Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sometimes a Mom must be Brave

The news this past week has been horrific.  A well-liked, seemingly normal, junior high football coach physically grabs a 10 year old stranger walking to her friends house off the street, throws her in his truck (with witnesses nearby), drives 5 minutes away to his house, shoots her in the back of the head and stuffs her in a plastic tub, cleans up the mess and leaves -- and then returns to find police waiting for him. No fight from him.  All within a matter of 3 hours.  Bizzare. Horrific. Tragic. Terrifying.

Oh and did I mention this is just 15 minutes from our house?

This has invaded my deepest fears, wrecking me. I've lost sleep this week. I've been waking up from nightmares. One night I was actually laying on the cold bathroom floor with that horrible taste of 'being about ready to vomit' in my mouth, moaning. My fears have been intense.  And ugly.

As a mom of a 11 and 12 year old who frequently walk 1-2 blocks between two friends' houses (who are also 10 and 11) - My momma heart has held so much.

Obviously, I have told my girls about this -- not the details, we've kept the news off -- I feel a need to 'protect' them from too much info. We've reviewed safety and emphasized more than once why we insist they always walk with someone else when they are walking somewhere.

But the hardest thing I did this week -- was to let them go again.  We let them walk over to their friends houses still.  We've let them enjoy these springlike days playing in our backyard.  We've let the wait outside for the bus still.

Because here's the thing I know.  I can NOT let fear and evil rule our lives. We fight fear with bravery.  I must show them, teach them, that trust, and beauty, and love, and goodness are more powerful in this world.  Yes, we take precautions, -- but we don't let evil win.

On a side note, I've thought again about the Hunger Games series this week, and I think that's why I LOVE the end of The Hunger Games series so much.  Shes chooses bravery over fear. She choose to find goodness in the world instead of focusing on the evil. So much wisdom there. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Gifts from the Heart

Just wanted to capture a few of the sweet moments from yesterday. The girls had the day off school and I enjoyed spending my 40th birthday with them. Donuts with dad. Shopping at Michaels and Hobby Lobby. Dinner at home (because eating out on Valentines Day is crazy!). Game of Scrabble.  I also asked them for gifts from the heart, not from the store this year.  Simply precious.

Morgan made me this made-from-scratch Hershey's chocolate cake.
She even put a surprise inside - it had a cookie layer too!
I'm glad she likes being a 'Baker'! ;) 

Sarah painted me this picture.
Her first attempt with her new 'fancy' water colors.
She also gave me coupons to make 40 dinners!!
And then she told me "I hope you are ready to eat 40 spaghetti dinners!"
Think we'll be expanding her cooking experiences. ;)
I'd say the first page of this new decade makes me excited to keep reading!

Friday, February 14, 2014

A New Decade

I'm still not sure how 40 got here so fast. I always thought 40 was old, but I don't feel old! :)

Part of me wants to reminisce about the past - to celebrate all the joy, tears, adventures, love, goofiness, disappointments, and happiness my life has held up to this point.

Part of me wants to grieve what the next decade will bring - more wrinkles, more gray hair, a metabolism that continues to slow down, my sweet girls becoming adults and spreading their wings (that one is bittersweet).

But I am reminded to cherish this day. To celebrate the now.  Today is the gift we must unwrap and fully live. Some days I live more fully than other days. Some days I am more giving and less selfish. Some days I love more deeply than others.

I hope with each day of life I am blessed to breathe that I remember to pause and celebrate Him who gives me life; and, that my heart breaks for the things that break His heart; and, that I love extravagantly the way He does.

This past week has been a beautiful week of celebrating.  Here's pausing to capture some of it...

  • A sister who spent 4 days celebrating with me -- relaxing, spa time, Lady Antebellum
  • An (early) birthday dinner with my parents and sister
  • The girls (and Mike) filling our home with black balloons and streamers when I returned
  • Neighbor across the street throwing us a little birthday party
  • Friend mailing me a handmade / heartmade gift (a knit cowl)
  • Sweet heartfelt birthday cards
  • A precious, hand written note from my mom to start my day
  • Early morning snuggles with Sarah
  • Listening to Morgan busy in kitchen at 6:30am working on my masterpiece of a birthday cake. (Darn, I have to stay in bed til she finishes!) 
  • Mike making me laugh before he left for work this morning 
And it's only 7am! So much happiness in this day. Thankful for this first day of a new decade!