Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Saying Goodbye to Preschool

Dear God,
Tonight I sat my laptop down on the table right on top of the tears I just cried. Tomorrow is Kate's last day of preschool, but the thing that really is making my heart split tonight is that tomorrow is MY last day of preschool. For the last 6 years, MCC has been a constant part of our lives. Since Caroline was just 2 years old and I was new to town. I haven't really lived here without that sweet school and the angel women who give their lives to the children and families there.

The women in those hallways have helped me become a mother. They were so patient with me when I was nervous. They closed their doors and let me vent when I was scared. They prayed over us. They wrote us notes. They took my babies out of my arms and taught them how to be in a group of kids. They taught them to share. To sing. To play. To paint. To use glitter (because you know God  I can't do glitter). To be silly. To count. To read. To write their names. To love you. To walk in a line. To open their own lunchbox. To use manners. To speak in public. To walk confidently out their doors and into the doors at Cary Elementary. They've been the women who have stood beside me when my baby was pushing boys. And biting people. They've spoken the truth to me about the hardest pieces of parenthood. They've also celebrated all the little things. They've taught me, by example, how to be little with my girls, how to slow down and see the tiniest changes in their lives. They've taught me how to listen to children - which is so so different from listening to adults. They've been our village.

And now. Tomorrow. I have to walk out of those doors for the last time, and I don't know how to do it. I have the most grateful heart, and I have an abiding faith that God orders our steps. But that's all I've got. And I hope it's enough. Thank you God for sweet, sweet Methodist Children's Center. Thank you for teachers past and teachers present. Thank you for Alicia,  and Beth. Thank you for Elizabeth. Thank you for Pat and Laura, Cindy, Crystal and Amy, Jessica, Anne and Shelly. Thank for you Mr. Bill and Susanna. Thank you for Peggy and Ashley. We love this group, and we love you God. We're so so so crazy grateful. And we will miss this sweet, tender, thin space.


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Gratitude and Melancholy

Loving God, 
It's nearly ten o'clock in the evening on the second day of 2019, and I'm filled with a mixture of gratitude and melancholy. I'm grateful for all you've given me, so much of which is front and center during December each year. I have this amazing husband who I'm walking into 10 years of marriage with in just a few weeks. He's been so home for the last week and a half. I heard him really laugh. I watched him sleep, and wake slowly without an alarm. I watched this man's man delicately navigate difficult emotions with our daughters. I felt my heart swell (never believed that was a real thing until well after having children) when I peeked my head in as he read Harry Potter to Caroline late into the night well past bedtime. I saw a smile I thought he'd lost when he rolled on the floor with our new puppy. Thank you for Dan. Thank you for him being home. Thank you for the people who stayed on the job so he didn't have to. Thank you that he has a heart for me and the girls, and wants to dig in deep in this home. These girls, God. These challenging, brilliant, beautiful, wild girls. Thank you God that I get to be their mom, get to be the hostess of Christmas in this home. Thank you for their enormous hearts and dreams. Thank you for their health and safety. Thank you that we had these days at home together - full of Grinch pajamas and make believe, singing and begging for hot cocoa. I see so much of you in each of them, God. And our families - so many special moments with our parents, our siblings, our niece and nephew, our grandparents, aunt and uncle. I saw the 90 year olds dancing. I watched the baby find the elf and show her biggest happy face. I saw the 9 year old light up when Santa knew about the game he mentioned. I saw my grandpa in my dad's traditions. Saw my mom remember all the little special details that 'make it real' - nearly 40 years running. We threw birthday parties. We went on little adventures. We shared meals, drinks, gifts, tears and stories and we loved one another well. Thank you for all the tiny little minutes. Thank you for the hard parts. 
Am I present enough? 
Am I grateful enough? 
These babies will get out of the car in the morning and go back to school. There will be 4 hours tomorrow with no kids at all. I'm not ready to turn them back in - to let go of last moments of Christmas and let it slip into memory. It goes so fast. Impossibly fast. But these days we lived in the sweet sanctuary of Christmas - the warm, slow, cozy pace of a sacred time that the world interrupts less than the rest of the year. And now I steel myself for the return of another pace. A pace I love, but I forget I love when the tree gets cut and the ornaments hung, when the house smells of cinnamon and orange peel, when the mailbox is full of cards from the collection of people I love across this country. God tonight I ask that you carve a piece of my heart just right to fit the feeling of Christmas inside. I want to be the peace and promise of Christmas for people who don't have it, or forget it once those emails start arriving again. I want to be it for my husband, and my girls. I want to remind myself.
Thank you God for the gift of your Son. For the hope of the world. The joy of relationship with you. Thank you for these days. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Us. And these windows.

New addresses. Your togetherness. Beautiful young ladies and handsome little gentlemen. Your travels. Your joys. Miracle babies. Your sweet homes. The places I've lived. Our shared childhoods. The memories we've made together. The ways we're aging. The last time I saw you laughing. The last time you called me crying. The common places that tie us together. Joy. Some pain. The people you've added, and those we've lost. Life.

Christmas cards are my very favorite thing that happens all year because of everything they let me see. And feel. I monopolize the mail in December because I want to feel it all - seeing the return address, opening the flap, pulling out your card and those first turns of my lips into a grin. And the "us" of our past rushes through my mind like a card catalogue of all our time together. And then I'm just so grateful for you, and for our "us."

