Dear Girls: Be Great

My beautiful, and wonderfully made girls.

One day you will be young ladies. One day you will feel the weight of the world’s expectations on your shoulders. Suddenly what were your personal thoughts, your convictions, your morals will be questioned-and you will be told they should be public for the world to see.

They will be challenged. What you believe will be mocked and your convictions will be made small by the world.

Do not let them turn your confidence and who your are into something that doesn’t matter. Who you are in Christ matters. Who you are because of Christ- a born again sinner, someone learning, growing, and LOVED by Jesus Christ- matters.

It matters most.

Dear girls, be great

It matters more than hanging out with the young people that seem popular, get to do what they want without consequence (right now), without feeling ashamed or convicted. And it matters more than what you think is most fun right now.

You will take risks. You will make mistakes. We all make mistakes-big ones, small ones, and sometimes life altering mistakes. Learn from those mistakes.

But know that making the right choice will never be wrong. Period.

It may make others uncomfortable, you may lose “friends,” and feel very alone at times.  But making the right choice will never give an end result that you regret- it will never fail you.

And when you look back at those hard parts of your life and then glance at where you are, you will find some friends are still there, some friends didn’t make it out to stand with you, and some friends were never friends at all.

Keep your eyes on Jesus, don’t let the world break your heart or discourage you. Find joy in the tiniest of things because one day those tiny things will be the BIG things. Remember who you are, that your parents love you more than you can imagine, and you can change lives with the greatness God has in store for you.

Be great, sweet girls.

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Peaceful Days {this season in life}

Some days, I just need a reminder- this too shall pass.  These are phases.  This season in life is hard, but you are doing everything you can to get through it in one piece without hurting little hearts.

My babies are beautiful, fun, sweet, funny, loving, and such a joy.  But these days are hard, exhausting, rarely rewarding, and sometimes I just feel like, “whew, we made it through today!”  That is good enough.

Some days I feel like we are just doing good to get meals eaten, the kitchen cleaned up, and little people dressed (or not…); that we didn’t play enough, or read enough stories.  I didn’t laugh enough, and give enough hugs.

There are hours where I wonder what was God thinking trusting me with such preciousness?  With such rambunctiousness?  With such sweet hearts?  Am I cut out to show them His way?  To give them the gifts of time, unconditional love, and guidance that they need and so deserve?

But then I am reminded that with each season the winds change- life becomes less chaotic, more peaceful.  The waters calm and I can see the shore.

Days are filled with laughter, joy, sunshine, easy routines, lots of smiles, and snuggles galore.
peaceful days {Quiet in the Chaos} DSCN2430










And I know it is all worth it.

Shoes to Fill

Today, Lexie napped.  She has been doing this more frequently in the last month than she has in the last 9 months.  So she got to stay up later (8pm, instead of 6:30pm).

Tonight, at about 7:30pm, we climbed into her bed with a pile of books and read.  We talked about all sorts of things and snuggled.  It is my absolute most favorite time.

We moved her to a big, big girl bed in June. She was just too big for the toddler bed. 

My favorite part about this?  Snuggling!  

We don’t co-sleep (if you do, that’s great!), but I love to snuggle my babies.  I love tip toeing into her room with her cup of milk after she wakes up in the mornings or from nap, and climbing in bed with her.

I love how full of life she is, and how everything is so fresh.  Everything is so new, and untainted.

I love her smile, her crazy facial expressions, those curls, and her beyond huge imagination; her obsession with trains and engines, which now also includes dinosaurs, and her ability to sing any song she hears almost on key.

She wants to hear “wagon wheel” by Darius Rucker over and over again.  She calls it “the rock me mama song.”

We have to stop the car now to let her engines in, because they didn’t get in when everyone else did …  They get eaten by dinosaurs and our pet dolphin “Fred the dolphin” quite frequently.

It “rains a lot” (not really…), so she needs her umbrella during independent play.  She can already quote all of Mary Poppins, and does so with perfection.

She may be a daddy’s girl, but she is my baby.

And who can ever love her like I do?  Who will ever be able to fill those shoes?  How can there possibly be someone out there, better suited for her than JTom or me?

It just doesn’t seem possible.

But then, as I ponder her future, I realize I have to get her to that point.  


