Let the Record Reflect


Let the Record Reflect: That Jill called me at 5 to 10 and no one was out of there PJ’s or showered. And I got the girls out of the house by 10:30. I was showered and everyone was dressed. And everyone was fed.

But Let the Record Omit: That the Peanut and I both had Girl Scout Cookies for breakfast and I did my hair and make up at the house we were headed to after we got there. Oh, and that the Peanut had last nights ketchup on her face until Aunt Jill wiped it off for us.

There is no shame

No one ever told me how strange it would be, to see the things that I had been battling my whole life show up on the face of my daughter. Not yet two years from the day I had her, and already it happened.

The Peanut is a chatty one, and friendly as can be. She is especially friendly when she gets the sense that her parents like the person she is meeting. Our good friend Betsy recently moved back to Atlanta (forever, please). She was awesome enough to babysit on Valentines day and then this weekend she accompanied us to the farmers market. We were consistently mistaken as the two hottest lesbian moms in the place.

But before we left for the farmers market, the Peanut was showing off her new tricks by naming the people we pointed at. Mommy, check. Daddy, check. Rilla, check. She even informed us that Rilla also went by sister. But then we pointed at Betsy. She has said Betsy’s name before, which is pretty impressive considering the Peanut is not yet two and this was the second time she had met Betsy. But in that moment, she didn’t know it. And she looked for a long time at Betsy, then looked to the ground, crawled off Betsy’s lap, and walked over to her daddy, being cute.

I suppose I could be projecting on her, but somehow I don’t think so. She was embarrassed, ashamed that she could not remember someone’s name. Someone that mommy and daddy like.

In the past I have been easily shamed. I can remember verbal smacks from elementary school teachers that I didn’t even like. And to this day they burn. I used to spend hours at night reviewing in my head things that were said to me, things that I said, what I should have said, why that person said what they did. It was so much wasted time, wasted energy, wasted moments when I could be sleeping. For whatever reason, I could not let  those things simply roll off my back. I was embarrassed; sometimes I was ashamed.

It has taken me a long time to fully embrace the grace that Christ has to offer. To simply think “when you know better, you do better” and then go on about the business of attempting to do better. And even now, the people who are closest to me know that I am a serial apologizer. I say “sorry” for things that are not at all my fault. But I am working on it. I am doing better every day.

I don’t want my daughter to carry the that weight, the weight that I was carrying around for years. The weight that I now leave at the cross. I don’t want her to feel embarrassed or ashamed when she doesn’t know something or makes an honest mistake.

I want her to know that God’s grace isn’t just sufficient enough to cover our sins and squeak us barely in to heaven. It is abundant, and covers the rest when our best isn’t good enough. God’s grace is sufficient enough to take what you give Him and turn it into something beautiful. Even if what you give him isn’t the perfect right thing. It doesn’t have to be, just your best love. God thinks that is grand,

And I want her to know that we think her best is grand too. And all the people who love her, they think her best is perfect. Even when it isn’t good enough.

We Talk Nice

Oh language acquisition, how you teach me so so much about myself. The Peanut is quite chatty these days, and lately some of the phrases she has picked up are less than cute. As my car pooling buddy said yesterday of toddlers “they are like tiny mirrors being constantly held up to you.” After all, there are a very limited number of people the Peanut could be learning these words from. And perhaps I am not as nice as I once thought. Because I am constantly having to remind the Peanut, “We talk nice in this house.”

You see, the Peanut has picked up too phrases that are neither winning friends nor influencing people. The first phrase is this: have it. I wish that I could accurately type that phrase with the correct inflection. It comes out of that darling little mouth so quick it sounds like habit. But more like HABIT. It almost always is accompanied with her arms stretched out. It is usually followed with a full on fit if “it” is not in her arms within moments. “It” is often in reference to the Rooster…… Sorry kid, we can’t let you kill your sister. She is also still very good at MIIIIIINE!

