7 Quick Tizzles

Yes, I just said tizzles.  Remember when everyone used to do that?  Linking with Jennifizzle at Conversion Dizzle today.  Sup.

  1. Last night I acted like I don’t even have kids and went to a concert an hour away with my sister and I didn’t come home until after midnight and then I stayed up a whole nuther hour – get this – pumping to make up for it.  I know!  Cray!
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    In all seriousness though, we went to see the Avett Brothers and if you don’t like them you are no longer invited to my life because they are amazing and the concert was amazing and I also took an amazing picture of them that I will treasure forever.
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  2. Me and the kids are going to the beach tomorrow with my Dad’s family and while I am very, very excited that I get to go on an extra vacation (perk of being a stay-at-home-mom) I’m really sad Jeremy can’t come.  He didn’t get to come last year either and he missed Malachi’s first ever experience at the beach which was exactly what you hope it will be: he stopped screaming like a madman, started beaming like a gladman (bad, I know, I’m tired), and crawled as fast as he could possibly go straight into the water.  I doubt Naomi will do the same this year but at the crazy rate she is growing and developing you never know.
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  3. Speaking of Naomi, has she lost hair?  Other than the ginormous bald spot in the back I mean.  I can’t decide if she’s lost hair or if her head is just bigger and her hair is also lighter but I remember I went through the same conversation about Malachi when he was little and he DEFINITELY lost hair.  All but three, if I remember correctly.  Anyway, weigh in:
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  4. I’m really distracted because I’m watching Parenthood right now and do you watch it?  Because if you are a parent and you don’t watch it oh my word.  It is amazing.  I love it.  I’m very addicted.  Also we are only on season one so please don’t spoil anything for me like the woman on the plane did by watching it RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME and showing me that _______ ended up with _______!!!!!!!!!  (See how I’m not ruining it for you?  That’s how it’s done.)  There was a scene somewhere in the first season where the dad widens and almostrolls his eyes at his son before responding very sweetly and patiently and I thought, YES.  That is EXACTLY what every parent ever has done.
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  5. Today one of my closest friends was in town for a few hours and we got to all hang out.  We each have two kids now and babies don’t pose well for pictures so I’ll spare you the drool and lazy eyes but!  I will show you these two because oh my word THESE TWO.  Aren’t they the cutest?!
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  6. Also?  My garden!!!  There are a bunch of green tomatoes, zucchini blossoms, squash blossoms, cucumber blossoms (flowers?), my beans and peas are climbing all the way up a five foot pole, my corn is growing and the only things not doing so hot are the peppers and lettuce.  So for a first time gardener, I’m pretty happy with myself.
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  7. Number seven was gonna be a link to my other blog with a recipe because dinner tonight was so good that I couldn’t stop complimenting the chef (moi) and I took pictures and everything to blog about it again and guess what?  Nope.  Not tonight.  I know the suspense about what we ate for dinner tonight is going to kill you until next week, but you’re just gonna have to make do.
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The five seconds of profound life change in between ordering a soda and restraining a child on a plane

Ever since my kids were born I have no longer been able to watch crime shows.  I used to love CSI, Cold Case, and a couple others but I just can’t do it anymore.  There are no disclaimers that say “this story will involve a murdered baby” or “this episode including child trauma” and therefore when it takes me by surprise it always takes my breath away and brings me to tears.  And I don’t mean just normal TV-show tears.  I mean crying on the couch, Jeremy asking if I’m ok, go look at my sleeping kids kind of tears.  I just can’t handle it anymore.

I guess part of being an empathetic person (which I never thought I was before having kids) is that when someone else feels pain, even fictional pain, I feel it with them.  Maybe I don’t know what it’s like to walk in their shoes but it’s not from lack of trying.  News stories about abuse and infanticide, personal friends who have lost children, and TV episodes someone made up to entertain us (which, honestly, we might need to talk about this later) all hit really, really, really close to home for me.  Is this a phase?  Do all new moms go through this and eventually learn to live with it?  Do I have an unhealthy protective instinct?  I don’t know.

