Friday, December 13, 2019

If Its Meant To Be

I am doing a daily advent book this season, and the directive this morning was to share something that God is doing in your life right now.

The thing is, I know what God is doing in my life right now, I'm just not sure I like it.

God is asking me to trust Him.

You see, for a very long time now (well, since I had Sam), I've wanted another baby. My husband does not.

This is not me throwing Parke under the bus- he has very, very good reasons for not wanting another child. Ours has, obviously, not been an easy path to parenthood. Even after Rip, my pregnancies ranged from frightening to downright terrifying at times. Not to mention- kids are expensive (have you noticed??)

And to be honest, in my heart of hearts, I'm not even sure we should have another baby. We have two healthy children. I am healthy. We have such a good life. Why would I even think of rocking this boat?

And yet. Why won't the desire go away?

All of my life, I've wanted three children. And in the most heartbreaking way, I have them. What do you do when a prayer like this is answered...and it isn't?

You trust God. And it is so very hard.

Because His answer is going to be- Yes, Not Yet....or No. And there is a very real possibility that it is going to be "No".

And so, my prayer in this advent season is to trust God with my whole heart, and to lean not on my own understanding. I was praying about this the other day (wanting another baby, what if I do, what if I don't, and on and on) and very clearly I heard in my head "Seek first the kingdom of God".

I don't know what that means, other than to keep praying. So that's what I am trying to do.

There is a saying I love, and will likely butcher: "If its meant to be yours, it will not pass you by"

Key word is "if". The achiever in me hates "ifs". If I push long and hard enough, I can MAKE that if go away...but is that right? Is it right for my family? Is it God's will for my life? How will I know?

Advent is a season of hope, of waiting. I don't know what the answer to my question will be. I'm almost 40 (gulp) so there’s every chance it’s a no. Either way what I am being asked to do is to trust.

Its not easy...but if its meant to be.

In the meantime, I think I'll just buy myself a puppy.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

I Believe

Believe: Feel sure of the truth of

I believe turquoise makes life happier
I believe you can question your faith and still be faithful
I believe in childhood
I believe in rainbows, four leaf clovers and heads up pennies
I believe in saying I love you and meaning it
I believe in miracles, but I wish there were more of them
I believe that holidays are special
I believe in the smell of a baby's head, even when that baby is five
I believe that everything looks better in the morning
I believe in sweating it out
I believe in champagne
I believe in pouring your heart out
I believe in girl's weekends
I believe in sticking it out
I believe nobody feels 100% all of the time
I believe looking bad never solved anything
I believe in books
I believe writing is the best therapy
I believe that trust is hard
I believe in prayers before bed
I believe God has heard my prayers
I believe that social media is bad, but I use it anyway
I believe in cleaning the house every day
I believe in unexpected laughter
I believe in daily phone calls with your mama
I believe in sisters
I believe in loving someone for life
I believe life is good, and bad, and good again
I believe in looking on the bright side
I believe sometimes its okay to take a time out
I believe salt water cures almost everything
I believe in hunting for shark's teeth and shells
I believe in travel
I believe in compliments
I believe in family recipes
I believe in home cooked meals, I just don't want to cook them
I believe in long walks
I believe it can be hard to stand up for yourself
I believe we get too caught up in being right
I believe in listening to both sides of the story
I believe I should stay away from WebMD
I believe we are losing touch with each other
I believe in crying in the shower
I believe in new outfits for special occasions
I believe in looking for the best in others
I believe in family
I believe sometimes we need to write down what we believe.

Monday, September 9, 2019

On Faith

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see- Hebrews 11:1

Faith can be a confusing thing. In order to "have faith", as Christians, we must hope and believe in a God who can, at least sometimes, seem very far away. I know I can't be the only one who has wondered why the Almightly doesn't just come on down and make Himself known-  you know, glowing lights and booming thunder and burning bushes? Old Testament Style. 

Being a Christian these days can be heavy. There are a lot of not so great connotations. And it would be A LOT easier (I mean, mainly on me) if Jesus would come along and be His great, loving self. I could just point to Him and be like- See! THIS is what I was talking about!! 

Or when non-believers look at you like you're crazy because CLEARLY science has it right and the Bible has it wrong? Wouldn't it be cool if God just opened the heavens and was all "Hey Guys! Alpha and Omega here".

But, yeah- faith. "Assurance of what we do not see"

And then there are the parts of faith that can be even harder to understand. I am, along with half of the internet, following the story of Eva Love. A seven year old girl who, due to a freak accident, is fighting for her life. A seven year old girl who has a younger brother and parents who love hits very close to home.  Parents who did EVERYTHING RIGHT. Parents who are GOOD CHRISTIANS. It is very hard not so say why God?! Why not just heal this child and prove all of the doctors and naysayers wrong? 