How in the world am I supposed to fill those shoes?  She is so special, so different.  Brilliant.  Emotional. and Strong willed.  Oh, her strong willed personality may be the death of me.

How am I supposed to help her become a Godly young woman with a passion for something other than herself in this world where everything is me, me, me, now, now, now?  (and I am guilty of it, too…)

So I pray.  And I know she has free will and I can’t control everything she does when she becomes a young adult.  I don’t want to.  I want to mold and train a child that will use her free will and self control to become something amazing.  Whatever gift it is God has given her, I want her to use it.  

But we have to foster it.

So I pray.  I pray He protects her; her mind, her spirit, and her innocence.  I pray she seeks Him first, above all things.  And that she learns this world is not worth losing her soul over.

I know He gave us this tiny human for a reason.  She is meant to be ours; He knew exactly what He was doing when he formed her and blessed us as her parents.

I pray I can fill the shoes of being her mama.  And that I don’t let her down.

Dear Lexie

It has been a while since I did a Dear Lexie post.  Looks like now I need to add Dear Max posts, too.  Tonight was a fitting night for this selection on my list of topics to blog.  It turns out today was national siblings day, so that created a bit of a somber night for me.  J.Tom is out of town until tomorrow, and the kids are in bed asleep.  All I want to do is go hold them (but Lexie has been feeling insecure the past few nights, crying a bed time, so i def think going in to hold her would make that situation much worse.  Tonight she didn’t cry, and went right to sleep).  My thoughts of my brother always bring me to a sad place.  I just miss him so much, and I feel like I forget more of him every day.  I’ve tried to write things down that I’ve remembered over the past 3.5 years, but I know I can’t remember it all.  Anyhow, on top of those feelings and just the need to write something down, I decided it was a good night for a Dear Lexie post.

Dear Lexie,
Tonight, as I was working on some Bible scriptures for us to talk about in the coming weeks, I came across a verse that stopped me in my tracks.  The minute I read it, I thought to myself  “If there were only one thing I could say to her for the rest of her life, this is it.”

The section was titled “Shining as Stars

Therefore my dear friends, as you have always obeyed- continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.  Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.

In which you shine like stars in the universe.

Please don’t be afraid to be different.  Please don’t be afraid to shine like a star.  Not a movie star, or a music star, or any star of the flesh, but a star in which God crafted every prism of light, every twinkle and every color for a purpose.  His purpose.  Don’t let anyone ever make you feel less than good enough; God created you piece by piece in His image so that you may one day live in His kingdom.  When you are judged (and you will be) or talked down to (and you will be) for your faith, your convictions, or your kindness, remember you are a shining star, and that despite what others may say or think, there are people who love you for you.  And one day, you will find someone, like your daddy and I found each other, that loves you for your love of Christ.  For the love that pours out of your every pore.  For the funny personality, the smart mind, the beautiful spirit that you share every day.

As your mama, I am going to do everything I can to mold your character into a Christ loving and following young lady.  Never be afraid to go against society.  Society is full of evil, malice, and selfishness; and you my sweet girl are non of those things.  Don’t hide in a closet, of course, but arm yourself with the Word of God, and ask that he arm your heart and mind that you might live the life he has envisioned for you, to do His work.  Your daddy and I are trying to build that foundation now, and I pray that we take more right steps than we do wrong; that we may hide His Word in your heart so you have the protection you need in life.

Grow.  Grow every day.  When your life feels stagnant, open your Bible and read.  Do something good for another person in need.  Make cookies for your neighbor.  Volunteer to work with small children who may not get love at home.  And in everything you do, seek Him and He will fill your life full of blessings.  He loves you for who you are, but despite this He wants you to be like Jesus.  Kind, compassionate,  patient, loving.  Those are big shoes to fill, I know.  But today, when you put on your new “summer play, pool shoes,” you looked down and said, “Oh! I have shoes like Jesus’s shoes!”  And my sweet Lou, you were made to fill those shoes.

