Wednesday, October 30, 2013

expressing love...

It was during one of our last weeks in Mexico. The decision to leave was bearing heavily on our hearts--although we felt convinced that it was the right choice.

Many of our friends there, although motivated by love, were saying things that weren't making the leaving any easier. When we stated we needed to get help for Noah, they said there wasn't anything wrong with Noah. And then gave us all kinds of other options. "I went to a man who is so good with aligning the personalities of people. He can sense things... Like, maybe when Noah was in your womb, he didn't feel love from you. So, you can go and this man does hold therapy. Where you can hug Noah tightly and heal that rift that happened..." 

Or, when we stated that--plain and simple--we weren't even close to making it financially, some criticized our faith. "You just need to believe harder!" When we said, "What if God is purposefully shutting that door to guide us back Stateside?", they would shake their heads emphatically.

I also struggled with feeling misunderstood. The times were few and far between that I was able to travel out to the communities with Rey, and I often felt that was not well-looked upon by many.

So, it was hard. Jumping into a lot of unknowns... dealing with the really hard place we were in with Noah and our finances... trying to sell off everything and work out all the details of moving to a different country--I was feeling completely drained. On less than empty, really.

We were invited to a small house church a friend of ours helped to pastor. Rey shared a sermon that day. Towards the end of the service, people were going to the front for a time of prayer. I stood near my seat, praying silently and listening to the music.

Suddenly, I felt gentle hands press on my back. I heard the voice of a dear, older woman who faithfully served in the outreaches to the communities. She prayed loudly, as the music pounded around us, that God would wrap me in his arms. That he would uphold me as I upheld my husband. That he would give me wisdom as I mothered our children. "Because, father, we all see she really is a wonderful mother..." That he would give me peace as I went into an unknown situation. And, then, she said: "God, we place Noah into your hands. May they find the help they need for this precious boy. Heal his mind and body and give his parents what they need to raise him...." And then, folks, it was all over. Hot tears ran down my cheeks and I began to sob uncontrollably. To hear such words of affirmation, comfort and love spoken over me was like water onto parched soil.

As other women in the church saw my state, more encircled me... placing their hands on me and lifting high prayers for God's comfort, strength and healing. It was an amazing, unforgettable moment. A moment that I so felt God's love for me through the hands and prayers of these women. A moment that taught me... that I need to be like that one woman who acted on what I can only imagine was God's whisper to her: "Go pray for Liz."

Who do I need to be praying for today? Do I need to pray for them from my home? Or face to face with them? What about you? Who is someone in your circle that could be so renewed by truly being seen by you?

I pray we don't hold back from expressing love when we have the opportunity.

Monday, October 7, 2013

"go clean your room"

So great--the kids are getting to an age I can tell them to clean their rooms. What??! :)

They were soooo cute this day as they excitedly called me to check in on their handiwork.

Instead of a quick run-through... they had really done their best, and the results were amazing!

Noah's shelf:


Aleni had cutely arranged her ponies in their castle:

 I also love what this picture shows about the difference in their personalities. Ha!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

moments in time

I was out running errands the other night, and pulled into a parking spot. I soon realized an area junior high school was having their homecoming dance dinner at a restaurant in this shopping center, as I saw little, tiny babies dressed in suits and frilly dresses walking in groups. Of course, they weren't really babies, they just looked that way to my momma-eyes.

Out of the car next to me emerged a tall, thin boy in a shirt and tie, looking awkward, nervous and eager to escape his parents. He stood outside the car while his dad took a picture of him with his phone. He looked determinedly away, obviously not wanting to be delayed. After the picture was taken, with his dad's comments of how great he looked falling un-received to the ground--the boy began to stride away from mom and dad toward the shopping center. His shoulders were bunched up, his hands either shoved into his pockets or adjusting his tie or patting down his mop of brown hair.

I looked over at the mom. She stood away from the car--one hand on her chest, one hand waving. Her mouth moved, but no words came out. She looked to be on the verge of tears. I felt tears spring to my eyes, too. Will my boy have this same moment?

As I walked through the shopping center, groups of junior high kids passed me. Their electric energy was palpable; the level of glam they each were exhibiting was mind-numbing. They were so young! I thought about how hard those ages are, how high school is even harder. I imagined my own kids in that crowd. In that awful, awkward age where you are between child and adult. Where no one knows who they are and there is a lot of "mean" going around. I said a prayer for my babies, and these, to be strong.

Those moments are seared into my memory. I don't know what junior high and high school will be like for my babies, but I pray they make a safe passage. I pray that today I can be instilling in them the things they will need to make it through those years...

But, makes me adore today even more.

Today, my boy grabs my face and insists we kiss on the lips when I drop him off at school. In front of his friends. With a big, big hug.

Today, my girl insists on wearing combinations of clothing that leave me equal parts embarrassed and pleased that she can feel so good in such an eye-watering array. "Aleni boot-a-full." Yes, you are.

Today, my boy wrestles me to the ground and makes me laugh until I cry when he says, "Don't worry about it, dollface." (Thanks, Penguins of Madagascar)

Today, my girl stealthily sneaks down the stairs at night after her brother is fast asleep... her freshly-bathed hair hanging in her eyes, thumb in her mouth. She tiptoes into my room, wanting just a few more moments of mommy-girl time before going off to sleep.

Today, my girl whispers to me her secrets, my boy asks me to snuggle him....they find me to tell me they love me.

And... they tell me--there truly is no way to freeze time? Maybe not, but in writing about it... at least it can be remembered.