What does the angel say?

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Lovebug,

Today we had a great conversation and I just had to save it here so you could read about it later. We were having dinner together and you kept wanting to play with mama’s angel. I have a sweet little Willow Tree angel who sits on our table and you just love her. You always want to hold her and play with her, and I have to remind you frequently that you have to be gentle with her—you typically oblige.

Tonight you were sharing your dinner with the angel and letting her sip from your cup. At one point, you were making her “talk” and she was making a “Ribbit!” sound. I chuckled and said, “Buddy, that’s not what an angel says! An angel says…” Pause. I really had to think here. What DOES an angel say? Given the circumstance, there are a wide variety of possibilities…how could I narrow it down to one sound byte? I had to think about what an angel could always say, in any situation, and then it occurred to me. “Buddy, an angel says ‘God loves you!’” You smiled and said, “Angel says…God love ooo!” From there, our conversation went on.

“Yes, buddy! An angel says ‘God loves you,’ because He does! And you know what? No matter how you are feeling or what is going on in your world, God always loves you.” I explained that God loves you, even when you are having a really crummy day and it seems like He is miles away. I told you that He loves you even when things happen in your life that you don’t understand. That He loves you every day, whether you want Him to or not. I explained that even though sometimes your feelings will try to convince you otherwise, His love for you is unchanging and perfect.

This conversation was a great reminder for your mama, too. Your daddy and I have been surrounded by really sad stories lately. Stories of hurting friends, grieving families, and seemingly “hopeless” situations. We have been praying so hard for precious people in our lives, and we aren’t getting the answers we were hoping for. It’s times like these that we have to choose to believe and trust God and His love, even when He feels far away. We have to trust that His plan is BIG and perfect and ends in an eternity with no more tears, pain, or sadness, no matter how tough things get in the short term.

Life can be so hard, sweet boy. There will be times when you are hurting and you will feel like God doesn’t care. When you don’t feel God close to you, choose to believe Him and trust Him at His word:

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.
“For I am the Lord your God” Isaiah 43:2-3

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are [a]crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

He loves you, sweet boy…BIG MUCH. Don’t you ever forget it.

AML,

Mama

Two.

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He is 2 today.

 

He loves to zoom cars, play trains, and go spinny spinnys.

 

He adores animals. He showers our puppers with affection every single day, whether they want it or not, and he calls the goats at the zoo his “friends.” He is gentle. And loving. And kind.

 

His laugh reaches a part of my heart that I never knew existed before he arrived. It consumes me. I am convinced that stripped of all other physical necessities, I could subsist on it alone.

 

My boy can roar like the fiercest of lion cubs. With the same volume, he can also cheer on his beloved Magic, better than any full-grown fan.

 

Much to my delight, he has his father’s sense of humor. He loves surprises. He thrills to make other people laugh. He has an impish gleam in his eye that foretells of many future adventures that are sure to leave me shaking my head in hilarious disbelief.

 

This boy can eat. I’m not sure where it goes, but we are constantly astounded by what he is able to put down in a single meal. He loves to see how much will fit in his mouth at once, much to his mother’s chagrin. 😉

 

Don’t get me started on his curls…they are the stuff that dreams are made of. Like perfect spirals of white chocolate adorning the top of a heavenly cake, they perch atop his head and make me swoon. I’m not sure that many other babies have as many pictures of the backs of their heads as mine does.

 

And oh, his heart. While I may have been prepared for other aspects of him, nothing could have prepared me for the countless ways my heart would near burst in the presence of his sweetness. He delights in his friends and family. He cares when others are hurt. He loves “BIG MUCH.” He can be brazenly independent, but at the end of the day, just wants to be close. He constantly covers me in hugs and kisses and the hugs he requests are “BIG hugs!” He throws his arms around my neck and squeezes tightly with every cell in his little body.

 

He is 2 today and in my eyes, he couldn’t be more delicious if he tried. Years will come and go, but I doubt I will ever be able to sing “Happy Birthday” to him without welling up in tears. I’m just that grateful.

 

Grateful for two years. Grateful for this precious boy. Grateful for all that we have to celebrate today.

 

Thank. You. God.

 

“Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God.” Philippians 1:3 (MSG)

On the eve of two…

Lovebug,

You turn two tomorrow. I have been saying that to myself all day so that I can wrap my mind around it and prepare myself for the reality that you will cease to be my little one year old babe in just a few short hours. Throughout my life I have been challenged by the ends of chapters/seasons. When change is imminent, I feel myself desperately trying to savor every last moment and cherish what I feel is slipping away. So today we did all of our “usual” activities—all of the things that you love to do. Reading books, playing trucks, and of course, going to visit the ducks and fish at the pond. You had a long, playful bath and once you were in your jammies, we curled up in the chair for bedtime. I gave you extra rocking and snuggling and told you how much I loved you. As I laid you in your crib and crept out of your room, I waited for a pang to enter my stomach as I acknowledged that I had my last day with you as a one year old.

 

Much to my surprise, it wasn’t there.

 

I felt happy…grateful…and totally at peace.

 

As I thought about why this was the case, it fell on me with unbelievable clarity. I wasn’t trying to hang on to this year because I knew without question that I had savored it and enjoyed it completely.

 

Unlike with other seasons, where I felt like I didn’t appreciate them enough or knew that I took them for granted, I could walk away from this year knowing that I had left nothing on the table. By the grace of God, I remained present with you during every day—not wishing a single moment to go faster or to be altered in any way. I loved you with every cell in my body. I gave you all of my energy. I withheld nothing.

 

Even on days that were less than perfect, I never wanted to be anywhere else. I was covered up in gratitude every single day that I could be right here with you and your daddy—I wanted for nothing.

 

I enjoyed the sights, the sounds, the touches. I relished in your new achievements and marveled at your growth. I laughed with you. Held you when you cried. Made messes and cleaned them up. Some moments were glamorous and others were cringe-worthy, but I remain thankful for them all.

 

So while it is in the nature of mamas to always wish for more time, I don’t regret any of the days of this year. I didn’t squander a single one. I haven’t been perfect—I have certainly made mistakes, but taking you for granted wasn’t one of them. What an incredible gift from God. My heart is full knowing that I have loved and savored every day I have been blessed to have with you. My prayer as we walk into 2 tomorrow morning is that this time next year I can say the same thing.

 

I love you BIG MUCH.

mama