Monday, September 9, 2013

I've Moved!

I thought I should post one last time and let you know that I no longer live here!

I've found a new home over at

I'm still working on it and will be adding new pages and such. But don't worry (because I'm sure that you are! haha) it's still just me. Nothing crazy different, just a new place to share my thoughts!

I hope that you will join me there and connect with me in this great big land of blogging!

Much Love,

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dear Judah

Your first birthday has come and gone. More than two weeks have gone by... and I'm just now sitting to write your birthday letter.

I'm sure you would understand if I gave the excuse, "I've just been too busy or I've not had a moment to..."

Because that would be true. The past few weeks have been very busy.

But it wouldn't be entirely true. 

This excuse might not make sense to you. But my mommy-heart hasn't been quite ready to write your first birthday letter. And my mommy-heart can be a tricky thing.

This past year has been such a joy for me. I just didn't want it to end. I haven't wanted to admit, really admit, that your first year has come and gone. But it has. And I can say it now, if not a little quietly.

A couple of years before you were born I was somewhere. I can't remember where now, but it was away from home. I had Olivia, Deacon and Levi with me and maybe Daddy too. We were busy and there were lots of people buzzing about, so I counted.

I counted the heads. One... two... three...

I counted again. One... two... three...

Everyone was there, but for some reason, I couldn't shake that feeling that someone was missing. I looked around, waiting to see who it was that I was missing... but you weren't here yet.

That kept happening. Sometimes I would get a little panicky about it. And then I would feel a little silly. So I decided to pray and ask God why it was that I was feeling that way.

And then He showed me.

I'll never forget the first time I thought that I might be pregnant with you.

I was downtown and wanted a coffee. But as soon as I walked into the coffee shop, I didn't want coffee anymore. So I got tea. But it just didn't taste right, so I threw it out.

I paused for a moment. Hmmm... could it be? A few days later we would know for sure.

I remember laying in bed with my hand over my tummy and my tears streaming down into my ears. My heart was so full. Yes, that mommy-heart of mine. That one that can be so tricky. It was so happy and full of joy and I wondered who you would be.

I thought of your forming body and that verse that talks about God knitting you together. I pictured His hands at work, even then, in the hidden place of my womb. My heart rejoiced.

I didn't know then that you would be a boy, but I knew if you were what I would name you. I would name you Judah, for my heart was Praising the Lord.

I thought I was done having babies. That's what we had said. We had even given all of our baby things away! My heart was content with that. But I'm so glad God decided something different. For my heart has been full of praise since the moment I knew you were on your way.

As you grow, you will learn that God is always working and preparing us and those around us for... something. Sometimes it may seem like a small thing, an unimportant thing. But looking back you will see that it wasn't unimportant after all. That God had a plan for that something and used it in a very big way.

Adding children to a family is a special thing. It is also a very natural thing. And although every baby is a miracle of God's creation, it is also very normal and not unusual. I know I may be sounding a little wishy-washy. I blame it on my mommy-heart. It can sound that way sometimes.

But what I'm trying to say, is that God used the very natural occurrence of having a baby to do something big in the heart of this mommy.

We are all born for a purpose. God plans the time and place and family He places a baby in. It's never an accident. I want you to grow to believe that, David Judah. He numbers our days before we ever see one of them. And God has a book that He writes all these things down in. He knows us. He loves us. And He uses our lives to change the lives of others.

And God is already using you, sweet boy. To encourage this mommy-heart. To confirm God's blessings over my life. To whisper... I still hear the cries of your heart. Cause sometimes, this mommy-heart cries.

And just as I held you those long hours and days and months when all you did was cry...

God is holding me.

And when I didn't sleep at night, but nursed you instead, breathing you in...

I remembered how God never sleeps, and always tends to our needs.

And when my heart would expand to yet another size and the tears would stream down at your first smile....

My heart would be refreshed at the thought of God's favor over His children.

I have praised the Lord, my son. I have praised Him with my whole being for giving us you. I have praised Him for another chance to be a mommy.

I have praised Him for 10 more little fingers and toes...

And for the way you just wanted to be held all the time and how you don't mind wearing your jammies to the park....

And for how you loved your first Christmas, even though you napped through the family picture and mommy forgot about you needing to be in it! And the way you are so good at eating your food all by yourself....

