Category Archives: Motherhood

You Make Everything Better.

Jett - 3year wp

Me:  “Remember that summer when I said, ‘Hey, wanna have another baby?’”

Kris:  “Oh yes.”

Me:  “That was a good call.”

Jett Takle, you’ve been more than a good call.  You’ve been the mint in my chocolate.  The creamer in my coffee.  The salsa to my chips.

You make everything better.  Everything complete.  And, I am so glad you turned our world upside down by becoming the caboose to our train.

We may have said goodbye to a four-door sedan for the next several years, but we opened our arms to a super-hero who flies through the sky.

A cowboy who gallops around our family room.

A Buzz Lightyear who takes us to infinity and beyond.

A thumb-sucking, flannel pajama wearing, blankie holding charmer that gets us out of bed to make waffles.

An air guitar that makes me happier than Sting.  (I know, right?)

A laugh that makes us forget any worry that may have crept in our minds.

A smile that lights up our home.

Jett, you make me stop and soak in moments more than I ever have.  Maybe, it’s because you’re the littlest Takle.  Maybe, it’s because I know now how fleeting these perfect moments are.  I breathe in a little heavier when I put my nose to your blonde head.  I place your feet on my cheeks and I leave them there a little longer.  You sit in my lap, and I postpone bedtime.

Thank you for making life so much sweeter.  Thank you for teaching us what’s really eternal.

Father, thank You for placing Jett Takle in my arms three years ago today.  You are so good.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Jett Man.

I love you with every single part of my being.

Love,

Mom

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Filed under Kid Stuff, Motherhood, parenting

And, I Felt Like I Was Failing.

Jett - february wp

After a very hard evening with Jett, I sat on my sofa exhausted.

Weary.

Feeling I failed in that moment of being his mother.  Even grasping for hope for an easier evening tomorrow.

Tears streamed down my face, and my head collapsed in my hands.

Then, I heard the tender voice of my oldest say, “Mom……..I believe Jett is going to be great.”

Jett is going to be great.

Finally those words began echoing from my own Spirit.  And, then, I began to give thanks.

I am thankful for so many who whisper words of Christ to me.  Who encourage me.  Who renew my mind.  But, there is nothing like your very own child reminding you of who you are.  And, who THEY are.

Jett is going to be great.

I am going to be great.

YOU are going to be great.

Stop believing whatever your mind is telling you.  You tell your mind what to say to your spirit.

Because of Christ IN you….you have everything you need to do everything God has called you to do.

Because of Christ IN you….YOU ARE GREAT.

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Filed under God Stuff, Motherhood, parenting, Spiritual Journey

Happy Birthday, Anna Takle.

“Oh, I just love the British!”

That was her response to her new British friends, George and Josh, at a Disney resort back in September.

And, that’s how it just goes in raising Anna Takle.  We never know what she’s going to say.  Or wear.  Or do.  But, I do know that I wouldn’t have it any other way.  She’s has been my good time girl, full of wonder and surprise, determination and wit, since the beginning.

She was 3 ½ when I first started blogging.  Today, she is 8.  EIGHT!

Anna Takle,

You somehow always teach me more about myself than I thought possible to learn from one of my children.  I not only love the young lady you are, I admire and respect you.

I admire how you feel comfortable in your own skin.  You’re never afraid to stand out and simply be you.

I admire how you are constantly creating.  You pen beautiful words.  You brainstorm a different way to accomplish a task.  You frame lyrics to a song that inspire me.

I admire how you fear so little.  You take risks.  You put yourself out there without regard to whether you will be embraced or not.

I admire how love to learn.  You love exploring new things.  You keep an open mind about the world we live in.

I admire how you respect the earth.  You take seriously caring for our planet.  You commit yourself to being kind to it.

I admire how you listen to your dad and me.  How you take to heart discipline, instruction, and allow it to settle into your spirit.

I admire how open you are to the things of God.  And, how you are allowing Him to work in your life.  How you have decided you want to write songs that “worship Him.”

You make me laugh.  You keep me on my toes.  You remind me not to judge others.  You stir me to want to be more adventurous.

You inspire me to trust Him more.  Because, you trust Him so much.

I can’t imagine my life without you in it.  I can’t imagine this world without Anna.

And, I can’t imagine all of the amazing things you are going to do.  And, the lives you are going to touch.

But, He can.

Happy Birthday, Anna Takle.  I adore every fiber of your being.  I love you more than you’ll ever know.  And, I’m so thankful you’re my girl.

Love,
Mom

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Filed under Kid Stuff, Motherhood, Writing

Double Digits.

