Tag Archives: Motherhood

His Last First Day.

 

I prayed over them both. I rubbed their backs. I nestled my fingers in their hair. I talked to them about the first day of school. I kissed their forehead. And before I left each bedroom I heard, “Mom, don't walk me into school tomorrow. It's a little embarrassing.”

 

I knew this day was coming. You're just never really ready.

 

Anna's first day of school clothes were displayed across her bed. Every single item new. Every single item very Anna Takle. She knows what she's doing. After all, she's the girl who stops me before I walk out the door with “You need a fashion check?” And, I'm the one who always bites the bullet and says yes.

 

John Henry, on the other hand, had older, a little more tattered clothes poured across his bed. I asked him why he wouldn't want to wear something newer. Something a bit nicer.

 

“Mom, you can't wear your best stuff the first day of school. You can't be the kid who starts off the school year with brand new clothes. I'll throw in some nice clothes randomly.”

 

And, somehow, I actually got it. He didn't want to look like he was trying so hard. I get it.

 

I also get them not wanting me to walk them in. Even if it's a BRAND NEW SCHOOL. Even if I went to bed and cried to Kris and made him relive with me every funny thing John Henry did from 10 months old to age 4.

 

Even if it's the last first day of John Henry's elementary school days.

 

I get it. As much as I love to relive Anna Takle as Super Girl. John Henry as a Buzz Lightyear. Anna yelling out “vuck” to her pre-school class for words that start with V. John Henry peeing on the dog, because, well, it's something to do. Anna telling me, “You're a monster!” John Henry touching home plate and running out to ask, “Did you see that, Mom?” The two of them together playing in mud puddles. Sliding downstairs on an air mattress. Laughing. Fighting. Forgiving. Loving.

 

Being small.

 

As much as I love these years. I know it's better that they grow. That they need me less.

 

Because the less they see their need for me, the more they'll see their need for Him. And, while I will sometimes fail them, He never will.

 

So, grow. Become strong. Become conscious of Who is within you. Become aware that you already have everything you need to do all God's called you to do. Because, HE is with you. Beside you. In front of you. Behind you.

 

WITHIN you.

And, when you need me…..

 

I'll come running.

 

 

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Filed under Kid Stuff, Motherhood, parenting

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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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

Taking More In.

It’s been seven days since I put down social networking.  It was an awkward first two days.  You know, I wasn’t shaking or anything.  I jest.   I do.  No, really.  One of my colleagues asked me yesterday morning what I hoped God was going to work in me through this.  I didn’t really have a definitive answer of what I hoped He would do.  I told her I felt that by giving it up, I would inevitably be replacing it with other things.  Things that would invoke me to be more personal with my children.  With my husband.  With my friends.  And, I am doing just that.

Through becoming more aware of the people in my life, I find myself becoming more aware of God.   After all, doesn’t God live in each one of us?  So, by being totally present with people, we become more present with Him.  It’s really a pretty awesome phenomenon, I tell ya.

A couple of nights ago, Anna climbed into bed with me with her book, The Lorax.  She wanted to read it aloud to me.  She would pause throughout the book, and we would talk about it.  If you’re unfamiliar with The Lorax, it’s a wonderful story to encourage readers to take care of the earth.  I listened as Anna talked about her desire to be nicer to the planet.  Through conversation with my seven year old, I began to see God in His creation.  Again.  I acknowledged His handiwork in shaping every part of it.  It made me want to be a better steward with this undeniably amazing planet.  So simple.

I’m loving the simple.  Breathing in the simple.  It’s wonderful.  It’s life-giving.

Here are a few of my favorite things I’m taking in:

I’m pretty sure that this is the “full” John was writing about.

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  John 10:10

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Filed under Favorite Things, God Stuff, Kid Stuff, life, Life Experiences, Motherhood

Next Year, I Might Say, “Be Mine.”

Can I just be honest and say that Valentine’s Day is my least favorite holiday of the year?  I don’t mean to be a love humbug.  I mean, I love love and all.  I just don’t like using it to celebrate Kris.  And, he is not allowed to buy me a Valentine’s Day gift.  I know this makes me odd.  And, I’m okay with that.  I’m sure Kris is, too.  Not to worry about my littles.  We certainly lavish on them on this day of “Be My Valentine.”