And He might- I pray so hard that he does.

While Eva's parents are holding on to their faith by gasps and threads, tens of thousands of other believers are praying for their little girl. While her family is weak (and I mean this in the sense that their minds and bodies are exhausted; not in the least that they are weak people), these followers- by their faith- are strong.

It reminds of a quote by CS Lewis:
I believe in Christ as I believe that the sun has risen: not  because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.

There are tens of thousands of people praying for a little girl they've never met. Praying because they have faith. Hope for and assurance of what is not (yet) seen.

Maybe they have reason for their faith. Maybe they have two rainbow babies, brought to them by countless small miracles along the way. 11:11's, burning bushes- tomato, tomahto. 

Sometimes faith is hard. Most of the time faith is hard. But maybe it's not Christ Himself we need to see- maybe its just seeing Him in someone (everyone?) else.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Fuller House

The way I see it, there are two types of kids: Kids who are bad in front of your face, and kids who are bad behind your back.

As much as I hate to admit it, I was the sneaky kid...unfortunately (or fortunately, as my almost 40 year old self sees it now), I almost always got caught.

Sammy is my "what you see is what you get, bad in front of your face" kid. I'll tell him not to do something and I can almost see those wheels start turning immediately. If he feels like whacking the fool out of his sister is worth the time-out...well, Gracie better be ready to duck.

Gracie, on the other hand, is my sneak. Her classic line when asked if she did something: "I don't remember". Homegirl has had a head circumference in the 99% as long as I've known her, and plenty of brains underneath. Playing dumb = Sneaky. Luckily, she's also been "blessed" with the get caught gene.

Our latest battle has been over the TV show "Fuller House". Like every good 80's child, I loved Full House growing up, and thought it was great seeing it brought back to life. Well, I thought it was great until DJ and the gang started telling my 7 and 4 year old about the birds and the bees. And drugs. And making out. And just can we go back to watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse please?

Anyway, Fuller House was removed from the rotation at the Harris household, permanently. Or, until my poor unsuspecting mother watched the kids for me one day. When I called to check in and she said they were watching a show Gracie wanted to watch, and then I heard Gracie frantically hollering in the background "I don't want to watch this anymore!!!!", the jig was up. As were her dessert privileges for the week (Yes, we eat dessert every night. You only live once, eat the m&ms).

So, we move along to this weekend when Gracie had her second ever spend the night at a friend's. We discussed how house rules still apply. WWMD (What would Mama Do?) All seemed to have been a success when I picked Gracie and her friend up the next day to do a little school project shopping at Michael's.

We'd just reached the checkout line where People magazine just so happened to be doing a front cover feature on Lori Loughlin.

"Oh, look," Gracie's little friend pointed out good old Aunt Becky, "there's that lady from the show you made us watch!"

I wish I had a camera to capture the look on the little sneak's face right that moment. Been there sister...and so will you, every.time. you lie to your mama.

Last night we had a long talk about trust and the privileges that come along with that trust. And in the end, Gracie may have gotten exactly what she wanted. She's not going to be having any spend the night parties for quite some might even say, for the foreseeable future, its going to be a much Fuller House.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

A Moment Like This

I was recently asked to serve on a committee at our church. I think this is probably something that happens a lot as your kids get older and you become more invested in their faith walk and who is helping guide it. In other words, there's a sucker born every day.

Anyway, the day of our first committee meeting Parke was out of town, I had no babysitter and it was approximately 1000 degrees. Needless to say, we rolled up to the church 5 minutes late. Things were going well.

The sweet lady in the reception area offered to watch Gracie and Sam and directed me to the "parlor", where the rest of the group was already in session. Not familiar with that area of the church I asked for directions.

As it turns out, the parlor is a little area to the side of the church where they hold Boy Scout meetings and gather before weddings...and funerals. The last time I'd been in the parlor, with no presence of mind to ask what it was called or anything else for that matter, was just before Rip's funeral.

I am amazed as human beings how life is made up of so many moments like this. Moments where you are literally thrown into a room that holds some of the worst memories of your life and yet we smile, nod, pull out our pens, and get to work.

Everyone has a "parlor" or two or three. A road, a house, a hospital room where their lives changed forever. But somehow we keep moving. We keep showing up. We keep going.

What felt like much later the door cracked open and two slightly disheveled children were deposited back to me. Smiling and shy, and smelling damp and sweet - I couldn't help but wonder if there was a ghost of a girl 9 years before still somewhere in this parlor. Stuck wondering if she would ever get a moment just like this.