Man-Child

Our son shared a devotion during his youth service last night, and someone snapped a photo and sent it to me.  

 At first glance, I was in shock, in tears and in awe of who I saw. It was as if he had grown up overnight, or maybe just in the hour and half since I dropped him off. How does this happen??

They are so tiny when they’re born, so helpless, so dependent on everything we do for them. We survive the endless midnight feedings and sleepless restings, only to enter the toddler years, when they seem heck-bent in killing themselves in one fashion or another! 

  
Then, it’s school days and taxi driving to every event and sports practice known to mankind. This is soon followed by the absence of mind and hearing through the teenage years, and we wonder some days how we could have given birth to such a creature. These days of challenge and adventure are continued as those, once tiny dependents, start testing their abilities and spreading their wings. They push for their independence, and we seriously wonder how our hearts will handle the empty nests once they’ve flown. 

Yet, there comes a moment after the night of events, when you’re watching his smile and hear the excitement in his voice, and you realize you wouldn’t want him any other way. You know within your heart you never want to hinder him or hold him back from his dreams. You see that the once little boy may no longer be in those days of youth, but you realize, as he wraps his arms around you and says, “I love you, Mom” that your man-child has grown past the point of no return, and you long for him to spread his wings and fly to the highest heights and let nothing hinder his dreams and aspirations. 

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Wednesday’s Ode #40

…oops, I mistakenly noted last Wednesday  W.O. #40, and I’m sorry I miscounted!

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I love our boys, and I love my man. I am definitely outnumbered, but honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. They keep life fun, challenging and adventurous. If it were just me, it probably end up being a little boring.

Our youngest is sweet, compassionate and ready for whatever adventure may come. You can read about him in my post from yesterday.

Our oldest is strong, loving and daring enough to try anything once. He just amazes me! You can read more about him here.

My husband is one of a kind. He always says, “Upon meeting me, people either love me or hate me. There’s not a lot of in between.” I suppose, that’s true. He is an intense guy when it comes to his convictions and the love he has for His God and his family. He’s not an easy one to disagree with; however, he’s also incredible when it comes to interacting with people. I have seen very few with the ability to lead as he does. I know, I can be bias; however, there’s an army of people who would agree with me. His ability is uncanny, at times. He seems to see things others don’t see, and he has the courage to “make the call,” even when others around him are  wondering if it the right one…and he’s rarely wrong! He never meets a stranger, and after he hangs out, you’d think he’s your best friend. He has a knack for making people feel welcomed and at home. Often, I envy his outgoing personality, because I am so quiet and reserved, most of the time.

Our house is always “moving.” Something is always going on; there’s always action of some kind. Well, we do have “down time,” don’t get me wrong. Each one of us, actually, has learned to find a place of calm and serenity to regroup and recharge, but with my personality of introversion and reserve, I suppose, I feel as if there’s always movement. Haha. There’s is always an adventure to get to and something new to explore. 😉

I just love these guys so much; my heart feels as if it might bust sometimes. They are my heartbeats. They are my world. I am so blessed to be with each of them, and I’m excited to see where our adventures, and our God, will lead us.

…I guess if I must be outnumbered, this is the best way to be! 😊

Double Digits

This week, we celebrate my sweet baby boy turning 10! It is so hard to believe. It feels as if it was just yesterday when he was a baby.

He is my sensitive, caring, very observant child. He loves to play, and he loves to cuddle. He is tenderhearted; yet, fierce in competition and intense in convictions.  He has a love for life and adventure like his Daddy, and he has a calm, quiet nature like his Momma. He smiles easily and loves to just be at home.

He is eager to please and sensitive to others’ feelings. He has a strong but compassionate nature, and he has a love for God that has only come from Him above. At night, I will often find him, in his bed, having fallen asleep reading The Word. He’s always been very intrigued by what the Bible has to say, and I simply am amazed by his curiosity. Even as a parent, I have learned a lot from him.

I am so thankful and proud to be called his mom. My prayer for him is he always seek after God and passionately reach for every dream he has in his heart. He will go far in life; I just know it.

