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We are a family of fifteen: eight already with Jesus and seven in desperate need of Him. This is the story God is writing in our lives. Proverbs 16:9

Monday, April 29, 2013

Beautiful at Any Stage

I never, no never--- imagined having three 1s at once.

There is an initiation process into the training years.  It all starts about the time babies decide they can and shall have their own opinions.   Opinions arrive like baby teeth, except without warning and there is no pharmaceutical (or natural for that matter) remedy.

It all started here one day when, during a diaper change, the soiled party decides that he or she doesn't want to lie still.  He or she tries to roll away doing a full-body-leg-over-bowed-back thing while screaming in disapproval and then finally --- the big finish--- sticks his or her hand in the offended part of the diaper.  And then the next in line follows suit.  Then the next.

Then there is mealtime.  After chopping enough bite-sized food for three and dishing it up, each baby moves to dropping it on the floor... because it just looks so nice down there:)  And then they scream when they realize there is no more food left to eat on the table.  Have I mentioned that these babies can eat!?!  Oh my.  They love to eat.  When they are finished inhaling everything in sight, any food remnants are stuck to various parts of their bodies.  So I clean each baby.  And then the floor.  And the highchairs.  Three times a day.

Then they play--- or more like they move around the play yard in a herd after the exact same toy.  Next, someone gets stepped on (more about that in a minute), while another gets whacked in the head by some educational, plastic object.  At this point, they all take a vote and decide collectively that play yard time is over, stand at the edge, and scream.  One guy even tries to climb out.  Settling a full-blown, triplet tantrum is sometimes like trying to get three cats to take a bath in a whirlpool.

Just in case you are concerned, I am not new to all of this.  I know how to teach baby signs, discern childishness verses foolishness, and kindly give a cue when faced with unacceptable behavior.  This stage is fairly straight forward.  Knowing what I know from first hand experience about future stages makes "Stop" and "No touch" seem pretty simple.  The thing that is the kicker is that I now am doing it three times more than I am used to.  It is quite taxing.

But it isn't always like this.  When I take a break and sit in the floor with them, they one by one, pull up to my face and tell me something they think is completely fascinating.  It may be a syllable or even part of a word.  Sometimes it is "MaMa" which makes me melt.  The cherry on top is that they all have begun laying their little heads on my lap or shoulder with an audible sigh.

They also copy each others' movements, clap, high-five, and wave.  They give the sweetest kisses, even though it looks more like they might want to bite more than kiss.  They all pull up on everything, stand strong, and dance when they hear music.  Eliana says, "Baaaaay-beh!" (as in Chantilly Lace by The Big Bopper).

And yes, Isaac is walking around like he has been doing it his whole life.  He giggles when he makes it a couple of feet and makes himself fall down.

Then there is nap time.  They are the best sleepers I have ever known.  And I absolutely love walking into their room after a nap and see each smiling face peering over the side of each crib.

There are the moments I allow myself to look at them and think, "Just two years ago, you were frozen... in a straw... in a lab."

There are a lot of things I don't know about mothering three littles and two big boys at these stages.  There are many things I am learning.  But one thing I do know, I want the babies and their big brothers to come to me as Mommy with hands spackled with smashed peas, ready with slobbery kisses, sweet smiles, tantrums, and all.  They all ~every day~ show me tangibly what it means to be made in the image of God and very much in need of Him.  Then I am reminded that they are a picture of how I am as I move toward Jesus as He bids me come.  And it is beautiful.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Spring Speaks LIFE to Me

Long branches despairing
Earth firm and unyielding
Colors surrender to sleep.
Landscapes barren
Shuddering cold prevailing
Frost silently dusts the plain.

My soul cries, "Death!
Have you overcome?
Why the visible agony?
All that was made
In Garden's glorious first days
Not purposed for more than this?"

More than is clear
Profound metaphors taught
Intentions Good and Wholly Pure.
Respite seen and unseen
In a thematic display
Illumining a marvelous mystery.

Oh body descending
Into grave unending
A deserved, consequential lot.
Failing at law
A hopeless cause
Awareness hidden by blindness inborn.

Dawn of Life, Emblazoned Son
Sacred, pursuing Love
Moves to call death to death.
Wrath stored, then out poured
Culmination of salvific prophecy
Source of all redeeming all to the end.

Worked in fabric of season
No seedling forgotten
Bountiful palette of eternity.
Called from eternity past
The branch and bud vivid and changing
Flourishing in His company.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


I have no idea how this began, but the boys--- at first it was Andrew--- started declaring things around the house.  Come to think of it, I am pretty sure it was a past grammar lesson.  We studied what a declarative sentences are and how they function.  Since then, they have been practiced and rehearsed for fun within the rhythm of ordinary days.  My favorite declaration is the most simple.  Andrew says, "I declare that Eliana is a............ Baby!"  And with great joy and delight, Eliana smiles and claps her little hands and Elijah chasse's around her with great rejoicing.  Then Andrew, the speaker, and Elijah, the entertainer, proceed to the other babies, each time giving the same amount of fanfare to their baby-ness.

Having something declared of a person that is so clearly obvious isn't so compelling, unless preformed by the cutest kiddos on earth;).  I know it sounds silly, but the babies love it.  Then we move on to other self-evident things, like green grass and stinky diapers.  

That's about all I as a human being--- one who was made, not the Maker--- can do.  I observe, perceive, and verbalize existing truths.  

In contrast, there are declarations of those who believe the words of Yahweh God that are exceptionally different.  Those once alienated from God are elevated to a far surpassing, otherwise impossible position.  I cannot imagine making it through some days without His declarations.  Call it good theology, I feel and receive them throughout the day as constant mercies.  Goodness knows there is enough that is subjective to decipher.  My need for objectivity is paramount.   Time and circumstances do not change objective, God-breathed truth.  The extent to which I engage truth in faith and understanding doesn't change it either.  The truth about truth ensures real, outside-of-myself comfort.

I believe.  Lord, help my unbelief.  

Here are some of my favorites from the New Testament:

Jesus says ~ I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater them all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

For our sake He made Him be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-- by grace you have been saved-- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

There is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from you Father.  But even the hairs on your head are all numbered.  Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. 

What are your favorites?

Saturday, April 06, 2013


I would love to share some pictures from our day together enjoying the little blocks that have given our boys hours of fun and outlets for creativity over the years.

Our Greeter

"Hulk Smash!"  Elijah says

Buried in Legos

Andrew added this...
... to this.  Andrew really enjoyed being a part of something bigger than the piece he created.

Saving the Galaxy with Daddy

At Bilbo's Hobbit Hole

The SpeedOrz Area ~ Elijah said this was his favorite part of the day.

Other people just rode around...

And at the end of the day, one little guy crashed.