So, instead of making the day about recognizing how much I love Kris, I pick a person really needing to feel some love to bless.  I started this tradition two years ago.  It’s kind of given me a reason to look forward to the holiday.

However, yesterday ended up being one of my favorite days of the year.  No expensive gifts.  No over-priced roses.  But, a string of texts, notes, and unexpected surprises made me so thankful for the relationships in my life.  Several members of Eagles Way Church surprised the staff with the most heartfelt, delicious lunch at the office.  Kris surprised me….and I do mean surprised me, by cleaning the house before he took off into the wild blue yonder.  An unexpected text from a friend simply expressing her appreciation broke me.  And, then?  A surprise knock at my door with none other than my father bringing me my favorite hummus and pita bread.

I spent the rest of the evening playing Pictionary on the Xbox with my big kids and laughing at this littlest kid while he saw himself being videoed.

Why do videos start and stop on the most awkward of facial expressions?  Have. Mercy.

Anyway, my heart swelled with an immense gratitude for the people in my life.  A gratitude that I get to wake up every morning to the most incredible beings in my home.  A gratitude that I get to be Kris Takle’s wife.  A gratitude that I get to be a mother.  A gratitude that I get to work at the greatest church on the planet.  A gratitude that I get to be a pastor.

I am so rich.  So rich in relationships.  Rich in love.  Rich in contentment.

So, perhaps, after days like yesterday, I just might become a fan of Cupid.  After all, I am definitely a fan of lunch.  And, a clean house.  And, sweet messages.  And, hummus.  And Eagles Way Church.

And, Kris Takle.

And, these little love bugs.

 

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Filed under giving, gratitude, Kid Stuff, Love, Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships

Nine.

Is it possible for a dude to be funny, smart, generous, and cool all rolled up into one? 

Clearly, it is. 

And, tonight, you will go to bed an eight year old, and wake up tomorrow morning nine years old. 

NINE.

For nine years, you have taught me how to love with more compassion, give without thinking twice, and enjoy dessert like it’s nobody’s business. 

Your love for the guitar makes my heart smile.  Your taste in music impresses me.  Your quick wit makes me laugh. 

But it’s your heart that inspires me.

John Henry Landreth, you are one AMAZING young man.

You not only make my world a better place, you make this entire world a better place.

Thank you for allowing God to mold you into a warrior for His Kingdom. 

And, thank you, Jesus, for allowing me to be the one he calls “Mom.”

Happy Birthday, JH.  I love you more and more.

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The Moments You Can’t Redo.

Me:  “You should’ve seen Jett yesterday, lying on the floor, laughing so hard at his big brother and his big brother laughing so hard right back.”

Dad:  “You can never re-do those moments.  They come and go so fast.  You can recreate moments when you are an adult.  But, you can’t recreate those moments when they are children.”

My thoughts hung on my dad’s words for the rest of the day.  I’ve written about soaking up moments like these before.  But, I guess we can never be reminded too often to take notice of them. 

To be present.

Fully present.

So yesterday, after a long day of meetings, errands, and checking on my sick 8 year old, I came home and saw a little 18 month old running around my house.  There were so many things on my to-do list even after I made it home. 

Forget ‘em. 

That’s what I said to myself.  And, Kris knew my list was waiting for me.  So, I looked at him and said, “Do you care if I just play with Jett a while?”

“Have at it!” he said.

So, that’s what I did.  He laughed at me, and he made me laugh.  I listened to him repeat words I said, and I smiled. 

Forget the busy schedules, forget the to-do lists.  Stop being overwhelmed by things that really don’t matter.  Enjoy the people in your life.  And, be fully, FULLY present with them. 

Because, you will never, ever be able to redo these moments.

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Filed under Kid Stuff, Life Experiences, Motherhood

The Hands of Time.

Fifteen months.  That’s how long it’s taken for his little hands that could barely grasp my finger become large and strong enough to hold onto these wooden rails.  It just seems like yesterday I was sharing with the world…well, you….that we were adding kid three to the mix. 

But, you and I are no strangers to the brevity of time. 

I love his hands.  I love his feet.  And, according to my experience with the feet of my older two, my love for his feet has an average life span of about four years.  That’s about when those chunky, little, kissable feet become far from kissable. 