Happy Birthday, sweet boy! 😉❤️

Gold All Around You

This week, we are celebrating our oldest son as he is turning 14. I can’t believe it. Seems like it was just yesterday that we were bringing him home from the hospital. In celebration of this event, I thought I would repost a blog I wrote to him last year. I am very proud to be his mom, and I hope as I share this with you, it will encourage you as a parent, as a grandparent, or even as someone who desires to make an impact on this next generation…
He was born a dreamer. He has always dreamed big dreams. At the age of four, he was Batman, Spider-Man, policeman and cowboy, all combined within that sweet tiny frame; the image altering daily, depending upon the mood of the hour. When he had turned nine, the superheroes had faded, and music had taken over. He was a “gangsta-rapper” one day and TobyMac or B-SHOC the next. Always dreaming of greatness, always hoping for the big stage, the bright lights, and the gold coins.   

Today, his heart is set to the beat of a different drum. He doesn’t conform too much to those around him. He has his own style, his own fashion and, yes, his own swagger. He is his own man, and he loves it. He loves Jesus, and he doesn’t care who knows it. He wants others to see what he sees and feel what he feels.

Often, I see the little boy alive in his eyes, and my heart skips a beat for what once was. I see him shooting for the stars, and I pray he never stops or even hesitates. I see him making plans and setting aspirations into action, and I pray The Lord keeps him within His grasp, always leading and guiding him down the right path.

In those moments, I realize, this is what it’s all about: Dreams. Hopes. Aspirations. Reaching for something great. This is what brings about change. This is what brings about true freedom from conformity. This is what brings about new “life.” As a little child dreams, hope is birthed in the soul, and ope brings them to a brighter future…Christ said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” 

For if we fail to dream, if we fail to reach for the stars, something dies within. We must let the child live. We must cultivate those dreams of yesterday. Yeah, some things change, and life always moves on. Time never stops, but yet, if we lose track of it without a dream, it surely does drag along. If we forget to get lost in the yester-years, every once in a while, how will we ever remember how much has changed, and how will we ever see how far we’ve come?

So, dream on, my sweet child. Dream big. Plan long, and aspire for greatness! You can shoot for all the stars in the sky, and even if you don’t make it to the one in your sights, you’ll still get further than if you never reached for it to start. I see gold all around you, and I believe it’s because the stars are within your grasp. Let Him guide you to the right ones, and He will help you get there. When you do, just reach up and take hold. It’s yours for the dreaming, and when you’re amongst the stars, that’s when you’ll see the gold that I see all around you.  

I Watch You Grow

With this being the end of the school year and many are graduating this week and the coming weekends, I thought I might repost a poem I posted last November…


I watch you grow from day to day

Each new morning it seems you’ve found a new way

To touch my heart and to make me smile

Even if it is just to sit with you awhile

 

You have my eyes and your daddy’s squeal

Every passing hour brings another thrill

To make me gasp, hope, laugh or wonder

Even as the minutes go by, of you, I grow ever fonder

 

You have such joy, such energy and life

Lord, help me to never fill your days with strife

I thank my God above for blessing me with you

I pray I teach you His ways in all that I do

 

I watch you grow from day to day

A man of God to become, I pray you may

Follow His voice and never ever turn back

A life of promise, you’ll encounter with nothing to lack

 

I love you, son. You are one of the very joys of my life! ❤

Penned – MG – 6/30/03

Gold All Around

He was born a dreamer. He has always dreamed big dreams. At the age of four, he was Batman, Spider-Man, policeman and cowboy, all combined within that sweet tiny frame; the image altering daily, depending upon the mood that day. When he turned nine, the superheroes had faded, and music had taken over. He was a “gangsta-rapper” one day and TobyMac or B-SHOC the next. Always dreaming of greatness, always hoping for the big stage, the bright lights, and the gold coins.

Today, his heart is set to the beat of a different drum. He doesn’t conform too much to those around him. He has his own style, his own fashion and his own swagger. He is his own man, and he loves it. He loves Jesus, and he doesn’t care who knows it. He wants others to see what he sees, feel what he feels.

Often, I see the little boy alive in his eyes, and my heart skips a beat for what once was. I see him shooting for the stars, and I pray he never stops or even hesitates. I see him making plans and setting aspirations into action, and I pray The Lord keeps him within His grasp, always leading and guiding him down the right path.

In those moments, I realize, this is what it’s all about: Dreams. Hopes. Aspirations. Reaching for something great. This is what brings about change. This is what brings about true freedom from conformity. This is what brings about new “life.” As a little child dreams, hope is birthed in the soul.

