We talked about how quickly it’s going.  How we want to hold on to our days and nights with them a little longer before they are gone while still under our roof. In the face of increasing activity on the middle and elementary school fronts I’m so thankful he has wanted to fall asleep in my arms the last few weeks.  For now, I don’t mind.



I remember everything about that day two years ago when he slipped so quickly out of my body. How I was waiting and waiting for him to come.  How I didn’t want to go too far from home because of my fast labors. How every night those last two weeks I didn’t have a dinner plan because I was sure we would be having a baby. Then when I just made my list and went to the store and came home and started making soup it all started.  And by the time the soup was done he had made his way into the warm water and our arms, surrounded by wide-eyed siblings. Amos Blaise, we love you to the moon and back. How much joy and fun and laughter and cuddles and tickles and giggles and dance parties (and diapers and tantrums and biting) we would have missed it it weren’t for you.



The school year is officially in session, along with the juggling of activities and priorities.  These words stopped me in my tracks today:

Christian parenting is a pastoral pursuit, not an organizational challenge.

This is a very easy trap to fall into because the more children you have the more difficult it is to keep them clean and clothed and fed. Just the basics of life are a full-time job.

Dry-erase boards and chore charts are all well and good, but they do not change the fact that what you have on your hands is children, not an organizational problem.

As their mother I am responsible to see them individually even when they are presenting themselves to me en masse.

Sacrifice your peace for their fun, your clean kitchen for their help cracking eggs, your quiet moment for their long retelling of a dream…  (Loving the Little Years)

So often I fail at this and treat them like a herd, or worse, soldiers that need to react to my every command. I pray for a heart to know them and love them well, eyes willing to stop and see them.  Really see them. And grace to respond to them individually instead of collectively.



And the reward for accompanying me to the grocery store was the card shop at the end of the strip mall giving away boxes of baseball cards. Next time I need to occupy an almost nine and eleven year-old boy quietly for HOURS I know what to do.



My social media fast, though not long enough, did show some of the well-worn pathways of my heart and mind: approval, comparison, filling my eyes with someone else’s vision. When I stepped away from it all I found a bit more quiet in my soul.  The trick is to remember how I don’t want my attention divided into such small pieces every spare minute.  Not every empty space needs to be filled, but rather lived in, breathed through, savored.



Most days, I just can’t stop smiling when I look at him. And when he walks into a room and croons MAMA! in his sing-song way I am a puddle on the floor.  Oh how I ache to remember it all.



How thankful I am to have a friend who knows a surprise like this on my front porch makes me smile all day. Decadent. Rich. So beautiful. Full of summer’s own sun.



Miraculously, another Monday night with our dear (old) friends came together spontaneously. You can never go wrong with a gaggle of kids, grilled veggie sandwiches, homemade ice cream, a birthday, baseball, and light like this.



My heart quickens when I think of how soon I won’t be tucking him in, telling him to turn off the light.  Soon he will be caught up in a sea of homework and friends and experience and looking forward. But for now I’ll hold on tight. He’s still my boy, though I love to see glimpses of the man inside.



And when I think about all the voices influencing my vision, I just want to stop, still the waters, let the sediment swirl down til I have a calm, clear vessel. Until there is only one voice, and it says Glory.