Tuesday, August 27, 2013

She Is Far More Precious Than Jewels

"I don't like Maggie's hair!"  The 8:30 am bashing of my Littlest by her older sister caught me off guard.  The kind that would normally initiate a response less than gracious from me.  Somehow, even before coffee, I managed to not yell, instead I sent her from the room until I could figure out how to deal with the offense of criticizing someone's appearance.
Just the other day, I posted a picture of my Little on Instagram wondering how I could get her to let me fix her hair.  How could I teach her to care about her appearance without it becoming the focus of her attention in years to come?

I normally don't use this blog to complain much about the state of our world, I use it more for petitioning someone to tell me it would be okay to swaddle my nearly five year old in a blanket instead of sending her to school.  However, several things this week have me standing baffled and quite frankly afraid to raise my children in a world that wants to grab hold of them and fill them with the lies that it tells.
The first thing that happened  was when I was searching for birthday gift ideas for Libby.  She made a list weeks ago and one of the items was new books.  I have often seen on the internet compiled lists of "25 books every preschooler should read", or "10 books you should read to your child" or some variation of that, so I searched (on a popular homemaker sight) "picture books."  The first row or two of pictures did indeed have pictures of children's books, but as I scrolled I was shocked when I saw several pictures of naked women posing unnaturally for the camera...arched back, hair tousled, mouth pouty, and then next to it a photo  of "Harry the Dirty Dog" or "Corduroy."  I realized I should have ended my search there, but my mind started spinning and not just because of how innocently I stumbled upon these photos (the internet is a scary and dangerous place). These pictures were not of woman, they were of girls, someone's daughter.
 Also, no one in real life ever, ever looks like that. I can only assume that many of the viewers of these photos are men who are being lied to by the enemy. By believing that viewing photos like these will fill some kind of desire that they have. Clearly they wont. They will never meet a woman who looks like that while going to the grocery store, or stepping out of the shower for that matter, stepping out of the ocean, anything in real life never, ever looks like that.  Who told these men to fulfill their desire for physical pleasure this is the way to get it?
Even more disturbing to me were these girls.  At some point their minds were robbed of their innocence and made to believe to be beautiful to someone, or desirable to someone they would have to expose themselves to the world this way. Who told them this?

Then because if you got on the internet yesterday, you read the name of certain singer's performance on live TV the night before. I was curious to know what all the hype was about so I looked up the you tube video of it.  I couldn't finish it.  I was so saddened at what had become of this young girl.
Who told her that she had to sell herself this way?  Who told her that fame was worth more than the beautiful soul that God created her to be?

Who whispers in our ears that we are not enough?  Magazines, adverts, clothing, the world, the evil one.  Who tells us that the desires of our hearts can be filled by anything except the Grace of the cross?
I am not a writer, I don't have the ability to articulate all that I am thinking right now. However, the one other thought that I had was, how does anyone do this thing called life without the guidance of a Holy Father?  One who sends you his Spirit to guide you through this messy, dark world we live in.  I feel lost if I take my eyes off of Him if even for a minute. It is no wonder that these beautiful girls are selling themselves for so  little, believing the lie that Evil whispered in their ear.

I worry about my children.  I try not to.  Worry itself is believing the lie that God doesn't have our lives completely under His control.  How can I teach them that their beauty lies in Him.  In seeking His face everyday, in thanksgiving for His daily gifts to us.
I have to live it for them...not do it for them, live it out in front of them.  I can talk about beauty not being about what is on the outside, but they will never understand that until they see it.

I walked into the living room and sat down with Libby eye to eye and talked with her for ten minutes about appearances.  "God created us all different Libby, long hair, curly hair, dark skin, light skin...we don't criticize others because in doing so we hurt feelings and are ungrateful for the way God created one of his children."  Yada, yada, yada I rambled on and on, similar to this post I imagine.  She ended our chat with "Mommy, I like the way Maggie's hair looks, I just don't like the way it tickles my face."
Ten minutes of a heart to heart Mommy speech well spent.
She doesn't like her hair braided or in a pony tail.  I am trying to accept that.  She does brush her hair, which is more than I did when I was five.  She told me just today that she brushes her hair better than I do it. She is doing just fine.

I can't always shield them from the lies that they will hear, or that they will innocently see, but I can point them to the One who made them just the way they are.  I can point them to the One who painted the freckles on their noses.  The One who twists my Littlest's hair into bouncy tendrils everyday.  The One who made their feet tiny and who made them just a bit shorter than most kids their ages. The one who will make them perfectly beautiful when they choose to stand covered by his Grace.

Grace and Peace

Monday, August 19, 2013

Playing Dress Up

I was going to post tonight about August nights that are cool enough to wear sweaters, but my pictures weren't that great.  Instead, I'm posting these pictures from playing dress up the other day.  I know that this one is a little bit blurry but Maggie's little hands are still just enough baby to make my heart swell.  Maggie is the best hugger I've ever met.

They both wanted to wear white dresses.  Libby was Ariel and Maggie was Belle.  After they found their dresses, they wanted me to do their make up, and I kind of made them let me fix their hair.  My children do not like their hair fixed, I think it has to do with me making them wear head bands that squished their tiny little brains when they were babies.  My Aunt Di used to call them head squishers.
Five minutes after we finished our photo session, they saw their friends outside ridding bikes.  Libby changed out of her dress faster than they destroyed their closets trying to find their dresses, but Maggie wore her's for the rest of the day, ridding her bike, taking her nap, all the way to bedtime.  I should have taken a picture of Maggie on her trike while wearing the dress.

