Sunday, May 22, 2016

The End of an Era...

It all started 14 years ago when a sweet friend insisted suggested that Christian and his bestie (her son), play soccer and that Hubby would make an excellent coach, cause ya know, Hubby had kicked a soccer ball once. 

*grin*

Little did my sweet friend know what she was unleashing onto the local soccer world. 

*wink*

Christian did play soccer with his bestie and Hubby did coach and then went on to coach Charlie and Caleb and Emmeline and Lizzie and actually ended up starting a whole new soccer club along side some other soccer friends.

So for us, soccer has been fun and healing and bonding and...






it all started with Christian, who has now been playing longer than most of our other kiddos have been alive! How's that for perspective. 


Now... Christian is a senior and getting ready to graduate...

*big deep breath*

and a couple of weeks ago, he played his very last regular season high school soccer game.


It was Senior Night and Hubby and I got to walk Christian out on the field before the game.


As I watched him play with the same intensity and love of the game that he always brings to the field...


I could not help but to see my precious 5, 6, 7, 8....  year old little boy out there....


and while uniforms...


and hairstyles have changed...


his level of commitment to play has not.


It has been an incredible 14 years of heat, cold, rain, bugs and sweet sunshine watching you play dear Christian and we just could not be prouder!




This year he was awarded Defensive MVP...


and made the Regional Team...


and you earned it my darlin'!


Dear Christian, I have loved watching you play...


I have loved watching you grow up on that field...



little did we know, so long ago, how this sport would grow you...


and oh what a leader you have grown into.


It has been a profound privilege my dear Christian to have been your soccer Mom...


 and while this is an ending, what you have learned out on that field over the past 14 years about team work and commitment and leadership and winning and loosing graciously, will remain with you as you step into a brand new beginning.


Love you always #6!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Never Give Up

Every now and again, we need reminders.

Not the typical, to do list, sticky note kind of reminder but the kind of heart reminders that help us to keep the world in perspective...

the kind of heart reminders that help us to complain less and serve more.

Well, yesterday, the Lord placed His own sticky note on my heart.

It read...


Yesterday, the Lord used an ordinary field trip, an ordinary playground to remind my heart of the struggles that Lucy faces every single day.


The barriers to being a “normal” kid are very real for Lucy, a part of her day to day.

These everyday challenges are a part of her reality and while I share in that reality and as much as I try to help with the barriers and as many times as I have kissed the boo boos that result from the struggles... it is still her reality, not mine.


I don't have to think about putting my hands out to brace my fall. Heck, I don't even have to think about falling at all. It is not a part of my everyday!

I don't have to think about making my hands and fingers work the way I want them to just so I can put on my socks and shoes.

I don't have to think about every single step that I take or how my foot is positioned on the ground or whether I am picking up my knees or dragging my foot.

I just walk.

Lucy doesn't “just walk”...

Lucy has to think about every single step and every single step is an effort, a true step out in faith as she trusts that the Lord will strengthen her as she relies on His gift of determination and His protection, when, not if, she falls.

This is her reality and there are times, like this field trip, that her reality seems so very different from the reality that most of her peers share and that is hard on this Momma's heart y'all.


But God is good and He equipped our girl with a spirit of determination.

Lucy may have to work 10 times harder than her peers to do certain things but it just makes me 10 times prouder when I watch her rise to the challenge. Sometimes she overcomes and sometimes not but she “never gives up”!



So whether it's a field trip to a park or a soccer game everyday at recess...


with all the boys...


scoring goals...

video

Lucy's reality doesn't stand a chance!

video

Amen!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Happy Belated Birthday Sweet Em

I remember the day she was born...


that day 10 years ago when the nurse handed her to me and the first thing I did was to check for boy parts or lack thereof...


hey, after 3 boys...


well you understand!

*grin*

The path to Emmeline was really the prelude of the unfolding of the Lord's plan for our lives.

Jesus didn't just "take the wheel"...

He snatched it from our controlled induced grip and threatened to pull over if we did not stop acting like, well, misguided control freaks...

and while the process had begun...

we were slow to relinquish our presumed control.  

However, as we watched Him work to bring our Lizzie home and as we watched His shaping of Emmeline's heart during this process, we began to behave less and less like back seat drivers and more and more like passengers who trusted the severe right turn their driver had taken, even learning to enjoy the bumps in the road along the way.