For if we fail to dream, if we fail to reach for the stars, something dies within. We must let the child live. We must cultivate those dreams of yesterday. Yeah, some things change, and life always moves on. Time never stops, but yet, if we don’t lose track of it in a dream, it surely does drag along. If we forget to get lost in the yester-years every once in a while, how will we ever remember how much has changed, and how will we ever see how far we’ve come?

So, dream on, my sweet child. Dream big. Plan long, and aspire for greatness! You can shoot for all the stars in the sky, and even if you don’t make it to the one in your sights, you’ll still get further than if you never reached for it to start. I see gold all around you, and I believe it’s because the stars are within your grasp. Let Him guide you to the right ones, and He will help you get there. When you do, just reach up and take hold. It’s yours for the dreaming, and when you’re amongst the stars, that’s when you’ll see the gold that I see all around you.

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It’s Tradition, Again

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The other night, my youngest and I continued a tradition that hasn’t really been an annual, very consistent, tradition; however, I’ll call it a tradition, nonetheless. We made sugar cookies together…complete with the rolling out of dough, cookie cutter figures, making our own icing (for the very first time!), and sprinkles and nonpareils. It was messy, but it was, oh, so fun!!

We had the movie, Home Alone 2, playing in the background as we floured the countertop and rolling pin, flattened the dough and prepared it for the cookie cutters. We pressed the cutters into the dough, making snowmen, Christmas holly, stars, and trains. We baked them, painted them and let them dry. We ate a few and stood back to admire our handiwork. He did an awesome job! …Mine looked more like a four year old’s creation (no offense to the four year olds out there! Haha).

Never letting him know, I, personally, was very disappointed that my “creations” didn’t turn out much better than they did, and it really turned into quite a bit of work detail to finish the extra dozen after he was just simply “done” and didn’t care to finish! However, to see the joy on my little boy’s face when he had decorated his “big bear” and to realize that memory would be sealed in each of our hearts forever, it was all worth it! 🙂

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I’m so glad I took the time tonight to make a memory. There were so many other needs and responsibilities pulling for my attention, but that little nine year old won’t always be pulling for my attention. These days are so fleeting. I’m so glad I ignored the other things that were screaming my name. I’m so glad I made the moment last just one more time.

So, even if the sugar cookie making is not a tradition like the others we have, which are more consistent through the years, I believe we will keep this one each year, or every other year, or maybe just when we “spontaneously” want to keep it. Spontaneity and tradition can go hand in hand, sometimes! The memories that are etched on our hearts at that moment may even last longer, sometimes, than those traditions which we tend to do more out of routine and expectancy.

So, make a point to keep those traditions, create some new ones, and strive for those spontaneous “together-moments” whether you do them bi-annually, or simply, when you think of it from one child to the next! You’ll love the memories you’ll gather, the fun times that will be had, and one day, your children will thank you!

MAKE a new tradition, or keep an old tradition…again!
JUST MAKE A MEMORY!! 🙂

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Light Of The Son

The sun shines bright this morn, unlike it did yesterday

It burns with a brightness I have never seen

Its light shines through the clouds of darkness

Like the dawn interrupts the dream

 

This brightness is not coming from the fireball in the sky

This light could only manifest through You

You are the Almighty One, Life Everlasting

You came into my darkened heart and gave me life anew

 

This sea of unforgiveness was quickly drowning me

Turning me back and forth until I knew not which way to go

I went over to the left, returning to the right

Always trying to prove to all, the right of way I clearly know

 

I was entrapped too deep, in way over my head

Then You came and rescued me, showed me Your true way

You covered me, washed and made me whole

You showed me Your path and surely brightened my day

 

Now, I am a new creation, bathed in Your royal blood

Washed so white, purified, and made in Your righteousness

I praise Your Name on High. You are above all else

Awed by Your beauty and the light of Your Son

 

