Thursday, May 30, 2013

...and it's gone.

     Tuesday marked the end of an era.  Tuesday was the last day that I had just a "Mommy Day," as Zeke called our time together.  Tuesday was my Bigs' last day of school.  I get them all four all summer long and then, come August, Zeke will head to kindergarten.  I didn't shed any tears, but I did make sure we did all our favorite things together: cooking, a hike and a picnic at the zoo.  I was very aware all day long, as he held my hand and talked and talked and talked, that this time has been so sacred. I am blessed with a husband that knew it best for our kids to have me until they went to school.  I am blessed by an employer that allowed me a flexible schedule.  I am blessed that we managed to navigate our schedules so that none of our kiddos ever went to a daycare.  They all got "Mommy Days."  Sigh.

PS  My dear, beloved home school friends have long been telling me that I need to keep Etienne home.  I have swallowed my pride and grasped the courage to write about this.  Next post.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


"I have never said 'Do not pee in the trash cans,' so I can't get mad that someone peed in all the trash cans."
     Those words actually came out of my mouth.  After the lengthy clean up that followed the lying, the manipulation and the tears, I wound up with my 69 lb six year old in my arms, rocking.  In my heart of hearts, I know that he can't cognitively understand empathy or consequences to his actions.  I equate it to an 18 month old that thinks it is funny when they hit you in the face.  You don't punish the infant or toddler because you know that they don't understand that they just hurt you; that their little brain can't comprehend their action yet.  So you patiently correct them and move along.  I feel bold sharing this because I know that many, many people would find this idea insane.  But until you live with a child that has been deeply wounded, you probably can't get it.  And that's okay.  I was there and I still find myself wanting to lash out when I am peeling up wet's hard.
     So that is where we are at.  We are trying to condition our brains to give up (for now, and don't judge) consequences, lectures or really much reaction for things like urinating in the trash can.  This means that my boy is doing everything with me or I am doing it for him.  And guess what? He isn't fighting it.
     As we were attempting to rock, this is what I said:
"No matter what you do in this life, I am strong enough to handle it.  There isn't anything you can do that I am not strong enough for.  I can do this because God chose me for you and because my strength is really His strength.  I will freak out.  I will cry.  But I will still be here with you. "
    And then I stumbled and fumbled my way to cradle him in my arms all the way to bed.  That's how we're rolling (for now).

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Dwell on This

The past three days have been rough.  Really rough.  My spirit is depleted and I'm physically drained.  I have been dwelling on God's character because that is all that I know that is unchanging.  We had been talking about  this with our Rwanda team and yesterday my brother encouraged me to pray on this.

  • God is unchanging (Hebrews 13:8)
  • God's way is perfect (Psalm 18:30)
  • God is always good. Always. Psalm 100:5)
  • God will redeem (Isaiah 47:4)
  Last night I felt like redemption was very far away.  Then Zeke asked me to read out of his bible.  He picked the parable in Luke that Jesus tells of a lost sheep.  The little cartoon was of Jesus embracing one sheep out of a flock of 100, grinning a goofy grin, with all the other shepherds throwing a party.  That goofy image is imprinted with me now.
PS To all the other parents that meet my son.  Please show us grace.  If my child has hurt yours, it is because his heart is hurting.  He doesn't know how to feel safe.  He doesn't get empathy and his little mind can't control his impulses.  It's not an excuse.  It's just the reality.  We are trying.  Know that we have read every book, sought wise counsel, attempted each parenting theory.  Know that we have shed tears for your kiddo.  Ultimately, we rest in the God's character that He will indeed fix this too (Acts 13:38).

Thursday, May 2, 2013


I haven't been writing as much lately.
I struggle with my voice.  And that doesn't happen often.  I feel like I can't do justice trying to express this fine-feathered, often over and misused thing called hope.  I think of Kylie and JaninaF, my little trolls that has somehow found a space in my heart (I still really wanna buy them a coffee). Thoughts of them make me stop typing.  It isn't because I want their approval or I need to have "the last word."  It's because I feel so much sympathy for them that they are missing out.
Missing out on how much richer and fuller and more meaningful everything in life is when you have hope in something bigger than you.  When you find that hope that is unchanging, everlasting and unconditional.
I'm gonna continue to be honest here.  We've had to put on our boxing gloves for Etienne more than we'd like.  Old ugly stuff creeping back in.  I physically feel ill when he slips into the protective mode.  You know the one: the lying, manipulating, hurtful stuff that he does to to protect himself.  I can't stand that sometimes he still has a primal need to resist love.  Ugh.
But here's where hope comes in bigger and better.
There's been lots of lies this week.  Ones that hurt siblings and mama.  At bedtime, we were reading a story about when Moses had warned Pharaoh to free the  Israelites.  The gist of the devotion was that Pharaoh's pride had consequences and the little kiddo summary was "God, others, me."  Good stuff.  Etienne on his on accord said "So when you are lying you are just thinking about yourself and what you want, right?"  Bingo.
Sigh.  This is my son that routinely misses the entire plot of a movie, that until last week didn't realize Eve was a woman; that still loses a lot in translation.  But not this.  He got this.
That, dear trolls, is what hope looks like.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -That perches in the soul -And sings the tune without the words -And never stops - at all - Emily Dickinson