Sunday, April 28, 2013

Letter to Jade, 3 years old

Miss Jade,

My goodness. Three. I don't know why, but I can barely believe it. You have started acting three and form an objective standpoint, I can totally believe that you're three. But as your mama? It seems like just yesterday that I was bringing you home from the hospital. It's so surreal.

You are so much fun these days. You are still sweet and shy, and love to read. I suppose in those ways you haven't really changed. But you are starting to recognize some words in your books and when I told you I was gonna (try) to teach you how to write your name this summer you got beyond excited. You love to learn.

I am still amazed by how much I love you. I never understood it until I was a mom, and sometimes it still takes my breath away.

I want all the best for you. I want you to grow up to be a woman of God. To find fulfillment doing whatever it is He calls you to do. Have a family, don't have a family, get rich, live in a shack- I don't care. Just follow His calling for your life and you will have joy sweet girl. That's what mama wants for you. Contentment in your purpose.

This year has been a year of change for you- we moved, uprooting you from the only place you'd ever known. Like I expected, you did amazingly well. You still ask for your friends from there every now and then, but you've made new friends here and are doing extremely well.

Most of the time, you love gymnastics. I'm pretty sure we're gonna sign you up for a dance/gym combo class this summer and see what you gravitate towards more. You're still a really cautious kid and I'm just not sure if gymnastics is the right place. It has served it's purpose though- you have broken out of your comfort zone some and I've been so proud of you.

You still love being a big sister, but I think it's hard for you sometimes too. Just like any person, you want attention and sometimes it's hard to wait for your turn with mama. It's teaching you a lot though- I am so glad that you are growing up with a sister and am still waiting for that magic time that y'all start playing together :) Piper still just adores you and you still love to sing to her to help her to feel better.

You love Minnie Mouse, Cinderella and Doc McStuffins. You have finally started asking for Doc McStuffins over Mickey sometimes which I am so grateful for. Something finally beats Mickey!! Although I do sometimes wish it wasn't Doc because she has a tendency to make you a hypochondriac!

Love you to the moon and back Miss Jade. I'm so proud to be your mama.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013


I'm convinced that we are all so busy trying to preserve our little worlds that we miss out on great opportunities. That we are trying so hard to stay above water that we keep our eyes on ourself and ourself alone for fear of screwing up our world.

I've been better lately about looking above. Seeking Him for what He wants for my life, even in the day to day circumstances. Realizing that He not only cares about the smaller things in my life, but that He desires me to seek Him and talk to Him about those things has been a game changer for me.

But this morning, again, God pointed out that I don't need to just be looking to Him, I need to be looking around me. I need to see other people's needs. I need to show them that I care about them. I need to stop running through my list of things to do constantly and instead pray over the needs of my friends. I need to be showing my kids that my world doesn't always revolve around them and their needs- that sometimes we need to take care of other people.

It's easy to make excuses. My favorite one is "I have young kids". Don't get me wrong, this is frequently a very valid excuse for things. I have called a couple organizations around Oklahoma that I thought about volunteering with and asked if I could bring my kids and was told "no" from both of them. I got so frustrated- venting to Chuck that I feel God calling me to help people and offer my skills to people, yet knowing He gave me these kids at this time for a reason and not knowing how to reconcile the two things. I keep telling myself that this is just for a season, but I couldn't help longing for something to change.

This morning I was doing my devotion, and it was on intercessory prayer. And God could not have gotten His point across more clearly if He had sat down at the table with me and said the words Himself. Ok, maybe that would have been more effective but you get the idea.

"Erin, stop thinking about yourself all the time. When you tell people you're going to pray for them, actually do it. Allow yourself to cry for others. To mourn for others. Allow your heart to be broken even when it's inconvenient."

We don't have to volunteer at a women's shelter or crisis pregnancy center to make a difference. We can make a difference by smiling at the frazzled mom at the grocery store. By allowing ourselves to really notice the people around us and think about their needs. By really listening to your friends and not just waiting for your opportunity to talk. By spending our time driving praying for others instead of thinking about what we need to do when we get home. By realizing that frequently our problems are simply distractions from what really matters.

I've been so convicted of this recently. Realizing how much I talk instead of listen. Getting home from playdates and not being able to recount a single mom's name. Inviting people over and not even offering them something to drink. Walk by another mom in the store dealing with a toddler tantrum without so much as a glance.

I pray that God will help me to open my eyes and realize that even in this season, I can help people. I can be there for people and serve people even while my life is being run by nap schedules. I can look outside my own little world and see the big picture. By asking God to show me what He sees.Convic