This sweet looking girl is growing more in strength every day. What you don’t see in this photo are the crayons she’s quickly chucking onto the floor or the next 24 hours where she majorly injured herself.
This weekend she pulled a French press of coffee onto herself and burned her leg. We took care of it best we could and when we went to change the bandage discovered one piece that wouldn’t come off. After seeing our pediatrician, we were sent to the burn clinic because it was looking like they would need to remove a layer of the skin with the bandage.
It’s funny. All this happened the weekend of Be Brave, our church’s women’s conference, where I had the honor to share about being brave in vulnerability. Not only did all of this require bravery in Him, it also made me feel so incredibly vulnerable. Today at the burn clinic the bandage just fell off and they said everything was healing amazingly. The doctor said it should be completely healed in three weeks with no scarring.
Thank you Jesus for healing, strength, and courage in everything, especially the moments when we feel most vulnerable.
Edie, today is International Women’s Day. I still remember the moment the ultrasound technician proudly announced, “you’re having a diva!” Your dad and I were so shocked we had her repeat herself, to which she said, “it’s a girl!”
“It’s a girl” was thrilling to me in every sense of the word. It was exhilarating, exciting, delightful, inspiring. It was scary, nerve-wracking, and mind-blowing. We expected a boy. We prepared for a boy. Now, a girl?
I desperately wanted a girl for so many reasons. I was also afraid. I was afraid to bring a girl into the world because of how the world has long mistreated women. Hear me right, when I say, “the world.” It’s just that for thousands of years we, women, were regarded as property or were relegated to a very specific role without choice or freedom.
International Women’s Day is one of those days full of meaning for some and empty for many. It’s a day fraught with political and social significance. I hope when you are my age it is less contentious and more embraced.
I want so much for you as a woman. From the moment you entered the world you had to fight for your first breath and first heartbeat. I desperately wanted to hold you, but had to let your hand holding my finger be enough while you were in the NICU incubator. Then I wanted to bring you home when I went home, but you had to be strong without me and I had to be strong without you. When you finally did come home, you fought for me. Fought so hard I gave in and wore you all-day, every-day for the first 6 months. You still fight for the things that matter to you. I hope you always do. My prayer is that you always fight for things that actually matter, not petty problems.
I want you to be strong in who you are, to be confident in your gifts, talents, strengths, and calling. I want you to be one of those girls and teenagers and women who strengthen and encourage other girls, teenagers, and women. That you are someone who helps everyone you meet to feel comfortable in their own skin. A woman who doesn’t judge or criticize, but empowers and encourages.
Every day I ask God for grace and wisdom to help you harness your strengths. Because every day, it feels like my strength and your strength could easily collide and combust. What I want is my strength and your strength to build something beautiful, something meaningful. When I watch your passion it inspires me to be passionate. When I see you dance and run and play it thrills my heart and I never want you to stop so I join in.
I’ve had my fair share of frustration and exhaustion because of your strength and you’re just shy of 2 years old. Someday, you will be the one frustrated and exhausted with me. So if I can selfishly ask one thing from you, please, have patience and pray for me when that day comes.
Earlier this week I found a brown smear on the white duvet covering our bed. That smear could be one of two things: poop or chocolate.
Had someone told me this is what my life would look like 5 years ago, I would have laughed right in her face. Change is funny – some changes are instantaneous while others evolve slowly over time.
Life changed when I moved countries (twice). It changed when I got married. It changed when I moved houses (seven times in 11 years), when I switched jobs. Life changed the moment Frederick was born. It changed the moment Edith was born. It changed in each of those moments, but not fully and completely in an instant.
Life with a baby is very different than life with a toddler and those changes happen so gradually. I’m not sure how I found myself looking at a brown smear wondering what the substance was. What surprises me more than the smear was my unfazed reaction at its presence regardless of what it was.
Don Draper once said, “Change is neither good nor bad. It just is.” (props to Mad Men for so many quotable lines)
While I agree with this in theory, change itself can be good or bad, depending on the circumstances and our reaction to it. With the exception of tragic or traumatic events, change in our lives is neutral most of the time; it just happens because life isn’t static. Seasons and aging speak to this more clearly than anything else. Nine months with two growing kids puts this in sharp perspective!
I recently read Being Mortalby Atul Gawande. He writes, “The story of aging is the story of our parts.”
The story of aging is the story of our parts. It’s the story of the parts of our lives that change slowly and instantaneously.
The long and drawn out days when time seems extended.
The minutes that tick by so slowly when you’re anticipating someone’s arrival.
The winter days that seem never-ending until one day you wake up and it’s summer.
The hundreds of diaper changes that seem eternal and then it’s suddenly over and done.
The endless hours spent working on a project or assignment that come crashing to a halt when it’s finished.
The moments in time when everything stops and you know it will never be the same again.
The day you pack everything into a car and lock the door of a house to which you’ll never return.
The final hug you give a friend when your time in school ends and you both begin to walk down diverging paths.
The minute you say “I do” to your best friend and know beyond a shadow of doubt it’s love for better or worse, in sickness and health, for richer or poorer.
The second you see your baby’s face for the first time and hold him. Time literally seems to stop and suddenly everything in your world changes.
The past few Tuesdays Josh and I have been going to preschool open houses. Visiting schools and filling out paperwork makes the coming change so real. This fall life will change once again.
Sometimes I wish I could pause time all together. Other times I want to fast forward it. Either way, it’s impossible to avoid change because no matter how hard I try to slow it down or speed it up time never quite does what I want it to.
Don Draper was almost right when he said “change is neither good nor bad, it just is.” Change isn’t neutral, but the passing of time is. Time is neither good nor bad, it just is. And our lives are what we do with the time we have. It brings change regardless of our efforts to keep things the same, brown smears on white duvets and all.
The only constant in all the change is God, our Father, and that’s pretty amazing. He’s our rock, our hiding place, our tower, our shield to whom we can always go to when everything seems to be changing and time can’t move fast enough or is going too fast.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. ”