Before Malachi was born one night I was lying in bed thinking about how afraid I was that XYZ would happen while I was pregnant and what could I even do to stop it?  How could I protect him?  And then I realized, I couldn’t.  I knew at some point I would have to surrender him to the Lord but I realized I had to do it then, before he was in my arms, because otherwise I probably never could.  It wasn’t a long prayer or even a profound one, but it ended in a lot more peace than I had before I started.  I have prayed and re-prayed that prayer over both my children many times since.

My heart breaks and aches over some of the things going on in our world.  Abortion, infanticide, gendercide, and poverty that results in the death of unwanted children.  There are warehouses in southeast Asia where infant girls are left to die simply because they are girls.  The mother might stop by to feed them – maybe not.  I imagine what I would do if I lived there and found one of these warehouses.  Would I rush in and rescue as many babies as I could, like this woman did?  Would I walk in the door, break down, and pound my fists in anger?  Would I avoid it because the problem is too big?  When I think about how to be active in the pro-life movement, I know the biggest difference I could make would be through sidewalk counseling.  But how, HOW, could I talk to a woman about the unborn life inside her, watch her walk into the clinic pregnant and walk out….not.  Ever since I’ve had my own children I’ve been afraid God would ask me to do ministry in one of those situations and it makes me shake.  I can’t.  How can you ask me to do this?  My heart would break and it would never mend.

Whenever we go on plane trips I bring 7 or 8 magazines from the magazine stack that I never have time to get to.  I usually put off reading the missions magazines because they take the longest.  On the way to Seattle I was working my way through a World Vision magazine when I came to this story.  Go read it.  Did you go?  Go.

When I got to the end I imagined sitting beside that woman while her baby died.  Holding her hand, praying for her, and just being with her while she went through the most profound loss I imagine a mother could ever experience.  I’ve suspected for a few months now that God is preparing me to minister in some way to orphans/grieving mothers/pregnant women considering abortion and I just….I don’t even know.  So as I sat there, casually sipping my soda and eating my Delta snack mix, internally I finally snapped and said, “God, how can you ask me, as a mother, to minister to people like this?  It’s so painful!  It’s too close to home!  How can you ask me to go through that?”  And then in the still, small, earth-shaking, deafening Voice I have come to know and love, He said, “Because that is how I feel about my children.”

And I got it.  I finally got it.  Rescuing unwanted babies is not an end in itself – if it were it would be all-too exhausting.  Saving a few babies from abortion while thousands more die is not an end in itself – if it were it would be a stupid undertaking.  Ministering to grieving mothers is not an end in itself – if it were it would be pointless.  All of these hard, heartbreaking, passionate ministries exist because through them He is glorified.  It’s not just about rescuing unwanted babies – it’s about rescuing lost and lonely people who are wanted by God.  It’s not just about saving a few babies from abortion – it’s about saving souls from damnation.  And it’s not just about comforting grieving mothers – it’s about wiping every tear from their eyes.

It still breaks my heart.  Getting in the trenches – those kind of trenches – still scares me.  But the truth is, His heart has been broken for us from the foundation of the world.  He has given me beautiful children to love while His children are dying without him every day.

You know how it takes an hour to explain something that only took you half a second to process?  That’s what this is.  My eyes watered, I said a short prayer, and then I rescued Malachi’s cup of juice before it spilled all over the airplane floor.  I helped Jeremy juggle the kids, snacks, and drinks during the turbulence.  We had a conversation about soy nuts.  Life went on.

This is the first that I’ve really revisited that achingly profound, anonymous moment on the airplane.  I’m a little afraid of where all this is going, but I’m more afraid of not going there.

7 Quick Takes Seattle Edition

2 weeks passed and did anybody miss me?  I hope so.  I missed me!  I really thought I’d write one more post before we left (nope), a couple while I was there (nope), and one right after we got back (n-to-the-ope).  I still haven’t finished unpacking and I don’t really have time for this, but has that ever stopped me before?

