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Monday, August 18, 2014

Letting Go

So last night we spilled the beans to Isaac about Santa not being real. It had come up several times this summer, different friends telling him Santa was fake, and Isaac arguing that NO WAY, Santa is TOTALLY REAL!! And then he had asked us a few times, "He is real, right?" So on the eve of the First day of Third grade I tell Jay, "We need to tell him, and I can't because I will start crying." So this is Jay's story, but I'm sharing it because he wouldn't and it just reminds me why I love him so.

After getting Isaac into bed, Jay lays down next to him and says
"Buddy you are getting older, and there are some things other kids are going to say to you, and you will wonder about the things they say, and I want you to know you can always come to me and Mom and we will tell you the truth. So, there's something you need to know. There is a really cool special secret that many moms and dads have for their kids. Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, they are not real. They are moms and dads. Moms and dads pretend and give their kids everything from them. I know some of your friends have told you that Santa isn't real, and when you asked us we wanted to tell you the truth so you would hear it from us."
So Isaac's eyes get HUGE and he says "So, all that stuff I got from Santa all those years, it was from YOU GUYS?? You bought all that stuff?"
Jay: "Yep"
Isaac, "And the 10 bucks I got from the Tooth Fairy for my first tooth, you guys gave me that? Why would you do that for me?"
Jay, "Because it's fun, and we love you, and our mom's and dad's did it for us when we were little. It's a tradition and one day you will do it for your kids"
Isaac: "YOU got me that LEGO Batcave?? WOW!! And, wait a minute, we could have touched that Elf all along."

It was so cute. He knows Saint Nicholas was real and the backstory, so we told him about how the Santa part was just a fun pretend thing that many parents did generations ago in rememberance of him and it had carried on. That it was important to let his sister enjoy believing in Santa for a few years, and not to ever spoil it for anyone because he had really loved believing.

It was sweet. It was sad. Another piece of childhood gone, and sooner than we would have liked, but we really knew it was time to tell him.

This parenthood, this holding close and letting go of little ones, it is the sweetest, happiest, saddest dance I've ever danced. It is everyday knitting me together and breaking me apart.

This summer Eden learned to swim without floaties, and in the deep-end. These pink floaties sitting here in the toybox by the door, another phase over, another baby thing forgotten. Isaac learned to ride without training wheels (finally), and how to dive, and how to flip and backflip into the pool. But he wants me to walk him into school tomorrow. Eden still has a baby face and her sweet little baby voice, but she is getting tall and leaner. I am thankful for every day, every phase, and every moment with them. Thankful that God has shown me what is is to love my children and how He can love us even more than I love my own. Thankful that He will give me wisdom and grace to let them go when it is time, and hold them close when they need me.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What Is Love?

"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things"
1 Cor 13:4-7

These are beautiful words, probably my favorite set of verses. But in my daily life, these words often bring me to despair. Living in community is hard. Doing life with other broken people is not easy. Bitterness creeps in. Friendships ebb and flow. Sometimes, people just get on your nerves, or disappoint you. Sometimes you ache for them. I see myself on both sides of all of these examples. I love the verses above because they root me back to the truth. I read them and think "I can't do this, no one can!" And I can't. The truth is, I need Jesus. If He is not where I am centering my identity, then I will surely put my identity in people or things that will always fail me, and I them. If I do not put Jesus first, what use will I be to my community? How can my heart be soft? How can I love others?

Discipleship isn't just the drawing of people to Jesus, it is the sticking around afterwards and growing together, even when it is hard. Even when we are unlovable, never giving up on each other, remembering the Perfect One who died for all of us, and the Great Love that He loved us with.

Today I pray that we remember The Perfect One, and the debt He paid. That we love each other with even a fraction of the love that he poured over us who would crush Him.