And for your chubbily scrumptious cheeks (sometimes I eat them!) And for the way you LOVE your lovey (it truly as magical powers) and suck your tongue when you are sleepy...


For your ears and your duck hair and the way you meow every time you see the kitties...


For your new teeth and the way you love to play in your Pack N' Play... (and how you love balloons!)

 For the way you love your Uncle B. and how you ROCK a faux hawk!

For how I don't have to see your smile to know you are smiling! And the way you are mommy's helper in the kitchen (and yes you are wearing a tie here =)).

I am praising Him that you are my fourth blessing (whether you like it or not).

And for the way you are trying so hard to stand even though you'd rather just sit on my lap and smile.

And for how much you love to play with your toys and your brothers and sister. And for how you knew exactly what to do with that cupcake (eat it) and that number one (throw it on the floor).

And for how simply beautiful you are. You take my breath away. I love you my son. Thank you for filling this mommy-heart to overflowing. Happy Birthday.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Am I A Legalist? (Part 1)

When I start writing on topics like this at first I am really excited. I have all of these words and thoughts and feelings tumbling around in my head that just can't wait to pour out on a fresh white screen.

I start typing and words start flowing. But before I realize what's happening, my thoughts have gone into 32 different directions. I get lost trying to follow each trail of thought. My eyes start hurting from squinting at the now cluttered screen, so I close them and close the computer, determined to try again tomorrow.

And I do. But now 50 some tomorrow's have come and gone and I'm still hopping from trail to trail like a little bunny rabbit. I want to get it right. No, perfect. And because that is an impossibility that will never happen, I never finish. My thoughts stay locked up in a muddled mess in a little folder on my computer.

Well, I've decided to do some spring cleaning (a couple months late).  I'm kinda tired of having little folders like that cluttering up things. So here we go. It may be a little unfiltered. You may have to step over some briars and thorns as you walk along my trail. But hopefully you will be able to see through to my heart and what I'm really trying to say. And maybe I'll figure it out too along the way.

This is a topic very close to my heart. It's personal. I've had experience where this is concerned. I've learned a lot of things along the way and am still walking this long road.

It's a hard topic to discuss. People get offended and get their feathers ruffled. There's a lot at stake here.

What if I am? What if you are?

No one wants to admit that they are legalistic. That's not really something nice to be identified with.

There is a lot of fear tied up with that word. Fear that we really might be. Fear that someone might think that about me. But mostly fear is what motivates our being legalistic. And how do you overcome that? 

I think it's important before we ever explore a topic like this, to first truly explore our own hearts. I don't want anyone to feel the heat of my pointed finger in their face. Because, believe me, the rest of the four are stabbing me hard in the chest.

Our hearts represent our true person and reveals so much about us. But to be honest, I’d rather not explore that dark cave. It’s too scary, sometimes dirty and going there can make me feel isolated, cold and alone. But I must. I must enter that dark heart-cave, I must explore the caverns and crevices. Otherwise, how will I know?  

Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”

I’d rather not believe that. It doesn’t necessarily conjure up nice feelings to think about the fact that I’m beyond cure. I mean, where are we supposed to go from there? There is no recovering from that.

The next verse says, “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind…”

I’m not sure if that makes me feel better or worse.
Proverbs 4:23 tells us that the heart is the wellspring of life and that above all else, we must guard it.
One definition describes wellspring as, "A continuous, seemingly inexhaustible source or supply of something."
It's where it is, people. And I mean everything.
Glancing in my concordance at the back of my Bible I'm amazed at how many references to the 'heart' there is. It would be impossible to list each one. But here is a little recap of what God says about our hearts...
Our hearts can be::
hardened, prompted, opened, unified, cut, circumcised, uncircumcised, changed, made pure, examined, stirred, broken, contrite, undivided, divided, upright, joyful, thankful, bitter, jealous, wounded, steadfast, secure, set free, wise, sick, at peace, happy, good medicine, anxious, given, hasty, stolen, awakened, sealed, calloused, carried close, revived, washed, deceitful, a fire, luke warm, focused, confused, lost, new, glad, pure, impure, gentle, humble, laid bare, encouraged, sincere, enlightened, set, refreshed, senseless, faithless, faithful, willing, poured out, searched, far away from God, written on, known by God, troubled, ruled by peace, guarded, set on things above, grateful, sprinkled, cleansed of a guilty conscience...
They Can::
hate, murder, serve, love, observe, turn away, look for God, hold a grudge, obey, know with all of itself, be glad, meditate, receive, hold God's law, hold secrets, hold wisdom, cherish sin, fail, extol the Lord, deceive, seek, hide God's word, cry out, keep commands, ache even in laughter, guide the mouth, stay on the right path, love, pound, rejoice, know God, produce evil thoughts, forgive, doubt, waver, ponder, believe, anguish, grieve, make music, do the will of God, work at it, have thoughts and attitudes, yield, crush another heart, hold eternity in, burn, make room, condemn us...