This awesome kid is ten today.  I couldn’t just write ten things I love and admire about him.  I could write one-thousand.  I could write for days.  Because, every moment I’m with him, he gives me another reason to thank God for his life.

John Henry,

I love you.  I love every second I get to spend with you.  You are the most well-mannered, ten year old boy I know.  I love how you are so considerate of other people.  How you are genuinely concerned about the well being of those around you.

I love how your hand-shake is firm.  But, it is confidence wrapped in humility.

I love how you know how to be a gentleman.  How you tell a lady, “You look really pretty,” and always prefer them to yourself.

I love how when you see a need, you meet it if it’s within your ability.  You are always so aware of what’s going on around you.

I love how you are so quick to forgive.  How you really do make allowances for other people’s faults.  And, how you quickly acknowledge your own and are the first to say you’re sorry.

I love how truly thankful you are for everything you’re given.  And, how the gifts you love most are the people in your life.

I think I’m just amazed at how much you already imitate Christ.  I’ve prayed your entire life that you would seek Him always.  That you would grow in Him.  But somewhere along the way, you stopped growing in Christ….

And, Christ began growing in you.

I guess in many ways, I kind of look up to you.  I mean, I’m still your mom.  I’m still going to discipline your behavior and train your character.  It’s my job.  But, I respect you.  I admire the young man you are already are.

I’m so thankful God gave me you.  And, I’m thankful He gave you to this world.  You remind us all that chivalry isn’t dead.  You remind us to be kind and considerate to one another.  You remind us that greater is he is within us than he that is in the world.  You remind us to be thankful.

Happy 10th Birthday, JH.  Thank you for being you.

I love you,
Mom

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Filed under Kid Stuff, Motherhood, Spiritual Journey, Writing

Jehovah Elohim (Part One)

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” – Albert Einstein

I wish this quote meant as much to me when my older two were smaller as it does now. I was a bit of a realist. I didn’t want to “do” Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, because I didn’t want to feel I was lying to my children. I didn’t want to make them believe in something that couldn’t possibly happen. Kris disagreed with me. Even my father, a pastor, disagreed with me. So, every year, Santa comes down a chimney here. And, this year, an Easter Bunny will leave little gifts.

I didn’t tell them an Easter Bunny gave them anything last year. I told them it was from us. John Henry came home from church in tears. “Why didn’t the Easter Bunny come see us? He came to see all of the other kids.”

The realist in me just wanted to tell the truth. And, I certainly didn’t want to take away from the true meaning of Easter.

But, this idea of “realism” can do just that. It can take away the meaning of Who God really is.

Jehovah Elohim.

Creator.

Jehova Elohim formed the world with His words. Since we are created in His image, we are also creators. Likewise, we form our world with our words. We create the chaos. We create the blessings.

With. Our. Words.

So, if God, by nature, is a creator, that means He is creative. Yes?

Creativity is inspired. It’s inspired that believing that ANYTHING is possible. And, when we believe that anything is possible, we aren’t afraid to create. To do. To be.

As a mother, I am making some changes in how I inspire my children. We will read fairy tales. We will read stories in the Bible that, well, seem impossible. We will get excited in a few days when a little bunny delivers surprises.

We are creators. Inspired by believing in the impossible. Inspired by believing we can make a difference in the world. Inspired by the One who thought of us long before He created this incredible world.

“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.” – G.K. Chesterton

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Filed under Chasing Dreams, Kid Stuff, making an impact, Motherhood

The Terrific Twos.

You may call them terrible. I call them terrific. Perhaps, it’s because I now know firsthand that I will blink my eyes, and Jett Takle will be in Kindergarten. And, if you have children who have already graduated from high school, I really don’t need to hear how that day will be here for me faster than I can say, “Let’s play Candy Land.” Granted, I have days I dream of an empty nest, and Kris and I relaxing in the Caribbean somewhere. We give our grown children our mobile numbers, but we don’t tell them where we are. It’s true. I do think about it. But, most of the time, I think about how much I love these years. With its chaos and laughter and discoveries and first words and piano lessons and guitar lessons, and so many assorted cereal options in one pantry that even Jerry Seinfeld would be jealous.

I love this life.

And, I am so thankful for that day I looked at Kris and said, “You know, I think I do want one more baby.” Because, two years ago today, Jett Takle completed our family. He makes us smile bigger and more often than we ever dreamed possible.

Jett, I love the way you love eating apples. I’m so glad Mr. Jenkins at Piggly Wiggly lets you eat one from the produce section to make my grocery store trips easier. And, I’m so glad you let the cashier weigh your half-eaten apple with the others so, we can pay for it.

