Yesterday I achieved my highest level of status in my daughters eyes. I knew all the words to a song in The Little Mermaid. They looked at me as if they had never really known me - like "who is this fabulous mom who knows all the princess songs?"
I think I'll hold on to my Beauty and the Beast repitoure and really wow 'em.
I am the worst at potty training. Absolutely wretched. My patience goes from 10 to 0 in no time when my kids have an accident. Fortunately I'm aware of this defect in myself and try very hard to compensate. Today I got a good test.
Abbie is in gymnastics. We signed her up as a birthday gift this year and she loves it. Stephen and Clara and I color and read books while she tumbles to her hearts content. Then came that dreaded call. You know, that time when the teacher opens to door and scans the 20 or so parents, holding my soaked child at an arms distance. "Abbie's mom!" she practically yelled. I hoped up and grabbed Abbie. In my desire to quickly get her to the bathroom, I was quite un-strategic and stuck her butt under my arm. Yup, soaked my shirt with pee. Great.
Once she was cleaned up and back in class (I did hold it together, no fussing at her), I sat down in my pee shirt and proceeded to finish coloring with Clara and Stephen - trying to ignore my wet arm and the lingering odor. My dear friend, Teresa, loaned me a shirt at our lunch playdate. All was well.
Today we went to my friend Ali's house to get their portraits taken. It's an amazing benefit to have a friend who is also a talented photographer. Check out her page here.
Anyway, while we were there she graciously handed me a CD with these photos she took while at our house dying Easter eggs. I love looking at the pictures she takes because they almost make me feel like I'm there again. I can hear their giggles, and even feel their little squirmy bodies when I was tickling them. The picture of Clara at the top captures her so clearly. She fully experiences all details - even the sun coming in the front door. One picture of Stephen that I couldn't get up is fantastic - it's his 'thinking' face. It's like looking at gears in motion.
These pictures make me more in love with my kids, if that's possible. Maybe I just love them more because they are sitting still!
A long time ago I was talking to my mom about this overwhelming, crushing love I have for my kids. It is usually followed by a trembling fear that they someday might encounter something I can't fix. Nightmarish things like kidnapping, abuse, disease, disaster. I told my mom that it's hard for me to give my kids up to the Lord's plans for them when I know that those plans might include pain. Mom (with much wisdom, as usual) said that moving from a reluctant prayer of "here, God, please be gentle," is fine, but the real peace comes when you find joy in giving your kids over completely to His protection, His plans.
Today is the first day I felt a twinge of victory in this area. My first glimpse of joy, peace even, in completely letting go of my 'mama bear' instincts.
Easter Sunday! Our girls are wearing dresses that my grandmother smocked for me and my sister. I'm amazed that they are on their second generation of wearers. Also amazed that Abbie waited until 2 minutes after these pictures to pee her pants... er tights. Hope the dresses make it through the Smith girls!
Easter was great this morning. It's a sort of spiritual new year for me. What have I done with my redeemed life? What will I do this year? My pastor pointed out this morning that we were condemned when Jesus saved us, that he didn't walk in and point to me and say, "Hey, Rachel, follow me or else I'll condemn you." That I was sitting in my own condemnation, that He walked in and said - "Want out?" I said yes a long time ago - but just like anything am constantly re-evaluating how it's going.
We just got home from a "Good Friday" service. I saw multiple clips from the movie "The Passion of the Christ." This was the first time I had seen any of the movie (for many reasons, most of them having to do with my raging hormone levels while pregnant).
It's kind of fun to see the different way my kids think. Even more fun to watch them act like Brian or me. Here's one example:
On a car ride with Stephen and Clara, we were talking about a new toy Stephen got in a gift bag. It's on of those little sea creatures toys that you submerge in water and watch it grow over a period of days. Stephen was realizing how the toy grew.
"Oh, I get it mom. The octopus is ABSORBING the water. And when it ABSORBS the water, it gets bigger. That's why it grows, and that's why you had to add water. AND, that's probably why it's squishy now. Wow. It's ABSORBING it. Right, mom?"
If you don't know, that's a Smith answer. Fully developed from beginning to end, detailed, and explained accurately from every possible direction.
Clara piped up with the Booth answer:
"Yup. Just like sand."
She stuck it out there, let it stand on its own, and walked away. :)
I guess I'll start by explaining my blog title. Last year I taught a life changing class on the book of Hebrews. I was absolutely fascinated by its depth and intensity. As I went through and tried to piece it together, it felt like a game of jeopardy - so many answers to questions I'd never thought to ask! The challenge of the book ignited in me a new, fresh love for scripture and what it could say to me. I hate to say it, but the Bible had become boring to me. A symptom of my stagnant relationship with Christ to be sure.
Since God had appointed me to teach this class, I knew that He was assigning me personally to dig in deeper than I would have under any other circumstances. The work load almost put me under. Gradually I fell in love - in my case, head over heart in love.
Hebrews 6:19,20a says "This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us ..." Amazing. My hope, my salvation, is anchored in the throne room. To me, this is absolute freedom. I can step out in faith an know without a doubt that my anchor with hold fast. I can ask questions, wonder, hope, be confused, not understand, ask, ask, ask, and my anchor will hold fast.
And so it has become a verse I cling to when I get tossed by the waves of this world or my own fears.