Our hearts are powerful. And it is more than just an organ that pumps blood and gives life. It is the wellspring that all of our soul-being comes from. Our thoughts, feelings, motives, decisions and so much more that I will never understand.

That is the part that scares me. I will never truly comprehend even my own heart.

Psalm 139:23-24 says, "Search me O God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

Knowing the true contents of our hearts is only a God-size job.

We may think we know something about it.  But we must be careful. Because we're probably fooling ourselves. We are never as good as we think.

Maybe you are like me. And right now I might be tempted to let my heart give up. I am so thankful for Scripture in moments like these. Especially this one.

1John 3:19-20
This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

For all you Bible scholars out there, yes, this passage is definitely dealing with more than just feeling a bit sorry for ourselves. (Bless our hearts) But for all our hearts sake, no matter where we are in our walks with God, I think it's safe to say, that God is most definitely greater than our hearts... and what they are capable or incapable of.

That sure makes me feel better and is quite a good note to end on for today. I hope to come back to this topic soon. It appears life may be slowing down a little to make that possible with school and baseball ending. But I don't want to say that too loud!

When we do come back to it, I'd like to look at what legalism is and is not. And to see what it may look like in our personal lives (and by that I mean sharing what it looks like in my own). And I really hope not to get lost along the way of this tricky subject. The roads can twist and turn quite a bit and I wouldn't want to lose anyone (myself included) to motion sickness!

Come back if you so dare!


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

You Know You're a Momma When...

You pick up 100 Lego pieces in a day and instead of throwing them away, you put them back in the box because you know they will need them for their next building project.

You do 8 loads of laundry in a day.

You load and unload the dishwasher at least twice before dinner.

The only time the house stays clean is when your children are sick.

You reach in your purse to find your sunglasses and instead your hand comes out covered in goldfish crumbs.

You don't hear your name until the 11th time they've said it.

You feel guilty for no reason.

People stare at you in Wal-mart.

You ask your waitress to change the channel on the restaurant T.V. and ignore her belittling stare.

You opt for casual comfort rather than the latest fashions.

You wonder, just what do they do with all of that toilet paper?

You play peek-a-boo through the window of the car while pumping gas... and again people stare at you.

You cry when your child's hamster gets hurt.

You cuddle your hurt boy and kiss his sweaty head, ignoring his puppy dog smell.

You talk about your kids on dates, even though you know you're 'not supposed to'.

You collapse in the bed at the end of the day.

You stay up all night watching your child breathe when they are sick.

Your heart aches with love.

You have all of your lunch dates at Chic-Fil-A.

You stand up for your kids when know one else does.

You feel glamorous walking into church Sunday because it's the first time you've worn make-up in a week.

Your favorite shows are Veggie Tales and Cars 'Number 2', and My Little Pony...

Some of your favorite conversations are with people 3 feet tall.

You cheer very loudly at T-Ball games.

You hear phantom baby cries in the middle of the night.

You hold her hand after someone called her a name... and take captive thoughts of inflicting harm on another child.

You are embarrassed to open your car door.

You step on cheerios and march their crumbs through the house... and in between your sheets.

You wash his camouflage clothes after he goes to bed so he can wear them again the next day.

You swallow your pride and let them dress themselves.

You get your exercise by dancing in the kitchen.

You don't mind smelling like spit up.

You become a pro at hiding greasy hair.

You spend hours begging God in prayer.

You try really hard to believe Jesus wasn't kidding when He said, "Don't worry.."

Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo becomes your favorite scent.

You cry every time your read "You are Special" by Max Lucado.

Wooden spoons have multiple purposes.

Mosquito bites make you angry.

You find dirty diapers in strange places.

You feel like a champion after only 4 hours of sleep.

You consider glue and play dough and crayons and markers and puzzles a great investment.

