Monday, March 30, 2009

Hurry Up and Wait

Last Monday I had butterflies in my stomach not once, but twice...which seems pretty monumental considering that you don't get that feeling as an adult too often. Am I wrong about this? Maybe it is because we aren't surprised as often or we are more sure of ourselves and so we don't get nervous as often. Whatever the reason, that familiar "butterflies in the stomach" feeling was alive and kickin' in me last Monday.

The first time was when sweet Hope went to get her kindergarten shots. We had been talking about this for weeks because that's the kind of kid Hope is. She is much more comfortable when she knows the plan. She would have freaked out if I had surprised her with it that day. So, we talked about it and counted down the days and she was ready. Well, as ready as you can be for three painful shots when you're five years old. She marched right in and right up to the counter with me, but I could tell she was getting nervous because, as I checked us in, she got very quiet. Then, when we got into the room, the butterflies hit me and I got a tiny bit shaky. I think that, mostly, I was nervous for her, but I was aware of a little something more, too. This sense that we were moving, moving, moving forward in life and that all of this meant that my little girl was about to start kindergarten. And kindergarten starts a whole journey towards graduation that I am just not ready for.

I know. Even as I write it, I know I am being overly dramatic. But sometimes, in moments like these, I think you just have to let it sweep over you like that. I think it's what makes you aware and attentive and alive to the present. This knowing that it won't last helps us to enjoy it while it does. And so, in the middle of feeling like we are about to start a journey that moves you forward whether you want it to or not, I get to remember why this present leg of the trip is so precious. And I get to remember to breathe, and take it all in, and savor this time with her, while she still crawls in my lap, while she's learning to read, while she holds my hand, while she jumps in bed with me in the morning, while she plays dress up, while she dances in the living room... while she's still five. Cause graduation is certainly coming, but, for now, she's still five.

...The second time I felt those butterflies, a few hours later, was when I put an address and stamp on the envelope that contained our application for adoption! That's right! Baby #3 is officially on it's way. Of course, I had to take it straight to the post office. And I wanted to take a picture with the postal worker and my envelope, but then, I randomly got the guy who is "all business and no chit chat" and I felt weird asking him to pose for a picture with me. I did get this one of Bella, though.

These butterflies are such a mixture of excitement and nervousness and, let's face it, sheer relief that that sucker is filled out and finished and off to it's destination. It, too, is the start of a journey that will change our lives. One that is apt to give us, I'm sure, many more opportunities to feel the swift passing of time as we watch another little one grow and change.
But until that little one comes home, with no baby in my belly to prove that things are moving forward, time slows down a bit and we wait. And it's the wait that can make you crazy...and it's the wait that makes you ready to recieve this blessing from God with the kind of grateful humility that can only end in worship. We are beyond excited to see what God has planned for us and we are blessed to walk this journey, and to wait, with the hopeful expectation that God's blessing in it all will include not only a precious child, but also a deepened understanding of who He is. And that's always worth the wait. So, here we go again......

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Show and Tell

This is what Hope wanted to bring to Preschool for show and tell. And no...that isn't her real hair. It is one of the MANY wigs that we have around our house that Loren uses to assume various, original roles for Young Life clubs and camps. He is a genuis when it comes to silliness (which is a post for another day) and, for that reason and many more, is adored by his daughters. I love that she wanted to bring it and that her simple explanation about it was, "This is my daddy's wig." As if that is all anyone needed to know. There is no telling what kind of converstation those sweet ladies who teach at her preschool had that day!
1 Cor 4:10 "We are fools for Christ,"...for real. :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bella got two haircuts last week. One, by her good friend, Macy, who's three. And then, one by our good friend, Renese, who actually does it for a living. Hope came down the stairs, where all the kids were playing at the Paschall's house, and said to Macy's mom, "Mrs. Debbie..." and then opened her hand to reveal a lock of precious golden hair. We both thought she had cut her own beautiful, very slow growing curls and Debbie ran up to check out the situation. Then, she yelled out, "Amanda!"

I laughed all the way up the stairs. Of course she had cut Bella's hair. Of course she did. Bella is one of the only children I know that would stand around and let someone just whack their hair off on one side and then turn around and let her do the other, too. I think I've mentioned before that she is just a wee bit easy going. :)

When I got upstairs I laughed some more, and immediately began to comfort my friend. Bella's hair was not that bad. It could have been a LOT worse and Bella didn't seem upset in the least. But Debbie was devastated and I understood why. I would've felt the same way if the situation had been reversed, but I really wasn't upset. It just seemed like one of those things that has to happen in a family's life at one point or another. And, for a three year old, she actually did a pretty decent job.

