A letter to my children as they prepare to go back to school

A letter to my children as they prepare to go back to school

Back to school post

This summer has whizzed – and I mean WHIZZED by. Admittedly, this is mostly my fault. The time and space has been filled with lots of busyness and activity and not quite as much rest and relaxation as this Mama would like; however, time marches on, and the beginning of the new school year is staring us square in the face.

It is in the back-to-school spirit that I penned the following letter to the four (FOUR!) of my kiddos who will be in full-time school this Fall. You can read my Mea Maxima Cuppa column in its entirety here.

God bless y’all,

heather

Photo Credit: Green Chameleon in Bristol, UK via Upsplash

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Life is Beautiful

Life is Beautiful

Ella Fitz

Written in honor of May the 6th both this and every year, past and present …

Today I celebrate and thank God again for the miracle of life. Today I am glad that I did not become a statistic. You see, today, more than any other, I am grateful for a young woman’s supernaturally courageous “yes,” – her fiat – to choose life in the face of adversity.

Having now experienced the joys and struggles of five pregnancies, I cannot begin to imagine the agony, the pain, and the sacrificial courage it took to give a baby away – to never snuggle her neck, never kiss her toes, never breathe in her baby smell – all because this young woman knew she could not be the best steward of the gift of life God had given her. Make no mistake – at any time, she could have said, “This is too hard. I can’t do it,” “This is my body, and I want it back,” “This is just a blob of tissue,” or, “I feel alone and unloved,” … but she didn’t. I believe she was able to persevere because she wasn’t alone in her courage. She had others – people who encouraged her, who supported her materially and spiritually, who prayed with and for her – so that she could, slowly but surely, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, month by month – CHOOSE LIFE for the baby growing inside her.

That growing baby, if you haven’t guessed yet, was me. My birth mother could have aborted me at any time. My time in the womb was post-1973, after Roe v. Wade, after thousands – if not millions – of babies had already died.

I honestly don’t spend a whole lot of time dwelling on “what ifs;” that’s too much energy that needs to be expended elsewhere (did I mention that I have five children??). Yet, on this day, I still like to reflect on my circumstances and encourage others to consider their own lives.

Do you know that YOUR LIFE is a gift, a miracle? It is!! Do you thank God for *your* life and the lives of those around you? Take time today to do so!! Do you – really and truly – foster a culture of life in your words *and* deeds? Please pray about this. Your affirming comment – your loving touch – could make all the difference in the world to someone today. So go forth today, dear friends, being salt and light to those you meet, and CHOOSE LIFE!!

And … enjoy my birthday. Because of a courageous young woman’s “fiat,” I know I will.

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And a not-so-little child shall lead them

And a not-so-little child shall lead them

While driving in the car the other day (Lord knows I spend a lot of time in the car these days), I decided to solicit some advice about how to tackle all of the things I’ve currently got on my plate.

Luckily for me, I had a middle schooler in the passenger seat of my car, so, naturally, I asked her.

“Honey,” I began, “what do you think about all the things Mama has going on these days? How do you think I can get them all done?”

She barely thought for a moment before she replied: “Well, it seems like you are doing a lot of things all at the same time,” I vigorously nodded my head in assent as I navigated the sweeping country roads back to our house. “In school,” she said, “I try to just do one thing at a time until I’m done. And then I move on to the next thing.”

The simplicity of her response both startled and resonated with me. “Soooo,” I queried, slightly incredulously, “what if something changes, and the teacher wants you to do something else before you’ve finished with the first thing?” She admitted that happened from time to time. “Well, then I have to adjust, and I do what the teacher asks until that’s done, and then I go back to the other thing I was working on and do that it until it’s done.” After a quick pause, she added, “I really hate homework, and I’d rather just get it done in class so I have time for fun things when I get home.”

Wow. My kid is growing up. And she is pretty smart. And I should take an organizational page from her every once in a while. Just don’t tell her I said so. She is on the cusp of the teenage years, after all. I really wouldn’t want all her “right-ness” and “smartness” to go to her head. 😉

The moral of the story is: Do what you’re doing until you’re done. The end.

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The day Love showed up

The day Love showed up

Today was just going to be one of those days. I’m sure you know the sort.

The baby crawled into bed with me at way-too-early o’clock and proceeded to kick me like he was auditioning for The Rockettes for the next hour.

My back let me know in no uncertain terms while I was changing said baby that it would go out on me without any provocation WHATsoever.

There was no coffee in the house – zilchnot even instant (and exactly how was I supposed to manage my domestic church, let alone fight the zombie apocalypse, without any caffeine???)

The cute new toaster burned my toast and, adding insult to injury, somehow managed to indiscriminately catapult the aforementioned charred slice into the dust bunny village on the floor between the refrigerator and the counter. Woof.

The dishwasher, in complete and utter disregard for my wishes to the contrary, flatly refused to load itself (what was its damage, anyway??).

Everyone wanted my snack (despite the fact that they’d already been fed, and I’d finally managed to scrape the last 1/16 cup of vanilla yogurt into a bowl for myself).

And, to top it off, my attempt to pleasantly yet firmly instruct the children to sort, fold, and put away their freshly-laundered clothing was apparently akin to torture that sent at least half of the beleaguered tykes into an ongoing screeching ritual so cacophonous that even a howler monkey would have grabbed his earplugs and headed for the hills.

But wait – there’s more! Other songs on this broken record included: Who Was Staring at Whom, She Smashed My Finger, Spilled Milk Dripping on the Hardwood Floor, and The Inconsiderate Booger Wiping Incident.

Then …

Something happened.

Somehow my desperate prayers (half-hissed through clenched teeth ranging in content from “help me bear this gracefully,” to “get me the heck out of here!“) were answered in an unexpectedly precious way.

Towards the latter part of my craptastic afternoon, I heard a quiet knock upon my bedroom door. Standing there, wearing who-knows-what ensemble undoubtedly inspired by the movie The Croods, was my first-born son. “Mommy?” he queried. “Yes,” I responded, half-listening as I smoothed the comforter down over the foot of my bed. “This is for you,” he said, as he handed me a slightly wrinkled piece of paper.

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Ohhh …”  I breathed, half whispering to this sweet, precious boy, who has long been an effective balm for his mama’s weary heart, and half addressing The One Who knew exactly what I needed at exactly this moment in time. “Thank you so, so, so much. I love you, too.

I hugged my son for longer than was probably comfortable for him, but if he was bothered by it, he mercifully didn’t let on.

Because of this precious moment with my little man – one fleeting piece of kairos in an otherwise jumbled-up mess of a chronos sort of day – I realized that perhaps it was not just one of those days after all; maybe it was something much, much better …

… a day when Love showed up.

 

“This is the day the Lord has made – let us rejoice and be glad.”

-Psalm 118:24

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