Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Explaining Larry

I guess it's just revealing all the background time because in the last post about The Red Envelope Project, I let whoever reads this know about being adopted. And today, I was going to write about who Larry is.

Larry is my father, and I haven't spoken to him or seen him in years. He left our family when I was about 4 or 5 years old. Except for a short time after my parents' separation, Larry really hasn't shown any interest in speaking to my sister or myself, nor does he care to know his seven grandchildren. He has walked away from so much, and left behind a trail of hurt as he did so.

But enough about that. That is in the past.

My daughter is in the present.

The day before yesterday, she asked, "Mom, where's your dad?" Oh no. I have been dreading this question. How do I explain this?! Since she is so young, I thought that I could get away with saying that I didn't have a dad because really, I don't. Larry has chosen to not be a part of my life, and though I would welcome him into our lives with open (but pretty cautious) arms, he's really not a father at all.

Well, my daughter is just too smart. Yesterday, "Mom, are you sure you don't have a dad?!"


Here we go.

I had my daughter turn her sweet little face to me and told her that I wanted her to listen. She did, and I explained to her that I do have a father, that he left when I was about her age, and that he doesn't talk to mommy. With a lump in my throat, I told her that he doesn't know Jesus or love God, so he doesn't really know how to love, because love comes from God. I told her that we need to pray for him that he would know God and believe in Jesus so that he can know real love and love others like Jesus.

She thought it was silly that a dad would leave his kids- from the mouth of babes! Right?! And she told me, when I asked, that she knew that her mommy and daddy wouldn't leave her.

Though I haven't been emotional about being abandoned by Larry, I got quite emotional last night. That lump in my throat seemed to explode, and I wasn't sure why. I hardly ever think about him or what it was like when he left. I really have a nice peace about it, and have a sincere concern for his salvation because two things can happen then: 1. He escapes eternity in hell and can rejoice in the glory of God, and 2. He can be covered by the grace necessary to heal the broken relationships in his family.

So, I reacted, and didn't know why. Such a girl-thing to do right? But I thought about it. Sure the hurt is still there in many ways, but I never, ever want my children to feel rejected by him too. Essentially, that is what he has done. He knows that he has grandchildren, so it's not an issue of ignorance. He has just turned away from them too. My kids and my sister's kids are blessed with grandpas that love them and play with them. So they are certainly not wanting in the grandpa department, but I don't want them to feel the pain that comes with being walked out on.

But I can rest in this because when her daddy put her to bed last night and it was time to pray, he asked her, "What can we pray for?"

Norah answered, "We need to pray for mommy's daddy."

"Why Norah?"

"Because he doesn't love God."

If she keeps that in mind, I think she'll be okay. You see, it took a long time for me to get to that place of compassion instead of hurt or anger, to that place where the gospel is the center, and knowing that nothing can be made right without it.

Norah's already there. I need to be faithful to keep her there. I need to keep her at the foot of the cross praying for her astranged grandfather. I'm convicted that I need to be there too, faithfully praying.

And someday when Haddon asks, I'll take him to the cross too. Then Larry can have three people that he has walked away from praying for him.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Baby Girl Foote's Envelopes

In 1980, an unnamed woman went into the doctor's office to look into having her tubes tied. What she didn't know was that this procedure was too late. She was pregnant, and she was faced with a choice. She could exercise her rights over her body and terminate her pregnancy, giving her temporary freedom, or she could have the baby, keep it and take on full responsibility for a life unplanned and unexpected or wanted, or relinquish it to adoption living with the pain of loss and not knowing this child.

None of the options are easy. But she chose adoption. In April of 1981, Baby Girl Foote was born. She was given a name by parents who anxiously awaited her arrival.

I was that baby. I was a candidate for abortion.

But an unknown woman gave me life. For whatever reason, she made the difficult choice of carrying me to term, feeling me grow in her belly, laboring to bring me the world just to look at me, possibly hold me for a moment, and then let me go. She knew that she may not ever know my name or see my face or know what I look like. But she chose life for me. She gave me a great gift.

But in America today, there are so many babies who do not get that chance. Life is taken before they breathe the air outside their mother's wombs.

I don't know if that will ever change in this country, nor do I think that taking part in this will necessarily change anything right now. But I am sending 5 red envelopes today to the White House, addressed to President Barack Obama. I was inspired by her. Each envelope is empty, and represents one child whose life was taken by abortion. Those children lost their right to offer anything to anyone, and that's why they are empty envelopes.

By God's grace, maybe statements like these may challenge some to pause and reflect. Maybe not one mind will be changed for the cause of life through bombarding the White House with red envelopes, but we cannot think that way. We do not know what our mighty God will use to begin to turn the tide for the right.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Praying for Stellan

As a mom, my heart goes out to MckMama, who is at her son's side all day today in the hospital. Though I do not know her or her family, I know her story and I know Stellan's name. Though she keeps the name of her other children private, MckMama and her husband Prince Charming, wanted everyone to know their miracle son's name.

Today I have checked online a few times throughout the day to see how this little one is doing, and right now this family needs prayer, the doctors need prayer.

Stellan's parents have every confidence is God's sovereignty and goodness. I do too. He is so good, and I know that if I were in the situation this fellow mom is in today, I would want anyone and everyone to storm heaven's gates for my sweet babe.

So that is what I am doing today.

Won't you join me? Let us approach the throne of grace.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Not Me! Monday!: Pantry Precision

Well, it's time for some graceful confession. How good it is to know that despite our tremendous shortcomings and mishaps, our Heavenly Father loves us! Thanks to MckMama and the blog carnival she created. Visit her blog, and see what others are "not" doing, or simply leave a comment here. I would love to hear what you're "not" doing too (that is, if you're too shy to write a whole post yourself- maybe next time!).