You send messages of love in lunch boxes every day.

You somehow change an explosive poop on your lap on a crowded air plane and enlist the help of the passenger sitting next to you.

You answer letters to the Tooth Fairy in curly hand writing.

While driving yourself to the doctor, after hacking for a week, your kids ask you if you are sick and you refrain from glaring at them.

You learn to share the gospel in a very simple, childlike way... and cry tears of joy when they come to you late at night and tell you they want to become a Christian.

And then you realize that all the dirty work and long hours and tired shoulders and frustrated moments were all worth it. Because moments like these are why we are here being their mothers. To take them by the little hand, dirty finger nails and all, and lead them to the Saviour who will lead them far better than we ever could.

And we leave them at the cross for a moment, before we pick them up again, and in that moment there is peace. And we wish we could stay in that moment, but mostly we just remember those moments of peace and surrender. Because as mothers it's the hardest thing to hand them over to God and not worry and strive and try harder. Because that is what we do. We mother. And sometimes there is fear and we wonder if it will be enough.

But it will never be enough. Only God can be enough. And we are reminded once again and try and let go a little bit more.

God knows. His heart is more mother than ours. And because He let go of His Son... we can hold tighter to Him.

Happy Mothering.

Friday, April 12, 2013


It's amazing how you set out to do certain things in a day. Important things, because, well, they are important. And then in an instant it all changes. And none of it is important anymore.

It is amazing how your heart can feel, well, normal. And then in an instant it is hurting. It's swollen with grief and you grasp it, holding tightly willing it to keep beating.

It's amazing how you have no need for the tears resting just below the surface and then in an instant, they are there streaming down your cheeks, running down your neck and you are gasping in anguish.

This, my friends, was the start of my day yesterday. But so much worse for my dear friend Rebecca and her sweet family as they received that call in the middle of the night that told them that her brother, their son, was gone forever.

We are reeling. Me from a distance, watching the tornado wreak havoc on their souls. Them caught in the middle and being pushed and torn and battered by fresh grief.

In moments like these I am forced to wonder. Understanding escapes me and I am left with a gaping wound of wondering. The heart is bleeding out and you look up to heaven seeking the pressure to stop the flow.

My eyes have landed on James 5. God has been using this sweet book in so many different ways to bring me comfort and healing and conviction as of late.

Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord.
Behold, the farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it,
until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts,
for the coming of the Lord is at hand... Behold we count those blessed who endured.
You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord's dealings,
 that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful...

We are toiling in this life. We are farmers planting things, plowing, digging, pulling, aching, hoping. The crop has not been guaranteed us. We wonder if the rains will come or if the hail will come first. We do our best, we work hard and often we are disappointed, because our efforts did not grant what we had hoped it would. It doesn't make sense, because the formula should work. You prepare the soil, you plant the seed, you water the ground... it should then produce fruit.

But often times we do not account for the scorching sun, the wreathing winds, the crushing storms that devastate us. And how do we recover from those?

The how is in the ...compassion and mercy... of our God.

And in the knowing that this is not the end... strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand...

I was listening to a Focus broadcast just a few days ago. They were talking about heaven... how timely. Have you ever said, "When I get to heaven I'm going to ask God..."? Randy Alcorn, author of the book, Heaven, said that really, we wont have to ask. Just seeing God face to face will make it all clear. Just the sight and full, unfiltered presence of the Lord will quiet our questioning hearts, will silence the "what if's", will reassure our doubting wonderings.

In our unglorified state we do not even have the capability of understanding the dealings of the Lord. The why's, the how's.

That is why he tells us to be patient. There will come a day... there will.

In the meantime, there are tears and toiling. The grief cuts us open leaving us raw. We ache for truth and for healing. And I ache for my sister who has ached for me in this real-life friendship we share.

I will go to her tomorrow. I will cry with her. I will listen. I will bear her burden as if it were my own. I will pray and beg for healing. These are the important things now.

And I will be patient as I eagerly await the coming of our Lord.

Come, Lord Jesus, Come.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Goodnight Moon

It's one of my favorites. That little book. I used to have it memorized, now it's only parts I remember.

Bedtime has always been my favorite time of day.

It's still a favorite. But I think my reasons have changed.

