My Sunday was supposed to look like this: wake up, lunch in crockpot, write, kids up, make breakfast, dress, shower, dinner in roaster, church, fellowship luncheon, home, dinner, Bible Study, bed.
Jude is four and a half months now, cruising precariously towards five. He’s got loads of personality (I always forget how quickly that kicks in!), loves to laugh, and has already learned that big brother Jack is one heck of a good time.
It’s been a few weeks now since you left. And while I can’t say that I miss you any less than I did those first few days, there’s something normal, something rhythmic about the missing you now that feels familiar enough to not catch me off guard quite as quickly quite as often. I’m glad– because less hurt is always good– but it makes me sad, too.
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We celebrated Christopher’s birthday with a family trip to a local art museum. If you know us in real life, you know that my husband and I did the bulk of our dating at an art gallery, and that when we have the chance to visit a new area, one of the things we’re most likely to look for are spaces where we can see art. We are also the kind of family who thinks it’s good fun to gather around the table, each with his own supplies, and create.
“Was I as cute as Jude when you got me?”
“Oh, yes. A hundred times yes.”
“Was I this old?”
“You were five months. So… a touch older.”
This week, we’re all struggling.
Much of it is just the accumulated transition of now. Mary Hannah has been gone nearly a month, and we have settled into a “she’s not here” routine that feels normal to us in the day to day, but is still always looking for her smile, her laugh, and her cheerful enthusiasm for life. Birdie just had her birthday, and Christopher’s is barreling towards us in a handful of days. There’s the new-to-us experience of a weekly co-op for some of the kids, an intense focus on Phineas’ schooling, an infant who is seconds away from being a baby (and all that entails), prayers for a visa for Babita, and Christopher’s upcoming trip to bring relief funds and assistance directly to Christians in Nepal.
It’s been 10 years since we went all in. A whole decade since we made tangible our family’s mission statement to follow God, not man.
Some days, I can’t remember life before I began sifting it through the lens of sharing the Gospel around the globe. Some days I am caught off guard that not everyone understands the nuances of financing projects cross-culturally or can see the difference between man’s business and God’s Kingdom. Some days I am shocked at how little value my fellow Christ followers seem to place on the message that set them free.
In the economy of a large family, a 13 year-old brother is just short of legend.
He has knives and multipurpose tools and a host of other blades hanging from his belt and hidden in his pockets.
His legs are so long he can leap across the creek without getting his feet wet.
He can carve spears and string bows.
His arms are so strong he can rescue small children from bee stings and ant bites.
We called her Seven, in the incredulous days and weeks following the positive pregnancy test. Years of longing unfulfilled had helped us realize that pregnancy is no promise that a baby will fill your arms. We rejoiced in every day but held that delight loosely, with open hands, as if God deciding to take this one, too, would somehow hurt less that way.