Thank you for sending us all your cards and all these feelings. I'm a feeler, and a "words-of-encouragement-er" and seeing y'all and reading your messages absolutely fills my heart in a very real way. Seriously - if you haven't felt a full heart before, it's worth finding. It's like a tea kettle that's about to whistle - warm, and on purpose, and just right. For those who we don't see all the time, I miss you. For those who work with Dan - thank you for being his people and moving forward one of the most God-centered secular companies I've ever known. For our family, we love you and are so grateful for you. For new friends, welcome, and thanks for welcoming us into your lives. For old friends, a knowing smile and all my love.

When I sat down to write this, I felt like I had so much more than this to say - but it turns out, I just wanted to tell you thank you. Thank you. For all of it. I hope I always find my way to gratitude and humility as quickly as I do this year - I feel God and his peace and mercy all over it.

I told you on our card we'd be praying for y'all this Christmas. And we have. And I will again. I invite you to pray this prayer for your Christmas card people too.

Dear God,
Father you sent yourself to dwell among us as your son - and you knew that concept of family would mean something to us. You built a crew around you to teach and support and do life with - and you knew that concept of community would mean something to us. You modeled the importance of family and Christian friends from the beginning. Thank you for that. Thank you for the rest and acceptance a community can bring.

Thank you for our people, for our Christmas card people and all they mean in our life. I lift each family to you and ask for your blessing in their life. Please show them (and us) how to walk in the center of Your will for their lives, show them mercy, grow wisdom in their minds, and compassion in their hearts. God work through these people to extend the hope and joy You offer the world. Please teach each one of us how to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with You.

God please bind us together in love, in kindness, and in You. In Your name, I pray this Christmas.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Dear God,
You are the creator of all things. You gave the world it's rhythm and timing and orchestrated the dance of nature to perfection. I know you make no mistakes and do nothing by accident. Thank you for our family. For each strength and weakness, for the easy pieces and the challenging spots. Thank you for building us to need one another and to give and take from one another.

God the further I get on this motherhood path the more I know I do not know. I also realize every day how deeply I've come to rely on your guidance, your assurances and your confidence to keep moving. Please create in me a newer, deeper relationship with you so that I can keep growing in my trust with you and working toward living the life you've set out for me.

Thank you Lord for your patience with me, for your guidance and wisdom, and your peace which passes all understanding.

Monday, September 7, 2015

The last first day of preschool

Dear God,
Caroline Jo is heading to 4 day 4's tomorrow. Thank you for the preschool that's become our home in these last two years, and for the men and women who give so much of their hearts and time to making it the place it is. Thank you for the families we've met there, the children Caroline calls her classmates and friends and their moms who have become my friends too. God you've answered so many prayers for us through our preschool. Thank you that we feel like we belong there.

As CC starts her last year of preschool I am humbled and compelled to my knees to ask for your blessings to continue in her life. God please draw her nearer to you each day, claiming her as your own child. Please continue to lay out a path for her to grow, to feel a sense of belonging, to challenge her and nurture her. Please continue to surround her with children who will be true friends to her, and with teachers who guide her according to your will. God please wrap my girl in your love, and allow her health and happiness.

Please God be with Caroline's teachers this year. A class full of 4 year olds must be so challenging. I can't imagine the calling you've placed in their hearts, what a gift they're giving us in these leadership roles. God please give them courage, wisdom, joy and peace this year, please give them the strength they need to lead our children.

I hope I'm not taking it all for granted. I hope I'm not missing the moments or hurrying. Thank you so much for the gift of these two precious girls God. Don't let me mess this up.  :)


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Wrestling with a 4 Year Old

Dear God,
It's not a joke. Motherhood is not a joke. And God I am praying to you tonight because I had a really hard time. Caroline's will is so strong God, and she can be so convicted and difficult. God tonight she just couldn't handle herself at all, and it pushed me and pushed me and pushed me and I just shut down. God I ask come to you tonight though with just one thing - gratitude. Thank you for Caroline. Thank you for her voice, for her heart, her convictions, her strength, her trust in me that she can push and not break, for our dinner table we gather around, the food that's on it, the house we put them to bed in each night, the community we're raising them in. Thank you God. I am choosing right now to direct my mind toward gratitude and count this life as joy, especially on nights like tonight.
With a sincere, humble intention to set my mind on greater things,

Thursday, June 4, 2015


Dear God,
These girls. These girls God have just shaken me up. My whole life, almost everything I think, everything I do. There's so little that's EXACTLY the same as it was 4 years ago before I became a mother. It's not a loss of self, it's not a bad thing, it's just so so different. And it's made me think of the ways I want to be stronger, the things about myself I want to work on. One thing, I want to be more brave. Because I want my daughters to be more brave than I've been.

God I pray that you develop in Kate and Caroline a spirit of bravery, and confidence. Not in a way that keeps them from needing support and community, but in a way that makes them convinced they're capable, that enables them to do BIG things. Please Lord give me the same, brave confidence that lets me be the person you envision me to be.

Thank you God for these girls, for Dan, for our family.