Before it was because I was tired. I mean, really exhausted. Mommy was done. I had been going since my feet hit the floor. Giving, giving, giving. There were battles over bowls and cups and the right color. Toy wars had ensued. Sometimes I came out the victor. Sometimes. Discipline had been accomplished. Spankings, timeouts, no t.v., no snack, come inside NOW!

We may have gone to the grocery store, if we absolutely had to. That meant one car seat captive in the back of the buggy, a walking 20 month old beside me and the older 3 year old in the front seat of the buggy. Believe me, this was how it had to be, as funny as it may have looked.

I endured the stares and comments... My you have your hands full! ...You must be military, he's home just long enough to get you pregnant! (really, do people have no couth these days!?) ...God bless your SOUL!  I repeated my rehearsed replies, Why yes I do and I'm so thankful! ... No, I'm not military, but am so thankful for their service to our country, military wives included ... God HAS blessed me, yes. That shut them up, most of the time.

After several melt downs along the way, the kids included, we would arrive home. It was usually nap time by this point. I would quickly deposit the kids in their nap locations, some on my bed with books, others in cribs. Then I would tackle the bags and bags of groceries, which would hopefully last more than a week. This is why I didn't need to go to the gym.

I would try and take advantage of the quiet to get dinner started, but usually got distracted at some point while putting things away. I'd end up cleaning behind the dryer or something and would later wonder why my back hurt.

By the time dinner was well under way there was usually someone on my hip and another one clinging to my leg. I had the other watching Cinderella for sanity purposes.

Daddy would come home. We'd try and have a conversation while inhaling our food over the high volume level of little ones and in between the 20 times I had to get up and go back to the kitchen for something. I'm sure someone had spilled something or picked that time to want to try and go potty and don't forget about the nursing baby who's internal radar senses the precise moment you sit down to eat.

Bath time was essential after dinner. Mashed potatoes were now in ears and caked over eyebrows and they smelled like whatever chicken dish I had haphazardly thrown together. I couldn't risk a tiger picking up their scent in the middle of the night. We would all be wet by the time it was over. But they were clean and smelling so good and I would just breathe them in.

Some nights we would rock and sing and read books before bed. Most nights we would. I would pray over their fuzzy heads as I laid them down in their beds, 1, 2, and 3.  I would sigh a huge sigh of relief as I tiptoed out of their rooms, crossing my fingers in hopes of not having to return sometime in the middle of the night.

Walking down the stairs I felt satisfied. Another day done. I had survived it. A smile would creep over my potato crusted face. I would get to that later. For now, it was the kitchen that must be tackled and then the slippery bathroom and the 10,000 toys that seemed to multiply by themselves which were scattered across the floor, just beckoning you to come and step on one. It may be quiet, but the work was not done.

Many hours later I myself would crawl in bed. I may have tried to read, but wouldn't get very far. The book would have fallen across my chest. I would turn off the light after waking around 2am. I'd make sure the monitor was on. I may have traveled up the stairs just to make sure that tiger hadn't found them and would again revel in their stillness.

During the rest of the night my mind and body would be renewed by precious sleep. Unlikely uninterrupted, but precious all the same.

I would wake again the next morning to more diapers and tantrums and laundry and spit up and... well you probably get the picture.

I'm not proud to admit the survival-mode mentality I lived with in those first few years of mothering. But I was a different person back then. A different mother. I was in a very different season of life and I'd like to think that I've seasoned over time and matured just a bit. Just like with every other thing, I've grown better at mothering the more experience I've had.

Many have commented on how differently I'm doing things with number four. Again, it's a different season, I'm a different mommy.

Tucking them in at night is different too. I'm still tired at the end of the day. They are still loud and still fight and we still battle through the grocery store. But my perspective has been tweaked just a bit. I'm not always in such a hurry to end another day.

If you combine all of my kid's years, then we have celebrated 22 birthdays so far. That's a lot. And I can't believe Judah's first is next month! The more years that flash by, I think the more a Mama realizes just how fast it really goes.

You also realize that no matter what mess or catastrophe may happen in a day, you will survive it. Even if you've been up all night with a sick one, you know you will sleep again. You know the crying will stop and the food throwing and the booger wiping (well, maybe) and the constant bickering and running through the house with muddy shoes... one day we will all have clean houses and we will hate it.

There will be an end to this crazy season of 'mothering'. We will never stop being mothers, but will stop the mothering part. And we will stop tucking them in at night too. They will grow too old for Good Night Moon and I Love You This Much and all my other favorites. Some of mine already have.