Macy had cut one side of her own hair, too. We can't really say if she did it first, as an experiment, and then went to work on Bella, or if she cut Bella's and then felt sorry and whacked hers off in some sort of mea cupla gesture. Either way, they both needed a trim. So, Debbie made an appointment for us with Renese and we stood by while our children got their locks chopped. And, you know what. They look darn cute! Bella wasn't too sure about the actual haircut, but in the end she felt like a rockstar! See for yourself.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Good Fight

On Friday, Hope came out of school smiling from ear to ear. Later on, she told me, in passing that all the kids were fighting over her at school today. It was a moment planned by God, because I heard, realized this might be significant, stopped what I was doing, scooped her up and went to the couch to hear all about it. I wish I was always this attentive.

A: "What did you say?"

H: "All the kids were fighting over me at school today," she said with a smile. "They were saying, 'Hope, come sit by me. Wanna play with me, Hope? Sit by me at story time, okay?'

A: "Wow, Hopie. That must have made you feel pretty special."

H: "Yeah. They all like me lot."

A: "You know, I think they just see what daddy and I have known all along...that you are a super cool girl, and a nice friend, with a very sweet heart. You are so special."

Hope smiled real big and then scampered off to play. Later when she told her dad about it, we had another good talk about how great it made her feel and how she could think about making other kids feel really special, too.

Eternity really IS set in the hearts of men...and little girls (Ecl. 3:11). We all want, from a very young age, to believe that we are worth fighting over. And my giddy response to knowing how special my child felt in that moment was a good reminder that God desires for us to feel that way at all times. After all, he fought the ultimate battle for us in an effort to say, "See how much I love you...choose me...come sit by me." And then we get to feel the rush of pleasure that comes when you know you are loved.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Dancing Queens

This is what happens practically EVERY DAY in the Kolman household at one point or another. We may not always be jammin' out to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but we like to get our groove on as much as possible. I must admit that I am a tiny bit envious of my 5 year olds smokin' hot moves. And...I love how she can pause in the dance to think a bit...and then just pick right back up where she left off. Little Bella gets in on the action, too. Though, as is her way, she is a bit more tame about it all. Enjoy!


Here are some random facts that might help you understand me a little better....just a little better, though.

1. I sometimes make my bed less than an hour before I get into it for the night.

2. Once the flip flops come out…it’s Spring…and there’s no going back

3. I am the sucker that buys those things they put in the checkout stands that people don't really need. Really...another lighter?...maybe if I was a smoker that would be reasonable.

4. I must always have water by my bed at night (which I hardly ever drink), and chapstick in my pocket during the day (which I use constantly)...could these two be related?!?

5. I can virtually remember every word to every song I have ever sung, all the way back to grade school, but.....

6. I forgot to send my dad a present on his birthday this year until a month after it was over. (though I did call). :(

7. I don’t like food that bursts in my mouth…oranges, cherry tomatoes, bratwurst…you get the idea

8. The movie “Return to Me” will always…always…make me SOB! Sometimes that comes in handy.

9. Though I love being around people, I get overwhelmed in crowds and have to take mini time-outs in hallways, bathrooms, the car, the kitchen etc.

10. It doesn't get any better for me than a nice, sweet, creamy, pot of tea, with a friend to share....mmmmm, tea anyone?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Waiting Place

Remember the Dr. Seuss book, ‘O The Places You’ll Go’? You probably got a thousand of them for graduation. Remember the part in the book where he talks about The Waiting Place. Turns out, that’s a real place. I should know. It’s where I seem to be camped out currently. Praying, hoping, believing, expecting...and then, waiting.

It’s not a bad place, really. It’s predictable, at least. And, it’s a heartbeat from Hopeful, so the view is nice…if you keep your eyes on the prize. The only real flaw is that it can be rather exhausting, all that waiting, all those hopeful expectations.

It’s not that my faith is shaken or that I'm angry that God isn’t on the same timetable as me. And we aren't dealing with an issue of trust, here. In fact, there is a strong, buoyant belief that we are headed towards, and will end up at Hopeful, eventually. It's just that, in the meantime, I’m a little tired. I’m in need of renewal, of refreshment. I’m willing to do the waiting, but I need a long, slow drink from the stream of Living Water.

It’s nice to know He's ready to provide that. And that He isn’t just hanging out at Hopeful. He's not just about the end game. There are places, here, where he wants me to dig in and he delights in me here, in this place, just as much as he ever has. He’s in The Waiting Place with me, talking me through it, reminding me of His faithfulness, and showing me glimpses of Hopeful. And so, we wait.

It seems that a whole lot of scripture is written for those of us gathered in The Waiting Place. Isaiah 40:29-31 comes to mind.

He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary
And young men stumble and fall

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength

They will soar on wings like eagles
They will run and not grow weary
They will walk and not grow faint

So, here's to soaring around in The Waiting Place and to the tender care of my Father, who knows all I need before I even ask (Matt 6:8).