Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dear Cade

Since he wrote us a letter, I decided I oughta write him one. How fun it is to write love letters back and forth! Thank you Bo, from for your inspiration for my letter.

Dear Cade,

I look at you and see a boy who knows for sure that he is a fast runner, a good leader, a strong kicker and a smart thinker.

At nine, your only kryptonite is "perfectionism", but somehow your weakness with that seems to make everything else more charming. You love to play and love to win, but you also love to try. You give everything 110%, even though it scares the perfectionist in you to find your limits.

I love your spark, your joy, your refusal to – almost never - give up. I love that you believe in the goodness of the people around you and pray that someday you'll believe in the goodness in you. I love how your eyes twinkle when you are learning, that you crave to learn about anything and everything, including your insatiable desire to read the Bible.

But I wonder (and this is where the mom road gets a little rough)…

…who will be the first to bend your belief system? Someone will do it. Someone will make sure you understand that you aren’t that great or that fast or that kind. Someone will disregard your sparkling storytelling abilities and define you by your internal struggle to define everything in this world as black or white as you painfully learn, this is an impossible pursuit.

A boy who hasn’t been well-loved will want to become a winner by making you a loser. An insecure girl will make herself feel beautiful by convincing you that you are ugly. It will happen.

And sometimes – as crazy as it sounds – I am tempted to pave the way for the breaking. Sometimes I feel like I should prepare your heart for the sting of reality. To soften the blow of that moment when you will feel the rush of the wind, only to discover it’s someone passing you by; winning your race. I wrestle with the dueling desires to “build-you-up” and “let-you-down-easy” and so I ask for wisdom.

Wisdom that keeps me from speaking words that would define or destroy.

Wisdom that helps you learn to define yourself less in terms of black and white, because that system will only leave you believing you are less than your Creator made you to be, and more in terms of the beautiful rainbow of colors that make you YOU.

Wisdom that helps you find both your breaking and building in the arms of Jesus.

Wisdom, to hold you close and launch you freely into a world that isn’t kind, but so deeply needs someone a lot like you.

So I stand in the shadows of your indefatigable optimism and I pray that when the day comes that you discover that there are those who cannot cheer you on, no matter how much they may secretly want to; you will hold tightly to the knowledge that there are those who always will. No matter what.

We love you more than words can say,

your Mommy and Daddy, Bekah, Grandma, Grandpa, Nana, and Papa


Friday, April 16, 2010

Is it possible that I learn more from my kids then they do from me?

My little Wildman Sprout has been leaning more towards the "wildman" then the "sprout" in his 3rd grade year. He is testing the waters, figuring out what might work in this world and finding out, the hard way, that, darn it, life is hard.

My guy is a bit too smart for his own maturity. His little body has not caught up with his brain and all this is trying to wrestle itself out, crammed in a school desk all day.

His loving teachers are constant reminders to me that, sigh, it does indeed take a village to raise a child and they are part of our village.

Instead of coming up with excuses today like, "why should I do homework when I get As in everything?" he took the advice in stride, seemingly understanding that in the real world, we all have to do things we don't want to do or even sometimes see the point of at all and that part of responsibility is sucking it up and being willing to do our best, always, even when it's the last thing we want to do.

And then he wrote us this letter (note: Character grades are given in 7 different areas with 2s and 3s being the lowest and 1s being the highest):
Dear Mommy and Daddy,
I am a new kid now. I have changed very much. I won't lie. I won't be a distraction in class. I will slow down in my work. Everything you said I will do. You will find me getting nonstop 1s on my report card. You will find As on tests. You will find the teacher saying "Cade has been wonderful." All those bad memories are gone. I have a brand new start.

What I learned from this: May I always be as teachable and willing to be molded by God as my son is.

May I: find the eternal treasure in the temporary trial.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A lot of happiness for $4.99

Our weekly run to Trader Joes is one of our rituals that brings happy times. Maybe it's their catchy tunes playing, or tons of food that is $1 or $2 or $3 (how many stores have so many things for sale that start with $1, $2, or $3!!)...maybe it's their yummy samples...

One thing that I can safely pin all these happy feelings on is the weekly flower bouquet I choose to adopt, bring home, and call our own. I walk into the store and just like at a puppy store, they all sit there, with innocent looks just quietly unassuming and obviously desiring to be the "chosen" one that will be plucked from their flower fellowship to be brought home to bring joy to us humans.

This week, my son picked out some lovely delicate purple flowers that now grace our table and join about 10 other potted plants that are brightening up our kitchen from our weekly TJ runs over the past months.

I look at them each day and see growth, when outside it's still grey and brown. I look at them and am reminded of the hope that Spring always brings, of new life, new color, new growth.

That's a lot of joy for $4.99.

It's the time of year too when my husband gears up for wildflower hunts and weekends are full of soccer games and sprints to fields of wildflower blooms to hike, camp, and capture on camera the latest color explosion. To catch your own wildflower brilliance wherever you live, check out the forestry service website:

Somehow, the simple act of chasing wildflowers is so easily capable of reminding us of God's Glory, to be grateful for all things, and to keep our perspectives in order. Happy flower adventures to you!

For more photos like this, check out