Now, I tell everyone that our faith journey got kicked into high gear with the process to bring Lizzie home and while that is true...


sweet Emmeline's easy, spirit filled transition from little sis to big, from only girl to virtual twin, only helped to enhance what the Lord was doing in Hubby's heart and mine.


Em's 2 year old world was turned upside down when Lizzie came home and then again with the addition of Maggie and Lucy, but she (mostly) handled it all with such a grace filled heart that it was truly convicting at times.


truly...


My precious Em, you love sweetly...


laugh freely...


nurture tenderly...


and worship faithfully.

You are beautiful from the inside out and I just cannot believe that my baby girl who was such a sweet surprise after my 3 rambunctious boys...


is now 10 years old and wearing my shoes!

Sigh...

Happy double digits my dear and remember that if you can wear my shoes...

*grin*

We love you sweet one.


As His plan for your heart takes shape, I continue to be transformed into something better than before you.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Breath Taking...

There are some things in life that just take your breath away...

good or bad, they just do.

It is that unexpected moment in time that takes you by surprise.

Well, this morning on the way to school, Lucy took my breath away and my heart has yet to recover.

To be quite honest, I don't want it to recover as I need to remember.

In those times that try me, those times that challenge me to muster up every single ounce of patience...

I need to remember.

I need to remember for her sake...

I need to remember for Lizzie's sake...

I need to remember for Maggie's sake...

and I need to remember for all of those precious ones out there in this fallen world who simply want to be remembered.

This morning, Lucy told me that she wanted to be a baby...

not a typical 7 year old statement...

so I asked Lucy why and it was her answer that took my breath away.

My precious, wonderful Lucy said that she wanted to be able to start over...

then she could be a baby in this family, our family...

Oh my darling Lucy, how I grieve those years for you and for your sisters...

how I yearn to have been able to hold you when you cried, fed you when you were hungry, comforted you when you were sad, celebrated your first steps, heard your first words, seen your first smile, came to you when you were alone and afraid and loved you from day one...

oh - my - heart

My darling Lucy, I can't get back those years but I can hold you now, feed you now, comfort you now, celebrate every single step with you now, listen to you now, smile back at you now, come to you now and love you now.

 I can remember now and for always and I can try to make a difference for you and for your sisters and for all those precious ones who wait to be held and fed and comforted and celebrated and heard and smiled at and loved...

Lucy went on to school with a smile on her face as that is just Lucy and this is Lucy's reality now, but it wasn't always and Lucy remembers and those memories always take my breath away...

but the Lord heals and the Lord brings beauty from ashes and the Lord works through and uses our brokenness for His good and His glory and I know that the Lord is using Lucy greatly as I see the transformation of her heart and the compassion that He so gently protected in those years before she knew love.

I have no doubt that Lucy, Lizzie and Maggie will continue to take my breath away and it will be within those breath taking moments that He will continue to enter into and to heal and to use.

Precious Lucy, I may not have known you as a baby but the Lord did and He chose you and He chose us for you and that...


takes my breath away!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

They're Multiplying!

As hard as we try, we cannot stop the invasion...

of teenagers, that is!

Yes, we officially have another teenager in da house...


and I am having a tougher time with this one cause this wasn't supposed to happen!


My youngest son and I had a deal but apparently he has decided that growing up holds more appeal than not...

even with the promise of french fries for dinner every night!


Hey a Mom's gotta do what I Mom's gotta do...

but alas, sweet Caleb has determined that raging hormones, acne, geometry, growing pains, girls (nooooo....), peer pressure and responsibility are better than french fries for life!

Go figure!

*grin*

So my sweet Caleb went right ahead and turned thir(gulp)teen last week and while there have been brief glimpses of "teen", he is still (so far) my sweet, funny, sensitive Caleb who holds my hand, gives me unsolicited hugs and likes to make me laugh!


Oh dear Caleb...



you are amazingly responsible with your sisters...



amazingly tolerant of your brothers...


hehe


and wise beyond your brothers years.


*wink*

You are my baby boy and while I joke (kind of) about my desire to keep you forever young...

I am so excited to watch the Lord's plan for you unfold.

Whether you are an architect, an actor or a comedian, I know the Lord will use you greatly.


Happy thir(gulp)teenth birthday my sensitive, insightful, funny, awesome Caleb!


We love you!