WARNING: picture overload follows

  1. Day 1, Tuesday  We woke Malachi up at what felt to him like 1:30 in the morning, drove to the airport, got through check in and security where he thought it was FUNNY to put his lovey through the x-ray machine (miracle right there), bought breakfast, boarded the plane, and waited for Malachi to fall back to sleep.
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    And waited.
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    And eventually we just gave up.  But, he stayed happy and never melted down and did manage to take a one-hour nap, so there’s that.  Naomi stayed happy as well.
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    All was nice and well and good until we landed in Seatlle and I kid you not: EVERY (actually all but one but it feels more dramatic to say every so) EVERY elevator was out of service.  It took us 40 minutes just to get down to baggage claim.  But it’s alright.  We got there, nursed, napped, visited, and crashed.
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  2. Day 2, Wednesday  Malachi’s dreams came true and we went to the zoo where we got to see real-life bloop-bloops, grr-grrs, oo-oos, and woo-oooooos.  He also gave himself a hug and got to go down a really big SAH-eed.
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    Then we went to Great Grandma’s house where Naomi got to meet her for the first time and Malachi enjoyed napping, producing the biggest poop-bomb ever in his history, and singing and dancing to every song he knew.
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  3. Day 3, Thursday  <—(Apparently WordPress didn’t pass elementary school because it told me I spelled Wednesday and Thursday wrong.)  Thursday we went to the Seattle Center where Malachi rocked out the children’s museum and the international fountain.  He was really, really into cleaning up the trash at the fountain and his favorite part of the museum was grocery shopping so maybe he needs to get out more?  Who knows.
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    Later that day we went to see Aunt Becca and Malachi played on a playground for the second time that week.  By the end of the week he had played on a playground 5 days out of 7 – go Seattle!
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  4. Day 4, Friday  Friday we got to drive north a bit and visit Jeremy’s best friend and family.  They have an incredible story that you should check out.  It was so, so good to finally get to spend some time with them!  Jana and I are planning to marry off Naomi and Cohen so stay tuned for the latest developments.
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    First we went to an indoor jungle playground which was fun, and then we went to an awesome park.  It was designed so that Malachi could do the whole thing by himself and we didn’t have to constantly supervise.
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    Danny and Jana also brought cupcakes.  The boys hated it, as you can see.
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  5. Day 5, Saturday Saturday was awesome because Jeremy and I went on a date to celebrate our fifth anniversary.  And not just any date – a half-day date.  Round of applause.  We went to the Ballard Locks which were super awesome on their own and made awesomer by the presence of jumping, barking seals.  We went to Kerry Park and got a great view of the city.  We went out to eat at a place that I loved and Jeremy thought was “fine” (story of his life).  We walked around downtown and talked and explored and laughed about almost running out of gas and had a great time.  I love him.
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  6. Day 6 – Sunday  Sunday was church and then a big family party.  Malachi had fun playing with all the wonderful toys that Grandma had gotten for him.  He also loved following around his cousins.  Naomi also enjoyed all the people and family.  She stayed up about 5 hours past her normal bedtime.  Great-grandma held her and sang to her for a while and it was so sweet that I teared up.
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  7. Day 7/8, Monday/Tuesday  Monday morning we just hung out around the house, packed, weighed everything because we really did bring 100 pounds of stuff to Seattle with us, and tried to avoid thinking about how sad it was that the week was ALREADY over and that we were leaving.  I’m always sad to leave Seattle but this was definitely the worst for me.  I wish it wasn’t so far and that Jeremy’s parents could see their grandkids way more often.
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    But at least we had another angelic plane flight to look forward to.  I really was hoping it would go as well as last time.  Let’s just say that Naomi screamed through an entire flight and layover, the only available food options in our budget for dinner was Burger King, and Malachi got a whopping 3 hours of sleep that night.
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    Then we drove home from NC where Jeremy and I switched off driving three times to stay awake and then my heroic/crazy husband actually did a half day’s work on 30 minutes of sleep.  He did make an important declaration though.  “That McDonald’s frappuccino really helped so the next time I’m tired all we need to do is get one of those.”  Duly noted.
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    This was neither 7 nor quick so thanks for tuning in to my “takes.”  Go see Jen for more awesomeness.