I can’t protect you from every evil, every hurt, every harsh word. But I can prepare you for it. I can show you how to love, and I can lead by example.   I wish I had always had a love for reading the Bible as I have now.   I was blessed enough to fall in love with your daddy, who had a strong Christian faith and lead me to wanting an even stronger relationship with Christ. But not everyone is so fortunate. Some people settle for less, because they think they will never find someone who shares the same beliefs, the same convictions.  Just know this- you were created by the Master Creator, and in His plan for you there lies happiness and love; if you strive to live close to his heart and in the light of his Grace, you will be blessed on earth beyond your comprehension, and have an everlasting life in Heaven.

“A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.”
― Max Lucado

This is so true. Don’t chase boys or men or love. There is no need to go searching for love; when you establish the foundation for love through a relationship with Christ, a love on earth will come.  The same goes with friends. Not everyone will be kind, or understand who you are. A nd that is okay. You don’t need everyone to like you, life is not a popularity contest. Try not to fall into the ways of the world, for the world is corrupt and unkind.  Instead, surround yourself with Godly people, show them the bright, shining star you are. Set the example so that others might want to follow. And above all, give glory to God; for without him we would all have and be nothing.

I love you Lou,

Dear Lexie

Dear Lexie,

Today was one of the best days we have had in a while, although I didn’t get to see you all morning. I was cleaning a (very icky, previously cat infested condo, all because I love you and want to be home with you most days….) condo on the lake.  I was there for nearly 6 hours and didn’t get to pick you up until 4:00, but I made it home for a hot shower first, so you wouldn’t have to come in direct contact with the ickiness that is my part time job.  

When we got home we played with the new Little People Farm your Daddy and I got you last week; when I saw it I knew you had to have it!  (and I am not a big toy buyer …)  You love your farm!  We put all the animals in the silo, took them out, put them in all the correct stalls, took them out, put them all in the hay loft, took them out … well, you get the point.  You really enjoyed playing with your farm. (oh and yesterday you learned how to open the silo door, finally!)  Then we laid on the floor and tickled and played, rolled around, and dug toys out from under the couch.  What fun!  There was no whining or tantrum-throwing.  You asked for “help please” when you needed it and had fun the rest of the time.

Then, at 6:00 you ate dinner after we said the blessing … which you are still not enjoying very much.  Patience, dear, patience.  After your bath we played peekaboo and sang your favorite songs, of which you know all the words, while I got you ready for bed.  For the first night in weeks you didn’t whine or fuss about getting ready for bed.  When I picked you up, you placed your head on my shoulder and I held you for a few minutes before I gave you your bottle.  While you drank your milk, I say “Jesus Loves Me.”  Then I just held you and we rocked for a minute. 

Lexie, I cried the whole time we rocked.  I am not ready for you to grow up.  I am not ready for you to be a big girl, and you are already so big in so many ways.  So much more grown up than the other 13 month olds in your class at school.  You’re so smart and sometimes it worries me.  How many 13 month olds can do the words and motions to “Wheels on the Bus” or ” Old MacDonald”, point out the shapes of a circle (and the newest one) a star?  You know the name of pracitcally every object in our house and can tell me when you need you diaper changed.  Lexie, you are only 13.5 months old.  Mommy is finding it hard to keep up with you, to keep you from getting bored.  Is that how it will always be?  Because you will get bored in school, and church … and every where that is not stimulating enough for your VERY fast moving big little brain.  I am so thankful that you are so healthy and happy, smart and independent.  But please slow down.  You have the rest of your life to grow up.  I don’t want to lose my snuggly, loving baby girl so soon.

“Up, please Mama. Up, Please.”

Tomorrow morning I think we may go to the library, for your first visit.  We won’t get to do the “baby steps” time, because it is during your nap, but I want to take you somewhere fun to play, with other kids.  Lexie, your daddy and I only want the very best for you.  We want you to be the happiest, healthiest girl you can be.  Sometimes that will be hard for everyone, including you.  Sometimes you will not understand our decisions, and while most times I will try to explain them to you, there will be many times that I cannot.  Sometimes we just know and cannot explain it to you.  And while I know you enjoy learning and growing and I am SO proud of you, ( Oh my, I was SO proud of you yesterday when you finally opened that silo; I was more excited than you!), I want you to slow down, stay my baby for just a while longer.

Mama’s Country ‘Bumpkin

baby curls

silly girl

On a mission!

helping mommy clean

oops … missed a spot

beautiful girl
BIG eyes so I can see under my new hat!

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