly unplugged for two weeks straight. It feels good to sit down […]

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A Love Story

December 3, 2014

There once was a little girl. She was good and mostly happy, she played and had fun, but as she grew up she always felt a little empty inside. She wasn’t quite certain of her parents’ love for her, and often tried hard to earn or win their attention or affection. She worked hard in […]

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Because sometimes, we just can’t remember…

December 1, 2014

I had only been gone 5 minutes when it happened. Onions were simmering for soup. Christmas music floating through the house. Dutch intense over Legos. Heidi happily coloring. I ran out to Jeff’s office to discuss church business, ran back in to stir the onions again. I didn’t see Heidi. Stirring the onions, I saw her […]

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How to have a new house by Friday

November 24, 2014

Last week we were going on almost 3 weeks of on-and-off sickness in our home. By the time pink-eye struck, I was fit to be tied. It’s sad how a few weeks of inconvenience can make this Mama so quick to crabbiness. Once again this verse came to mind, reminding me of a lesson I […]

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