But, his hands, well, they will always be kissable. 

A good friend told me once that whenever she begins to get irritated with one of her children, she intentionally looks at his or her hands.  Then, she is reminded of how young they are.  How much they’ve still to learn.  And, she softens.

I’m not sure what Jett will do with his hands as he grows older.  Perhaps, he’ll use them to write songs like his sister.  Or, pick a guitar like his brother.  Maybe, he’ll use them to pull back the yoke of an airplane like his father.  Only time will tell. 

But, whatever his hands finds to do, I pray he does it with passion and purpose.  I pray that one day, he offers his hands to his King, and says, “These are Yours.  Use them.” 

As for me, I will pray for those hands.  And, I will kiss those hands for as long I as live……

Or, however long he lets me.  

Whatever your hands finds to do, do it with all your might…. Ecclesiastes 9:10

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Filed under Chasing Dreams, life, Motherhood, Spiritual Journey

Emptying the Tank.

Anna:  “Mom, can people live to be 160 years old?”
Me:  “I don’t think so.  It’s not the norm.”
Anna:  “Well, that’s okay.  Because, really only our bodies die.  We go to heaven and God gives us a new body.”
Me:  “You’re right.”
Anna:  “I used to be afraid to die, but I’m not afraid to die any more.”

Anna used to bring up death and cry so hard that it was nearly impossible to comfort her.  Her eyes would be swollen from weeping over the thought of losing me or her dad or the realization that she, too, will leave this earth one day.  These conversations were heart-wrenching for her in the past. 

Each day as I watch my little girl grow and gain a little more wisdom, I learn to let her tears flow at those things she doesn’t understand or skills she has a difficult time learning.  Whether its tears from struggling with her shoe laces or from not being included in a game with her brother and his friend, I’m letting those tears flow. 

 Before, I wanted to fix her immediately.  I wanted the tears to stop. 

 But, now I let the tears the flow.  Sometimes, without even asking why.  Now, I let the tough lessons in life pour out with every drop. 

 Because, it’s only when the tank is empty, that God can fill refill it with His understanding.  His truth.  His refreshing water. 

 I guess you can say, I am learning to be Anna’s mother and let God be God in her life.  I’m letting her pour out.

 So, He can pour in.

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The Real Battle.

I spent the greater part of my morning explaining to my 8 year old why less is more when it comes to cologne.  He was concerned with the fact that I had rolled the windows down on the car ride to school, worried that his cologne would dissipate. 

Much to my chagrin (and the chagrin of his teacher, I am sure), it didn’t.

The other part of my morning was spent explaining to my 6 year old why dancing to “Wake up in the morning feeling like P Diddy” in the school talent show was not appropriate.  Perhaps, it’s the line, “brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack,” I don’t know.  And, if it takes a village to raise children, I need my village to tighten up the ship.  Or the village.  Or whatever.  In other words, I need my dad to pay more attention to the “prizes” Anna chooses when she is with him.

So, she doesn’t come home with a doll that looks like this.

Yes, those are vampire teeth and werewolf ears. 

For. The. Love.

And, to think I took a stance against Bratz dolls in our home in this post

We definitely choose our battles in this house.  Apparently, we don’t choose this battle:

And, the battles we fight now are not the battles we fought two years ago.  Nor, will they be the battles we fight two years from now.  But, we fight the ones that matter.  And, quite frankly, most of the battles I fight right now are my own.  The battle of choosing to make memories with my children over a clean house.  The battle of choosing the house of the Lord over a soccer game.  The battle of seeking God over my selfish desires.  Because, it’s these battles that win the hearts of my children and point them towards the One who loves them more. 

In the book of Ruth, Naomi didn’t set out to ruin her children.  But, she chose pleasure and temporary comfort over serving the King.  As a result, her children suffered. 

Choosing Him in every area of my life is really the most crucial battle in raising my children.  And, while I can rest in the fact that God redeemed Naomi’s life, I know that choosing Him today will make these child-rearing years better.  And, they will be better because of it.

It’s in fighting these battles that I enjoy moments like these. 

It’s in choosing Him that I am really choosing them.

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Filed under God Stuff, Kid Stuff, Motherhood, parenting