Saturday, May 28, 2011


I have done enough gushing about my amazing kids on this site that I have no doubt you know how much we love them. With that in mind, let me just say that my youngest is about to do me in. All along we have said that she independent child. Let me just cut the crap and tell you that what that honestly means is that for a good part of each day...meaning the part that she is awake...we are in constant disaster prevention mode. Or, if we aren't thorough enough in that mode, disaster clean-up/discipline/prevent the next disaster mode. All with a grand helping of fit throwing, foot stomping, scowling baby syndrome. Ava...not me.

Now, don't get me wrong. We have plenty of hugs and kisses and it is no exaggeration that Ava is, quite possibly, the funniest person in our house...which is saying a lot! And, not accidentally funny. She is hilarious on purpose and has a kind of charm that is both delightful and infuriating when you are trying to discipline. She has such a big personality and is such a fun little girl. But she is also stubborn and LOUD and kind of mean sometimes. (She's a hitter, folks, and I have no idea why she thinks it's okay to regularly smack people on the head! We do not smack her on the head.) I am at my wit's end so often that I had started to believe that my wit's end is actually where I live. And then...I had a memory. It was of me 6 years ago, calling Loren one day in tears. And what I managed to squeak out was my fears that I was an awful, rage-full person and a terrible mother. That my one and half year old (Hope, in case you haven't figured that out)was driving me crazy and that I felt so angry that she would never listen and that somehow her little brain already knew where all of my buttons were and she took sick pleasure in methodically pushing them until I was at the brink of insanity.

Thankfully, he laughed. And told me that I wasn't a rage-full person. In fact, I think he even told me I was a very patient mother, which I did not feel at all at the time, and that we had a very "independent" little girl who just needed consistent, loving discipline. And he assured me that one day she wouldn't be so unreasonable all the time. Then I felt my insides unclench and relax as he assured me that I was perfectly capable of raising this child because I had Jesus and I had him. We could, the three of us, do it together. I knew that was true.

I am immensely comforted by that memory it is only 10am and Ava has already spilled cereal all over the floor, dipped her toothbrush in the toilet and then sucked the toilet water off of it, and screamed at me half a dozen times. I can do it. Cause I have Jesus and I have Loren. And cause, come on....look at this face.

She is totally worth it!

Friday, May 27, 2011


Last night I went to Canon City's high school Baccalaureate. (Who can ever spell that word without looking it up?) It made me proud to see some of our Young Life kids who are graduating up on stage. Because, gone are the days when Baccalaureate is a required part of graduation week. Now, it is entirely student led (heaven forbid the school system would allow a teacher to get involved) and entirely voluntary. And really, it's probably better that way. These students are declaring to the few of us that come (mostly parents a few youth leaders) that they follow Christ and that they want to depend on him even after they leave the nest. They lead us in worship which, to me, is a really cool symbol of them taking ownership of their faith and a really good reminder that they have as much to offer me as I have to offer them in this journey with Christ. And then someone, a trusted mentor, gets to stand and speak to them and encourage them to pursue Christ and find life in him alone. And we all get to pray over them. I try not to miss it.

Yesterday, I sat in the auditorium and watched as the kids came and gave their parents flowers as a way to say thanks for all you've done to get me to this point. And I remembered that two years ago, I watched as several boys came over to my husband and handed him their flowers. They were joking and laughing like high school boys do when they are embarrassed, but I sat beside Loren misty-eyed. Because I knew that these boys didn't have parents who cared about their faith. And they hadn't come to this service. For these boys, Loren was the one who told them about Jesus. And it made perfect sense to make a bee-line to him when it came time to thank someone.

It made me thankful for Young Life and a ministry whose mission is to reach out to those kids who don't even know they need Jesus, until they find him. And it made me thankful for my husband, whose heart can't help but love those kids. And mostly, it made me thankful that Christ doesn't need anything but a willing heart to redeem a broken story.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Just The Two Of Us

A couple of weeks ago, my husband caught me totally and completely off guard. He told me on a Sunday that we were leaving that Friday for a 5 day vacation. Just the two of us. Did you read that right? Just. The. Two. Of. Us.

He had it all planned. His parents were coming to watch the girls. He had the mysterious vacation all set up, and my friends would be packing for me. I needn't worry about a thing. I had no idea where we were going. I sent a text to one of my friends that day and told her what was happening. "Yay for romance!" she texted back. Indeed!

On Friday we drove to Denver, and Saturday morning we caught the red eye to Houston. Now, I love Texas as much as a girl from there should, but I remember thinking that if we were spending our vacation in Houston, Texas, I was gonna have to seriously work hard on finding a little enthusiasm. Luckily, as I came around the corner in the airport, I saw a sign for the shuttle to Carnival Cruiseline and I figured it all out!

Loren and I had always wanted to take a cruise so I was super excited. But, I have to say, I was way more excited just to be with my man for 5 days straight of uninterrupted time together. That, my friends, is luxury enough when you have kids.

It was so great just to be together and have conversations and relax and remember that there is so much to enjoy about each other. And when it was over, we were ready to come back. In fact, on the fourth night I told Loren that one thing I was thankful for was that we don't have to take trips like this as a way to escape our life, because we love our life. Instead, we get to take this opportunity to get away, and connect and remember why we love it in the first place.

Yay for romance!