The other phrase she picked up is moooove. This is mostly accompanied by pushing. She likes to direct this at me and the dog equally. Somehow she knows not to use this one on her dad. I could not for the life of me figure out where she was getting these phrases…until they came out of my mouth. The Peanut was taking a little too long to get into the door and I shoved my knee into her back and said…move. Oops. I guess I am the one who needs to start saying excuse me. And after that little epiphany it didn’t surprise me that much that “I’ll have that” and “Can I have it?” and “You can’t have it” are regularly occurring phrases in our household.

What I am realizing lately is that the same phrases the Peanut has been shouting at me lately are the ones I am most likely to shout at God. “God can I have it?” “Mine God it is mine!” “Let me direct that, move!” and the usual from both me and my daughter “Help!” I don’t want to continue with my toddler prayers. I want to talk nice too.

This one’s for the girls

An open letter to my two beautiful girls.

My heart could explode with all the joy  you give me. I don’t know if your momma will always be a working momma. I love my job and think I am good at it….but I am so grateful for these extra months I was given to stay at home. They are such an amazing blessing.

 Rooster, right now it is me and you, everywhere. We are a team. And you are such an easy baby that I politely decline when people offer to take you, even for an hour. I am simply not ready to give you up yet. You are mine. You smile now. And you have glorious dimples. But you make us work for it, or surprise me right when you wake up from a nap and it is just me and you. You seem to come out of your shell in the quiet times. It makes me wonder if your sister may over shadow you, but you don’t seem to mind.I can already see how your personalities will challenge and compliment each other. It is hard sometimes, but sisters are amazing. I can already see your babyhood slipping away. Your hair stands down a little now, your new born diapers are too small. You are trying to hold your head up. And as I delight in these things…..I am a little sad. Now I know that once you start doing these things you will never not do them. We can never go back. You have a naturally gentle spirit. And you are so patient with your family. You let your sister try to push your binky back in and then pull it out again and give herself a turn over and over again. And you don’t mind. When you cry out because you need something, if you think I am about to guess right you stop crying and wait to see if your needs will be met. I appreciate the grace you give me. I hope you are always that gracious. Don’t let me take all the credit for that trait when you get older. God designed you with that graciousness, and it will serve you well. Already, sometimes you need a minute to yourself. You like to sit in your seat and kick your legs, as though you need a moment to just process and be with yourself. It has taken me twenty-eight years to realize I need those times too. Don’t be afraid to take them, it is simply how you were made. Don’t apologize for it.

And Peanut. You are currently the definition of a laugh riot. I don’t think you will ever have to remember to live life to the fullest. You experience everything one hundred percent.You laugh and smile so freely. You cry so loudly when you are upset. When you like something you LOVE it. When you want a book read, you want it read right now, and fifteen times. You woke your dad up from a nap on the couch the other day by sticking a board book in his ear and shouting “he-ya” over and over again. You entertain yourself and others by singing every song you know, and you are good at it. Aunt Em can recognize the songs when we are on the phone and you are only in the background. Even when it is just you and Rooster in the back of the car you are singing. I love it when you sing “Jesus Loves Me.” If you just remember that, live by that, you will thrive. You try to hold your sisters hand when you are in the car. Although it occasionally leads to your sister’s arm being pulled out of the socket, it also makes me tear up with joy. I am so, so glad the Lord blessed you with each other. The other day someone stopped us in the grocery store, looked at me and said, “that one has a beautiful spirit, doesn’t she” she could sense your joy. It rolls off of you in waves, splashing on to not just me and your dad, but the people in our small group, the clerk at the grocery store, the old women in the neighborhood. I have watched your smile infect so many people. I am sure I will be watching that for the rest of my life.

I love you both so much. There are no words that have not been said to describe how much I love you…and every word that has been written is not enough to describe it. But even more than that God loves you. He made you to be incredible people. I am grateful for the opportunity to help in that process.