Monday, November 05, 2012

Planting trees

It's funny how you blink your eyes and suddenly you are five days into a brand new month (in my opinion, one of the top three months of the year). I'm certain that time speeds up the older you get. When I was a child, I would lay awake at night and wonder how long it would take for the morning to come so that I could begin my new day. Now I lay awake at night and only wish the night would linger so that I might sleep a little longer.

This morning, (thanks to the beautiful sunlight streaming in my window and the time change) I awoke just as Nate was leaving for work. My two explorers had found their way to our bed sometime in the wee hours of the morning and I just took a moment to watch them sleep. They fight over who can curl up next to me the closest, which makes for some pretty poor rest in my part, but they sleep nice and soundly the moment they are cuddled up against us. I know it breaks parent code to let your children sleep in your bed for ANY amount of time, even if it is after 2am that they come pattering to our bed, but I just can't wish these days away. Not even for a moment. Time is so fleeting on this earth. And children grow as quickly as the seasons pass. Why would I wish these nights of cuddles away? Soon enough they shall be teenage boys wrestling, arguing, playing ball, eating us out of house and home (oh wait, they already do that!), and, sooner than I'd like, they will be running away into the sunset to catch a new adventure before the last rays of day disappear over the horizon. And I won't be stopping them. It is their right to live life as fully and passionately as possible.

My instinct is to clutch them to me, to protect them from the painful realities of this earth. Wesley, at only 4 years old, is already witnessing some strands of darkness leak into our brightly lit home. Nathan and I strive daily to fill our house with bright light; in the way that we live and in the way that we love. But our own imperfections, the sinful nature of this world, and the constant battle between dark and light that is thundering outside our little blue house, allows Wesley to see glimpses of darkness.

It's funny to see our own personalities in our children. Wesley is sensitive, like me. Oh, he's sensitive like Nate, but he's sensitive like me. He's intuitive. He's aware. He worries. He becomes so concerned about something that he makes himself sick over it. He has his momma's heart. Spencer is carefree and spontaneous and shoulder's no weight of other's burdens, unless someone is visibly upset, then he will try to comfort in his own non-verbal way. But it's a mere pat on the shoulder or back, a quick hug, then as if to remind us to do the same; he is off and running, chasing the butterflies and swinging high and fast.

When I discovered that the little wee one in my womb was boy number three, my thoughts flew straight to two women in my life that I have love and respected from afar. One being a Navy wife who is raising four beautiful sons, and the other a seminary wife raising three sons who just announced this morning that they are expecting little Frue number FOUR in the Spring! When my friend Julie shared that they were having boy number four last year, she mentioned how she could envision her sons as grown men, conversing with eachother, praying together, and encouraging eachother. That was such a beautiful picture in my head. And Tracy has three boys who are beautiful and her parenting methods have always encouraged me. Her and her husband are adventurers as well and take their boys where the Lord directs them. Both women have moved me and engaged my tired heart in conversations from afar and I'm grateful for their example. I'm grateful for their honesty. It's been no secret that I desire a daughter SOMEDAY. I don't ever want to be misunderstood: raising sons is my deep joy. I would never be ungrateful for the gifting of my sons, especially this one in the womb whom I am most anxious to see and hold and cuddle in four months. Our boys. I love living life and adventuring with them and seeing their father and me in them. It's such a beautiful, miraculous gift in a world where so many just ache for a child at all! My heart explodes with so much peace and joy at raising sons. Wesley wants a baby sister so badly, we talk about it often. I try to encourage him and communicate with him that right now God sees him as such a special big brother, that he gets to lead TWO other little guys right now. And maybe someday a sister will enter our doors. I want to give him a sister (I mentioned a few posts back that we have the name Lucy on our heart), but for the moment, I have three little boys to nurture and love and grow. AND I am grateful.

All of this mix-matched, unedited sharing comes from this place of peace in my heart. Where Nathan and I are at, where we are headed, the work that we do daily in raising children and loving each other, it's all hard and exhausting and beautiful and fun and scary and wonderfully wonderful.

I think about AP's song "Planting Trees" from his Counting Stars album. He wrote it for his wife, Jamie (another fantastic human being that I've had the pleasure of sitting and chatting with) and I think about the lyrics often, when I feel tired or discouraged.

She rises up as morning breaks  
She moves among these rooms alone  
Before we wake  
And her heart is so full; it overflows  
She waters us with love and the children grow
So many years from now  

Long after we are gone  
These trees will spread their branches out  
And bless the dawn 
These trees will spread their branches out  
And bless someone

A doodle, before I wrote this blog

Motherhood isn't an easy journey. There is deep, exhausting heart-ache. Not just from tragedy or physical pain, but from the witnessing of something so pure and beautiful as a newborn baby grow into a human being who will wrestle with the darkness and the light and eventually make their choices. What I can do is cultivate and water the beautiful humans that the Lord has entrusted to me.

Tracy shared several verses on her blog that have been resonating with me lately (oh how I miss you, Tracy Fru!)

Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways! You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table…”  Psalm 128:1-4 
“Then our sons in their youth will be like well-nurtured plants…”
Psalm 144:12 
“Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.” 
Psalm 37:3
What’s most encouraging to me in the days that I just want to go back to bed:
“Do not become weary in doing good for at the proper time you will reap a harvest of blessing if you do not give up.” 
Galatians 6:9 

And I'm reminded that we aren't really the growers here, but God who began a good work in us and who will see it to completion (Philippians 1:6). "So neither he who plants or he who waters is anything, but only God who makes things grow." 1 Corinthians 3:7

"I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. . .If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing."
John 15:1,5

Anyways, this is where I am at this morning, grateful for the place I'm at, praying over what's to come, and thankful for the wisdom of the saints, near and far. 

xo, jade

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