That's what I think of when I tuck them in sometimes. So I don't mind laying just a bit longer and snuggling a bit closer. And don't mind giving one more kiss or hug or listening to one more thing that happened in their day or meeting the challenge of tickle me too! They just love that. But I think I love it more.

So as we say good night to our young ones, let's remember that we will one day say good bye to these precious days. We will heave a sigh of relief I'm sure, but I think we'll miss it more. This shouldn't make us sad. Great things and great hope come with every season of life. But maybe it will help to give us a better perspective as we fight off the temptation to rush things and wish it away.

In the great green room there was a telephone
And a red balloon and a picture of--

The cow jumping over the moon
and there were three little bears, sitting on chairs
and two little kittens and a pair of mittens

and a little toy house and a young mouse
and a comb and a brush and bowl full of mush
and a quiet old lady who was whispering "hush"

Goodnight room goodnight moon

goodnight cow jumping over the moon
goodnight light and the red balloon
goodnight bears goodnight chairs
goodnight kittens goodnight mittens
goodnight clocks and goodnight socks
goodnight little house and goodnight mouse
goodnight comb and goodnight brush
goodnight nobody goodnight mush
and goodnight to the old lady whispering "hush"

goodnight stars, goodnight air
goodnight noises everywhere

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dear Levi

Levi and I both recently shared our (6th and 31st) birthdays in February. Craziness ensued thereafter, which is my explanation for the delay in posting his letter.

Dear Levi,

I'll never forget the excitement surrounding your birth.

I couldn't believe it was my birthday! You were going to be born on my birthday! I just never would have thought that possible!

I told all the nurses there that we would share the same birthday. They were excited too. I was so glad that Dr. Fontana was on call that night. Because he was the very same doctor who delivered me when I was being born! How special.

But you've already heard this story many times...

How you interrupted our super bowl party when I thought I was in labor a few weeks before...

How you interrupted my birthday dinner at Nana's with contractions when it was for real...

How Dr. Fontana was there...

How we didn't have a name for you yet...

How you were still attached to me when they went to take you away...

How God named you Levi...

But have you heard the part about me falling in love with you?

There is something that happens to a Mama when she has a baby that is both miraculous and obvious. Did you know that her heart grows, doubling in size from what it was? Did you know that I felt it do that? And then it starts to ache just a bit as it continues beating. Because it now beats for an extra person. One more than it did before.

You were placed on my chest, all white and wet and wailing. I remember the warmth of your little body as my hands enveloped you. And the warmth of my heart as it grew to yet another size. I breathed you in and kissed you. You were heavenly. As close to heaven as I will ever be on this earth. Holding my little one all wet for the first time. It's my favorite.

Your head was so dark and your face so Qualls. And I knew no Marcy was there this time either.

I had been so nervous about adding another one to our family. But after you were here I felt silly for feeling that way. You were just a joy. And you smiled so easily. And fit in so well. And we just loved you so much.

You are now a big six year old. That is so hard for me to believe. I remember you being born so vividly, so it's hard to believe that it was six years ago.

I love who you are and who you are becoming. You are my favorite 6 year old, that's for sure. You are learning to read this year and you put Lego's together so well. You are our little comedian and you love doing stand-up shows for us. And boy how I laugh until the tears come down! You sing along to the worship songs in the car and know every word. And you always ask me, "What's that song again mom?" And I know, because I know you and I say, "Bless the Lord Oh My Soul?" And you say, "Yeah, that one. That's my favorite." It's my favorite too.

You want to feel important and be heard and sometimes there are tears because you are feeling a little lost I think. I love you then too. And when you can't find your shoes or your socks even though you just had them on and we are now late. I love you then too. Or when you just want to stay in the car, but we have to go into the store and we wait and wait... I love you then too. And when there's dirt under your nails and your hair is sticking up and I notice this sitting on the front pew at church. I love you even then.

Because you are my little guy and my heart beats for you. There is no love like a mother's love...

Well, maybe there is.

God's love for us is even greater. We are all His favorites. All the time. Even in the middle of our biggest fits and we have to go in time out. He loves us even then too... especially then.

Never forget that. God loves you no matter what. And that's why I can too.

Happy Birthday, my sweet boy. This Mama's heart still aches just a bit when I kiss your blond fuzz head. And it always will...