Well, in all seriousness, I wasn't going to write a Not Me! today because I just didn't have much inspiration. Not that I haven't done anything less than graceful in the past week, but I just could think of anything. And then it happened. This morning I saw one lonely brownie in the pan. It was too small for me, and I really wanted to get the dish into the sink so that I could wash it with some other items. So my intentions were good, right? So, because I was being to thoughtful to get my kitchen in order, I would sacrifice my son's nutrition. Not me! He didn't get the last brownie as an appetizer for his breakfast. Nope. He certainly did not.

Then the floodgates opened. I remembered last night. While heating up broccoli in the microwave, I didn't forget about the Parmesan toast under the oven broiler. It didn't burn. No, no, no!

And after rejecting my sweet sister-in-law's invitation to go grocery shopping with her because, "I don't really need anything right now." I didn't run out of bread and margarine making said unburnt toast. No, not me!

I really have a total grasp on what's in my pantry. I know exactly what we need and when, and there are certainly not three bottles of syrup in the back of the bottom shelf. No, not in my cupboard!

Ah, there it is. Just when I thought that I hadn't done anything too bad this week, my memory comes through! I'm so glad I didn't let anyone down. There you have it. Laugh away. My gift of un-gracefulness (?) to you!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

It May Not Be Glamorous...

This challenges me. Oh, how we need to keep this perspective and prize our husbands! I know that I will be following the Girl Talk blog as Carolyn and Daughters, go into this series specifically for this phase in life: the no-time-to-myself-because-I-have-very-young-children-and-I'm-running-around-like-a-chicken-with-my-head-cut-off! phase. I know I'm there, and I know that I need God's grace every day to keep the right perspective because all the dishes, laundry, discipline and runny noses, are not glamorous. It is tempting to let it slide by, and it is tempting to not have joy in the midst of it. If I don't keep the right perspective, I may lose so much- more than the personal sacrifices of being a mother

But even though it isn't glamorous. I want it to be joyous because it will go by too fast, and my God has given me this time to bring Him glory.

Monday, March 9, 2009

This Morning

This is my first interaction of the day with my daughter:

Norah, pointing to the clock on my nightstand, "Look mom, it's seven. That means it's time to get up."

Me: "Okay, Norah, but will you snuggle with me? I would love to snuggle with you."

Norah: "Okay mom."

Me: "Because someday you won't want to snuggle with mom. You'll be too big."

Norah: "Yes I will! I will snuggle with you."

I hope so.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Not Me! Monday!: My Wits Aren't About Me

I guess if I take don't do a Not Me! Monday! for a week, then the next week is filled with plenty to make up for it! Let me explain.

Having been married for six years, my husband and I are quite used to sharing a bed. You hear of newlyweds coping with the inconvenience of not being able to sprawl over the entire bed. Well, my husband and I have no issues with that at all! Not us!

For some reason, after returning from our quick trip to California, the next series of evenings were filled with strange moments. I wasn't elbowed, or kneed or nudged. I didn't get kicked, and one night I didn't even wake up to Husband frantically gathering all the bedding away from me. No, that wouldn't happen. I just dealt with each incident with grace and a calm demeanor.

The icing on this cake wasn't getting hit very hard on the head, resulting in strange behavior by yours truly. (And really, really, REALLY- that was a complete and TOTAL accident on the part of my sweet husband) The next morning my head felt wonderful, and went out the door with the kids to my weekly women's bible study. There I shared the joys of the weekend with the ladies, with a smile on my face, calmly and eloquently blubbering like an idiot in front of more than a dozen women. Those who know me well, know that I never let PMS hormones affect my emotions and keep it together always. Such a display of emotion in front of women I don't know well, would never, ever happen in my life! Nope. Not me!

The rest of that Wednesday wasn't filled struggling with vertigo, and not being able to be vertical. I did not watch episode after episode in my bed of Gilmore Girls. I did not call my mom asking, "Mom, how do you know if you have a concussion?" Furthermore, I did not have her come over after she worked a long day and have her sit with me and the kids and pick up dinner for us.

The next day, I did not tease my husband about injuring me. No, I would never do that. That might make him feel bad for something that he didn't do on purpose! Not me!

After watching the finale of The Bachelor, I was not disgusted at the distasteful exploitation of personal feelings and relationships reality television show, I certainly wasn't so upset that I had trouble getting to sleep. That would be pathetic. And that is so not me!

Oh, dear. I am so glad that Christ covers me. Because I could write even more that I didn't do.
Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What a Groom Gives

This weekend I traveled to California to watch our friend Bryan get married. When he and his bride exchanged rings, I couldn't help but think of all the things that he would be required or asked to give his new wife. I thought of what my husband gives every day, and that the way he loves me and our family is a gift of grace as he reflects Christ.

Throughout our six years of marriage, my husband has given so many things. Presents, sure, but so much more. He leads me and our family. He considers my opinion when decisions are to be made; I have a voice in the direction we take. He gently rebukes me. He encourages me. He works to provide for me and our children- and believe me, the work has sometimes been a task he did not like, but he will always work a job or do whatever he needs to in order to provide. He forgives me, and he comforts me in hard times. He teaches me. He is on my side and shares the same dreams as me.

When a groom gives his bride a ring, he is promising to continue to give, and give, for the rest of their lives. I am so thankful for a husband who understands this, and though he doesn't do it perfectly, he models Christ's love for the church in how he relates to me.