I wish I had more to say tonight, I just really liked these pictures. This little corner by the steps in our house is one of my favorite places here.  It is the perfect picture taking spot because of all the light that floods in.  I think it makes their pretty blues sparkle.

I'm so thankful for their sistership.  Maggie still goes to Libby for comfort all the time.  I hope that doesn't ever change.  I still go to my sister for comfort all the time.
That is all.
I'm happy to be back in the picture taking world.
It feels normal for me to stop my whole day to do a photo shoot of dress up play.
Grace and Peace

Thursday, August 15, 2013

He Knows Me

It doesn't take much reading on this blog to realize that I'm a bit of a basket case when it comes to loving my children and letting them go.  I could reference posts where I've mentioned it before but I would be here all night.  Sometimes I wonder if I'm abnormal, or if all the other moms I know are just really good at hiding it.

Anyhow, a post ago I mention the preschool signing.  I had to reluctantly sign Libby up for a five day pre school program so that I could get her foot in the door...Everywhere I called was booked.  Honestly,  I want to be an amazing home school mom, but I just couldn't find my feet to do it this year.  I knew with our baby coming as school was starting I would feel like I was letting her down, then I would feel like I was letting him down, and then I would feel like I had completely forgotten about Maggie.

So, I talked with Kev and we agreed to send her to a three day program only to find that there were none left, only five days.  Five days of my girl being away from me sent me spiraling out of emotional control.  I cried about it everyday.  Literally.  I have very little emotional self control left at this point.  I would wake up and think about it.  I would think about how I would miss her face at then lunch table and how Maggie would wonder where she was.  I prayed for peace, I prayed that He knew better than me and I that I would see in hind-sight that this was just what she needed...but I found little peace.  The only glimmer was that my girl is soooooo stinkin' excited about going to school.  Like her smile, it is infectious. I couldn't help but be just a little excited for her.

Then the other day I got the call, a three day spot opened up and the director wondered if we wanted Libby to take it.  All I could think was how much my Father knows my heart.  I may not understand these crazy emotions I have, but He does.  He knows what is best for her and He knows the desires of this mama's heart.

this is note that came with them from the Grandparents...they don't know they wrote it so I'm putting here so that they know she knows they are gifts from them
Yesterday, her brand new backpack and lunch box came in the mail.  She was beyond excited and promptly ran to my closet to gather her school supplies so that she could pack her bags.  Then, she played school all day today with her sister.

He knows my heart...he knows her heart.
He loves us so much it hurts. He knows exactly
where I'm coming from.
That's all.
Grace and Peace


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

If Today Was August 11

I missed posting on my birthday because my Littlest was running a temp all day and required a lot of my attention, which I was perfectly happy to give.  The next day I was going to blog and got distracted by something else, and yesterday I had company.
Today the girls and I went to the zoo and are napping now.  By napping I mean not napping at all, but finding reasons to come down the stairs to tell me things.
Anyhow, what I was going to say is that if today was August 11, 1978 you would find my mother in a similar situation that I am in.  Very round and preparing to meet her new baby any moment.  I thought about that a lot on Sunday.  I also thought about how sweet it was that Libby and Maggie both picked out earrings for me from Target that I had to open even before I finished my coffee.  By 8:00 am I thought I had all my presents opened, but my little girls gifted their mama all day long.
Exhibit A
Libby insisted on putting all Cooper's freshly washed clothes away for me.  She even carefully refolded every teeny tiny onsie and sleeper.
 A little bit later, a poorly Maggie, crawled into my lap and fell sound asleep, in the very chair that we spent so many hours together rocking away.  I can't remember the last time she did this.  Even though she didn't feel well, it was still kind of a treat for me.
 Then on our way to a late birthday lunch, Mags let go of my hand so that she could hold hands with her Daddy just like her big sister, and just like that, I felt like I had opened another gift.  So precious to see them all together.

As if Target earrings and gifts too priceless to buy are not enough.  My husband gave me one more gift.  For the last year and half I have been pining the loss of my fancy camera, trying to take pictures equivalent to the pictures it would take with my phone or by a less fancy camera we got before going to England last year...That is until I, or my children, broke that one too.
Monday afternoon, the UPS man, delivered a new fancy camera to my doorstep.  It is so fancy that I almost don't have to do anything to get a lovely picture.  It is so fancy that I was almost afraid to touch it.  I can't wait to take pictures of baby toes and wrinkly newborn skin with it.
Like this
this is my Little...FIVE years ago (almost)
Or this
This my Littlest in all her red head glory

Monday night I took it up to bed time to very carefully practice with it

 This one slipped in somehow from breakfast this morning.  I don't how this happened, I thought I had already cleaned her up once, but she came to find me looking like this.  I guess I didn't put the blueberries away.
The temperature barely made it to the 80's today so I took them  to the zoo.  I imagine that we wont get back there much before the baby comes. 

 I have more pictures of Libby because Maggie was afraid of all the people and hid in the back of the stroller.  Sometimes she is shy, or all the time she is shy.

 They had fun really...but they were cold.  Fortunately, I knew this would happen and had dry clothes for them in the car.
35 bringeth good gifts.  Can't wait for that little late gift our family is going to get next month.  Doctor told me that I only have 9 more centimeters to go.  She told me to get ready, bc once my contractions start, she thinks I'll go quickly...Clearly she hasn't read my chart very well.
Grace and Peace