Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Another Birthday for Jack

Another year. Another hand held up with another little finger to indicate his age.

"How old are you now, Jacob?"

"Six! Do you feel any different?"

"Oh, you think you've grown taller. How much taller are you now?"

"That much! Wow!" Then he changed his answer slightly to a more reasonable amount of over-night growth...

I just love that kid. He's so expressive, so care-free. He has no inhibitions, he's ultra affectionate, and the definite baby of the family even now. I'm not sure he will ever grow out of being the family pet!

We celebrated with some friends at the beach on his birth date last week. The evening was warm and the company delightful. It made me happy to see him having a good time with his friends and brothers.

On his birthday last year we were super busy and in the middle of transition, so we had a simple celebration as a family. By mid-day, however, I had decided I must give him a party with friends this year. He's my most social kid, and a birthday with invited guests was almost non-negotiable in my mind.

Jon worked all day and into the evening this past Friday, so the kids and I decided to head out to an abandoned bridge to take some birthday pictures of Jacob. We wanted to beat the sunset, so we had a quick little dinner of leftovers while Olivia made a sign for Jacob to hold up.

Taking turns. Except for Michael who was only happy towing the rest.

Olivia had a fun idea to use the kite... if only there had been a breeze. Michael tried to make up for the lack of wind by running hard.


Sun flare, golden hair, and happy kids. I'd like to leave it at that, but it sure wouldn't be an accurate way for me to journal this evening. Some people say that reading blogs leaves them feeling discouraged because their life is so different from the person who posts happy thoughts and whimsical pictures, and whose life is seemingly all together. We should all know that a seemingly perfect life is never a complete picture.

This week has been hard in some ways for me. I've had the flu now for several days-- fever, burning eyes, sore muscles and joints, tender skin, throbbing head, painful throat, exhaustion-- but the reality of motherhood does not provide for sick days. I've wished I could call a substitute mom for a day or two, or at the very least a substitute teacher. But no, family needs and household demands persist. Children need to be fed, schooled, directed, taken to lessons. Errands need to be run, food cooked and served, chores completed. 

I've pressed on with it all. As I was driving yesterday, with fever induced sweat beads dripping, I wondered if motherhood has made me stronger or weaker. Yes, I now have what it takes to continue on and face the demands regardless of how wrecked I am; yet I wonder if I am physically weaker and more susceptible to illness simply because I go and go and go! Moms everywhere know it well: We're so busy feeding lunch to the kids and lining things up for the next activities and appointments, that we entirely forget to eat. (A bite or two of someone's leftover bits doesn't count as a nourishing meal!) Or how often do we get to the end of the day and realize we've forgotten to drink water? Again.

A lady from church came by yesterday to drop something off, and as we chatted on the door step she interjected our conversation to encourage me on the behavior and disposition of my kids. The Lord knew I needed those kind words! I had failed at being a kind and patient mommy that day. I told her it had been a difficult day, and that I was impatiently waiting for it to end. She was sympathetic, and I was reminded of my need-- not only for encouragement-- but also for compassion and understanding.

It's the human condition. So very imperfect, so full of faults, so needful for our Lord.

As Olivia helped me make dinner tonight, she asked me if I was beginning to feel better yet. It hit me, just then, that I was actually feeling somewhat better. She flung her arms around me and exclaimed she was so happy. Tomorrow is a new day-- still full of demands, full of tests and trials, and full of grace.

I'm thankful tonight for new days, new beginnings, and especially for forgiveness and grace.



  1. Happy birthday, Jacob!! Beautiful pictures!

  2. The pictures are beautiful of course. Thank you for writing so effortlessly and honestly. It sounds like poetry. From one writer to another, it is something to look up to.


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