I love the way you love “driving” the truck on the farm with your daddy.

Your big brother and sister don’t even ask to drive any more. Probably, because they know you will beat them to it.

I love the way you love learning new things. Like fishing. And, I love how you look to your daddy so many times for his approval on doing it right.

There is no doubt. You get your immense passion for farm life from your father. I love the way you start “mooing” as soon as we drive up to the farm. You make your daddy follow those cows all over. And, you are certain to cry when we leave them.

And, it’s really no surprise one of your first words was “airplane.”

You are fascinated with them.

I have a feeling that once you figure out your daddy flies them, he will be an even greater rock star in your eyes. If that is even possible.

I love how you take your big brother’s hand. I love how he lets you take him anywhere you want to go. I especially love how you call him “Bubba”, and he calls you “Bubba” right back. Melt. My. Heart.

I love how you love crawling up into your Sissy’s bed to watch her draw.

Just a word of advice: Try not to touch all of her stuff in her room. It’ll save us both a lot of heartache.

You make our lives so much richer. You make us so much more aware of all of the good stuff around us. You make us press pause and soak in the joys again of blowing dandelions. And, roaring like a lion. And, rolling in the grass. And, eating popsicles. And, cheering, “Yay!”

Happy Birthday, Jett. I pray that over this next year you begin learning about your Creator. Because, when He made you, He really made a wonderful thing.

I love you to the moon and back one million times,

Mom

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Filed under Kid Stuff, life, Motherhood

Ten Years.

In many ways it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long.  In so many other ways, it really does.  Ten years ago at this time, I was two months pregnant with John Henry.  And, his dad left.

I guess I never imagined I would be in that place.  I certainly never saw myself divorced.  I never thought I’d be a single mother.  It was the single most heart-breaking, devastating time in my life.  Words were said that pierced me.  Actions taken that floored me.  And, I couldn’t imagine that my life would ever be restored back to where it was.

I spent the next few months busying myself with work, getting ready for a baby, and involving myself in the community.  I traveled to Chicago to an Arts Conference hosted by Willow Creek Church.  I headed up the campaign for my uncle who was running for County Commissioner.  He won, by the way.  And, I joined with city leaders in putting together a Memorial Service for the one year anniversary of 9/11.   And, in my down time, I cried.

But, I also prayed.

I prayed scriptures over Bryan’s life every single night of my pregnancy.  I prayed blessings over him.  In the middle of my pain, I cried out to the Redeemer.  And, I released forgiveness little by little until I no longer carried any anger or resentment.

I was still heartbroken.  There were times I would feel sorry for myself.  I’d cry the ugly cry.  My countenance would be less than inviting.  I remember during one of my pity parties, my dad told me, “You never know how you’re going to feel tomorrow.”  Of course, I knew how I was going to feel.  Exactly like I was feeling at that moment.

Until one day, you wake up, and the weight of it all seems a little less.  The hurt isn’t quite as painful.  And, before you know it, you are smiling.  And, you are staring into the eyes of a little blue-eyed baby boy who has changed everything.

September 24, 2002, I held John Henry.  I looked at my parents and said, “My world is right.”  It was.  The hurt was still there.  But it became less.  A few months later, Kris Takle flew into my life.  Literally.  Six months later?  We were married.  Six months after that?  We were pregnant with Anna Takle.

And, now ten years later?  My life is full.

It is redeemed.

I never believe that divorce is God’s best for one’s life.  But, I do believe He is a God of redemption and will make good out of messes.  I will never write about the nit and the grit of the words said or the actions during it all.  I really see no need, honestly.  It’s not where I live.  I don’t ever want it printed and posted to hurt John Henry or Bryan.

As for Bryan, he has allowed God to work in his life.  He is a great father to John Henry.  He is a great friend to Kris.  And, Kris is a great friend to him.  We celebrate holidays together.  We have vacationed together.  We aren’t “normal.”  We really didn’t think “normal” was working.  So, we just do things differently.

I would defend Bryan’s name until my last breath on earth.  Because, he is a good man.  And, I am forever grateful to him for John Henry Landreth.  I have learned more about compassion and forgiveness because of that little boy than I ever imagined possible.

John Henry is a constant reminder to me of how GOOD God is.

Anna and Jett are constant reminders of His redemption.

And, Kris Takle.  Well, you know what he is.

The one who made my heart beat fast again.

It’s been a good ten years.

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Filed under disappointment, divorce, gratitude, Life Experiences, Love, Motherhood, prayer, Writing