Penned – MG – 4/8/90

Memories Lining The Tub

My eight year old LOVES to take a bath! We have a nice sized garden tub, and he will ask to go take a bath just about everyday, especially, when he’s got a new toy! The other day, I walked in there, after he was out, and shot this picture. The whole side of the tub was lined with toys. I’m not talking one or two toys, this is a whole collection of Lego men, Transformer robots, and Hero Factory creations! My first thought was, “Ugh. He didn’t put his toys up!” Then, something stopped me, and as I looked around that tub, I realized in that very moment, “This will all, very soon, be gone.”
Parents of grown children, give me a witness here. The days just fly by too swiftly. One day, you’re holding this tiny little being in your arms, hoping not to break them; then, you turn around, and you’re waving goodbye as they trek out to make their way in the world. Even if you spend as much time as you can, make all the memories possible, grab all the hugs they will allow, the hand of time still keeps ticking. The moments still slip through your fingers like tiny grains of sand.
Oh, what I wouldn’t give, for one more minute, to have those tiny fingers wrap around mine; yet, to go back would mean to give up the adventure of today, watching him create his imaginary Hero Factory armies and see him as he gently cares for the little hermit crabs in their cage and even hearing him say, “Watch this with me, Mom,” as we watch the Superbook series video for the fifty-seventh time this weekend. No, I don’t think I’d like to forsake today only to grasp hold of yesterday, but please, God, help me to not be so worried about the plans of tomorrow that I somehow miss the sweet memories that are right here today. Help me to embrace those moments that can be remembered forever, and let me not miss out on the simple, little things that make those minutes last…I do think I’ll let those little toys line the side of the tub for just a little longer today…yes, maybe I’ll move them on another day.

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Eyes of Mercy

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Sometimes, especially when the water is murky, we must choose to look through the eyes of mercy…

Let me give some clarity to what I mean…

Our 12 year old was being a little testy one afternoon while we were at the pool, and I just happened to be on the phone, with my husband, when the “altercation” occurred. I was trying to ask JGrizz something; yet, he thought I was simply telling him to get out of the pool. So, he kept swimming to the pool ladder, head halfway in the water, motioning to the it while obviously not answering me. He took quite a bit of time to get out; however, Joey wanted an immediate answer. *Note: Dad has a “NO TOLERANCE” policy for ignoring adults… So, when he finally arrived by my chair, dad wanted to speak with him, told him of the consequences for the delay in answering, and said he would be there in five minutes to meet up with us. Once the phone was hung up, JGrizz proceeded to explain that he “assumed” I just wanted him out of the pool; so, he was trying to get to the ladder. When dad showed up, I proceeded to explain the “possible miscommunication,” and the consequence was lessened. As JGrizz and I walked to the condo together, he then confessed, “Mom, I may have actually been ignoring you a little. I mean, I saw your mouth moving, but I just thought you were telling me to get out; so, I ignored you until I got out.” I replied, “Yes, son, I know.” He, emphatically responded by saying, “So, you lied to Dad?!” I corrected him by explaining, “No, I just simply decided to hear your side and view the situation through the eyes of mercy rather than judgment. You still have consequences for the delay, but the thoughts you were having in the moment, I chose not to assume when I explained it to dad.” We then talked about the difference between mercy and judgment, grace and consequence. It was a great moment to remind him of how God created such a wonderful miracle when He gave us mercy in redemption when we actually deserved eternal death.

As parents, sometimes, we must choose to look through the eyes of mercy, when we might would prefer to judge only the “rule” broken, the words spoken or the thoughts assumed. Sometimes, we just have to choose mercy in order to allow God’s grace to flow freely. This doesn’t mean consequences are never given. This does not mean desires are always appeased and attitudes, especially those of entitlement, are ignored, and this, definitely, does not mean a tolerance of rebellion is encouraged! No, it just simply means that, sometimes, grace can be given in the moment, because the situation could really go either way, and the attitude being shown is that of a contrite heart.

To me, it’s a lot like when the water of the pool is slightly murky, because the chemical balance of the chlorine hasn’t been correctly set. It’s not really harmful to your physical body; it’s just not crystal clear like it should be, and it definitely does allow for an enjoyable pool time, but swimming can still be accomplished for a little while. 

Can this be taken too far, especially when you are raising two very independent, strong-minded young boys as we are? You bet. However, if these acts of mercy are tempered with strong boundaries and a solid foundation for truth, these small miracle moments can bring about huge lessons of God’s love and mercy.

It was a moment for my maturing son to realize rules may be “crystal clear;” yet, forgiveness can always be given when a murky, yet contrite, heart is viewed through the eyes of mercy.