Monday, June 29, 2015

Love at First Sight

It's the 17th anniversary of the moment when I first experienced love at first sight.

The year was 1998. It was a Monday morning, 8:28 a.m. to be exact. 6,205 days ago.

We didn't know each other, but the connection we had was if we had known each other forever. Like we were meant to be together.

I fell in love with all 9 lbs, 3 oz., 20 1/2 inches of my sweet baby girl and that love has grown every single day since.

Just look how this love has grown!!!

The McCaughey Septuplets happened to still be in the news on this day of Love at First Sight. But my world-news revolved around being mama to you, and your brother.

First few minutes at home, You were crying and your brother, Nathan instinctively tried to take care of you.
I think he has been trying to do this ever since.
You can love him or hate him for this. But it started on Day 1.

You have been an excellent example to the sisters who have come after you.

And as it turns out, you are very much like your mama. That could explain a lot of head-butting that goes on in our relationship. I'd like to think that this isn't a bad thing; that we both are growing because of it.

But anyway, sweet baby girl, YOU are the one who was there when I experienced a "love at first sight" moment.

I love and treasure every single moment since then.

I realize you are counting down the next 365 days. I get that.

I am too. 18 has always been sort of a "deadline" for making sure I have done my job as mama. But now that you are here, I realize I have done what I set out to do over 6,000 days ago. Now it is up to you. I also know that I will never be "done" being mama. My role just changes.

AND I will continue to treasure each moment. Because love at first sight is love at first sight.

I guess what I am trying to say is:

Happy 17th Birthday, Marz!

Love, Mama

"Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart"
~Luke 2:51
P.S. Your birthday gift is what you asked for.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Sticky-Note Prayer: Answered

A couple of years ago, I started this thing with the kids where I would write a prayer for them on a sticky note and stick it on their bedroom door. Usually it was a bible verse that I was praying for them.

For the most part, it seemed they went sort of ignored.

But I knew it was appreciated, or at least noticed, about a year ago when I was the recipient of a sweet, sticky-note prayer from Marisa.

I had just been notified that a story I wrote, which made the first couple of rounds of acceptance, was cut just before the book went to print.

And I walked in to my room to find this sticky-note-prayer on my desk:

"Galatians 6:9
Dear God,
Please be with mom and give her strength. Remind her that you have a plan. Make sure that she doesn't give up. Amen.
Love you mama
Love, Marzy

If you are wondering, Galatians 6:9 reads "Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

Thank you for praying for me, baby girl. I didn't give up. And God answered your sticky-note prayer.

In two months, I will be published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Volunteering and Giving Back.

It's not just a dream come true for me, but a specific prayer request answered. 

A prayer that was sharpied on a post-it. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

So this is what "afraid" looks like:

I've been this super amazing and awesome mom.

if i do say so, myself.
(which I do. It is my blog, after all)

At least when it comes to being able to aptly and confidently encourage my children to try new things, explore talents, and step out of their comfort zone in order to embrace seasons of their lives and use the gifts given to them.

Some of these gifts, talents and good-old-fashioned HARD WORK has paid off for them.

So I find myself in new territory today.

I find myself on the receiving end of

of advice that I have
of my kids.

And now I know what it is like to have to face a new situation and be completely scared out of my mind to do it...

....but to know that it is, without a doubt, the next

to do.

Pray for me.
Wish me luck.
Hold me.

I'm jumping in.

In Grand Rapids at the end of July.

I won a scholarship. If there is anything I have learned about what scholarships mean it is this:
they are an investment.

Here I go.